Beginning today, internet service providers will start throttling connection speeds for customers, who are allegedly pirating copyright-protected materials.
According to Forbes, this effort, called the 'Copyright Alert System (CAS),' was created by AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, along with copyright holders RIAA and MPAA.
People who do not use AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Verizon, will not be affected.
The 'ref' of the CAS is the Reuters-owned firm Mark Monitor, which has 100 employees and a suite of automated tools for watching Torrent sites to catch the IP addresses sharing and downloading content.
“We see 20-30 million infringements every day,” said Thomas Sehested, in charge of anti-piracy services and technology at Mark Monitor. “Most people are unaware of how public everything they do online is. Whether they download illegal software or post to their Twitter page, a lot of people are unaware of how public it is, if you’re looking for it.”
The CAS will help ISPs take six steps of escalating severity against customers believed to be illegally sharing material. Through this graduate response approach, suspected copyright criminals will be given warnings, connection speed throttling and termination of service.
If someone feels they have been unfairly judged, the appeals process costs customers $35 for each appeal.
The CAS was thought up by the industry group the Center for Copyright Information, which became the RIAA and MPAA’s only hope after the failure of SOPA/PIPA legislation.
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“Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P [peer-to-peer] copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of copyright alerts to consumers,” Jill Lesser of the Center for Copyright Information rights wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“Consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally [or without authority] will receive alerts that are meant to educate rather than punish, and direct them to legal alternatives. And for those consumers who believe they received alerts in error, an easy to use process will be in place for them to seek independent review of the alerts they received."