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Copyright Alert System

scattered dollarsThe Copyright Alert System (CAS) was implemented in late February 2013 to deter illegal downloading of copyrighted material. Under the Copyright Alert System, copyright holders monitor the Internet for infringing activities, such as sharing copyrighted material through BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer file sharing programs. The copyright holders alert the participating Internet Service Providers (ISPs) when such activity is detected. The ISP then sends a series of warnings to the Internet subscriber associated with the IP address that allegedly downloaded the infringing material.

There are six warnings that may be issued. The first two warnings are “educational,” intended to alert the Internet subscriber that someone is using their Internet connection to download infringing material. The next two warnings are more strongly worded and require the Internet subscriber to acknowledge the warnings by clicking on a pop-up message. The final two warnings are mitigation measures which affect the Internet subscriber’s Internet access, such as slowing down the Internet connection speed.

Under the Copyright Alert System, your ISP will not terminate your Internet access, even if the Internet subscriber receives all six warnings and takes no action to discontinue the alleged infringement or challenge the warnings. However, the Internet subscriber can seek review of alerts they believe were issued in error in order to undo any mitigation measures that were imposed upon them.

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) operates the Copyright Alert System’s independent review program. The Internet subscriber may request a review within 14 calendar days after receiving a mitigation alert. The Internet subscriber may not challenge an initial educational alert. Possible types of challenges to the alerts are: misidentification or unauthorized use of account, authorized copyright use, fair use, misidentification of file, or the work was published before 1923.

YOU MAY STILL CHALLENGE ANY ACTION IN A COURT OF LAW. The Copyright Alert System IS NOT LAW. It is a program devised by several companies and organizations acting as a trade association including members of the MPAA, IFTA, RIAA, A2IM, and several ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision).

If you received a notice from your Internet Service Provide alleging improper peer-to-peer file sharing and warning of a possible interruption or limitation of your Internet service, please contact William R. Wohlsifer, PA, to discuss your rights.

More information about the copyright alert system can be found on the Center for Copyright Information’s website at Please contact us for a free telephone or email review of your case.


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