The cat-and-mouse game between media companies and pirates has a long and sordid history. Currently, “big content” is relying on the Copyright Alert System, a “six-strikes” program that warns users pirating media a half-dozen times before throttling their download speeds.
According to a report by Variety, there may be a different system on the horizon. Comcast is now said to be talking about a new way to convert pirates into paying customers: Offer them the paid version of whatever it is they’re downloading while they’re downloading it.
The company’s idea, which is rumored to be in the planning stages, is to halt an illegal download in progress and throw up a pop-up window that would point a pirate to legally accessible versions of the content they’re downloading.
It’s unclear whether the current proposal would replace CAS or be used in tandem with the “six-strikes” system.
If implemented, this could be a big win for companies with a strong digital media distribution presence like Apple and Amazon, whose services would likely be tapped as the paid alternatives for piracy. Of course, one of the major questions that remains is whether or not major media companies will sign on to the idea.