Pirated DVD's and CD's are seen in South Africa
A Mr. Bean DVD is seen among some of the R25 million worth of pirated DVD's and CD's that were destroyed by authorities in Midrand ,February 19 ,2009. Reuters

Music, movie and TV pirates beware. There is a new conglomerate of companies on the prowl looking to take you and your pirated content down.

Several prominent companies from the movie, television, music and Internet service provider industries jointly signed an agreement that to work together to take down pirated content on the web. The framework is being called Copyright Alerts, it is being described as a state-of-the-art system similar to credit card fraud alerts that can tell people when their internet service is being misused for online content theft.

The companies which have agreed to work together on this are a lot of heavy hitters. This includes Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Universal Music Group Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music North America. ISP providers include AT&T, Cablevision Systems Corp., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.

Many people don't realize that content theft puts jobs - and future productions of films, TV shows, music, and other content - at risk, Michael O'Leary, executive vice president for government relations at the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. said in a statement. Today, there are more ways to enjoy content legitimately online than ever before. This agreement will help direct consumers to legal platforms rather than illicit sites, which often funnel profits to criminals rather than the artists and technicians whose hard work makes movies, television, and music possible.

The Alert System will let people know when their Internet account may have been used improperly to download copyrighted content. Often times, people are even unaware this has happened. Typically, this happens right under the noses of parents and caregivers. The new system will send up to six alerts electronically to the subscriber saying that their account has been misused for online content theft of film, TV shows or music.

The Copyright Alerts structure will be a framework of best practices to allow ISPs to work together with movie, television and music companies to let them know when content is being pirated. It will also include a system of mitigation measures for users to stop online content theft on accounts that fail to respond to the alerts.

The Center for Copyright Information says every year 373,000 jobs, $16 billion in lost earnings and $3 billion in lost federal, state and local government tax revenue.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna