The saga apparently does continue. As was previously reported by Neowin, American ISPs have agreed to a "six strikes" voluntary contract with the music and movie industry. Users cannot appeal the first "alert", nor the second, third or fourth alert. They can only appeal the fifth or sixth alert. In other words, when the ISP decides to use "mitigation measures." Now, according to Ars Technica, the head of the RIAA says that the initial alerts are like traffic warnings, so who would want to appeal those?
On the fifth or six alert, a user can pay $35 and appeal to a new independent body funded by the ISPs and the content owners. Now the independent body will not accept any defense, they only accept the six defenses covered by the memorandum of understanding. Here they are:
(i) Misidentification of Account - that the ISP account has been incorrectly identified as one through which acts of alleged copyright infringement have occurred.
(ii) Unauthorized Use of Account - that the alleged activity was the result of the unauthorized use of the Subscriber’s account of which the Subscriber was unaware and that the Subscriber could not reasonably have prevented.
(iii) Authorization - that the use of the work made by the Subscriber was authorized by its Copyright Owner.
(iv) Fair Use - that the Subscriber’s reproducing the copyrighted work(s) and distributing it/them over a P2P network is defensible as a fair use.
(v) Misidentification of File - that the file in question does not consist primarily of the alleged copyrighted work at issue.
(vi) Work Published Before 1923 - that the alleged copyrighted work was published prior to 1923.
Now what about the "open WiFi" defense? A user can only use it once. If a user wins one of these challenges, they get their $35 back and the "alert" is taken off their account, though no other alerts are. The next alert will therefore begin the "mitigation" process once more. These alerts do eventually expire; any subscriber who makes it 12 months without receiving a notice has their slate wiped clean.