C-SPAN Video: “Combating Piracy Online: The Copyright Alert System, A Voluntary Approach” (March 8th)

The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee was pleased to host an educational briefing on March 8th: “Combating Piracy Online: The Copyright Alert System, A Voluntary Approach” before a packed audience in the Rayburn House Office Building. Live coverage of the discussion was provided by C-SPAN and video of the event available on the C-SPAN website.

Watch: Video

Keep the Discussion Going on Twitter: @NetCaucusAC #copyrightalert


CCI Leadership

CCI Advisory Board

CCI Members

Background On This Briefing

A coalition of leading Internet service providers (ISPs) and U.S. content creators will start sending a series of copyright Alerts to internet subscribers whose accounts have been used for downloading and sharing of copyrighted content. The ISPs will pass on notifications received from copyright owners to their subscribers if (and only if) their accounts have been associated with online piracy. We don’t know how many subscribers will initially receive notifications, but constituents in your district may be among them. Subscribers who receive notices will be apprised that they have used digital content through their Internet connections improperly. Lacking an appropriate response from the subscriber, the notifications will escalate in seriousness, hoping to ensure any illegal behavior ceases.

This voluntary effort between ISPs and copyright holders is called the Copyright Alert System and is coordinated by the Center for Copyright Information (CCI). Under this system, content owners will be able to notify a participating Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) when they believe their copyrights are being misused online by a specific computer, identified by its Internet Protocol (“IP”) address. The respective ISP will then determine which of its subscriber accounts was allocated the specified IP address for the applicable date and time and then send an alert to the identified subscriber. The alert serves to: notify the subscriber that his/her account may have been misused for potentially illegal file sharing; explain why the activity is illegal and violates the ISP’s terms of use; and provide information about preventing additional alerts and accessing online digital content legally.

Representatives from the CCI and its consumer advisory board briefed the congressional audience on this project. CCI’s members include the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (“MPAA”) and its members, the Recording Industry Association of America (“RIAA”) and its members as well as five major ISPs — AT&TCablevisionComcastTime Warner Cable and Verizon.

This widely attended educational briefing was hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC), part of a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. Congressional staff and members of the press welcome. The ICAC is a private sector organization comprised of public interest groups, trade associations, non-profits, and corporations. More information on the ICAC is available at www.netcaucus.org.