The Six Strikes Program

The anti-piracy program referred to as “six strikes” is rumored to hit the US by the end of 2012.  Jill Lesser, head of the Center for Copyright Information, says the program will launch this year, although the same claim was made in 2011. Will we actually see six strikes come to fruition this year?

The program, officially known as the Copyright Alert System, combines the efforts of Hollywood studios, record labels and major U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs.) The goal is to stop piracy, by giving repeat offenders warnings based on how many strikes they have. While the first strike may result in simple warning, users who receive a fifth warning will be redirected to a landing page with educational information on copyright. Their internet service will not be restored until they contact their ISP.

It is unclear how ISPs will handle Internet users who reach six strikes. There is speculation on whether users will be disconnected, sued by rights holders, fined, etc. While Lesser is promising the six strikes program by year’s end, ISPs are not providing any details on the program. Is this a realistic timeline considering we have not heard any new information since the initial announcement of July 2011?

A similar program in France called Hadopi, allows three strikes against users. Keeping up with the copyright infringements for a population of 65 million people has proven to be a difficult task for Hadopi. While 18 million complaints have been made, the agency has only dispersed 470,000 first strikes, 20,000 second strikes and 10 third strikes. Hadopi attributes this to two factors: technical difficulties and wanting to give users time to change their ways after their first strike.

What are your thoughts on the six strikes program? Do you think we will see it in 2012?

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