The “six strikes” moniker makes it sound draconian, but the major ISP’s new copyright infringement agreement with the MPAA and RIAA is a very small step towards a saner world. Nate Anderson at Ars Technica breaks in down into human language:
The agreement puts heavy emphasis on “education,” going so far as to recast this behavior as some “right to know” on the part of parents unaware of a child’s P2P activity. According to today’s announcement materials, the goal is to “educate and stop the alleged content theft in question, not to punish. No ISP wants to lose a customer or see a customer face legal trouble based on a misunderstanding, so the alert system provides every opportunity to set the record straight.”
The same problems are still problems: it’s an independent corporate-controlled system rather than a judiciary one and the MPAA/RIAA persist in treating their customers as criminals. Nonetheless it at the very least should keep us from being dragged down by the sinking ship and serves as a reminder that there will always be someone, no matter how uninteresting, watching your traffic. If you’re creeped out, you might want to consider something like Tor.
Keep in mind: Support artists. Don’t steal stuff.