Credit: Tim Robberts/Getty Images

Comcast, AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have joined together into a powerful Coalition of Businesses You Hate But Can’t Live Without, and now they’re taking action against illegal downloading. The Executive Director for the Center for Copyright Information announced in a blog post yesterday that the long-planned Copyright Alert System will go into effect. The system uses a kind of Six-Strikes policy: The Internet service providers will send six electronic warnings to alleged offenders who are downloading content illegally. (By the fifth and sixth strikes, the ISPs will begin implementing “Mitigation Measures,” which include reducing the speed of your Internet — and if there’s one thing your service provider is good at, it’s making your connection incredibly slow.

The Center for Copyright Information declined to comment on the record when contacted by EW, but the system appears very mild. As the Center made clear in an earlier blog post, the CAS only deals with residential Internet services — so libraries, wi-fi cafés, and other places that currently offer free Internet will not be effected. If you are accused of downloading things illegally, and want to contest the allegation, there is an elaborate Independent Review system — and anyhow, let’s be honest, you were definitely illegally downloading the new episode of Game of Thrones. Anyhow, as with most efforts to stave off copyright infringement, this process will probably be circumvented very quickly by all but the least talented content pirates.

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