In a February 19 post to the blog InternetNZ, Susan Chalmers examined the first two cases that came before New Zealand’s Copyright Tribunal as part of that country’s “Three Strikes” copyright infringement program. Chalmers wrote that the written decisions showed that the account holders had a limited understanding of the technology they had been punished for using, and neither account holder knew how to properly defend themselves under the law. “The law inverts the age-old principle (you know, that one that’s essential to due process and a democratic society) that a person is ‘innocent until proven guilty,’” Chalmers wrote. “In a normal copyright infringement case that occurs in a court of law, the burden is on the copyright owner to prove that the alleged infringer infringed.”
On February 25, the “Six Strikes” system agreed to by rights holders in the entertainment industry and five major internet service providers (ISPs) went into effect for illegal downloading in the United States. This video from the Center for Copyright Information explains how the Copyright Alert System (CAS) anti-piracy enforcement efforts will work, although each ISP is going to be free to customize how it will enforce mitigation measures. According to the social media news website Mashable, here are some of the actions that the five major ISPs plan to take against repeat offenders:
- Verizon is the only ISP that will cap customers’ data speeds under CAS. The company will first issue a series of alerts and force repeat offenders to watch instructional videos about copyright and legal methods of downloading content, but customers who continue pirating content will have their connections capped at “near dial-up speeds” for two to three days. Verizon customers will have an opportunity to appeal piracy accusations, as Mashable reported there will be two weeks’ notice before any slowdown occurs.
- Cablevision said it will completely suspend customers’ Internet service for 24 hours following the fifth and sixth alerts if unchallenged by customers.
- Time Warner Cable told Mashable that it will not throttle customers’ data plans or terminate service under CAS mitigation, but customers may experience a browser lock if they ignore a series of alerts after being accused of piracy. Customers will have to call Time Warner representatives for an instructional conversation about copyright and legal methods of downloading content.
- Comcast plans to make repeat offenders confirm receipt of stern warning emails, and they will encounter persistent in-browser alerts if the behavior continues. Like Time Warner, offenders will be required to call Comcast Security Assurance to discuss copyright issues and legal downloading alternatives in order to deactivate the alerts.
- AT&T customers accused of piracy will also receive a series of alerts. Accused customers who continue to illegally download content after receiving four alerts will have to “review materials on an online portal that will educate them on the distribution of copyrighted content online” before they are allowed to access other websites.
What do you think of these copyright protection efforts? You can find more information about protecting intellectual property by visiting our website, and Los Angeles business litigation attorney Robert G. Klein has been helping clients throughout Southern California with complex infringement issues for more than 25 years. If you have been the victim of infringement or need help protecting your intellectual property, fill out the form on this page or contact our firm today at [number] to have our experienced Los Angeles copyright infringement lawyer look at your case.
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