Six strikes, then what? A look into the new Copyright Alert System

What happens when you reach 'strike six' of the new Copyright Alert System, a new program launched by several Internet service providers to curb online piracy?

There are arguably two high points in life. 1.) Being forced to to spend an hour taking an online multiple-choice quiz in order to qualify for a student loan. 2.) Having to go to traffic school on a Saturday to keep points off a driver's license. Now, right up there with them is what could happen to people who take intellectual property online without permission.

Several Internet service providers are launching a new Copyright Alert System this week to patrol for customers doing illegal downloads. The system will generate an escalating series of warnings. In theory, a user gets six strikes and then a movie, music or software pirate is out.

But what exactly happens on strike six? Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to explain just that. 

About the author

Jonathan Zittrain is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.


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