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Six Strikes Has Had No Impact on Piracy Traffic
by Karl Bode 10:31AM Wednesday Sep 04 2013
The entertainment industry and ISP joint "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) has had absolutely no impact on piracy statistics, judging from a preliminary look at popular BitTorrent website traffic levels. The six strikes program was launched back in February with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

The new system includes copyright infringement penalties imposed that vary by ISP, ranging from temporarily blocking Internet access until the user acknowledges the receipt of "educational" material to throttling a user's connection for a limited amount of time.

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Some seven months in to the program, and its impact on piracy levels appears to be nonexistent. Torrent Freak notes that BitTorrent traffic coming from U.S. users has remained unchanged for operations like ExtraTorrent, and that traffic headed to the Pirate Bay is up significantly (with a large spike just after the program was announced).

There's several reasons for the plans ineffectiveness. The biggest being that nearly any copyright infringer with a modicum of technical savvy simply used BitTorrent proxy and VPN services to hide their BitTorrent usage from the prying eyes of their ISPs.

Another issue is that many realize the plan really has no teeth, as once a user has proceeded through all of the levels of warnings -- absolutely nothing happens. There's no "end game" to the system -- the warnings simply stop and the user is allowed to continue trading copyrighted files without interruption.

Two employees of major ISPs familiar with the implementation of the plan tell me ISPs realized up front that the program wouldn't do much, and that most users would simply hide their behavior using VPNs and proxies. However, the entertainment industry believed that fear of punishment would at least put a dent in piracy stats. While we obviously need more data, at first glimpse this doesn't appear to be happening.

It begs the question what's going to be next in the entertainment industry's war on piracy. It seems inevitable that for numerous reasons proxy services and VPNs will become an inevitable target, and if we're to follow the trend overseas, the shift has migrated toward levying fines against repeat offenders.

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Limestone, ME

2 recommendations


Who is surprised by this?

Cause I'm sure not.

Washington, DC

Re: So...

I'm a little surprised, I'd thought the warnings would make some dent. Are VPNs really that popular?



Re: So...

VPN is not something new. VPN is mainly used by businesses to connect PC's at remote locations to the business' internal network. VPN also allows you to encrypt the data that flows through it so someone (ISP) can't see what it is.

The encryption is the key. Since your ISP can't read the packets, they can't tell what you are doing.

VPN service is very cheap. The thing you need to look for when choosing a VPN service is if they keep logs of your activity or not.

Make the homies say HO and the girlies wanna SCREAM!


Albuquerque, NM


Business is business. It seems like people want what they want. It's time for media holders to provide a different access to the media people want. There has to be an angle that makes it possible to access movies and more with the owners actually making money instead of spending funds to fight copyright infringement.
If it can't be solved maybe it's time to get rid of the Internet and stop all communications. Everybody losses!


Limestone, ME

Re: Copyright

There was Copyright Infringement long before the Internet.

But Yes, there should be a Legal way for consumers to get content, I just don't see a good solution that the providers seem to want to accept.


Re: Copyright

It would be easy as heck for the RIAA/MPAA to make a legal way for people to get what they want if they weren't so freaking greedy AND stupid!
The Firefox alternative.
Space Elf
Mullica Hill, NJ

I wonder how carry disputes altered the numbers

Since "six strikes" there has been no shortage of carriage disputes between channels/content owners and various providers, Thing is Customers still want what they are still paying for and will get it how they please.
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


Atlanta, GA

Just another in a long line of Streisand Effects...

Based on the uptick in TPB traffic after the announcement, I'd say that this wasn't only ineffective; it likely did precisely the opposite.

It's Only Logical
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

They know the princess rules!


They keep putting DRM and services to make it hard for honest people while jacking up prices what do they expect. It's not like the pirates are are stupid. The more big bro restricts the more pirates dig in.

Sarick's Dungeon Clipart



No impact on piracy...

but it would change baseball forever--not as much as the designated hitter rule or in such an adverse way, but you can't screw everything up all the time (unless you're the NCAA**)

(**Don't you dare celebrate making a good play! ...you might make someone on the other team feel ba-a-a-d.)

As far as having no impact on "piracy"? ...well, duh.

Mississauga, ON

You can't induce fear based on threats

You gotta do it like the government... Lie compulsively and forge evidence and such to scare the living daylights out of them.