‘Six strikes’ effective in piracy fight
February 26, 2014
By Colin Mann
According to Jill Lesser – Executive Director of the US’s Center for Copyright Information (CCI) – a collaborative effort between content creators in the movie and music industries and leading IPSs to help educate the public and deter copyright infringement – a voluntary agreement between the entertainment industry and major Internet providers that aims to reduce online piracy through peer-to-peer networks by sending warnings to users is proving effective.
Speaking to congressional newspaper The Hill on the first anniversary of its launch, Lesser said the Copyright Alert System (dubbed ‘six strikes’) – where participating Internet providers — AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon — send notices to subscribers who share copyrighted content through peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent when copyright infringement is happening, had received positive feedback.
The notices escalate if infringement continues up to six notices; the first notice alerts the subscriber that infringement is happening while the fifth and sixth come with “mitigation measures,” such as temporarily slowed Internet speeds.
The CCI is evaluating data from the first year of operation of the system, with Lesser revealing that it has been able to deliver a large number of alerts. She hopes further analysis will reveal that Internet providers sent out more first and second notices and fewer fifth and sixth notices, which would demonstrate that users stopped sharing infringing content.
Writing in the Center blog, Lesser said she was proud of the way the initial twelve months of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) had gone. “After ISPs and representatives of our nation’s movie, music and television creators came together in the first truly voluntary effort to stem the tide of piracy, we have been able to create a seamless, well-run system that respects Internet users, protects privacy and ultimately will help grow the pie of digital entertainment. Having made it through almost an entire year of a system in operation, I’m particularly proud, although not surprised, at the collaborative efforts of everyone involved to make this work,” she said.
She confirmed that the Center would also be supporting iKeepSafe’s pilot of a curriculum on copyright and fair use, as part of a larger effort to educate US children to become fully literate digital citizens. “During the implementation phase of the CAS, it became clear that lessons about copyright and fair use have been virtually absent from broader digital literacy education efforts. We are excited about our work with iKeepSafe that will place copyright and fair use in the broader context of other online important principles like privacy and security, and reach children as they embark on their digital journey,” she declared.
In conclusion, she said it was clear that the Center’s work must focus on consumers and enhancing understanding of the digital entertainment environment for current and future generations of digital citizens. “People still want to watch their favourite movies, TV shows and music videos, and listen to their favourite music, and the CCI, working with the right partners and resources like Why Music Matters and Where to Watch, can play a part in shifting the dialogue to a more informed, legal and fair place.”