“The “Copyright Alert System,” or CAS, will allow content owners to monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal downloading or uploading. Content owners can then notify accused users’ Internet service provider about the illegal activity, which then alerts the primary account owner on which the activity was detected. CAS is a product of a partnership between Internet Service Providers and the entertainment industry known as the Center for Copyright Information, or CCI.
The first two alerts come in the form of innocuous emails letting the account owner know of the activity and suggesting alternate legal ways to download content. The next two alerts are more stern, requiring account owners to acknowledge receipt of the alert. If those first four alerts fail to deter illegal downloading, the fifth and sixth alerts contain “mitigation measures,” which range at ISPs’ discretion.
“From leaked information we previously learned that AT&T will block users’ access to some of the most frequently visited websites on the Internet, until they complete a copyright course. Verizon will slow down the connection speeds of repeated pirates, and Time Warner Cable will temporarily interrupt people’s ability to browse the Internet.
The two remaining providers, Cablevison and Comcast, are expected to take similar measures. None of the ISPs will permanently disconnect repeat infringers as part of the plan.
Some skeptics have pointed out that the copyright alert system wont have much effect since there are many ways to beat the system. BitTorrent users, for example, can protect their privacy and prevent monitoring by using a VPN, proxy or seedbox.