Monday, February 25, 2013

Why do ISPs participate in the Copyright Alert System?

Why do the big five ISPs (AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) participate in the Copyright Alert System? They're going to have some disgruntled customers and may lose some business. So what's in it for them?

Online articles about CAS never seem to raise the question of incentives to the ISP, instead focusing only on how it's going to affect the end user. Ok, that's useful, but the incentives for a supposedly common carrier to anger customers are the more interesting part.

My best guess is that all five are providers of television, in addition to internet access. And probably studios told them the equivalent of, "If you don't implement this on your Internet side, you'll lose access to our content on your TV side."

Or is there another reason?

I'll also take this opportunity to point out that CenturyLink, my current ISP, isn't participating yet. Even though they provide television.