After yet another delay, the "six strikes" anti-piracy program is set to be enforced from early 2013 in the U.S., the Center for Copyright Information announced.
The program is aimed at persistent online pirates and consists of a series of six increasingly severe alerts from their Internet service provider. The "strikes" can ultimately include speed throttling, temporary connection cut-offs and copyright reeducation.
Five major ISPs are members of this initiative: AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. The Motion Picture and Recording Industry Associations of America and the major associations that represent independent film and music producers will be the ones notifying ISPs of users pirating content in order to send the letters.
The "six strikes" copyright alert system was initially announced in July 2011 and scheduled to launch in December of that year. Then the launch was pushed back to July 2012, then to the end of this year again. Now, the Center for Copyright Information's executive director, Jill Lesser, said there is yet another delay.
"Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy, which have seriously affected our final testing schedules, CCI anticipates that the participating ISPs will begin sending alerts under the Copyright Alert System in the early part of 2013, rather than by the end of the year.
"We need to be sure that all of our 'I's are dotted and 'T's crossed before any company begins sending alerts, and we know that those who are following our progress will agree," Lesser added.
Appealing one of these letters won't be free. Users who believe they've been wrongly accused of copyright infringement will have to pay a $35 filing fee to get an independent review by the American Arbitration Association, but you will get this money back if the appeal decides in your favor.