Warning Messages to Illegal Downloaders

In a landmark victory for producers of entertainment media, the Center for Copyright Information (CIS) has announced that most of the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States will begin cooperating with the new Copyright Alert System (CAS). Under the new system, ISPs will begin sending notices to customers who have been identified as people downloading files illegally from various sites on the Internet. The Associated Press, via NBC News, says the move is meant to curb copyright infringement, not punish people, while CNET says the new system will work as a graduated response system with warnings graduating to suspensions if customers don’t stop their illicit activities.

At issue is the practice of people using the Internet to visit file sharing web sites to obtain copies of movies, music or software. Those who create and distribute such media have been fighting for years for a system to be put in place to curb the practice as they say it costs them hundreds of millions of dollars a year collectively.

In the announcement, Jill Lesser, director of the CIS, says that the new program is designed to curb the practice of illegal downloading on the Internet and to promote the practice of purchasing such content from legitimate sources, e.g Wal-Mart, the Apple Store, etc. The AP says that each ISP is responsible for putting in place their own system and then for running it, though each will abide by certain guidelines. All will send a message to an offender (after receiving a report from a media producer of an infraction) letting them know that they have been singled out as participating in an illegal downloading activity and encouraging them to instead purchase what they want from a legitimate source. If the activity continues, the ISP has agreed to slow their connection speed, or at some point, after up to six warnings, suspend their service.

Thus far, none of the big ISP’s Comcast, AT&T, e.g. have announced plans to participate in the CAS, but all have privately assented, CIS says, to participating in the program. Thus, it’s not known at this time how far the ISPs will go in dealing with customers suspected of illegal downloading.

Those opposed to the measure, CNET says, have expressed concerns about people being treated as guilty without the burden of proof. There’s also the issue of how customers may be contacted, or not. Most ISPs provide an email address, but very few customers actually use those accounts, thus, they’d never know they’d been warned, leading to surprise service interruptions.

Our Tips For Starting Your First Blog

Starting your first blog is tough to say the least. I should know because I’m still trying. Yes, you’ve got that right…I’m writing an article on blogging when I have yet to actually blog a thing. Nothing. Not a single word. And while that brands me officially as an uninformed source, it also makes me an authority of sorts in at least one small portion of the blogosphere: reminding all of us first-timers that we don’t know nearly as much as we need to.

So, with that idea in mind, stay with me as I walk you through what I have discovered on my quest to go live my own blog.

You know much less than you think

I’ve gotten a stern education thus far. When I decided I’d like to blog and maybe make a little side income along the way, I figured I’d run to a free blog site, slap it together, and start the process. Fortunately, however, I got linked into some articles by professional bloggers, guys who know the deal. And this was a quick and needed slap in the face. Their advice and knowledge made me stop and take into account my lack of a plan. In short, they made me see that I didn’t know an ounce of what I needed to if I ever wanted to get anywhere.

You have to read, and then you have to read some more

Once I realized just how much of a novice I was, I started to read. I went to blogs, ones considered successful and ones I just stumbled upon, the writers scribing about international business systems and the grandmas journaling about gardening. I looked at everything I could, and I still do. I click on as much as advice as I can, even when it gets repetitious. I read and learn until I know. I bookmark, and I comment. I do this for one simple reason: I want to cut down on the silly mistakes many bloggers make when they first start.

You have to appreciate patience

Throwing a blog up just to get it going is wasteful, both in time and money. I taught myself the value of being patient, waiting until I have the understanding of success before exposing my work only to learn that no one is reading, following, or caring. I know the urge to begin, that feeling when you are motivated and excited to let everyone see what you can do. You have that belief that your blog will draw everyone. But I’ve learned it’s just not that easy. In fact, in most cases, it’s pure fallacy, as most blogs are destined to fail from get-go. So, be patient and plan.

You must have an open mind

I had an idea that I thought was perfect, and I was bent on doing it that way. But, from all I have encountered, stubbornness gets you few followers and even less respect. I found that if I kept an open mind, always re-examining what I thought versus what successful people advise, my original idea became sharper and more defined. Like any writer, I have my convictions, but you have to let people in, accept feedback, and realize that others can and will help.

You need to take the time to get to know yourself

Sounds odd, but you have to come to terms with your voice. Doing so much research and reading, I found myself almost trying to mimic what I saw. That’s alright I guess when it comes to the technical side of blogging, but not when it relates to the actual words. Figure out who you are, what you really want to say, and how it is you want to say it.

In the end, I have learned that blogging is about a pursuit of passion and not a race to publish. You have to prepare and think long before you go live, and you must see all that is around you. That’s what I’m trying to do.