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Dubbed Copyrouter, the technology can detect when a user is trying to download a copyright-infringing version of a song, and replace it with a legitimate paid version. When Copyrouter detects that a user has prompted an illegal download, it jumps in and requests that they instead download a copyright-protected version. Fees associated with the legal downloads are tacked on to the user's next monthly ISP bill.
Copyrouter works at the local ISP level by distinguishing a file's unique bit sequence. The identifying features of illegal songs are stored in a database owned by Bermeister's company, named Global File Registry. As many as 300 illegal versions of copyrighted songs may be mapped to the one legal copy. When a user initiates an illegal download, they are automatically steered to the legitimate version.
Bermeister, ISPs, and the music industry are all enthused about the potential widespread implementation of Copyrouter. The technology was introduced to a trial market of 8,000 Australian customers about three months ago, and is expected to make its way to the US later this year.