A new "six strikes" copyright alert system is now in place through the major Internet providers. Illegal downloads could shut you out.
The Center for Copyright Information is an industry group that likely includes your Internet service provider, plus members of the major entertainment copyright-enforcing groups, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA).
CCI just announced the rollout of its Copyright Alert System…
Over the course of the next several days our participating ISPs will begin rolling out the system. Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P [peer-to-peer] copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of Copyright Alerts to consumers. Most consumers will never receive Alerts under the program. Consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally (or without authority) will receive Alerts that are meant to educate rather than punish, and direct them to legal alternatives.
According to the file-sharing site TorrentFreak, the ISPs each have a different way of handling situations that go beyond the “six strikes” warnings. Verizon will slow those users’ connection to a crawl, while Time Warner will completely cut them off, although not permanently. AT&T, Cablevision and Comcast are also participating, though their penalties are unclear.
If you share a connection with other people, such as a wireless connection, now’s a good time to warn the people who use it and make sure it’s secure so only authorized friends/family/neighbors have access. That way you can’t be blamed for anyone else’s activity, although there is in an appeals process if that happens.