CCI was formed in September 2011 as part of a collaborative effort between U.S. content creators in the movie and music industries and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to develop a "Copyright Alert System" (CAS) and educational framework intended to inform the public about and deter copyright infringement through direct communication with consumers. Lesser will help lead the group in its work with the partner ISPs and content owners to implement the CAS, which is focused on the distribution of copyrighted content through peer-to-peer networks.
Lesser's background includes serving as the Deputy Director of Public Policy and Director of the Civic Media Project at People for the American Way (PFAW) and as Senior Vice President for Domestic Public Policy for AOL Time Warner, Inc. She is also a Board Member of the Center for Democracy and Technology.
The Copyright Alert System addresses online piracy problems with a series of early alerts -- up to six -- in electronic form, notifying the subscriber that his or her account may have been misused for online content theft of film, TV shows or music. It will also put in place a system of "mitigation measures" intended to stop online content theft on those accounts that appear persistently to fail to respond to repeated Copyright Alerts. The system will also provide subscribers the opportunity for an independent review to determine whether a consumer's online activity in question is lawful or if their account was identified in error.
The program creates no new laws or formal legal procedures, nor does this system require account suspension or termination. In addition, ISPs will not provide their subscribers' names to rights' holders under this agreement, except pursuant to a properly issued subpoena or court order.
CCI also announced the formation and membership of its Advisory Board, which will include Jerry Berman, the chairman of the Internet Education Foundation and founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Marsali Hancock, the president of iKeepSafe.org; Jules Polenetsky, the current director and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum; and Gigi Sohn, internationally known communications attorney, and president and CEO of Public Knowledge. Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Advisory Board will consult on issues the Executive Board is considering with regards to the design and implementation of the CAS, as well as CCI?s educational framework.
In addition to these appointments, CCI announced the retention of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a leader in conflict management. AAA will be the independent entity that manages the program?s independent review process, including the training of neutral reviewers for situations where a subscriber has received multiple alerts but believes a mitigation measure should not be imposed.