Copyright groups and online file sharers are
engaged in attrition warfare that has led to confusing government and ISP
involvement. The battle lines have been drawn, and internet users
downloading and sharing files run the low risk of warnings and possible
The United States government claims to have no
interaction -- but supports the new
six-strikes policy -- with the recently created Center for Copyright
Infringement (CCI) effort between ISPs and copyright groups. The
partnership will offer a sort of copyright alert and reeducation program that
has only led to confusion and uncertainty among file sharers.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) group published
a short blog post that highlights some issues related to the
Governments in the European Union have tried to
find different methods to attack piracy, but have had varying results.
Spanish file sharing sites brought to court for linking to copyrighted works
recently scored a victory, which only proves the difficulty in punishing these
sites. Meanwhile, Italian ISPs are facing legal action after ignoring a
ban against a torrent site.
France implemented a three-strikes system to
possibly boot repeat offenders, and more than 18 million file sharers have been
tracked. However, budget and manpower issues have only led to 470,000
warnings issued to first-time copyright violators. Just 20,000 letters
were sent out as second warnings, and only 10 people are at risk of having a
judge personally review their file sharing case.
The cat-and-mouse game between file sharers and
copyright holders will continue for the rest of 2011, while very little is
being done to reach a mutual agreement. For example, the use of
three-strikes laws have done very little to intimidate pirates to stop file
sharing, while ISPs are criticized by subscribers and terrorized by copyright
Instead, BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer file
sharers are getting better at masking their identities to prevent detection by
watch groups. However, the federal government has moved to domain
seizures as a critical method to help fight Internet piracy, with the practice
expected to accelerate.
Expect to see continued copyright group efforts
against file sharers, while ISPs are also forced into turning over users rather
than face court issues. The federal government and the US Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) have
been recruited to lend an effective hand against pirates.