What is the Copyright Alert System?

The entertainment industry has been pushing for years for Internet Service Providers to aid copyright owners in monitoring and preventing copyright infringement. For a while no serious action was taken. However during late February 2013 AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner, Verizon, and Comcast began implementing the Copyright Alert System.

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) oversees the Copyright Alert System. CCI says their goal is to alleviate confusion about copyrights and help Internet users find legal ways to enjoy digital content. They employ a company called MarkMonitor to monitor peer-to-peer traffic from public BitTorrent trackers. To put that a little more plainly, The Copyright Alert System monitors people who use torrents, not those who download a file directly.

The Copyright Alert System has also been referred to as a six strikes program. When the system detects copyright infringement on an IP address, they notify the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the address. Then the ISP sends a pop-up message or email alerting the user on that IP address that copyright infringement has been detected. The first and second alerts will notify the user about the infringement and direct them to a lawful site to obtain digital content. The third and fourth alerts will be the same but also require the user to acknowledge receipt of the message by clicking a notice. By the fifth alert the ISP can take action against the user and by the sixth alert is MUST take action. Such actions could include temporary reduction in Internet speeds, forcing the user to call their ISP, or other measures the ISP deems necessary. Each ISP specifies the action they would take in their policies.

Users cannot appeal an alert until their ISP takes some sort of action against them. Appeals are conducted through the American Arbitration Association and should be resolved within thirty days of filing an appeal. Appeals must be requested within 14 days of an alert and cost $35. There are a few different grounds for disputing an appeal and a copyright lawyer can fully explain each of them.

If you received an alert through the Copyright Alert System and want to appeal it or simply need legal advice you can contact Stone Law at 732-444-6303 or leave us a message on our website.