Online Pirates, You’ve been Warned

Written by Nerissa Staggers

The next time you think about downloading copyrighted movies and music, think again. The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has launched The Copyright Alert System (CAS). An agreement was formed between the five largest Internet service providers including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon and content creators like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). 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.

Here’s how it works. According to CCI, if the content creators, including artists and movie-makers, notice that a file is being shared illegally, they notify the appropriate Internet Service Provider (ISP) and that ISP, in turn, passes on that notice to their subscriber as a Copyright Alert. The notices may appear as browser pop-ups or emails informing the users that they are engaging in potentially infringing activity.

Users will get five or six alerts before their service is affected in any way. The first few alerts are to simply educate the user of legal ways to obtain the media. Later alerts can result in a temporary reduction in your Internet speed, a temporary downgrade to your Internet service tier, or redirection to a landing page for a set period of time. Users may be required to watch videos about online piracy until the account is restored.

Although it won’t eliminate the problem completely, this is a good step towards cracking down on online piracy.

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About the author

Nerissa Staggers

Nerissa Staggers is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of A graduate of Temple University, Fox School of Business, and Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Nerissa Staggers is an analytical thinker and an appreciator of the arts. She’s worked in the fashion industry for several years in New York City prior to obtaining her law degree, taking on buying, production, and management roles. Her interests expand beyond just fashion to entertainment, media, and entrepreneurship. She loves the idea of linking the worlds of creativity, business, and law. Intellectual Property law is that link. She completed intellectual property coursework at New York Law School as a visiting student to further concentrate on this area. The purpose of this site is to support artists and small businesses by helping to protect their creative interests. Outside of work, Nerissa enjoys volunteering and serving on non-profit boards in her local community.

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