What’s Going on with the Copyright Alert System?
What’s Going on with the Copyright Alert System?
What’s Going on with the Copyright Alert System?

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    As I wrote in April, I joined the Advisory Board of the
    Center for Copyright Information to serve as consumers’ eyes and ears as an
    agreement between the major Internet service providers and copyright holders is
    implemented.   The agreement requires
    ISPs to send up to six “alerts” to alleged peer-to-peer infringers, with the
    last two alerts resulting in so-called “mitigation measures” and an opportunity
    for the user to appeal.  

    The system was scheduled to launch in July, and the delay in
    the launch and relative silence has some floating theories of ISP
    and content industry scheming to turn the system into an excuse for
    disconnection.  But the reality is a lot
    less exciting.   In a nutshell, there was a lot of foundational
    and technical work that needed to be done before the launch, so the July date
    was unrealistic. 

    What does the work consist of?  Three things. 
    First, the ISPs are still implementing the technology for sending the
    alerts and it has taken longer than first expected.  Second, the Board, with the Advisory Board’s
    advice, has been testing messages for the alerts to see what will be effective
    and what will not.  This testing has
    included focus groups with parents and young adults.  Third, the American Arbitration Association is
    putting in place its procedures for appeals, including making sure the process
    is as simple as possible.  

    The CCI’s alert methods and messaging will almost certainly
    be shaped by the recent reports from France that discuss the demise of the “3
    strikes” Hadopi law.   The French Culture
    minister has concluded that the law is a “failure,” partly because of its inability to promote legal content to replace illegal downloads. 

    Perhaps most important for the CCI to heed is what the head
    of the French commission on the “Future of Piracy” said about the law:

    The error of Hadopi was to focus on the penalty. If
    one starts from the penalty, it will fail.