Monday 25 Feb 2013

Copyright Alert System, american version of French HADOPI

CCI copyright alert system

Always driven by the industrial film and music, the U.S. administration has imitated French government and establishes a surveillance of Internet transfers. Illegal downloads will be punished by email warnings up to a "graduated response", but never completely disconnect internet... contrary to what might happen in France.

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Started today, the Copyright Alert System is intended to decrease online copyright infringement by notifying Internet subscribers when their accounts are being used to illicitly obtain or distribute copyrighted data. The system of alerts is as follows:

  • The first and second alerts will notify ISP subscribers that their Internet account has allegedly been used for copyright infringement and provide an explanation of how to avoid future offenses, as well as direct users to lawful media content site.
  • If the user’s behavior persists, a third and fourth alert will be sent. These alerts will ask “the subscriber to acknowledge receipt” of the messages by clicking a notice.
  • After a fifth alert, ISPs will be allowed to take “Mitigation Measures” to prevent future infringement.
  • If the ISP did not institute a Mitigation Measure following the fifth alert, it must enact a Mitigation Measure after the sixth alert.

These Mitigation Measures may include: "temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures (as specified in published policies) that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter".

Source Wikipedia Center for Copyright Information

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All is very close, but unlike the system in France, the system does not completely cut access to the Internet for U.S. users caught downloading. The most severe sanction that can be decided at this level is to greatly reduce the line rate to discourage users wishing to attend the P2P networks, while allowing them to surf the web and check their email.

It seems that the system monitors only P2P exchanges. Majors have asked for such a system for several years, since despite hundreds of lawsuits against users accused of illegally downloading on P2P networks, piracy is still well alive. The RIAA and MPAA have therefore wanted such a device in 2008. They have created an organization: the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), mandated to inform users and to send warnings. (It already has a pretty information website.)

CCI logo

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The five largest U.S. Internet provider (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner and Cablevision) can choose what sanctions to impose on offenders from the fifth warning. Unlike the French HADOPI system, there is no independent authority, justice does not occur and the law is not very clear. ISPs and rights-holders are alone to decide how to punish users! :-|

Critics also focus on the cost of the system, which makes spend a lot of money, to help large companies to earn more, as they already earn more than ever and systematically overestimate the impact of piracy.


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