The Copyright Alert System is awful, but here's some things you should know before you freak out.
There’s been quite a freak out on tumblr but not a lot of more info on what it actually does beyond the six strikes. So let me start by saying that the Copyright System only monitors peer-to-peer traffic from public BitTorrent trackers. Let me repeat that: only public BitTorrent trackers. So it will not track that download you got from Rapidgator, Usenet, Dropbox, or even a private BitTorrent tracker. Also, this is not a government initiative. To quote the Center for Copyright Information:
Our members include artists and content creators like the members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as well as independent filmmakers and record producers represented by the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), and 5 major Internet service providers – AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. Our leadership also includes an Advisory Board made up of consumer advocates, privacy specialists and technology policy experts.
Your ISP won’t even give up your personal information to the content partners unless it’s required by law through a subpoena or court order, which is still the way it’s always been. The alert system, in a nutshell, is aimed towards people that don’t know that pirating is bad and awful and we should all just stop. They realize this system probably won’t prevent repeat offenders. Here’s a really good article explaining how it works, but basically, once you’re past the six strikes (each ISP has different steps depending on the number of times you’ve done it) there aren’t any further steps. Now, this won’t prevent subpeonas from copyright holders such as the RIAA, but this has always been a danger, since we all know, downloading pirated material is illegal.
There are ways to try to circumvent it though. I mentioned the other ways of downloading that weren’t being monitored, but VPNS are another alternative as well. LifeHacker has compiled a handy list of VPNs and even has information on each one’s data logging policy, because we all want to make sure our information isn’t stored.
Let me just reiterate, though, the Copyright Alert System is definitely awful (and by all means, please sign!!!!), but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the internet as we know it.
LET ME SHED SOME FUCKING LIGHT ON THE COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM (CAS)
YOU TUMBLR USERS PROVE TO ME TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT YOU WILL BELIEVE *ANYTHING* YOU READ.
I HATE TO BE CAPS-LOCKING AND BOLDING AND ALL THAT SHIT, BUT I REALLY NEED YOU TO READ THIS.
DID ANY OF YOU EVEN DO ANY FUCKING RESEARCH ON THE COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM (CAS)? BECAUSE I FUCKING DID.
THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. THIS IS NOT LAW. THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER WORKING WITH THE CENTER FOR COPYRIGHT INFORMATION. (AND NOT EVEN ALL ISPs ARE INVOLVED.)
YOU WILL NOT BE SENT TO PRISON FOR SAVING A GIF FROM TUMBLR. THAT IS A MYTH I HAVE SEEN FLOATING AROUND MANY TIMES TODAY.
WHAT THE CAS IS:
- SIX WARNINGS, AND THEN A “MITIGATION MEASURE” (SLOWER INTERNET OR REDIRECTION TO A LANDING PAGE)
WHAT THE CAS IS NOT:
- A LAW OR GOV’T PROGRAM
- SOMETHING THAT CAN, ITSELF, SEND YOU TO PRISON
- SOMETHING THAT CAN GET YOUR INTERNET SHUT DOWN
PLEASE READ THE FUCKING WEBSITE AND DO A LITTLE RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN.
Again, sorry for the caps lock and bolding at italics, but that really seems to be what catches people’s attention on this site.
US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing
February 26, 2013
Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will start throttling connection speeds for customers alleged to be pirating copyright-protected materials.
Months after a controversial “six-strike” program was slated to be rolled out by the biggest ISPs in the United States, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) confirmed on Monday that the initiative has gone live.
The program, critiqued by Internet freedom activists and privacy advocates alike, will let ISPs take six steps of escalating severity in handling incidents where customers are believed to be illegally sharing material. Through the “graduate response”approach, suspected copyright criminals could be issued a series of warnings for illegally downloading protected content.
With the first strike caught by the CAS, a customer could be issued a warning. As strikes increase, however, “mitigation measures,” connection speed throttling and termination of service are all possible options.
“Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P [peer-to-peer] copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of Copyright Alerts to consumers,” Jill Lesser of the Center for Copyright Information rights in a blog post on Monday.
“Consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally (or without authority) will receive Alerts that are meant to educate rather than punish, and direct them to legal alternatives. And for those consumers who believe they received Alerts in error, an easy to use process will be in place for them to seek independent review of the Alerts they received,” she adds — neglecting to mention that the appeals process costs customers $35 a pop.
Previously, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision Systems and other ISPs have signed onto the program, which was last scheduled to start in July 2012. Gigi Sohn, president of digital rights group Public Knowledge, told Wired last year that originally ISPs hoped to roll out the program earlier, but major protests against other restrictive Web policies, including attempts to pass certain legislation, left them to wait until the dust settled.
“SOPA and PIPA definitely had an impact. There was some concern, if they moved ahead too quickly, public opinion would be so raw, this would be caught in the whirlwind of bad PR,” Sohn told Wired.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that the official CSI six-strikes website lets users learn more about the history of copyright, but does so by re-directing them to a page managed by the Copyright Alliance — the same group that advocated heavily for last year’s failed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.
When the six-strikes program was first introduced, the White House issued an official statement saying it should “have a significant impact on reducing online piracy.”
About the CAS and Why it's not going to ruin tumblr forever
So my birthday is coming up...
And the only thing I want is for everyone to sign this petition.
If you’ve already signed it, great. If you haven’t, WELL WHY NOT?!?
It’s not just for me, it’s for everyone who enjoys using the internet.
We need 55,000 signatures by March 25th or we might have our internet rights taken away.
We got a girl a fluffy chicken.
We can do this.
PLEASE research the details of the Copyright Alert System before losing your shit.
My dash is filled with things like “holy shit the cops will find your gif folder and they’ll arrest you” and “this bill is going to send artists/cosplayers/gifmakers to prison” and “this is going to affect almost all of tumblr!”
NONE OF THAT IS TRUE.
yes, this CAS thing does suck because it means there’s some extra surveillance going on and that never feels safe. however, it’s only tracking peer-to-peer sites (ie, torrents) for multiple infractions of downloading (mainly popular) copyrighted media, and it has nothing to do with what’s already on your computer or what you yourself created.
moreover, no one will go to jail as a result of the CAS. it’s a “six strikes” system: the first couple will be warnings, the next couple will require you to acknowledge your illegal activity, and finally, your internet will be slowed down for 2-3 days.
after that? well… that’s actually about it. if your ISP of its own volition decides to take things farther, then that’s a different story. but the CAS itself is not a tool of prosecution. it’s not getting you any closer to jail than you were a week ago, and especially not for a folder of stupid reaction gifs. it’s a means of discouragement, and it sucks, but in reality, it’s nothing more than another governmental control ploy.
In case tumblr gets shut down in a few days, I just want you all to know that it was great blogging with you
There is a petition going around to stop CAS (Copyright Alert System), which, if it passes will most likely shut down tumblr. WE HAVE UNTIL TOMORROW TO GET THE REST OF THE SIGNATURES. The link to the petition is below. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION
You guys know the drill! C’mon!!