Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Copyright Alert System - Six Strikes System

If you are notorious for downloading movies, music, games, books . . . your ISP may be contacting you soon. As this is not as threatening as receiving a cease and desist letter, or even a lawsuit, from a major studio or publisher, this may be a good thing.

In an effort to decrease litigation and increase education, certain ISPs look to give users several chances to understand and correct any possible illegal behavior, before possibly being sued.

As noted in the Verge article, once a copyright owner identifies an IP Address of a user that is hosting content without permission, they will alert the ISP. It will then be up to the ISP to determine how to proceed with alerting the user, at the IP Address provided, to educate them on the possible inappropriate behavior and/or impair their services for a period of time.

If the ISP is contacted about a specific IP Address six times, thus the 'six strike system,' the ISP may forgo further alerts and may warn the user that a content owner may pursue legal action and that the ISP may be forced to reveal the user's contact information.

To the extent a user does reach the 'six strike' mark, the content owner will be in a much better position to suggest to the court that the user was well aware of their activity and failed to correct their behavior. Accordingly, if it gets to that stage, the user may have a tougher time to defend themselves by saying 'they didn't know what was going on.'

Overall, the education angle should help reduce any inappropriate behavior and hopefully save a lot of legal fees.