‘Six Strikes’ Anti-Piracy Program Delayed To 2013, This Time Because Of Hurricane Sandy

A long-in-the-works anti-piracy program from five major telecom players is probably not something you would think could be affected by a hurricane, but that’s apparently what is keeping the “Six Strikes” program from launching this week.

Six Strikes — a joint effort of Comcast, AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon — is intended to police and identify possible online pirates who illegally share copyrighted material. The beloved (by their parents, surely) MPAA and RIAA will be the ones who alert the ISPs of alleged violators. Repeat offenders would be punished with anything from data throttling to temporary suspension of service.

Alleged offenders can appeal their case through arbitration for a $35 fee that is refunded if the appeal is successful.

It is seen as a middle-ground between the file-sharing free-for-all seen at the dawn of the high-speed data age and the mass lawsuits that followed. It was also slated to begin this week, but the Center for Copyright Information says it’s going to be just a bit longer.

“Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules, CCI anticipates that the participating ISPs will begin sending alerts under the Copyright Alert System in the early part of 2013, rather than by the end of the year,” writes the Center.

PC World’s Daniel Ionescu recalls the delay-filled history of the program:

The “six strikes“ copyright alert system was initially announced in July 2011 and scheduled to launch in December of that year. Then the launch was pushed back to July 2012, then to the end of this year again.

It’s worth noting that there are no porn companies involved in the deal, which means that consumers — and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast — will continue to fight legal threats and subpoenas aimed at identifying possible file sharers of copyrighted pornography.