By Drew Wilson
For months, the six strike rule in the US was always on the horizon, but delays have kept the policy from being enforced. Now, one source is reporting that the six strike rule will begin as early as Monday.
The report comes from the Daily Dot. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
A source with direct knowledge of the Copyright Alert System (CAS), who asked not to be named, has told the Daily Dot that the five participating Internet service providers (ISPs) will start the controversial program Monday.
The ISPs—industry giants AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon—will launch their versions of the CAS on different days throughout the week. Comcast is expected to be the first, on Monday.
Meanwhile, Computerworld ran a story on six ways to defeat the six strike system. Of course, while that is all fair, most users aren’t reading up on the latest in copyright news. So, they won’t be learning about these many ways that such a rule can be circumvented and/or defeated. So, the important thing isn’t necessarily going to be how easily such a rule can be circumvented.
The more important thing to watch out for is going to be, if this rollout really does happen next week, how many notices are going to ultimately be sent out. If there’s only a couple of thousand notices to be sent out each day, then almost no one will take notice of this new policy as it will be a mere drop in the ocean. If there’s going to be a few hundred thousand notices sent out, then there is a real possibility that this policy will eventually fall flat on its face because it would cost ISPs a lot of money just to keep another industry happy.
Another thing to watch for is, as Techdirt pointed out is false accusations of copyright infringement. This is pretty inevitable given how much false copyright accusations have plagued the copyright system under the DMCA over the years.
The six strike system hinges on the idea that an IP address directly links to someone committing an act of copyright infringement. Even a US court recently admitted that. An IP address is linked to a subscriber. It is common practice that there is more than one person linked to a particular IP address such as family members and friends for instance. Another case would be that someone is wardriving and using someone else’s WiFi connection without their knowledge in an effort to hide their tracks. This also happens. These are just two ways that an IP address does not necessarily always link to the individual responsible for what goes on.
Another angle to look at this whole ordeal is that the US has the luxury of looking into how such a system ultimately plays out because similar systems have been put in place in other countries. In France, their three strikes law failed to stop the slumping of music sales. In New Zealand, the major record labels spent $250,000 to obtain a fine of $616.57. So, we do have evidence to show what impact a law or policy has. That evidence says that such a policy does little to nothing to stop any slumping of sales of entertainment and it also is a major drain on financial resources.
So, if the six strike system rolls out on Monday, we’ll get the opportunity to see if history repeats itself and proves that this sort of policy is a failure.
Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85