The US Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has announced that its Copyright Alert System (CAS) notifications scheme for alleged filesharers will kick off in the coming weeks, after a lengthy development process since its announcement in July 2011.

“I am pleased to report that the CAS will begin in the coming weeks,” writes the Center’s boss Jill Lesser in a blog post.

This means that participating ISPs will, in the next two months, launch their systems for notifying customers of copyright infringement notices sent by rightsholders, initially with “educational” alerts, then “acknowledgment” alerts that require a reply to confirm they’ve been read. People who continue filesharing will then get alerts with “mitigation measures”.

“Contrary to many erroneous reports, this is not a ‘six-strikes-and-you’re-out’ system that would result in termination,” writes Lesser. “There’s no ‘strikeout’ in this program.” Instead, ISPs will decide their own mitigation measures, which may include slowing down customers’ broadband connections.

At this stage, the CAS looks like one of the better attempts yet to balance the piracy concerns of rightsholders with the privacy rights of their customers, with Lesser outlining the pre-launch technical reviews and appeals system in her post, as well as plans for more consumer education on “rules of the road”. She hopes the results are “thorough and consumer friendly”, but by Christmas we’ll know more on whether she’s right.

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