US braces for 'six strikes' anti-piracy program

A new voluntary system aimed at rooting out online copyright piracy using a controversial "six strikes" system is set to be implemented by US Internet providers soon, with the impact unclear.

The program was created with the music and film industry and the largest Internet firms, with some prodding by US government.

The system had been set to take effect late last year but was delayed until early 2013 by the Center for Copyright Information, the entity created to manage the program.

Even though the program became known as "six strikes," backers say the name is misleading and that it is not aimed at cutting off Internet access for people downloading pirated films or music.

The center's director Jill Lesser said the program is not "punitive."

"We believe a voluntary, flexible program will be the best way to address this, and we think consumers will respond to it," she told AFP.

Participating in the program are the five largest broadband Internet providers -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Cablevision and Verizon -- covering some 85 percent of US residential customers.

Lesser said the program should be launched "very soon" after some technical issues are worked out, but offered no date.

A Verizon document leaked on the TorrentFreak blog suggests that the big Internet provider would deliver warnings for the first two suspected offenses and for the third and fourth incident, redirect customers to a page where they would have to "acknowledge" the warning.

For the fifth and six offenses, Verizon would "throttle" the Internet download speeds of customers to just above dial-up speeds. Customers could appeal the actions by paying $35 for a review by an arbitrator.

Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said the report was based on a "working draft document," and that the company is still developing its response.

Other leaked documents showed AT&T would block users' access to some of the most frequently-visited websites and that Time Warner Cable would temporarily interrupt the ability to browse the Internet, according to TorrentFreak.

Lesser said the program is not aimed at operators of public Wi-Fi networks such as cafes, though critics disagree.

"It's becoming clear that operating a public Internet hotspot is going to be nearly impossible" because of potential copyright violations on sites like YouTube and Facebook, said Cory Doctorow, editor at tech blog Boing Boing.

But Lesser insisted the program "will not shut down public wireless access."

Six strikes has received a mixed response, but even some Internet freedom activists say it is preferable to a government-mandated program like the Stop Online Piracy Act, which failed last year to win congressional approval.

The program could "play a useful and positive role in addressing the problem of copyright infringement without causing a lot of problems for consumers and the architecture of the Internet," said David Sohn of the Center for Democracy & Technology.

But Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union said it was "biased" toward copyright holders.

"The rights holder doesn't have to pay to accuse you of anything. You have to pay to assert your innocence," said Soghoian, the principal technologist with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.

He said similar programs in other countries have proven unpopular and failed in many cases to accomplish their stated goals.

"There is a proven way of reducing infringement, and that is to create things people want to buy at a reasonable price and make it easy to play it on any device they own," Soghoian said.

Derek Bambauer, a law professor at Arizona State University who has worked on an ACLU lawsuit seeking more information on the program, said it is unlikely to have a major impact on piracy.

The French HADOPI law produced well over a million claims of infringement but "very little follow-on," he noted.

Bambauer said the effort appears to be "backdoor policymaking" by the US administration after it failed to implement any new policy.

But the US system is not a government program and entities are participating voluntarily, Lesser said, adding that the effort sought to learn from other countries' programs.

In France, she said, merely announcing the program discouraged illegal file-sharing by "people who thought they were doing this anonymously," and drove an increase in legal services.

"We hope there will be a similar psychological impact here," Lesser added.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

  • Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle
    Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle

    Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island yesterday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region will allow it to project power deep into …

  • Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers
    Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers

    President Aquino administered yesterday the oath taking of 50 newly appointed generals and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace. …

  • Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed
    Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed

    The US on Tuesday welcomed Taiwan’s call on all claimants to disputed shoals, reefs, rocks and islets in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea to exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions, as well as to respect international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “With regard to the maritime claims and the claims to sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, our position is that maritime claims must …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options