Alex Goldman is a producer for On the Media. One time he got run over by a car.
The Latest on Six Strikes (UPDATED)
Friday, March 01, 2013 - 02:44 PM
On this week's show, we are asking our listeners to share their experiences with new Copyright Alert System (CAS), also known as "Six Strikes." We wanted to know what this system looks like in practice - whether people are getting these alerts accidentally, what they look like, etc. This week, we're getting the first glimpse.
Over at Ars Technica, Cyrus Farivar asked all five of the big ISPs involved in the Copyright Alert System - AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, Cablevision and Comcast - if they would be willing to show him their copyright alerts. Only Comcast responded, giving us a glimpse into what the some of the CAS alerts will look like. Comcast provided Farivar with the first, second, fourth and fifth alerts, strangely omitting the third and sixth alerts. Head over there to take a look at screen shots of Comcast's alerts.
There was some concern on the website Techdirt about one of the "mitigation measures" Comcast has listed on their site. The measure says that after the fourth strike "Comcast will place a persistent alert in any web browser under that account until the account holder contacts Comcast’s Customer Security Assurance professionals to discuss and help resolve the matter."
The concern is that "persistent alert" meant that Comcast would be redirecting traffic to an educational landing or blocking webpages. So I called Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas to ask him about it. He told me that the "persistent alert" will appear on a person's browser but will not be over the entire webpage, nor will it redirect traffic to a Comcast landing page. In short,
"This does not affect speed of service or ability of service," says Douglas. "This is all about education and information. That persistent alert is to ensure that the primary account holder understands that their household has been given five or six warnings that they are infringing on copyright."
Comcast has, so far, been the only company involved with the CAS that's been forthcoming with their alert system information, so we're looking to our listeners to give us more. Email me at email@example.com, with the subject line "Six Strikes." Include screen shots, emails, anything you can give us to let us know how the CAS is being implemented. We'll continue to update our blog with information as it comes in.
UPDATE (corrected): Meanwhile, Techdirt is reporting that one of its readers has been the victim of a false positive DMCA claim that was sent by MarkMonitor/Dtecnet, the same company that provides monitoring for the Copyright Alert System. Techdirt reader David Sutherland received a DMCA claim for a mod of the video game Guild Wars he was hosting with the locker site MediaFire. The claim said the file was somehow associated with House, Downton Abbey, Contraband, Grimm, The Man with the Iron Fists, or The Office. This highlights one of the weaknesses inherent in the CAS system; if there is a false positive, the person accused of infringing has to pay $35 to appeal the decision.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Techdirt reader David Sutherland had his Guild Wars mod flagged by the CAS system rather than being the recipient of a DMCA.