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New System Moniters Illegal TV Downloading, Could Charge Fees

Photo courtesy of rifqi dahlgren/Flickr

Those planning on downloading the newest episode of The Walking Dead or Dexter might want to think twice.  A new watchdog called the Copyright Alert System is going be activated within the next two months by a variety of internet service providers including big names like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.

The system works by sending a series of warnings to the registered user of an IP (internet protocal) address. The warnings start off as simply warnings, informing the user that illegal activity has been detected. These initial warnings will also be sent if the user if someone else is using their IP address (through an unprotected wi-fi signal for example). The hope is that copyright breakers will be deterred simply by knowing that someone is watching.

According to the Center for Copyright Information, by the fifth warning internet service providers can begin enacting “mitigation measures.” Including, but not necessarily, “a reduction in internet speed,” forcing the users to a “landing page” until the issue is resolved, and perhaps even higher fees.

Tech and legal issues site, The Verge claims in an article by T.C. Sottek that the only way to protest the warnings and possible mitigation measures is for customers to request an “independent review of their network behavior,” which will result in the payment of a “$35 filing fee.”

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