While the "six strikes" anti-piracy program agreed upon by Internet service providers and intellectually property owners went into effect this week, service providers and the entertainment industry have not been so keen on sharing what the ramifications are if users are accused of engaging in copyright infringement online. Most ISPs have claimed that six strikes is simply a program to educate consumers on the evils of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted materials and that it has very little to do with punishing individuals.
But as TorrentFreak points out in this story, some ISPs are punishing users with disconnections – even if it is only for a limited amount of time. One such ISP is Cablevision / Optimum Online, who revealed how it will respond to individuals it determines are "serial copyright infringers." The company will temporarily disconnect customers from the Internet after they have received multiple copyright alerts. That disconnection will last for 24 hours but can be lifted after the customer calls a Cablevision hotline. This will only happen, they say, if a subscriber's copyright infringement activities continue after several "educational alerts."
“If instances of alleged copyright infringement continue, Optimum may temporarily suspend your Internet access for a set period of time, or until you contact Optimum,” the ISP writes. The “set period of time” is a full day and night.
“Your Internet access will be temporarily suspended for 24 hours unless you call in to the Cablevision number provided on the notice,” the company adds in the help section of the ISP's website.
The company does not explain just what will happen when a customer calls into that customer service line – including what might be discussed.
It should be noted that this six strikes scheme is not mandated by any state or federal law – it is a partnership between service providers and rights owners in the U.S. That is why some cable operators are not involved in it at all: Centurylink, Charter, Cox, and other smaller providers across the United States decided not to participate.