Five of the largest Internet service providers have finally implemented the controversial “six strikes” anti-piracy program, known as the Copyright Alert System. Comcast (CMCSA) was the first to launch the system on Monday, while AT&T (T), Cablevision, Time Warner (TWC) and Verizon (VZ) are expected to follow suit later this week. The CAS is designed to “educate” users of the consequences of copyright infringement in the U.S., however the program has received criticism from individuals who claim it won’t stop illegal downloading.
While the “six strikes” system doesn’t permit service providers to cut off Internet access to repeat offenders, it does give them the right to temporally reduce a customer’s connection speeds or even block popular websites after five or six offenses. The program has been called a disaster in the making for those with shared connections and businesses that offer customers free Wi-Fi — ISPs have not yet detailed a plan to protect business owners from repeat offenders on public networks.