Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The new COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM is designed to....

...help consumers understand when files have been shared illegally online, using their online accounts, and helps educate them about illegal file sharing.

CAS (Copyright Alert System) was on the morning news as kicking into action TODAY.
But...just what the bleep is CAS and how will it slow down internet connections?

Let's start with this video, in which CAS is explained with diagrams.

"With so many options today for accessing digital entertainment it can be unclear what’s legal and what’s not. The Copyright Alert System (CAS) is designed to help consumers understand when files may have been shared illegally on peer-to-peer networks through their Internet accounts."

Today marks the day this program kicks into gear. But what does it mean for the likes of you and me? Nothing, because we're good and we DON'T partake in illegal filesharing.
But what about the people who do partake in such activities? What about the people who download the latest Showtime or HBO episodes? Or who share mp3 files? Or ebooks? What about the pirates?

From the material I read, it sounds like not much at all will happen. Their illegal file exchanges will be monitored and then reported using their IP number to their ISP provider (NO PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE EXCHANGED). They'll then get warnings and copyright infringement education. And for repeat offenders, they could get their internet connection slowed to snail pace.

Here's the alert system explained:

Service Providers have implemented what is called the "Copyright Alert System," known colloquially as "six strikes." Brooke talks to Jill Lesser, Executive Director of industry group the Center for Copyright Information, about how the six strikes program will work.

Now we've heard all the jive, read all the jargon, do we, as authors feel at all hopeful this may lead to the decrease in pirated copies of our books floating around the interwebs?
And what about readers? Are you happy about this step toward targeting illegal downloads/uploads activity?

I'm of the thinking that it's a small step for digital kind. But many more will be needed to achieve the desired goal: making a HUGE dent in digital piracy.


  1. I all for anything the irks pirates. Like you said - it's a small step but it way bigger than no step whats-so-ever. Thanks for letting us knwo about this.

  2. This may be heresy, but I'm not necessarily all that upset about piracy. That is, in a way it's like used books bought on Amazon or Ebay -- or even books in the library (in the US anyway). I don't get a royalty but, on the other hand, I do get a reader who, if he or she enjoys the story to book might buy more stuff by me at full price, especially if it's new, as well as spread the word to friends. So ideally it is somewhat like advertising.

    I think though of rock groups, where there seem to be two camps as well, those who hate pirated music since it cuts their CD sales vs. those who feel the more copies out the merrier because then more people want to go to their concerts.

    Of course, the bottom line is that it's still against the law....