HOUSTON A new copyright violation alert system is rolling out that will leave repeat offenders with slow Internet connections.

This means if you like downloading music and movies, you better do it the -- legit -- way.

TheCopyright Alert System, or CAS, has been in the works for a couple of years now, but its organizers say it will finally start rolling out over the next two months.

Here s how it works: Music labels and movie studios will monitor peer-to-peer networks (like those that use torrent files) for the upload and download of their copyrighted works. The violator s IP (or Internet address) will be red-flagged, andtheir Internet provider will send them a couple of warning letters in the mail.

If the offender continues to ignore the warnings, the Internet provider will eventually start popping up messages on the user s computer and even slow down (or throttle) their connection.

The CAS says it won t hand over a user s identity to the music labels and movie studios unless legal action is taken, which means if they continue to repeatedly get caught,they could end up with a lawsuit.

Over the last 10+ years we ve heard the nightmare stories of young kids getting a settlement offer of $10,000 for sharing a few files online. The CAS takes it one step further as the copyright holders actively target even those who download music and movies, not just share/upload.

Play it safe! Spend a few dollars and buy your copyrighted works whether or not you agree with the music labels and movie studios monitoring peer-to-peer networks.

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook ( Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)

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