Roll-out of copyright alert system delayed

Under the program, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner and other Internet service providers (ISPs) will send a series of six alerts to subscribers whose accounts were used to allegedly distribute entertainment content via file-sharing. If they do not respond to the first set of alerts, the ISPs may implement a set of "mitigation measures" against a subscriber's account. That could include blocking the subscriber's access to popular websites until they complete an educational tutorial on copyright protection, or the ISP could temporarily slow down their Internet speed.

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CCI wants to thoroughly evaluate the new alert system before participating ISPs start implementing it, according to Lesser.

"We need to be sure that all of our 'I's are dotted and 'T's crossed before any company begins sending alerts, and we know that those who are following our progress will agree," Lesser said.

The industry-led anti-piracy effort is a result of an agreement struck between a group of ISPs and the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America last year, which has raised concerns from consumer interest advocates who are skeptical of stringent copyright policies. CCI contends that the copyright alert system will likely not change the behavior of people who heavily engage in illicit file-sharing, but it will educate Internet users who might not understand copyright rules and the consequences of distributing pirated entertainment content.

The roll-out of the program will be closely watched, as Congress has struggled to pass legislation aimed at cracking down on the rise of bootleg movies, music and TV shows online.

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