Washington, DC–Starting this week, major Internet Service Providers will be taking notice, or rather documenting, certain behaviors of their customers. Consumers engaging in a particular course of action will be severely penalized as a result. And if it goes far enough, you could be on the hook for $150,000 per incident.
The largest ISPs will begin monitoring their customer accounts for pirating copyrighted material. Simply put, if you steal content, video, audio, or software, you’ll be automatically enrolled into a watch list. It’s part of a six-strike system. Offenders will be subjected to graduated responses. The first infringement will result in a warning. If the warning goes unheeded, then more action will follow.
AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Verizon internet subscribers violating copyrights will see reduced speeds, a downgrade in service level, and an automatic redirect to a set landing page. Only by directly contacting their provider will customers be able to reconnect.
The six-tier responses are part of the Copyright Alert System or CAS. And it’s designed to halt illegal downloads and file sharing. “We see 20-30 million infringements every day. Most people are unaware of how public everything they do online is. Whether they download illegal software or post to their Twitter page, a lot of people are unaware of how public it is, if you’re looking for it,” said Thomas Sehested, the head of the firm that will be surveying digital copyright infringements, named Mark Monitor.
More information about this monitoring program is available at the Center for Copyright Information.