The Copyright Alert System (“CAS” or “Six Strikes”), which was developed by the Center for Copyright Information, was launched yesterday in conjunction with five major Internet Service Providers (“ISP”): AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.  The Copyright Alert System is designed to address the illegal downloading of copyrighted works – like movies, music and televisions shows – by going after the Internet bandwith and access utilized by suspected consumers.

CAS enables entertainment companies to notify participating ISPs that a customer has allegedly been downloading content illegally. The ISP will then send “educational” notices intended to inform the end user about their potential violation of copyright law.

With each such notice, or “strike,” associated with the Six Strikes program, the ISP will gradually increase pressure on repeat offenders.  Eventually, after six such warnings, ISPs can suspend the customer’s Internet service, or throttle back the bandwith associated with their Internet connection, thus slowing down their Internet browsing speed. There is an appeals process for consumers that feel that they have been wrongly targeted, but each appeal requires a $35 filing fee.

Of note, the CAS program does not directly address certain methods of sharing pirated material, such as “cyberlockers, e-mail attachments and Dropbox folders.”

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or need to review your usage and sharing practices associated with copyrighted material, please e-mail us at newsletter@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

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