'Copyright Alerts' Coming Soon to an ISP Near You

The movie, television, music and ISP communities announced an agreement on a common framework for "Copyright Alerts" – a system similar to credit card fraud alerts – intended to educate and notify Internet subscribers when their Internet service accounts possibl...

The movie, television, music and ISP communities announced an agreement on a common framework for "Copyright Alerts" – a system similar to credit card fraud alerts – intended to educate and notify Internet subscribers when their Internet service accounts possibly are being misused for online content theft. Participating ISPs include AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

The system uses a series of early alerts -- up to six -- in electronic form, notifying the subscriber that his or her account may have been misused for online content theft of film, TV shows or music. It will also put in place a system of "mitigation measures" intended to stop online content theft on those accounts that appear persistently to fail to respond to repeated Copyright Alerts. The system will also provide subscribers the opportunity for an independent review to determine whether a consumer's online activity in question is lawful or if their account was identified in error. There are no new laws or regulations established as a part of the voluntary agreement. Termination of a subscriber's account is not part of the agreement. ISPs will not provide their subscribers' names to rights' holders under the agreement.

The agreement also establishes a Center for Copyright Information. Both the Center for Copyright Information and the Copyright Alert System are voluntary collaborations between the entertainment and broadband business communities. Participating ISPs will begin implementing Copyright Alerts in 2011 and 2012.
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