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first_imgThe battle between entertainment businesses and Internetpirates has been a long one. We’ve heard countless stories of companies going after someone who illegally downloaded a movie and then were made to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. Now, Internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable are stepping in to protect their customers’s privacy while weeding out piracy by implementing a new “six strike” policy.The major ISPs have signed a voluntary agreement with the movie and music businesses to work on the issue of copyright infringement. The new policy will protect subscriber privacy and will ensure that the ISPs won’t be filtering or monitoring any of their own networks for infringement. They’re leaving that up to groups like the Copyright Group or the RIAA to do the lurking among peer-to-peer file sharing networks. The plan will work very similar to hows it does now where the copyright holder will send a message to the ISP if they see your IP address dipping its toes into some illegal downloading.The ISP will then pass along the message to the accused user. It won’t provide any information to the copyright holder, like the name or address of the alleged users, without a court order. The new plan aims more to educate than to punish. ISPs don’t want to lose a customer altogether – that’s good money being lost – so a new six-strike alert system has been put into place.The series of “copyright alert” messages warn users in various ways that their alleged activity has been discovered. The first alert will be sent by the ISP in an email and will inform the user that their account may have been used for content theft. Oh, and also that it’s illegal. The message will inform the user that consequences could result. Aiming to educate, it will direct the user to resources that will help them check their computer’s security and the security of their WiFi network. It will also provide resources to places where they can find legal music, movies, and TV shows. The second alert, if the activity continues, will be similar to the first.The third alert is where things get a little more interesting. This alert will feature something like a click-through pop-up notification, or a landing page that will block you from moving on unless you verify you’ve read the page. This is to ensure that the user has seen the message. Some of us get hundreds of emails a day, and the first two messages could easily go unseen. The fourth alert is similar to the previous one.Things get a little more punitive at the fifth alert. The ISP may take one of a couple of measures referred to as “Mitigation Measures.” These may include a noticeable reduction in the speed of your Internet connection, another landing page that won’t go away until the subscriber contacts the ISP, or educational information about copyright infringement that you’ll have to read and respond to. The sixth alert will be similar to the fifth.This whole strategy seems like a pretty reasonable one, and if you’re still getting caught after six times, it’s more than fair for copyright holders to come after you with legal action at that point, unless they have got it completely wrong, that is. However, if you do reach the fifth and sixth alert, it’s still possible to appeal the “mitigation measure.”  There’s a $35 filing fee to appeal, but for people who have been wrongly accused, like the guy who was accused of downloading child pornography, this process may come in handy.What do you think? Is this a fair system to be put into place by the ISPs?via Ars Technicalast_img read more

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