It’s been almost three months since the implementation of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) began and there is real progress to report. Each ISP has been processing notices and generating Alerts and the few consumers who have elected to challenge their Alerts have been able to file those challenges with the American Arbitration Association.
Although the program is still in its early stages, the initial responses from customers have been both productive and positive, and in many cases, ISP customer service lines have received calls of appreciation for alerting the subscriber to the infringing activity. In one specific instance, a parent who was originally convinced he had received an Alert in error, found that his teenager had engaged in the behavior that triggered the Alert and had the teen write a note of apology. In other cases, ISPs have been able to help consumers take the necessary steps to protect their accounts from being used for illegal behavior.
A key goal in launching the CAS was to educate consumers by alerting them to instances of piracy using their Internet accounts. We are encouraged by the initial trends we are seeing. It’s still very early, but as predicted, there are many more first stage alerts than second stage alerts and – albeit based on only the limited data we have thus far – very few consumers are reaching the third, or mitigation, stage. Once we have sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate the program, we plan to provide further updates to the public. But, for now, while the CAS is still in its nascent phase, the feedback we are getting provides an important signal that the Alert system is working and that the CAS is helpful to consumers who receive Alerts.
Another important goal of the CAS is to assist consumers in finding the digital music and video programming they want in safe and legal ways. To that end, we have been providing links to a tool developed by the music industry called WhyMusicMatters.com that provides helpful information and links to enable consumers to find ways to access music when and how they want it. We have also been linking to a resource for movies and TV shows and are pleased to announce that that resource just got better. This week the MPAA launched a new site called WhereToWatch.org that provides information about search tools and links to places to get movies and TV shows quickly and easily. You can find links to both WhyMusicMatters.com and WhereToWatch.org on our web site at copyrightinformation.org.