According to WSJ.com, Internet users who share pirated movies and music may soon be getting a warning from their ISP that detail alleged copyright infringement and threaten to slow their Web connections if they don’t stop.
This program already has a name:
The Copyright Alert System
Among the ISPs that have pledged to implement the new policy are Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.
Under the program the ISP will send violators a series of notices to subscribers if media companies suspect copyright infringement.
Each time a user is caught offering copyrighted material, that user will get an increasingly strident warning from his ISP.
After several such written warnings, the user’s Internet connection might be slowed by the ISP to basically make downloading of such material impracticable.
TechDirt.com has called this the 5 strikes and your out plan
Suspected repeat offenders might also be redirected to an educational webpage about copyrights.
Under the guidelines ISPs wouldn’t pass along the user’s identity to the entertainment industry and Users would also have the ability to appeal but according to TechDirt.com it will cost a user $35 to appeal.
The guidelines say that ISPs aren’t required to limit a subscriber’s access to email or phone service.
Personally I’m not sure any of this is going to make a meaningful impact on the downloading or distributing of copyrighted material.
For one it doesn’t seem that there is any sharing of information between ISP provided for in the plan, meaning a file sharer which had its Internet connection slowed to a crawl, could switch to a new ISP and start all over.
Moreover the problem isn’t just inside the US, not by a long shot.
Traveling in Asia and chatting with a lot of locals, during ICANN and after, it is EXTREMELY common for people to download and watch newly released movies on the Internet.
Its considered a normal part of life here, and not one person I spoke to even had a second thought that it was somehow illegal or wrong to do watch a movie on the Internet for free.
In the US there have been enough lawsuits against users that most understand the risks of engaging in such behavior but overseas it seems most people see nothing wrong with downloading such material.
How important is the non-US market for movies and music?
Consider that the record setting performance of Transformers 3 gross more outside the US than in the US in the opening week.