Target: Jill Lesser, Executive Director of the Center for Copyright Information
Goal: Oppose implementation of controversial “six-strike” system that would punish subscribers who illegally share media over the internet without a proper investigation
Internet service providers like, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless have implemented a controversial copyright alert system known as “six strikes.” The system would punish subscribers who share movies or songs by cutting their service or slowing their speed. This would be very harmful to consumers, particularly ones who use wifi hotspots, hotels and universities, as well as customers who share service. Sign the petition to oppose the implementation of this copyright alert system.
The system is known as six strikes because it would send a series of alerts warning the subscriber that they have been engaging in piracy. After the sixth offense, they would face punishment by having their service cut or speed slowed. The system would check for subscribers illegally sharing songs or movies using their IP address. The IP address would not be able to differentiate between a patron committing an act of piracy using a hotel’s internet, or a customer using Starbucks wifi. They would find their internet disconnected or slowed down because of the actions of a customer. People who share service such as roommates living together would be collectively punished because one of their roommates shared a movie or game.
Internet service providers plan to implement the system in their own way. Verizon plans to force the subscriber to pay $35 for an arbitrator review to determine if they have committed piracy. If they are found guilty, they lose the money and their internet speed is lowered. If they are found not guilty then the money is refunded and their internet speed is untouched. Internet service providers are treating customers like children. Sign the petition to oppose implementation of the copyright alert system.
Dear Executive Director Lesser,
I am a consumer rights activist writing to oppose implementation of the customer alert system, also known as “six strikes.” Your organization supports implementation of the alert system and claims that its purpose is primarily educational for the consumer. In reality the method used by Verizon and Time Warner Cable to implement the system are collective punishment to consumers.
In particular, the system would amount to collective punishment of entire institutions, businesses, universities and anyone who operates on a shared wireless service. All it takes is one individual engaging in piracy to have internet service cut or significantly slowed for hundreds if not thousands of people. The onus is put on consumers to prove they are not guilty of piracy rather than internet service providers to prove that they have committed wrongdoing. This is bad for business and reduces consumers to children who need to be “educated.” I urge you to reconsider your support for the copyright alert system. There are better ways to handle file sharing.
I hope you take my thoughts under consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pirate Bay Website via CNET News Screenshot by Lance Whitney