THE ORGANISATION responsible for administering the illegal web downloading warnings system in the US has delayed its launch.
The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) was due to start coordinating alerts to internet users before the end of the year, but owing to the forces of nature it has postponed this until next year.
"Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules, CCI anticipates that the participating ISPs will begin sending alerts under the Copyright Alert System in the early part of 2013, rather than by the end of the year," says the organisation.
"Our goal has always been to implement the program in a manner that educates consumers about copyright and peer-to-peer networks, encourages the use of legal alternatives, safeguards customer privacy, and provides an easy-to-use independent review program for consumers to challenge alerts they believe they've received in error. We need to be sure that all of our 'I's are dotted and 'T's crossed before any company begins sending alerts, and we know that those who are following our progress will agree."
The CCI was set up in September 2011 with a remit to run the US Copyright Alert System (CAS) and the educational framework that accompanies it. It will coordinate how ISPs respond to content owners' copyright infringement concerns by sending letters to their subscribers.
According to the CCI its executive board includes Steven M. Marks, EVP and general counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Marianne Grant, SVP of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Although it does use a system of strikes, the CCI claims that no users will be cut off from the internet, no matter how many warnings they get. Rather, "mitigation measures" will be used against accounts where "alleged infringing activity continues".
It says that this response will vary from ISP to ISP but will stop short of service termination and instead take an educational path.
"The progressive series of alerts is designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again (for example, by securing home wireless networks or removing peer-to-peer software), and provide information about the growing number of ways to access digital content legally," is the CCI's official line. µ