The music and movie industry's top copyright groups, together with some of the largest ISPs in the U.S., jointly announced the end of the controversial 'six strikes' graduated response system.
Known officially as the 'Copyright Alert System' (CAS), it was first introduced in 2011, and ever since, it has been clouded in secrecy, or have come under heavy criticism from many quarters.
CAS monitors user activities online and allows rights-holders to issue warnings to users, via ISPs, before more action can be taken. Users are permitted to receive five warnings, with the "sixth strike" leading to tougher, but often unspecified, action. Many ISPs opted to join the program in order to relieve the pressure heaped upon them by rights-holders, who feel ISPs are complicit and were profiting from the illegal activities of their subscribers. Thousands of warnings are estimated to have been sent out in the four years the program was active.
What is hasn't done, is to provide solid evidence that it has worked to prevent piracy and educate users to pay for content.
Despite this, the MPAA, RIAA and top U.S. ISPs this weeks lauded the program for being a success, despite making the decision to end this "success" this week.
"After four years of extensive consumer education and engagement, the Copyright Alert System will conclude its work," read a statement by the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), a group created to implement the CAS.
"The program demonstrated that real progress is possible when content creators, Internet innovators and consumer advocates come together in a collaborative and consensus-driven process," continued the CCI.
The CCI has remained tight-lipped in regards to how the CAS has benefited rights-holders, or even the precise number of warnings sent. In their concluding remark, the CCI promised to continue working with ISPs to address the piracy issue.
"We want to thank everyone who put in the hard work to develop this program and make it a success, including past and present members of our Advisory Board. While this particular program is ending, the parties remain committed to voluntary and cooperative efforts to address these issues," the CCI concluded.