Verizon, Time Warner Cable Announce Their Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plans

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The CCI is about to launch its six-strikes anti-piracy system alongside six of the nation's major ISPs. The program is being touted as a consumer-friendly system that encourages the use of legal alternatives when users are caught pirating content online. A leak has already detailed AT&T plans, but we didn't know what the other ISPs would do until recently.

Ars Technica reports that Verizon and Time Warner Cable were present at a CCI panel discussion at this year's INET New York conference. The two companies described the systems they will put in place to deter piracy. Subscribers under these ISPs will encounter slower speeds and blocked sites after going through the first few rounds of warnings.

To recap, a user caught pirating content will be sent a warning for the first two offenses. The message will contain an alert saying they were involved in copyright infringement, and offer up educational resources on where to find legal alternatives.

The second and third alert will contain much of the same information, but require the user to actually acknowledge receipt of the alert before they can continue on their day. The CCI says this will be accomplished by the use of a "conspicuous mechanism." By that, they mean that you'll be spammed by pop-ups until you click through.

The fifth and sixth alert are where the ISPs take action. Some leaked documents said that AT&T would throttle speeds, and hand over the user's identity to copyright holders for potential litigation. Verizon and Time Warner's methods aren't that different. According to Ars Technica, Verizon will throttle speeds of those found pirating content more than five times. Time Warner will take it a step further by blocking popular Web sites that user frequently visits.

What's interesting is that neither company mentioned handing over a user's identity to copyright holders. It was in the leaked memo from AT&T, but the other ISPs seem to be steering away from that potential outcome. The content holders are also saying that lawsuits are not the intention of this new system. Ron Wheeler, senior VP at Fox Broadcasting said "This system is not designed to produce lawsuits - it's designed to produce education."

Only time will tell if that's really the case. The RIAA and MPAA have been pushing for this system for some time now, and who knows how both groups will react to this newfound power. We might just be looking at the beginning of another file-sharer witch hunt.

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