US ‘Six Strikes’ anti-piracy campaign

In the US five of the country’s biggest ISPs are taking part in the Copyright Alert System which is supposedly designed to educate rather than punish users.

People suspected of repeatedly infringing copyright laws will receive six warnings, after which their internet access may be limited but not cut off.

After users have received six warnings they will be considered outside the system and nothing else will be done.

The ISPs are being left to determine their own responses to users who either ignore six warnings or fail to challenge the evidence against them and it is not yet clear exactly how each will act.


In the UK there are plans to use the ‘Three Strikes’ policy, where users who receive three warnings within 12 months would have anonymous information about their activities passed to copyright holders which could then seek court orders to discover their identities.

The policy had been due to come into effect in March 2014, but has been delayed due to whether the three strikes policy complied with Treasury rules or not.


Ofcom outlines new anti-piracy rules

Illegal downloaders will start recieving warning letters from internet service providers from 1 March 2014. Web users who get three warning letters in a year will face having anonymous information of their downloading and filesharing history provided to copyright owners, which could then be used to gain a court order to reveal the customer’s identity and take legal action against piracy. Internet users will be able to appeal against a report on their alleged infringement, at a cost of £20, which will be refunded if they are successful.

Piracy Laws and Regulations

Piracy Laws:


  • Laws being proposed that would mean anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within 6 months would face up to 5 years in prison.
  • US government and copyright holders would have the right to ask for court orders against any site accused of enabling and facilitating piracy.
  • US based internet service providers (ISPs), payment processors and advertisers would be outlawed from doing business with alleged copyright infringers.
  • The bill would also outlaw sites containing information on how to access blocked sites


  • The Digital Economy Act 2010 was rushed through parliament at the end of a Labour Administration.
  • It has since changed a number of times but the main provision remains a letter-writing campaign targeting people identified as illegal downloaders.
  • The letters would offer advice on how to stop illegal activities- but would not make demands for money or threaten disconnection.
  • The letter campaign was originally decided to begin in 2013 but was recently moved to 2015.
  • The act has been challenged in court by ISPs including Talk Talk and BT, who argue it unfairly makes them police user’s behaviour.

Regulation Bodies and Acts

IFPI- International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

  • Represents recording industry worldwide.
  • Mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in markets where it’s members operate.

Sopa- Stop Online Piracy Act

  • United States bill to expand the ability of US law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

ACTA- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

  • Worldwide agreement
  • 22 EU member states including UK signed the agreement in January 2012
  • Only Germany, The Netherlands, Cyprus, Estonia and Slovakia are states from the EU who did not sign up.
  • The US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea also part of ACTA
  • Proposes to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights in participating countries
  • Protests against the agreement- most vocal taking place in Poland