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If you love illegally downloading music, movies and other things; your internet provider is about to make that a whole lot more difficult. 

AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon have launched the Copyright Alert System or “Six Strikes” today. The music and movie industry is hoping that his new system will effectively slow down or curb the pace of illegal downloading.

Instead of targeting pirates that upload the files illegally, the “Six Strikes” policy will target the downloaders by “educating” the offender on the copyright infringement laws.

The first “strike,” will consist of your internet provider sending a notice that explains to the customer that they are participating in an illegal activity and provides ways to consume the content legally. For each strike the consumer receives, the copyright alerts will become more severe.

While consumers will not face any legal measures like lawsuits, arrests, or fines, eventually the ISP could decrease the subscriber’s internet speed or redirect the connection to a landing page until the accused illegal downloader completes a “copyright education program.”

“Implementation marks the culmination of many months of work on this groundbreaking and collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows,” wrote Jill Lesser, executive director for the Center for Copyright Information on its official website. “The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy.”

Check the video below for a comprehensive video explaining the new policies.

Photo: HowStuffWorks