New antipiracy program reminds criminals gently not to steal

Instead of directly confronting users about suspected Internet piracy, a new program from the Center for Copyright Information will give them a series of educational alerts. Ars Technica reports:

Last year, the newly-formed Center for Copyright Information (CCI), along with major ISPs across the US and representatives from the recording and film industries, agreed to come up with a six-stage warning scheme that would progressively impose warnings—and eventually penalties—on alleged online copyright infringers. Collectively, once deployed, the system could cover 75 percent of all American Internet users.

At the fifth tier of alerts, users must watch a ten-minute instructional video, after which, if the behavior continues, ISPs may disconnect Internet access. I’m concerned about how piracy is determined, since there are plenty of legal downloads out there. Another concern is how customers, not recording and film industries, will bear the brunt of the cost of the program.