Comcast may be creating a new strategy to thwart illegal downloads of copyrighted movies and TV shows.
The new plan would work by giving people a chance to download content without breaking the law. Those who attempt to download a film or TV show illegally would receive a pop-up message with links directing them to pages where they can buy or rent the content legally, unnamed sources told Variety. The links could point to the video-on-demand library of any participating company or to a third-party site such as Amazon.
Comcast is reportedly trying to interest TV and movie studios and Internet providers in the idea. No potential launch date has been set, though a beta test of the scheme could kick off at some point to see if it flies with a limited selection of content.
The new approach is seen as an alternative to the current Copyright Alert System, in which people suspected of pirating copyrighted content receive warning notices from their Internet provider. Users who continually ignore such warnings can have their Internet speed throttled or their account suspended. Those who plead innocence can appeal the decision to their ISP and have their case reviewed by an arbitration group.
However, Comcast may see its approach as a better alternative to CAS. Sources told Variety that the cable company has received feedback from subscribers claiming that CAS has been ineffective at educating users about the impact of pirating movies and TV shows.