There might not be any evidence that the “six strikes” Copyright Alert System is having any effect on piracy, but the service providers are refusing to go down without a fight. TorrentFreak has obtained a copy of AT&T’s Copyright Infringement Alert, which states that violating the provider’s Terms of Service “could result in mitigation measures including limitation of Internet access or even suspension or termination.” The alert does not clarify what specific infringements must take place in order to warrant a complete termination of service. TorrentFreak also points out that AT&T’s policy previously ensured users that their internet would only be disconnected if a court ordered the provider to do so. The latest alert seems to indicate that this is no longer the case.
UPDATE: AT&T got in touch with us to clarify a few issues regarding the Copyright Infringement Alert. AT&T’s policies regarding the Copyright Alert System have not changed, despite the language used in the Alert which seemed to indicate that was the case. These alerts are specifically in response to allegations of piracy, not court ordered letters implying guilt on behalf of the customer. Because the CAS is focused on providing education to those who might not understand the implications of the program, AT&T included the DMCA rules in the Alert. In the case of “repeat infringers,” throttling or termination of internet access would only occur if a court of law found the customer guilty of infringement.