By now, you’ve heard enough about the Copyright Alert System in the US to know what it is and, perhaps, how useless it could be. But what the hell will it look like in reality?
No need to wait and see, because Ars Technica has gotten hold of (some of) the warning messages that Comcast will provide to customers who infringe copyright. Of course, the likes of Verizon and Comcast have updated their terms of service to explain the new system, but who’s going to bother to check ’em?
In fact, the Strikes system will give rise to an increasingly torturous process. The first strike, for instance, will just pop up in a browser window, which can be dismissed by anyone. The second warming will require a member of the household to log in with their Comcast account to dismiss the alert.
As severity ratchets up, the fourth warning will require the primary account holder to log in to acknowledge receipt of the warnings. At the fifth warning a 14-day period kicks off where users can appeal to the American Arbitration Association about whether the claims are just.
It's not really clear what happens after the sixth warning -- though the companies rolling out the Copyright Alert System have claimed that they will not turn over customer information to copyright holders. How well this will all work in practice remains to be seen.