The long-discussed Copyright Alert System (CAS) is launching today -- but don't expect any immediate fireworks. It's going to take some time to see how the system operates in practice; all that will happen this week is that some Internet users may receive initial informational alerts.
Under the CAS, ISPs will send warning notices to subscribers that copyright holders have identified as engaging in copyright infringement on peer-to-peer networks. In the optimistic scenario, this notification-centric approach will serve a largely educational purpose, informing users that their file sharing activity may be both illegal and observable by rightsholders. Some users may not have been fully aware of that. And in some cases, notices may clue parents in to illegal behavior they weren't aware of, such as file sharing by the household teenager. This is why CDT has said that the CAS has the potential to help reduce peer-to-peer copyright infringement while sidestepping the serious concerns raised by approaches that involve (for example) government mandates or the adoption of new snooping or filtering technologies.
Read more »