Attention torrenters: Six strikes anti-piracy law goes into effect

"The internet has become an essential part of living in the 21st century, it uses public infrastructure and it is time we treat it as a public utility. The electric company has no say over what you power with their service, the ISPs have no right to decide what you can and can not download". He went on to say that while he believes copyright infringement is unethical, it is not surprising that as the law evolves to disrespect the public domain, that the public would grow to disrespect copyrights. - Carl Bermanson, New Jersey gubernatorial candidate

On Monday, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon began rolling out the Copyright Alert System, aka "six strikes." This escalating series of alerts replaces the RIAA and MPAA's previous copyright enforcement schemes, which focused primarily on suing college students, grandmothers, and dead people (not necessarily in that order).

A first Alert means that an owner of copyrighted content -- like a movie, TV show or a song -- has found an instance of alleged copyright infringement using your Internet account and has sent a notice to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISP has then generated a Copyright Alert. The Alert will give you information about how to assure no further infringing activity occurs using their account. ...
If the activity continues, you will receive additional Alerts. Those Alerts will be more prominent and will inform you how to address the activity that is causing the Alerts. If you fail to stop the infringing activity, the Alerts will ultimately result in a "Mitigation Measure" -- an even more prominent notification and educational activity intended to further deter the behavior.

What exactly are these Mitigation Measures? They could include throttling your connection speed, dropping you to a lower tier of service, or sending you to detention -- a landing page for a period of time where you complete "an online copyright education program" -- before they let you back on the Internet.

It won't, however, mean your ISP will cut you off entirely. Because if you think the country's biggest retailers of Internet access are willing to forgo $50 to $200 a month just to please Hollywood, you're crazy. Most of the ISPs have been reticent about far they'll go in enforcing the six-strike rule.

Time Warner says it will emphasize "education," sending violators to detention after the third strike. Verizon's website notes that after the fifth strike it may throttle your connection speed to 256K for two days; after notice No. 6, that probation period extends to three days. AT&T told DSL Reports that it will not throttle users' connection speeds, even after six strikes have been recorded. Of course, this is AT&T we're talking about; if it really did throttle speeds, how would you know?


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