Twenty Thousand Leagues and still No Safe Harbor

Yesterday, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) was unveiled with little fanfare. Prominently supported by the RIAA, MPAA and major Internet Service Providers, the CAS works as follows: the CAS monitors file sharing sites and identifies material that violates copyright. When a user downloads said tainted file, the CAS records such violation and forwards the details of the incident to your ISP, who in turn, informs you. After an escalation of threats, you may be required to watch videos or acknowledge the warnings before the “mitigation” phase, where your bandwidth is throttled, to a limit that approaches, but does not reach, zero.

The Copyright Attack System’s website has a video explaining everything, except the details. Of course, the CAS is not evil, after all it allows you “the opportunity to ask for a review [of a copyright alert]” if you believe you received one in error. How considerate.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation published their reaction and criticism showing, among many valid counter-points, that even the CAS website defines copyright incorrectly by failing to acknowledge the doctrine of fair use.

If being forced to watch re-education videos or having to prove your innocence to keep your Internet connection is a bit too Clockwork Orange for you, I heartily recommend the book, No Safe Harbor. Continue reading “Twenty Thousand Leagues and still No Safe Harbor”