The fight against online piracy just gained a new weapon in the form of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) aka the “six strikes” policy. Starting today, participating ISPs like Verizon, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and Comcast will begin issuing warnings to customers suspected of using illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services that violate copyright laws. Initial notifications will be used to educate and direct customers to legal alternative content sources. If the first set of notifications go avoided, the ISP may take further action, which includes: throttling internet connection speeds and redirecting users to websites requiring acknowledgment of CAS alerts.

If a person wishes to contest their ISP’s findings, they will have 14 calendar days to request an independent review by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for a fee of $35. If the investigation finds that no copyright violations have taken place, the alerts will be removed from the customer’s account and they will receive a refund for the filing fee. However, should the organization’s research rule otherwise, the internet service provider may proceed with taking action against its account holder. To get a closer look at the CAS and its inner workings, “redirect” your browser to the following link: