ISPs To Start Six-Strike Anti-Piracy Program Later This Year

IT Management

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You may recall an effort on the part of the Center for Copyright Information to start a six-strike warning system for repeat copyright infringers. The plan called for tracking of Internet users and calling them out when they were found to be downloading copyrighted content. The warning system was to be put in place last year, but has been delayed numerous times. Now it looks like it may finally be launching before the end of this year.

TorrentFreak reports that a source close to the CCI that the six-strike system is up and ready. The only thing standing in its way is a reluctance on the part of ISPs to start warning subscribers. The fist one out of the gate will be seen as betraying the privacy of their subscribers, and they could start to lose said subscribers.

Regardless, the CCI is pushing for a launch by the end of this year. The current plan is to simultaneously launch the effort across the five largest ISPs in America - Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. These ISPs will begin testing the warning system in November.

TorrentFreak also reports that the CCI has contracted MarkMonitor to find the identity of alleged pirates. They point out that MarkMonitor is owned by the same company that currently identifies pirates under Ireland's ridiculous three-strikes system.

The concern right now is that the CCI is being rather secretive about the six-strike system. All we know is that ISPs will punish repeat offenders, but it was never made clear what the punishments would entail. ISPs claimed that they would not terminate a user's service, but there was never any guarantee made.

In slightly good news, TorrentFreak's source reports that MarkMonitor had its evidence technique reviewed by an independent third party. The report will apparently be released in the next few weeks to provide transparency on their methods. At that time, we'll hopefully be able to fully understand what exactly is going into this new method of pirate surveillance.

For now, we can at least rest easy that the six-strike system is nowhere near as bad as Mediacom's self-instituted three-strike system. The ISP recently said that they would ban a subscriber for life if they were found to be downloading copyrighted content three times in a row.

Regardless of the system, any kind of elevated response system just shows that the copyright lobby still doesn't understand the proper methods of combatting piracy. Services like Netflix and Spotify have done more to reduce piracy than harebrained schemes implemented by dinosaurs. Of course, we wouldn't expect them to make things easy on consumers.