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Those who wish to avoid system should quit Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, or Time Warner service

After months of delays, a "six strikes" system designed to curb copyright infringement will go live in the United States, affecting customers on many of the nations' top internet service providers (ISPs).  While avoiding the most draconian of punishments proposed in past plans -- severing offenders' internet connections -- the system will carry serious consequences including connection throttling and forced "education" from anti-piracy groups.

The nation's top two mobile carriers -- Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)/Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) joint subsidiary Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Inc. (T) -- are both participating (as is Verizon Communications’ cable network).  Also onboard is top cable internet provider Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), a company that knows a thing or two about throttling.  Rounding out the early adopters is Time Warner Cable, Inc. (TWC), a company known for its tireless efforts to stomp out municipal cable.  The group, along with its big media partners, is known as the Center for Copyright Information.

The Daily Dot was the first to report that the system would go online this week.  The system had been delayed for months due to issues with testing servers getting knocked offline by Hurricane Sandy.

The CCI's so-called Copyright Alert System (CAS) just had a shiny new website and promotion video pop up on YouTube, lending credence to the report that the system will be deployed next week.


CCI Website
CCI's new website just went live.

Under the plan, copyright watchdogs like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) -- groups that have been internationally involved in convictions or settlements involving their own "theft" of independent artists' work -- will join peer-to-peer networks or BitTorrent transfers and log internet protocol (IP) addresses of people who are downloading "confirmed infringed content".

The first warning carries no action, but later warnings carry ISP-specific "Mitigation actions".  The (sort of) good news is that there is a path to appeal warnings.  Writes the CCI:

There is a $35 filing fee, which may be waived if you meet affordability criteria. The fee will be refunded if your challenge is successful.

Still, the system is a concern for real estate owners and Wi-Fi cafe owners, in that their services could be limited due to their customers’ actions.  In many cases, it would be near impossible for such entities to police their customers’ actions.

The simple solution for business people in that situation is to cancel their service with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, or Time Warner and seek a local alternative.  

Of course that approach could be difficult in some regions, and may become infeasible if more ISPs jump on the CCI bandwagon.  For now, though, there are alternatives for many customers who want to avoid the system.

Source: Daily Dot



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RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By abhaxus on 2/25/2013 2:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
VPN services are super cheap, like 3 bucks a month if you pay a year at a time.


RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By nafhan on 2/25/2013 2:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
FiOS user here; I'm planning to start paying for a personal VPN soon. Other than privacy, VPN also gets you access to region blocked content (such as the BBC, if you're an American). That in mind, I feel like $3 a month is a pretty good deal compared to ~$100+ for a premium cable package.


By Solandri on 2/25/2013 5:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
Google for expat shield (spam filter here is preventing me from posting the link. It's a free VPN (endpoint is in the UK, so you can get BBC videos). It does add ads to your browser while it's in use. I picked it up during the Olympics to bypass some of the NBC silliness.


RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By NellyFromMA on 2/25/2013 4:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why go with a service? If you were really interested in privacy, why not invest in a firewall with built in vpn? You don't need enterprise class, but you basically relinquich you privacy to a different service provider and defeat the point if you go with an external service.


RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By Solandri on 2/25/2013 5:18:23 PM , Rating: 3
It's more the principle of the thing. Not every ISP is participating in this six strikes program. It's a voluntary program. Normally, the market takes care of these things by letting people vote with their feet. If the ISP does something you don't like, you switch to a different ISP.

However, due to the government-granted internet duopolies most people face, they may not have a third choice of ISP who is not participating. You can't "vote with your feet" if both your choices are participating in six strikes. In that situation, using a VPN is your only way to protest their decision to participate. (Only realistic way. I suppose you could cancel your internet service, but that's not very realistic in this day and age.)


By NellyFromMA on 2/26/2013 1:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
How does the VPN service allow you to not subscribe to either of the local ISP options? I presumed you had to have internet to use a VPN service.


RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By bodar on 2/25/2013 6:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you still need an endpoint to tunnel TO though, if you are trying to encrypt P2P traffic coming to your router? That's what a VPN service provides. Sure, with a VPN firewall you can VPN into your home network from the outside, but what good does that do in this case? The infringing IP address will still be yours. With a VPN service, the alert system sees the service's IP address. Unless there's something that I'm not seeing here...


RE: My alternatives are Comcast or Verizon FiOS
By NellyFromMA on 2/26/2013 1:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
I am possibly also missing something. Could you elaborate?

If the point is that because the public IP doesn't actually belong to you irrespective of encryption, that's only gonna last for so long before these services start being cracked down on I would venture to guess.

If the gov can compell an ISP to ID a user, I would imagine it's only a matter of time before they could compell a service provider of this nature.

Sounds logical.


By bodar on 2/26/2013 10:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Many VPN services don't keep activity logs at all and they advertise this fact. They cannot be compelled to reveal what they don't know. My understanding is that the MPAA finds out that somebody using the VPN service downloaded a movie (or whatever) from BitTorrent, but they can't connect it to a user because all they have is one of the VPN service's external IP addresses. They can lobby Congress to make a law requiring logs for VPN, but that's another story.

This is just what I've read on various tech sites. I don't use VPN services, because I don't download stuff from P2P, so take with a grain of salt. I still maintain that VPN is useless without a network to connect to, though.


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