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The fight against piracy enters a new phase, but no resolution in sight

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 enforcement.

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 controversial framework.

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 groups. 

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.



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By Aloonatic on 7/14/2011 4:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with some of what you say, but the final paragraph is just silly, IMHO.

Putting people in very expensive state sponsored accommodation (aka prison) is not good for the economy. Especially when you are locking people up for not spending a few hundred dollars on the odd movie, game or album a year, while they still go to work, earn money, pay taxes (rathter than drain them as they would do in jail) and contribute to the economy in other ways by spending their income on other goods and services.

I'm not saying that it's right that people pirate, and that they shouldn't be punished in some way, but the whole prison thing really doesn't work that well for most crimes, and I didn't even factor into the above that by hte time they come out of prison (for what is really just lazy shoplifting from home in most cases) they will probably have been educated in all sorts of other ways of breaking the law when they get back out.

Still, we all know how much DTers love to whole prison fantasy, a little too much at times me thinks. I surprised someone hasn't mentioned spending time with Big Bubba or preparing salads or something yet.


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