Anti-piracy system sent 1.3 million notices in first year

A system to curb online piracy sent 1.3 million notices to warn copyright infringers during its first ten months and is set to double its efforts over the next year.

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) — an initiative by the entertainment industry and Internet providers — sent out 1.3 million notices, many of which were to educate recipients that they were illegally sharing copyright content, according to new research from the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), which runs CAS.


The research suggests “that the program has the potential to move the needle in deterring copyright infringement,” CCI Executive Director Jill Lesser said in a statement.

Under CAS, which launched in February of last year, Internet providers send up to six notices when a user illegally shares copyrighted content that has been flagged by copyright holders, such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.

The first set of notices are aimed at informing users that infringement is taking place through their account. 

Later notices require users to view educational materials about copyright infringement. Final-stage notices include “mitigating measures,” including, depending on the provider, slowing or temporarily blocking Internet access.

According to the CCI research, 70 percent of the 1.3 million notices sent were educational notices, and 3 percent of notices went to users who had already received five notices.

In announcing the research, CCI said it expects “to at least double the number of notices sent and processed in the coming year.”

The group also said it will ramp up its efforts to raise awareness about the program and the availability of legal online content.

“Our initial research into consumers attitudes … shows that consumers do respond to this kind of educational that alerts them to infringing activity on their account and helps them find the content they want legally and easily,” Lesser said.

CCI also touted the program’s low error rate, with users filing 265 requests for review through CAS’s arbitration process and zero invalid notices sent.