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US piracy crackdown delayed

Plans to crackdown on piracy in US have taken a back seat, with the group implementing the scheme blaming Hurricane Sandy, reports the BBC.

The Center for Copyright Information was originally going to implement a controversial six strikes system in 2011. The scheme, backed by major Internet providers like Verizon and AT&T, whereby the companies could punish customers for accessing illegal file-sharing websites. It will also involve illegal downloaders being sent letters of the proposed punishments if they keep offending.

However, the scheme has been delayed in the aftermath of the tropical storm that swept across the East Coast of America earlier this month.

"Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules, CCI anticipates that the participating ISPs will begin sending alerts under the Copyright Alert System in the early part of 2013, rather than by the end of the year," said the CCI in a statement.

"We need to be sure that all of i's are dotted and t's crossed before any company begins sending alerts," he added.

News site TorrentFreak's editor Ernesto van der Sar believes threatened punishments will not be a deterrent, saying that experience downloaders would get around the system using a virtual private network.

"I don't think there will be many people punished by this. The aim is to educate people and if they can reduce illegal downloads by even 10% that will have been a success," he said.

Other measures the US content industry has requested include pressuring search engines to have piracy results pushed down their search results, which Google and others have so far resisted.

Image Credit: Flickr (Andres Rueda)