Music, movie industry to go after 'casual pirates'
Those who claim they are innocent can protest — for a fee.
For the first time since a spate of aggressive and unpopular lawsuits almost a decade ago, the music and movie industries are going after internet users they accuse of swapping copyrighted files online.
But unlike the lawsuits from the mid-2000s — which swept up everyone from young kids to the elderly with sometimes ruinous financial penalties and court costs — the latest effort is aimed at educating casual internet pirates and convincing them to stop. There are multiple chances to make amends, and no real, legal consequences under the programme if they don’t.
“There’s a bunch of questions that need to be answered because there are ways that this could end up causing problems for internet users,’’ such as the bureaucratic headache of being falsely accused, said David Sohn, general counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based civil liberties group. But he added: “There’s also the potential for this to have an impact in reducing piracy in ways that don’t carry a lot of collateral damage.’’
The Copyright Alert System was put into effect this week by the five biggest US internet service providers — Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cablevision — and the two major associations
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