Comcast developing real-time anti-piracy scheme to push legal content

By on August 6, 2013, 10:23 AM
comcast, piracy, six strikes, cas

Comcast is working an alternative to the so-called “six strikes” copyright alert system (CAS) that launched earlier this year in the US, according to a report on Variety. The system involves sending real-time warnings to illegal downloaders, along with a pop-up message indicating them where to buy or rent the content.

The thinking is that giving people accessible, affordable alternatives to illegal downloading will reduce infringement. Variety says the still-to-be-named scheme could be implemented alongside the current six strikes model, in which most major ISPs including Comcast already participate.

Under CAS, users are also warned that downloads are potentially illegal, and are pointed to legitimate sources; but generally this happens well after the event. The existing scheme also includes more aggressive ‘mitigation measures’ requiring users to confirm receipt of a third a fourth warning before they’re able to continue browsing, and potentially facing throttled speeds or suspended accounts following the fifth and sixth warnings.

The country’s largest cable operator is said to be in preliminary discussions with content providers and ISPs for a trial run of the technology. The pop-ups would reportedly direct to the video-on-demand library of any participating company or to a third-party such as Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes. There’s currently no indication that the system will cut off downloads identified as illegal if a user refuses refuses to opt for the legal route.

Further details are scarce at the moment so we’re left with several unanswered questions for now. For one thing, the group behind CAS has yet to reveal any data since its implementation, so it’s not clear how effective the technology is at identifying illegal downloads versus false positives. There’s also very little information on how legal sources would be presented, and given Comcast’s vast media holdings some are already concerned the system could prioritize some content sources over other potentially cheaper or more convenient ones.

User Comments: 10

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Who gave Comcast the power to enforce the laws of the land? If the govt tried this the online community would freak out SOPA style.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Comcast as too much power already they charge so much for the service yet they want you to have double the download speeds. Monitor how much of the download your using too. I own my own D3 modem which the use so I don't pay rent to them. I think they charge way to much for the service. I had spoken to them to reduce my download speed and even hinted about going with AT&T so I could get the $79/105 rate deal since I don't have CATV nor DTS with them.

Which I was paying much more even with $10 off deal per month thus get hit with taxes so that deal really is $4 a month. How they did that was to make believe I had CATV and I was on long 12 month vacation. Now downloading going to be too much control now with downloading. With them and there isn't much of a choice to go with anyone else.

Lets not forget youtube. Just have have to stick with Neflix, but even with them downloading (streaming) video still get's monitored to how much bandwidth I am using for Netflix.

howzz1854 said:

Maybe and just maybe if you were to allow your customers purchase the channels a la cart, people wouldn't resort to such draconian methods.

Xenite Xenite said:

You know whats a crime... Comcast's prices. $100 a month for internet in So-Cal because lack of competition in the area.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Maybe and just maybe if you were to allow your customers purchase the channels a la cart, people wouldn't resort to such draconian methods.

I bet cable companies will have to see significant losses in subscribers to streaming services before they'd consider that. In order to keep people from getting upset they'd pretty much have to divide up your current $90/month (or whatever) into each channel. That means some channels would have to cost like $.30 a month in order to pay for others like ESPN which is like $8 of your bill.

Then people would sign up for only the channels they like, obviously, and everyone would lose the ability to surf through channels to see if something was on that they didn't know about. Eventually many channels would die off.

Does that matter? Maybe not, but what if Discovery can't afford to make all it's shows without revenue from every single cable subscriber? Do they raise the rate for their channel? After a few do that we'll end up paying $90/month for 20 channels instead of the 150 we have today.

It's pretty hard to know if it would be an improvement. For some it would, but for many it may not. It'd be cool if there was one service out there who did it and we could choose.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I get my HDTV over the air now for free, but all those cable tv shows channels that are suppose to be free are not showing up on HDTV over the air now. QVCHD is not on channel 35.4, I am sure more will follow.


Bounce TV

This TV




ION etc.

GetTV in Oct 2013

More channels are coming over,

Heihachi1337 said:

Who gave Comcast the power to enforce the laws of the land? If the govt tried this the online community would freak out SOPA style.

Comcast gave themselves the power when they bought our government, along with the other corporations of America.

We have the best government money can buy, and so they bought it.

Guest said:

You know screw compcast and screw all the internet providers. I think that internet users should gain the intelligence and understanding of network technology to create our own web. We should be able to set up wireless web and routing on it. I had this crazy idea of creating an underground network with wireless router. Think about it. You have 10 neighbors that the wireless overlaps. What if each of these are set up to relay. Your whole neighborhood can be hooked to each other to share. So you don't go through your ISP you go through each other. A big city can be networked just through wireless. Just got to work out where you set up channels to overlap in agencies. This could be the biggest coordinated protest against ISPs.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

They have it step-up to go though ISP backbone. Prior to all of this it was AOL had internet but it was hush, hush back then in 1994-1995 using dial-up.

If cities and towns offered free internet, which they do, but only in certain areas. Internet should be free, we shouldn't be paying for it.

Everyone should have 1.0GBps on wired connection. Still knocking around with 1, 5, 6, 12, 18, 25 mbps. Some of us have 50, 100, 200Mbps and higher connections but it doesn't come cheap. Expensive..

Why because the system is a racket.

Now they're telling us we can't do certain things on the internet and when it comes to downloading the the biggest selling point for them to sell you internet service! They don't want you do download so much. Keep it on the low side. Comcast said if you only use 5GB a month in bandwidth they would take off $5.00 bucks a month.

Can't be done..

Guest said:

The UK's ISP's are probably doing the same, but get unlimited data (with a fair usage policy of 100gb a month) and im only paying £30 a month for a 25Mbps connection, this is kind of standard in the UK the idea of paying $100 a month would seem ludicrous to the majority of the public.

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