Washington—The Center for Democracy & Technology and Public Knowledge today issued the following joint statement in response to the announcement that major Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America, have agreed to cooperate on a "Copyright Alert System ".
Today’s agreement has the potential to be an important educational vehicle that will help reduce online copyright infringement. A voluntary, notification-centric approach can sidestep many of the serious concerns that would be raised by government mandates, the adoption of new snooping or filtering technologies, or a draconian 'three strikes' approach centered on disconnecting Internet users.
But whether the agreement will meet its educational promise or instead will undermine the rights of Internet users will depend on how it is implemented. Among our concerns, we are particularly disappointed that the agreement lists Internet account suspension among the possible remedies. We believe it would be wrong for any ISP to cut off subscribers, even temporarily, based on allegations that have not been tested in court. A number of more detailed implementation issues warrant monitoring as well. Close ongoing scrutiny will be required to ensure that the agreement achieves its purpose without unfair or disproportionate consequences for Internet users.