This Is What the Copyright Alert System Looks Like in Action

Illustration for article titled This Is What the Copyright Alert System Looks Like in Action

By now, you've heard enough about the Copyright Alert System to know what it is and, perhaps, how useless it could be. But what the hell will it look like in reality?

No need to wait and see, because Ars Technica has gotten hold of (some of) the warning messages that Comcast will provide to customers who infringe copyright. Of course, the likes of Verizon and Comcast have updated their terms of service to explain the new system, but who's going to bother to check 'em?

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In fact, the Strikes system will give rise to an increasingly torturous process. The first strike, for instance, will just pop up in a browser window, which can be dismissed by anyone. The second warming will require a member of the household to log in with their Comcast account to dismiss the alert.

As severity ratchets up, the fourth warning will require the primary account holder to log in to acknowledge receipt of the warnings. At the fifth warning a 14-day period kicks off where users can appeal to the American Arbitration Association about whether the claims are just.

It's not really clear what happens after the sixth warning—though the companies rolling out the Copyright Alert System have claimed that they will not turn over customer information to copyright holders. How well this will all work in practice, then, remains to be seen. [Ars Technica]

Illustration for article titled This Is What the Copyright Alert System Looks Like in Action
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Illustration for article titled This Is What the Copyright Alert System Looks Like in Action
Illustration for article titled This Is What the Copyright Alert System Looks Like in Action
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DISCUSSION

(rant starts) Ok. Time to build an alternative infrastructure. We need a truly anonymous internet, not owned or controlled by any corporation nor monitored by any government. One that can be connected to without an ISP or hardline connection. Can it be abused: yes. But I prefer my freedom over any potential "safety" constant surveillance may provide. And its freaking obvious that surveillance is being used to line the pockets of corporations, or at least make it painful for people to experience things before they buy them. I honestly believe in trying something before you buy. If I like what it does, I buy it. But these people are asking you to swallow a black box and not know what its going to do. The internet has been commercialized to death, and its not long until you won't be able to choose what websites you see because you're going to be automatically redirected to where your "service provider" wants you to go. Its for your own good, honest. Now, shut up, pay your bill and eat what we're telling you is your "awesome". (rant ends)

I'd feel better about copyright law if it protected content creators over copyright holders when they're not the same entity. There is a difference there, and the content creators are the people I admire - the people who most often hold the copyright? Not so much. The internet is, in my opinion, either going to be the death of copyright as we know it, or we'll be sitting in a 1950's style future where people will have very controlled lives. There needs to be a new system in place, one that allows the creativity of content creators to be matched up with the audience that best fits them. One that allows the audience to reward the content creators for content that they enjoy. That system COULD be the internet, it has the capacity to be a democratic system.

As for Comcast? I fart in their general direction.