ISPs turn on Copyright Alert System

Six strikes and you’re out? As of this week, participating U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) are starting to utilize the Copyright Alert System. Users suspected of using copyright-violating peer-to-peer file sharing programs, such as BitTorrent, will now be issued notices about their illegal activity.

Initially the notifications will be educational and may include voicemail messages and links to legitimate content. Further alerts could see users forced to watch anti-privacy videos. ISPs also have the power to reduce Internet connection speeds, aka throttle bandwidth, for repeat offenders.

Those who think they’re being unfairly accused can appeal to the American Arbitration Association for $35. If the investigation rules in their favour, the warnings will be removed from their account and they’ll be refunded their money. But if it goes the other way, the ISP may be in a position to take further action against the user.