updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
Center for Copyright Information notes only 47 successful challenges
In its first year of operation, the US-based Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has issued 1.3 million notifications through its tiered "six-strike" Copyright Alert System. Of the 1.3 million warnings, more than 70 percent occurred at the first two educational stages, with less than 3 percent of the Alerts sent occurring at the sixth and final mitigation stage leading to speed reductions and temporary disconnects from the Internet. The CCI claims that none of the messages were sent in error, and of the challenges only 47 successful appeals to the alerts were made on grounds of account use without permission.
Jill Lesser, the Executive Director of CCI said of the report that "we are encouraged by the initial data from the Copyright Alert System's first 10 months suggesting that the program has the potential to move the needle in deterring copyright infringement. Our initial research into consumer attitudes - along with what we have seen in our own data - shows that consumers do respond to this kind of educational system that alerts them to infringing activity on their account and helps them find the content they want easily and legally."
Critics say that CCI's system will only stop casual pirates, and leave the more "dedicated" file sharers untouched. The Center for Copyright Information chief has acknowledged that "yes, there are ways around it, and yes there are other ways to pirate," when some of the other piracy methods were discussed at a round table discussion. Curiously, she added that "hardcore" pirates were not the target of this system.
Centurylink, Charter, Cox, and Sonic.net are amongst the larger ISPs not participating in the "Six Strikes" mechanism. Dane Jasper, CEO of Sonic.net told TorrentFreak that he thought "history has shown that you cannot solve piracy by force, but that industries need to adapt around it with business models that allow consumers to access the content they want easily and at a not-unreasonable cost." Cox officials say that the company is not participating in the initiative for "internal reasons."
The software performing the monitoring of BitTorrent traffic for the Center for Copyright Information has seen some problems. MarkMonitor, the underpinning of the system, has flagged HBO.com as in violation of the DMCA for violations of its own content -- an obvious failure of the system, and not the first such incident. The report sent to Google stated that HBO.com was using HBO's own cable content without permission. Additionally, the same automated report to the search engine named websites that were writing about HBO content, and thus clearly not violating "fair use" provisions of the law.
CCI board co-chair and RIAA member Steve Marks noted that "This report confirms that the CAS is working - it's reliable, respectful of consumers, and an effective way to let them know about all the legitimate alternatives in the marketplace. We look forward to exploring other ways we can work with our ISP partners to enhance the consumer experience in the digital world."