U.S. to be hit today by a new anti-piracy system
Starting today, it is believed that most internet users in the U.S. will be exposed to a new system that will enforce copyrights laws and force them to go through a certain educational program and possibly slow their internet connection if found downloading files illegally.
The source from where this information comes from has a direct knowledge of the Copyright Alert System (CAS). After requesting for its identity not to be revealed it told the Daily Dot that there were 5 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that were involved in this controversial anti-piracy program that is supposed to start today.
The 5 big ISPs involved in this program are Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision, AT&T and Verizon. Each of them are expected to launch their own version of this new anti-piracy program during the course of the week. Comcast is believed to be the first to launch his today.
The idea behind the Copyright Alert System is to design an educational system that can possibly eradicate casual piracy in the United States. Some have criticized it as been designed purely for the interest of corporate businesses, not considering the effect it could have on the average internet user.
The Anti-piracy program may not be required to cut off Internet access to users that illegally download (which is the case in France and New Zealand) but has a set of escalating punishments for any user who is a suspected pirated. One of those punishment could be to severely reduce the speed of the internet connection after been caught illegally downloading for 5 or 6 times.
There is a special software designed to flag copyright violators but it needs to be vetted out by independent consultants, as promised by the system’s executive director. That has not happened yet.
Even though the new program is supposed to be launched today with Comcast being the first to try it, there is still a chance it is postponed. The unnamed source of this information expressed how it was surprised this news has been secretly kept all this while but there have been rumors about it for several weeks that it will be implemented by the end of February.
To mark the launch of this new system, CAS has actually designed a brand new website. This is to replace a drab earlier version which for some reason went for months without any update. That probably reflects the fact that there have been a lot of internal conflicts going on resulting in repeated delays of the program. The most recent news is that it was postponed from last November to February of this year, the main reason been the stemming from Hurricane Sandy.
Online piracy has been a plague for big corporations ever since the invention of the internet. For years they have come up with new laws and bills that they would push in congress with the help of their lobbyists to take control of how information flows online. The latest bills that they tried to pass were PIPa and SOPA. Those regulations would have allowed them to monitor online users through the different Internet Service Providers and identify the ones that were illegally downloading. Even big online giant like Google and Facebook were not so comfortable with those bills. So they had to join forces to fight it claiming that it will undermine the online industry itself. After a multitude of web enthusiasst protested both online and offline, the bills failed to be passed.
Then they went on to shut down MegaUpload, an online sharing website where users could upload and download big files and share them among themselves. The owner of the site, Kim DotCom went on to launch a brand new similar site this year.
A lot of website that were designed based on the MegaUpload business model, for fear of ending up getting shutdown, decided to turn all the files that were shared on the network as private files.
There have also been laws that have attacked torrent sites and their IP has been blocked in certain countries.
It seems big corporations owning downloadable intellectual properties are desperate about taking control over the net and this is their latest move to make sure that anybody that downloads illegally is properly dealt with. It is understandable. Every year there are millions of dollars lost online through piracy file sharing sites. The big losers in all this are the movie industries and big online software industries. It only makes sense that they try to find a better way to control this. But again monitoring users may not be the best option.