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TMCNet:  VPNReviewz CEO Cautions File Sharers: Copyright Infringement Carries Hefty Penalties And New Monitoring System Starting Soon

[January 16, 2013]

VPNReviewz CEO Cautions File Sharers: Copyright Infringement Carries Hefty Penalties And New Monitoring System Starting Soon

South America, Jan 16, 2013 ( via COMTEX) -- Over the last year, UsenetReviewz, Epic, the EFF, VPNReviewz, and many other privacy advocates, have been watching and warning file sharing fanatics that a new Copyright Alert System, or CAS, is to be deployed in the very near future. And though there haven't been any official announcements pinpointing an exact date, the Center for Copyright Information, (CCI,) blog claims deployment will happen in the early months of 2013.

The CCI is the brainchild agency of the entertainment industry and internet providers.The primary purpose of which is to catch and stop internet piracy. According to the FAQ on the CCI website, policing of the illegal content will be the responsibility of the copyright owner. Once the owner identifies the IP address that is associated with pirated content, they notify the ISP, who then sends the alerts to the subscriber. According to the designers, no monitoring of the customer will take place, and in no way will the customers identity ever be disclosed without a court order to do so.

VPNReviewz CEO, Michael Maxstead, pointed out that once all the "Mitigating Measures" are exhausted, the copyright owner could take further legal action. "Record amounts in fines and prison sentences have been handed out in the last few months to internet pirates, and there's nothing to indicate that this trend will be easing up in the near future," he said. "A 5 year prison sentence for the leader of the Imagine Team, $222,000 for 24 songs,(pdf) and at one time the fine imposed on the 24 songs was as large as $1.5 million." Maxstead claims that he would never advocate copyright infringement, but the privacy invasive nature of the CAS, and the extremism of the fines being handed down. spurs him to urge VPNReviewz readers to use a personal VPN.

UsenetReviewz is also urging their readers to implement VPNs, proxies, or other cloaking measures even if they know they aren't downloading illegal content. They assert that since CAS is initially an automated system, mistakes are more likely to be made. They also assert that since P2P activities will be the primary target of the system, Usenet communities will become more suspect, so users need to take more care to avoid the possibility of being mis-identified as downloading illegal content. The fear being that there isn't any way of appealing CCI decisions until the 5th warning from the CCI is received.

The VPNReviewz Chief also noted that businesses wouldn't be exempted from the CAS. "This," he said, "could be more problematic than one thinks." He goes on to say that with the CAS in place, businesses will have to be more careful about who they allow on their network. "Businesses that allow their customers internet access may have to rethink their offering." He says public WiFi access that hotels, restaurants, and even internet cafes offer, could become a thing of the past if systems like the CAS are allowed to freely operate without any kind of oversight.

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