The controversial "six-strikes" policy where internet pirates would face warnings and penalties has been delayed until 2013.
It was due to launch in the US today, but internet service providers (ISPs) say they're not ready, citing Hurricane Sandy as one reason for the delay.
"Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules... 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 Jill Lesser from the Center For Copyright Information which was founded by the five leading US ISPs.
The policy has been controversial because it targets the owner of the internet connection, which might not be the person breaking copyright law. One recent case in Germany
ruled that one pair of parents were not responsible for their son's music piracy — but it took five years of trials and appeals to receive the judgement.
In September the ISP Mediacom announced stricter measures where its users will only receive three strikes before being banned from their service for life.
Critics of the six-strikes programme may be relieved that the companies are taking extra time to test the new system. "We need to be sure that all of our ‘I’s are dotted and ‘T’s crossed before any company begins sending alerts, and we know that those who are following our progress will agree", Lesser adds.
What do you think of the new six-strikes policy? Will it affect your online behaviour? Do you know anyone who has been affected by the Mediacom three-strikes rule? Let us know in the comments.