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Thursday, June 7, 2012

America Delayed 6-Strikes

Once the entertainment industry and all of the country’s largest broadband providers reach an agreement, millions of BitTorrent users in the United States will be monitored by the RIAA and MPAA. 

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The agreement in question says that people caught sharing copyrighted files will get several notifications, and eventually be punished if they don’t stop infringing. Such measures were supposed to kick-start last July, but they had to wait, because the involved parties did not meet the deadline.

In the nearest future, the Center for Copyright Information will start hunting and tracking down copyright infringers, thanks to an agreement between the US entertainment industries and the broadband providers. The parties have negotiated a system designed to warn and eventually stop copyright violators. After 6 notifications, Internet service providers could take a series of repressive measures, including “chocking the Internet pipe” and temporary disconnections.

This plan was announced as “Copyright Alters” a year ago. The deadline passed, but the measures are still not implemented. The CCI said that the dates mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding weren’t hard deadlines. Instead, they were supposed to keep the outfit on track to have the Copyright Alert System up as soon as possible. They also claimed that they weren’t going to launch until they were confident that the regime is consumer-friendly and could be implemented in a manner consistent with all their goals. The implementation is expected to start later this year.

The industry has already selected a 3rd-party company to monitor BitTorrent swarms, but doesn’t want to disclose the names. According to the agreement, the “technology partner” in question will be tested by another independent expert.

As for the ISPs, they have to implement a system able to keep track of all the sent notifications. Such database won’t be stored centrally in order to ensure the subscribers’ privacy. Verizon, for example, agreed that copyright violation is not right and through the suggested voluntary consumer-friendly system, the ISP believes it can educate its subscribers and offer them access to legitimate alternatives.

Verizon points out that this program can offer the best approach to the problem of unauthorized file-sharing while respecting the privacy and rights of the Internet users. 

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