The "Copyright Alert System," better known as the “six strikes” program, calls for ISPs to penalize suspected infringers with a series of escalating sanctions, ranging from warning letters to potential throttling.
The record industry now boasts in a new report that the initiative has been so successful that it should serve as a model for future collaborations between Hollywood and a host of Internet “intermediaries,” including ad networks.
“Our work with ISPs has laid the groundwork for other similar initiatives with intermediaries such as payment processors and advertisers/ad networks, among others, which are beginning to bear fruit,” Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, says in a blog post.
In the program's first 10 months of operation, ISPs sent more than 1.3 million alerts to users, informing them that computers at their IP addresses appeared to have traded files on peer-to-peer networks, according to a report issued last week by the program's administrator, Center for Copyright Information. The program intends to send out at least twice that many alerts this year, the report states.
Recipients can challenge the notices by seeking a review managed by the American Arbitration Association, but doing so costs $35. The Center reports that it only received 265 requests for review last year. Forty-seven of those were successful. “The vast majority of those were based on an 'unauthorized use of account' defense, indicating that the account holder had made a satisfactory case that someone other than the account holder or a known (authorized) person was using the account in question,” the report states.
The Center says its research found that online users increasingly watch movies or listen to music via services that have struck deals to offer the content. But it's worth noting that people apparently started to shift from pirated content to licensed material before the six-strikes program launched. In fact, the same day that the Copyright Alert System debuted, the NPD Group issued a report stating that music downloads from peer-to-peer services and digital lockers both were down 26% year-over-year. The industry group IFPI reported at the same time that 2012 digital music revenue was up 9% year-over-year, with downloads, subscription services and ad-supported streams all increasing.