Internet service providers and filmmakers have teamed up to create what is being called 6-Strikes, an anti-piracy program meant to alert people who are illegally downloading movies and other videos. The program was launched at the end of February and has been receiving considerable buzz on the Internet and in technical magazines.
University of Arizona law professor, Derek Bambauer, said the program is called 6-strickes because, "you get increasingly vigorous slaps on the wrist" every time you download something illegally.
First, someone found to have illegally downloaded a video will get a pop-up screen next time he uses the web, warning that such activity is against the law.
"Something where you have to actually sign in and acknowledge that you have done so. Maybe you have to watch a little video about copyright law," he said.
By strike six, the user's Internet connection will slow down.
Not all cable companies and other Internet providers have agreed to participate. So not everyone will be affected by 6-strikes.
Questions are being raised about who will actually monitor individual's Internet use. Right now under the policy, private companies are collecting the data. However, Bambauer said he believes the federal government was involved in the development of 6-strikes.
He is part of a federal court case to get the government to release documents to find out the extent of its involvement.
According to Jason Katterhenry, AZPM technology contributor, people posting comments to various technology boards on the web suggest this policy will not affect those doing most of the downloading. That is due to the availability of commercial services that hide one's IP address.
Katterhenry explains how the program will work: