Copyright Alert System goes active

People who enjoy downloading copyrighted music, TV shows and movies, via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks without authorization from the owners of that content will soon begin receiving notices from their ISPs in the form of Copyright Alerts.

The notices will be the first visible sign to the public that the Copyright Alert System (CAS) has moved from a development to implementation phase. Writing on the Center for Copyright Information website Feb. 25, Jill Lesser, executive director of the center, said the rollout of the system is at hand.

“Over the course of the next several days, our participating ISPs will begin rolling out the system,” she wrote. “Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of Copyright Alerts to consumers.” 

According to Lesser, consumers who use their accounts to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally will receive a notice that is “meant to educate rather than punish” and offer legal paths to access content. Consumers who believe they have received an alert in error have “an easy-to-use process” to seek an independent review, she wrote.

The Center for Copyright Information lays out details of the alert program on its website. According to the center, consumers who are believed to be engaged in illegal distribution of content will receive an alert with the date, time, time zone and title of the copyrighted material allegedly distributed illegally over a P2P network or file-sharing system. Alleged violators will be set up to six alerts: two “Educational” alerts, which will be followed by two “Acknowledgement” alerts, which in turn are followed by two “Mitigation” alerts.