Digital Legal Top Stories

US three-strike-style warning letters delayed

By | Published on Friday 30 November 2012

Warning Letter

Plans by major internet service providers in the US to start sending out warning letters to suspected file-sharers have been delayed, according to Torrentfreak.

As previously reported, a number of major ISPs in the States, many of which also have interests in the content industries, have voluntarily agreed to start sending out warning letters to customers suspected of accessing illegal sources of content, similar to those the 2010 Digital Economy Act in the UK obligates net firms to send (not that any have yet).

It was thought the letter sending could kick off anytime now, but the Center For Copyright Information, which will coordinate the letter sending, says not all stakeholders are ready to go, some having suffered setbacks because of the impact Hurricane Sandy had on East Coast facilities. It now seems likely letters will start going out in early 2013.

Customers who ignore the letters could ultimately suffer sanctions, to be determined by each individual ISP, though it is likely up to five warning letters would be mailed first, meaning the scheme has been dubbed ‘six strikes’. Similar warning letter schemes have been set up in a number of other countries, of course, most as a result of statutory measures, though some ISPs elsewhere have voluntarily agreed to mail out letters alerting their users to the fact they may be infringing copyrights.