Three-Strikes Anti-Piracy Law

Posted by: jim on May 12, 2009 @ 1:40 pm
Filed under: Culture, Music Business News, Music Technology

Following file-sharing legislation gives me a headache. From TorrentFreak:

In an attempt to reduce piracy, the French have passed a new law requiring Internet service providers to cut off Internet access for repeat copyright infringers. Under the new ‘HADOPI’ legislation ISPs have to warn their customers twice that they are accused of infringing copyright. If both warnings are ignored, Internet access for that subscriber will be terminated for up to a year – and they’ll have to keep paying their ISP bill throughout this period too.

The law goes much further than disconnecting alleged file-sharers though. In addition it is now possible to take “any action” in order to put a halt to copyright infringement. For example, websites can be blocked without having to provide hard evidence that they are engaging in illegal activities. The Pirate Bay has already been mentioned as one of the sites that could be easily taken out under the new law.

First, everyone knows what a torrent is, right? OK, good.

It’s frustrating that the people making the laws really don’t know very much about the technology as Ernesto talks about in an earlier post. Restricting certain sites like Pirate Bay or Isohunt is not the answer. All the links that they post can be accessed through Google or any other search engine. New aggregater sites will pop up in a matter of months.

Something’s gotta give, though. It just seems like that something isn’t going to give until the legislators have any idea what is going on.

The internet is famed for being dynamic. When a file-sharing service gets canned by the government, users respond with a new way of getting around the legislation. But does that mean we should not do anything about people stealing music (and by stealing, I mean the people who use Torrents and file-sharing without ever purchasing music)?

Anyone interested in solving this mess, please send your proposals via our comments section.


4 Comments

  1. http://www3.nfb.ca/webextension/rip-a-remix-manifesto/

    RiP: A remix manifesto is a documentary film about copyright and remix culture. You can contribute to the film, and follow the conversation.

    Comment by Dave — May 13, 2009 @ 8:33 am

  2. Great stuff. Anyone who hasn’t seen that doc, check it out.

    I remember seeing that Charlie Rose interview with Lars. Still makes me queasy to hear him talk.

    Comment by Jim Tuerk — May 13, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  3. Good points:

    - Puts the responsibility (or rather, the consequences) on the people who are actually stealing music, in a way that is much more scalable/appropriate than just running around suing everybody, like what the RIAA has been doing.

    - Puts the burden of enforcement on the ISPs, who are ones enabling/profiting most from illegal file sharing in the first place.

    - The “take any action” bit could be an even more efficient way of cracking down on piracy. Yes, mirror sites pop up quickly, but can be shut down even easier. Unless…

    Bad Points:

    - …our paranoid, Draconian, conspiracy-theory-esque fears come true. Sites could be shut down due to misunderstandings, mistakes, or even darker, competitive reasons. The livelihood of those who depend on sales/information distributed by their websites is now in the hands of a bunch of private companies (at least in France)…and that can’t be a good feeling.

    I know a lot of people who have built businesses on eBay, or based on Google traffic. In general it has worked fine, but the occasional slip-ups can range from inconvenient (eBay raises their rates) to, at times, devastating (Google de-lists your entire site).

    Comment by Clarke Robinson — May 14, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  4. Yeah, I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theory or doomsday scenarios people have put out there — The End Of [Retail, Labels, Artists, Etc]. Musicians will make music and they put it out there for the world to hear.

    I just don’t think singling out Pirate Bay and other torrent search engines is the solution. Those sites are merely showing you what’s out there. Google shows the same content. And the idea of outlawing a file type is just out of the question.

    Comment by Jim Tuerk — May 14, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

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