US Copyright Alert System to close

A scheme introduced in 2013 by US content creators in the movie and music industries and leading IPSs in which consumers received ‘copyright alerts’ when they viewed peer-to-peer pirated content is to cease.

The February 2013 implementation of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) scheme marked the culmination of many months of work on the collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows.

However, the collaborators in the scheme are not extending the pact that implemented the voluntary programme, which saw Internet users subject to repeated notices if they continued to access infringing content.

Movie industry trade body the MPAA expressed frustration at the inability to stop repeat infringers. “These repeat infringers are the ones who drive ongoing and problematic P2P piracy,” declared Steven Fabrizio, executive vice president and global general counsel at the MPAA, who pointed out that an estimated 981 million movies and TV shows were downloaded in the US in 2016 using P2P.

He suggested that the Copyright Alert System was simply not set up to deal with the hard-core repeat infringer problem. “Ultimately, these persistent infringers must be addressed by ISPs under their ‘repeat infringer’ policies as provided in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) – the body formed between the content community and Internet Services Providers (ISPs) to educate consumers about the importance of copyright protection and help them find better ways to enjoy digital content – revealed in a Statement that after four years of extensive consumer education and engagement, the Copyright Alert System was to conclude its work.

“The programme demonstrated that real progress is possible when content creators, Internet innovators and consumer advocates come together in a collaborative and consensus-driven process. CAS succeeded in educating many people about the availability of legal content, as well as about issues associated with online infringement. We want to thank everyone who put in the hard work to develop this programme and make it a success, including past and present members of our Advisory Board. While this particular programme is ending, the parties remain committed to voluntary and cooperative efforts to address these issues,” declared the CCI.

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