In a constant strive towards protecting and safeguarding genuine rights of copyright holders, US is all set to introduce the Copyright Alert System shortly. The system, to be monitored by Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will specifically target illegal downloading, file sharing and online piracy. The CCI will work in association with various Internet Service Providers such as AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon. Once the users, who are downloading copyrighted content illegally are tracked, the Alert System will be used to send infringement notices to ISPs. The ISPs will be responsible to take subsequent action upon the offenders.
The system works through a three stage process. The owners of copyrighted content will send the infringement notices to ISPs. Consequently, the ISPs will intimate customers, initially with “educational” alerts, and then “acknowledgment” alerts. Customers who continue to carry out infringing activities will eventually get alerts with “mitigation measures”. Once a user receives an infringement notice, he has an option to request for a review of his network activity by paying a billing fee of $35, which is refundable if he is found not guilty. However, if found guilty, ISP may impose penalties which might extend to terminating internet services entirely. Consumers who fail to respond to the alerts may have their connection throttled. The CCI however, will not have the power to obtain and access personal information, as the underlying idea is to restrain users from infringing copyrighted contents, thereby recognizing the rights of right holders. According to CCI, ” the system is designed to make users “aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again, and provide information about the growing number of ways to access digital content legally.”
Contributed by Aruna Mukundd
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