There's been a lot of discussion this week about the Copyright Alert System. It is a confusing thing! But if you like to steal things on the internet, or even if you don't, you should be aware of it, because this is the way copyright protection is going to work nationwide for the foreseeable future.What Is It?
The Copyright Alert System, or CAS, is a system developed by internet service providers (ISPs include Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner) and copyright holders (largely the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the trade organizations that represent the movie, music, and television industries, respectively) to battle online piracy. The approach to battling copyright infringement before now has been piecemeal and vague--sometimes you'd get a letter telling you to stop, sometimes you'd get sued for billions of dollars, and, usually, absolutely nothing would happen--and the CAS is an effort to standardize a response to piracy.