Center for Copyright Information ISP Copyright Alert System Memorandum of Understanding

This is the Memorandum of Understanding provided by the Center for Copyright Information regarding their ISP Copyright Alert System, under which a number of ISPs, including Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc, Cablevision Systems Corp and AT&T Inc, have agreed to alert customers, up to six times, when it appears their account is used for illegal downloading. Warnings will come as e-mails or pop-up messages and could ultimately result in service degradation or termination if ignored.

Center for Copyright Information Copyright Alert System Memorandum of Understanding

  • 36 pages
  • July 6, 2011

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While the government maintains a critical role in enforcing copyright law, it should be readily apparent that, in an age of viral, digital online distribution, prosecution of individual acts of infringement may serve a purpose, but standing alone this may not be the only or best solution to addressing Online Infringement. If Online Infringement is to be effectively combated, law enforcement must work with all interested parties, including copyright holders, their licensees, artists (and the guilds, unions and other organizations that represent them), recording companies, movie studios, software developers, electronic publishers, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), public interest groups, other intermediaries and consumers on reasonable methods to prevent, detect and deter Online Infringement. Such efforts must respect the legitimate interests of Internet users and subscribers in protecting their privacy and freedom of speech, in accessing legitimate content, and in being able to challenge the accuracy of allegations of Online Infringement. This work should include an educational component because evidence suggests that most informed consumers will choose lawful services and not engage in Online Infringement. This work also should include the development of solutions that are reasonably necessary to effectuate the rights that are granted by copyright without unduly hampering the legitimate distribution of copyrighted works online or impairing the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ISPs. Such efforts serve not only the shared interests of creators and distributors of creative works, but also the interests of Internet users who benefit from constructive measures aimed at education and deterrence in lieu of litigation with its attendant costs and legal risk.

1. Parties to the Agreement

The parties to this Agreement (the “Parties”) are The Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (“RIAA”), The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (“MPAA” and together with RIAA, the “Content Owner Representatives”); the entities set forth in Attachment A (as may be amended from time to time) (collectively, the “Participating ISPs”); and solely for the purposes of Sections 2(E), 4(C), 4(D), 4(H), 4(I), 5(A), 5(C), 6, 7, 8, 9(E), 9(F), and 10 of this Agreement, MPAA members Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLC, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (such MPAA members, together with MPAA, the “MPAA Group”), RIAA members UMG Recordings, Inc., Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI Music North America (such RIAA members, together with RIAA, the “RIAA Group” and together with the MPAA Group, and any other entities set forth in Attachment B (as may be amended from time to time), the “Participating Content Owners Group”).

B. In conformance with its budget, CCI shall retain an independent and impartial technical expert or experts (the “Independent Expert”) to review on a periodic and ongoing basis the Methodologies and any modifications thereto, and recommend enhancements as appropriate, with the goal of ensuring and maintaining confidence on the part of the Content Owner Representatives, the Participating ISPs, and the public in the accuracy and security of the Methodologies. If a Content Owner Representative Methodology is found by the Independent Expert to be fundamentally unreliable, the Independent Expert shall issue a confidential finding of inadequacy (“Finding of Inadequacy”) to the affected Content Owner Representative to permit the affected Content Owner Representative to modify or change the Methodology for review. The selection of the Independent Expert shall require approval by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee. The Content Owner Representatives and the Participating ISPs agree to provide reasonable cooperation to the Independent Expert and provide to the Independent Expert a copy of their respective Methodologies, and any technical or other information reasonably related to their respective Methodologies needed to undertake this review process. As a condition of retention, the Independent Expert shall agree in writing to keep confidential any proprietary or other confidential information provided by the Content Owner Representatives and the Participating ISPs as part of the Independent Expert’s review. The Content Owner Representatives and each Participating ISP shall exchange general descriptions of their respective Methodologies upon request. At the direction of CCI, the Independent Expert may consult with each Content Owner Representative or Participating ISP concerning the implementation and ongoing operation of that Representative’s or ISP’s Methodology. In addition, the Independent Expert will (i) review the Methodologies with recognized privacy experts agreed to by a majority of the Executive Committee and (ii) recommend enhancements to the Methodologies as appropriate to address privacy issues, if any, identified by the privacy experts. Failure to adopt a recommendation of the Independent Expert shall not amount to a breach under this Agreement. The Independent Expert’s recommendations must be shared with each of the Content Owner Representatives and the affected Participating ISP, but may not be disclosed to other parties, including Participating ISPs other than the affected Participating ISP, without the express written permission of each Content Owner Representative and the affected Participating ISP and any disclosure to such other third parties shall not include any proprietary or otherwise confidential information of the Content Owner Representative(s) or Participating ISP affected.

Attachment A – Participating ISPs

The Participating ISPs are the following: SBC Internet Services, Inc., BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Pacific Bell Telephone Company, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Incorporated, Michigan Bell Telephone Company, Nevada Bell Telephone Company, The Ohio Bell Telephone Company, Wisconsin Bell, Inc., The Southern New England Telephone Company, and BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. (the AT&T Inc. companies); Verizon Online LLC, Verizon Online LLC – Maryland, and Verizon Online Pennsylvania Partnership (the Verizon companies); Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC; CSC Holdings, LLC (solely with respect to its cable systems operating in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) (the Cablevision systems); and Time Warner Cable Inc.

Attachment B – Participating Content Owners Group

The members of the Participating Content Owners Group are the following:

1. MPAA and the following MPAA members: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLC, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and their successors and assigns.

2. RIAA and the following RIAA members: UMG Recordings, Inc., Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI Music North America, and their successors and assigns.

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