ArtsWatch: Warning: You're About To Be Warned

Verizon is first out of the gate with IP infringement consumer awareness alerts
January 21, 2013 -- 2:15 am PST
By Philip Merrill /

In recent news ...

Verizon May Be First To Copyright Alert Program Party
The Internet service provider Copyright Alert System announced in 2011 and tweaked through last year has still not been formally launched, but Verizon has apparently soft-launched its version. Although Digital Music News described this infringement notification process as "one of the lightest wrist slaps imaginable," a more consumer-friendly approach is the whole point of how this is supposed to work. An internal Verizon draft document was first published online by TorrentFreak on Jan. 11, outlining the process and encouraging disgruntled customers to visit the Center for Copyright Information's website for more information. Verizon's Copyright FAQ now offers details of the 2011 agreement between ISPs and content owners. This voluntary collaboration between multi-industry stakeholders is historic and represents high hopes that most Internet users value personal convenience far more than breaking the law to get content for free.

New Law Allows Video Rental Customers To Share Via Social Media
On Jan. 10 President Barack Obama signed a video privacy amendment that was passed by last year's Congress as H.R. 6671 on Dec. 20, providing video rental services such as Netflix the ability to allow customers to share their rental activity on social media networks such as Facebook. The bill was originally introduced Dec. 17 by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "This new law is truly pro-consumer and places the decision of whether or not to share video rentals with one's friends squarely in the hands of the consumer," Goodlatte said.

House Of Representatives Computer Networks Still Used For Illegal Downloads
U.S. News & World Report's Washington Whispers column reported Jan. 14 that employees using House of Representatives computer network Internet addresses are still engaging in illegal downloading despite the fact that this behavior was first exposed in late 2011. Relying on information compiled by ScanEye, the columnist Elizabeth Flock wrote, "The illegal downloads haven't stopped. According to [ScanEye data], employees of Congress have downloaded everything from the reality TV show 'The Ultimate Fighter' to talk show 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' to the 3D family movie The Smurfs since early October."

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

Click on the "ArtsWatch" tag for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

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