The Copyright Alert System – What it Means for You

You may have heard recently about the ‘Copyright Alert System’, or “CAS” (also being called the “Six Strikes” system. This is the ‘6 strikes’ system that was proposed by the RIAA as a new way for Internet service providers (ISPs) to help combat the illegal downloading of copyrighted materials such as movies and music. Did you catch that? Your ISP is getting involved in the fight to keep you from downloading illegal content.

We actually wrote about Copyright Alert System when it was just a gleam in RIAA CEO Cary Sherman’s eye, last year. In our extensive explanation of the Copyright Alert System we detailed the six levels of consequence that the download of illegal materials will face under the system. The first strike involves a gentle email or pop-up as you are downloading the material. The sixth strike involves anything up to and including pulling your Internet access (it’s up to the ISP – read this article for a full explanation).

The question is, why would your ISP agree to become the muscle for the RIAA?

Well, in part because you are using their resources to break the law.

But also because many ISPs are also providers of the very sort of copyrighted content that is being illegally downloaded. Take Comcast for instance. Are they an ISP or an entertainment entity who produces copyrighted material?

Well, they’re both. So, they have a stake in the game.

But really, the bottom line is that downloading copyrighted material without having paid for it or otherwise secured permission from the copyright holder (not from Frankie the Dink who runs the server that is hosting the pirated copy) is illegal. Don’t do it.

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