Comcast Considering Anti-Piracy System to Stop Illegal Downloads and Encourage Legal Video Rentals

There will always be people who pirate content, that's just the way it is. We don't condone illegally downloading movies and TV shows, nor are we being pessimistic, but unlike big media companies, we're willing to look at the situation realistically. Perhaps so is Comcast, which is said to be developing a new method to fight piracy that doesn't involve lawsuits.

According to Variety, Comcast is in early talks with film and TV studios, as well as other leading Internet service providers (ISPs), about a technology that would give would-be pirates an opportunity to access legal versions of illegal downloads currently in progress.


For example, let's say Joe Blow heads over to his favorite torrent website and begins illegally downloading Flight starring Denzel Washington. As the download is in progress, a pop-up message would appear with links to where Mr. Blow could rent or buy Flight.

Maybe he clicks on the link and goes legit and maybe he doesn't. The point is, he has the option and it's presented in a non-threatening way. It's a new approach that would be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System (CAS), a voluntary initiative with participants that include AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and studios affiliated with the MPAA. CAS is also known as the "six strikes" initiative, as illegal downloaders are given six warnings before the ISP begins to restrict their bandwidth.

The new technology being pushed by Comcast could work alongside CAS rather than replace it altogether, though details of how they would coexist still need to be hammered out.