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Are ISP Warnings Alone Enough To Stop Piracy?
78% of UK males say a warning would make them quit P2P piracy
by Karl Bode 10:44AM Tuesday Mar 04 2008
A few weeks ago RIAA President Cary Sherman, when he wasn't suggesting that AV software should scan for pirated material, hinted that there would be less piracy if users simply knew what they were doing was illegal. Sherman opined that AT&T's upcoming piracy filters would effectively work not only as a filter but as moral signposts, giving users a slight slap on the wrist should they get into downloading copyright materials.

That belief seems to be supported by a new study out of the UK by Entertainment Media Research, which was funded by a group of entertainment industry lawyers. The report claims that 70% of pirates in the UK would stop pirating simply because they received a warning from their ISP.
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One of the most compelling reasons to quit would be if a consumer received a cease and desist warning notification from their ISP. 7 out of ten currently accessing unauthorized content state they would stop if this happened. Interestingly, some of the most likely to be dissuaded are teenagers (78% of male teenagers and 75% for female teenagers)
That said, 2 in 3 believed that it was highly unlikely they ever would be caught. This study appears just as the entertainment industry is trying to convince a skeptical public and unwilling US & UK ISPs that broadband providers must implement piracy filters. Other than AT&T, most ISPs don't want the legal or moral responsibility of being Internet content gatekeepers.

The suggestion that an alert system alone would stop piracy sounds fairly dubious, given ISPs have been forwarding DMCA warnings to users in the States for years, and -- even under the specter of possible lawsuits -- P2P use continues to grow. The entertainment industry likely wants to convince ISPs that warnings alone will work, because once they've got the ISPs agreeing to monitor their network for pirated content, it's a shorter walk toward having those ISPs implement more heavy-handed measures.

70 comments .. click to read

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Jason Levine

2 recommendations

reply to FFH5

Re: I don't like France's proposed policy

I'm reaching here, but maybe.... the police?

It's their jobs to track down criminals (be they online or offline) and prosecute them.

When it comes to copyright offenses, however, these are civil offenses, not criminal ones. (At least until the MPAA/RIAA push through legislation making them criminal cases.) This means that the copyright holder has to file suit themselves against the copyright violator. Sometimes this takes the form of a John Doe lawsuit until the violator's identity can be determined (or until the copyright holder has proven to a judge that they have enough of a case to pierce the accused's privacy).

The problem is that the RIAA is lazy. They don't want to file their lawsuits separately in the correct jurisdiction. They just want to file a huge batch of them all at once (as if they were related). They don't want to *actually* sue the person, just strong-arm them into a highly one-sided settlement. And they don't want to keep an eye out for copyright violators themselves, they want the ISPs to do their job for them.
-Jason Levine
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Can you do Blu?
Hercules, CA

2 recommendations

reply to FFH5
What if YOU end up getting chastised for something because of an error?

You send a clip of son/daughter(hypothetically) and it flags you as a Pirate... are you going to be so gung-ho about it then?

That would be *YOUR* Strike One.

Say you blow that off and try it again... Flag #2 - Strike #2... yeah, real good idea, huh?

You inadvertantly forget and send another... BOOT!

Now, my friend, *YOU* are kicked offline and labeled a pirate. Sound tasty?

*NO* ISP should be a cop!
What's next?
Illegal to let you borrow a DVD?
Think outside the Fox... Opera

Cat god

Riverside, NJ

2 recommendations

It would work, but not for the reasons given

hinted that there would be less piracy if users simply knew what they were doing was illegal
I'm pretty sure most people at this point know downloading pirated material is illegal, the same way that people know speeding is illegal. They do both anyway because the gains outweight the risk of being caught.

People would stop downloading pirated material if they knew their ISP was watching them, not because they didn't know what they were doing was illegal, but for the same reason people don't speed in front of cops. At that point, the risk of getting caught way outweighs any possible gains.

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