Celebrating One-Year of the Copyright Alert System

Today, I am happy to mark the one-year anniversary of the Copyright Alert System (CAS). I am glad that the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), its member companies and organizations, and its Consumer Advisory Board have come together and been able to reach this important milestone. In anticipation of today, I recently spoke with The Hill’s Kate Tummarello about the system’s first year and the future for both CCI and the CAS. Her piece (which can be read here) highlights our successes to date and some of my reflections on the past year.

Looking back over the last year, I am so proud of the way these initial twelve months of the CAS have gone: after ISPs and representatives of our nation’s movie, music and television creators came together in the first truly voluntary effort to stem the tide of piracy, we have been able to create a seamless, well-run system that respects Internet users, protects privacy and ultimately will help grow the pie of digital entertainment. Having made it through almost an entire year of a system in operation, I’m particularly proud, although not surprised, at the collaborative efforts of everyone involved to make this work.

Along with this sense of historic accomplishment, I am also excited for the future. In the coming weeks CCI will be releasing its first analysis of the CAS. We will also be supporting iKeepSafe’s pilot of a curriculum on copyright and fair use, as part of a larger effort to educate our nation’s children to become fully literate digital citizens. During the implementation phase of the CAS, it became clear that lessons about copyright and fair use have been virtually absent from broader digital literacy education efforts. We are excited about our work with iKeepSafe that will place copyright and fair use in the broader context of other online important principles like privacy and security, and reach children as they embark on their digital journey.

I have also been pleased at how helpful our Consumer Advisory Board has been in setting up the CAS and working through our education plans with us. We were fortunate to have Gigi Sohn at our table before she joined the Federal Communications Commission late last year, and we are excited now that Leslie Harris will be joining the Board. Leslie brings many years of experience as a tough consumer advocate. Most recently, she was President of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).

With a year’s experience under our belt and many exciting moments still to come, it is clear that our work must focus on consumers and enhancing understanding of the digital entertainment environment for current and future generations of digital citizens. People still want to watch their favorite movies, TV shows and music videos, and listen to their favorite music, and the CCI, working with the right partners and resources like Why Music Matters and Where to Watch, can play a part in shifting the dialogue to a more informed, legal and fair place.

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