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Will the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System Hurt Consumers And Small Businesses?

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Will the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System Hurt Consumers And Small Businesses?
[ Technology]

Piracy is a problem that needs to be dealt with. I don’t think anybody is going to refute that. Where people are divided is how we actually deal with this problem. After years of reputation destroying legal battles against dead people and little girls, copyright owners think they have an answer.

On Monday, the Copyright Alert System, or “Six Strikes”, went into affect across the five biggest ISPs in the U.S. The system hopes to catch those pirating content over P2P networks, and send them a notice detailing their infringement. The hope is that those who are caught will start using legal alternatives.

Do you think the Copyright Alert System will work? Will people truly stop pirating content after receiving an alert? Let us know in the comments.

To better understand the CAS, we have to look at what the Center for Copyright Information is doing with it. First, there are three tiers to the CAS that consumers should be aware of with each tier having two levels within it. The three tiers are as follows – educational alerts, acknowledgement alerts and mitigation measures.

The first two warnings – “educational alerts” – tell consumers they’ve been caught. The email will then direct them to legitimate sources of content with the hopes that the early warnings are enough to scare people into buying content.

The next two warnings step it up a notch with what’s called “acknowledgement alerts.” The first two alerts were simply emails, but these next two will actually hijack your browser. You will be hit with a message telling you that you’ve been caught yet again, and must acknowledge that you’ve been caught before you can start browsing.

The next two tiers, and presumably every alert afterwards, will be “mitigation measures.” In essence, the ISPs will begin throttling your bandwidth or blocking Web sites you frequently visit. The ISPs will not be able to cut off your Internet connection under the plan.

For a visual explanation, here’s the CCI’s soothing jazz version:

The actual specifics of these tiers will be different across the five ISPs participating in the CAS. We don’t know what every alert will look like, but Ars Technica did manage to get a hold of what Comcast’s alerts would look like.

As you would expect, the CAS hasn’t exactly garnered many fans. New Jersey Gubernatorial candidate Carl Bergmanson recently spoke out against it by saying ISPs have no right to monitor what you download:

“The internet has become an essential part of living in the 21st century, it uses public infrastructure and it is time we treat it as a public utility. The electric company has no say over what you power with their service, the ISPs have no right to decide what you can and can not download”.

The EFF has also come out swinging against CAS. The group says the system presents a number of troubling statements that don’t just hurt Internet users but the Internet for itself. For instance, the group points out that the CCI Web site tells people to lock down their Wi-Fi connections so others don’t pirate on your connection. The EFF sees this as an attack on the open Wi-Fi movement and it would be especially troublesome for those who do share their Internet connections with others, like small businesses.

Small businesses are where we run into the biggest problems. The CCI says that rights holders won’t target open Wi-Fi networks run by businesses. Your local Starbucks or Panera Bread are safe as they run off of a business network. The problem comes in the form of small businesses like a local coffee shop or bakery that runs free Wi-Fi off of a residential network. These businesses will be held liable for the actions of its consumers.

The CCI argues that it won’t hurt small businesses running residential networks because the CAS will never terminate an Internet connection. That’s entirely true, and it’s good that copyright owners didn’t go as far to request that ISPs terminate connections. The problem, however, lies in the fact that the fifth warning and afterwards will either block popular Web sites or throttle connections. For a small business that has multiple customers all on the same network, that’s just as good as shutting off the connection. People who want to use the Internet at these places will find it too much of a pain and take their business elsewhere.

Do you think the CAS will hurt small businesses? Or do you think the EFF and other groups are just exaggerating? Let us know in the comments.

This all brings us to the question of whether or not the CAS will even stop piracy. That’s obviously the goal, but it doesn’t look like an attainable one at the moment. In fact, the CAS is its own biggest enemy in the war on piracy.

The alerts obtained from Comcast all have one troubling thing in common. They don’t list any of the alternative, legal sources for content. The main point of the program is to educate consumers on legal alternatives, and it can’t even do that. Consumers receiving the alert with no prior knowledge of the system will most likely see it as a scam email and won’t act upon it. Later tiers require consumers to watch an educational video on copyright, but it doesn’t say whether these videos will present legal alternatives.

Fortunately, legal alternatives are doing a good enough job stopping piracy themselves. A recent report from the NPD found that legal alternatives like Spotify were driving music piracy down. It proves once again that easy access at a fair price can beat out piracy any day. Heck, the proliferation of streaming services even gave the music industry its first raise in revenue since 1999.

So why do copyright owners think the CAS will work? Do they really expect piracy rates to magically drop once the alerts start flying out? Past examples would suggest that no such thing would happen. In fact, previous efforts on the part of copyright owners to curtail piracy have had the opposite effect. Just look at the shutdown of Megaupload or the blocking of The Pirate Bay in the UK. Both cases actually saw an increase in piracy.

At this point, it’s still too early to tell how much the CAS will actually accomplish. At best, copyright owners will be able to proclaim that piracy rates are down as more people either use VPNs or move off of P2P and onto Usenet or Mega. At worst, consumers revolt and ISPs drop it after seeing that it’s costing them customers. Either way, piracy isn’t going anywhere.

Do you think piracy will ever stop being a problem? Or is it just a fact of life in the Internet age? Let us know in the comments.

Will the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System Hurt Consumers And Small Businesses?
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  • anonymous

    What concerns me most is the concept behind it: guilty until proven innocent. Incorrectly identified users will need to spend money to clear their names…

    CAS is not a law, it doesnt stop RIAA or MPAA from taking offenders to court, instead it uses ISPs to punish copyright violations, which is against an ISPs own business interest.

    Consumers potentially can use VPN to get around this, but they need to choose VPN providers that don’t record IP addresses – no log VPN providers ( http://vpnverge.com/why-no-log-vpn/ ).

    Suddenly, Kim dotcoms new mega seems promising since everything will be encrypted…

    • anonymous

      Here is a free alternative, no sign up’s clean program, no installation, simply download, exract and run the program, you have a new safe IP no names no email no information.. http://ultrasurfing.com/ the vpn is to the top right hand side of the page. Enjoy PRIVACY!

      • Ray186

        A good program, but it does not shield your from what the ISP’s are trying to stop.

  • ba

    The US has turned into such a fascist country, both the govts and corps as one big stesming pile of …, the answer is pull the plug on everything US. Total boycott, including the currency.

    • http://nagualgrove.com/ Howard Crane

      Then walk everywhere and stop using products made with plastic, because oil is traded in the USD.

  • anonymous

    Like most analogs in *real* crime prevention, this system will only catch the idiots and casual pirates. These people are easy to scare off, easy to force to legal content sources. They’re also an insignificant part of total piracy. Those who are serious and educated about piracy have long since moved to methods which can’t be monitored: encrypted traffic and tunneled connections. That kind of piracy is simply invisible to a system like this.

    CAS is merely one step in an arms race.

  • Anon E Moose

    This won’t last past the first Law Suit. An ISP that does not filter traffic isn’t responsible for the traffic their customers choose to deal in. The minute the ISP filters *ANY* traffic, they instantly become responsable for *ALL* the traffic content across their network. If the ISP is shown to allow, or worse *facilitate* such traffic, then they have just rendered their “Safe Harbor” status Null & Void. Guess how many *Billions* of dollars in “Willfull” (triple damages) charges that’ll cost the ISP in RIAA/MPAA fines? … Oh, and the whole “browser pop up to notify the user” is already doomed to failure. Whom among you allows *ANY* site to hit you with a Pop Up, Pop Under, or other style of advertisement-spewing garbage? Everyone I know of turns their Browser’s Security settings to *disallow all pop up’s*. So, if my browser won’t display them, how can you prove you’ve notified me of anything? You can’t. … And the emails will probably get reported as potential Phishing attempts, forwarded as probable spam to sites like Knujon(at)ColdRain.net, or just deleted out of hand from the Junk Mail folder. Dear ComCast, I may be a customer of yours, but I’ve never set up, much less used, any email account you make for me on the ComCast network. Thus, if you’re trying to tell me anything, sending it there gets you nowhere. And when you start throttling my bandwidth for “crimes” (that aren’t) I didn’t commit, I’ll have your slimey little butt nailed to a tree & used as a Public Pinata for doing it. I can simply point to the fact that I’ve never logged in to the ComCast email account, thus any *LEGAL* notification of intent was never delivered. Want to guess how fast a Judge will pimp-slap the snot out of you for not legally delivering such a notice of action? *Evil Grin*

    • BL.

      Unfortunately Anon… it’s a little scarier than that. From what I’m reading, they aren’t talking about having pop-ups come up on your browser, they are saying they will re-direct legitimate websites to their own internal notifications sites.

      I.e., when you type in www.google.ca, instead of going to Google’s IP address, your browser will go to an IP address hosted by the ISP to deliver this nice notification.

      In other words, the ISP will hijack legitimate pages until you agree to their bogus notifications.

      That’s the scariest part!

  • Iron

    Glad I don’t live in the US! What a shithole.

  • http://www.dexeter.net Ray

    I applaud the idea of trying to educate people away from copyright infringement and this could help to reduce the problem however the copyright owners are not held in any respected due to their rip off prices on CDs and records, the customers (victims) of the overpricing are seeing this as a way to “get even” with the big boys for being ripped off in the past.

    Newer bands and artists are seeing the Internet as an opportunity and embracing it, a few free downloads can help to put fans “bums on seats” in live concerts and the artist can earn their money there.

    The big multi nationals are less important than they were but money buys a lot of political influence so they will hang around for a while but their days of dominating the music industry are numbered.

    I am still annoyed at them for forcing me to pay a fee to multi millionaire artists, for blank CD cassette to use on my computers years ago so as far as I am concerned, goodbye and good riddance to the big music moguls.

  • Small Business

    Again the only winners are the legal profession. Has anybody ever suggested that anybody in the legal profession should not be allowed to go into politics as in doing so they are simply creating ‘legislation’ that keeps them in a job and makes them megabucks?

    Of course there is also the argument that the big companies (who are exempt) are behind this so that they can undermine the internet, which is damaging their control over all business, because small businesses can compete with them on a level playing field on the internet.

    Or maybe we are just suffering the ignorance and lack of competence of politicians who freely admit they do not understand or even use the internet, and do not want to upset those big businesses who back them financially and who have a very different agenda.

  • http://powerpatch.dk Ejvind

    I don’t see legislation preventing crime anywhere.
    It helps punish the people making crimes, but it is not preventative.

    What works is an alternative that is worth the effort and money.

    I believe that most pirates would pay for content, if there was a better way that was financially viable for them as well as for the content providers.

    So start using all the lobby money to create better solutions, and the problem will go away.

  • BlokeToys

    It’s all pretty pointless when you have the biggest internet superpower promoting piracy in their search results over genuine legal content.

    I have a colleague who works in the adult business, and although there are a thousand blogs and sites on various subjects with lengthy and highly informative content, Google promotes pirate sites above them simply because they have a high traffic level.

    Google states on the one hand that content is vital, but it systematically promotes tubes and file sharing sites with little or no on-page content above all others.

    Lesson is, you can offer total trash, or even illegal content, and Google will still offer you as a priority source because of the numbers of people clicking through to that site.

    These changes will do nothing while the largest and most powerful Search Engine in the world continues to offer illegal content to surfers.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/djskagnetti* Jack Skagnetti

    Sign into effect Free Nationwide Wi-Fi (http://act.watchdog.net/petitions/2369?ls=7TZb06IUkmQ), watch those demon corporations crumble to ruins. Beyond that, as the measures to “block pirating” change, so will the measures to actually do the pirating. And do you think that people will just take this laying down? It’s not wise to piss off the Entire internet. What went into effect on Monday is their own death warrant. I can’t wait until these corporate dinosaurs die.

  • PK

    Of course this is going to hurt small businesses and legit home users as well! So what about a virus? Viruses are known to hijack your internet connection, so the next step is viruses being made to hijack and download from the victims machine and then forward the downloads to their safe haven and the victim is the one who pays in the end, and thats just one aspect of it. The broadband companies also hijacking the customers browser is a load of crap thats right they are setting the stage for viruses to hijack browsers and get by the antiviruses. This has gone WAY to far, most people either listen to the music or watch music through legit sights. And for the ones who don’t its usually just a passing phase in their life and they will move on grow up and eventually do things right. The way the ISP’s are doing things makes us all victims of them themselves and makes us NO BETTER THAN CHINA.

  • http://nagualgrove.com/ Howard Crane

    Two things:

    1. These alerts will radicalize me. I will pirate all-the-more.

    2. Will this system protect my Copyright and those of my friends, or will it just protect that of the people in their select mob?

    • http://century-club.com J Rolin Stone

      1. Amen to that !!

      2. Yes as per usual this isn’t about protecting the original creator of the work, but rather it is about protecting the profits of the corporation who swindled the original creator out of his ownership.

    • http:butterflystorms.bog.com Dan

      Absolutely. Our copyrights will be neglected in favour of the rich, as usual.

  • http://century-club.com J Rolin Stone

    Just last night my domain hosting service (HostGator) alerted me to a possible email spoofing hijack on my local PC. Someone had managed to send about 3000 emails using one of my domain email accounts. Hostgator claimed they originated from my local network and even verified that they came from my ISP-assigned IP address. I scanned both my PCs for viruses, malware, etc. to no avail. But aside from that what puzzled me the most, and what Hostgator could not give me an answer for was how they could have done this and not left any tracks on my PC, as in my Sentbox (which saves copies of all emails sent), and especially since the email address they used I do not have setup on my local server. It is an address that I haven’t used in at least 5 years and the account is only used online, and then only as an autoresponder. After doing some research I found claims that my IP address as well as my email addresses can be spoofed. This makes the most sense, and also brings me to a critical point of concern with this new police-state tactic. Last Summer my ISP accused me of a DMCA violation, and it was the same claim, that a file was transferred through my IP address. At the time I thought maybe someone in the neighborhood was somehow piggybacking on my wifi network… But if IP addresses can be spoofed to send SPAM, then it seems logical that they can also be spoofed to transfer files. Afterall, you have the TORproject, proxy servers, etc. and internet traffic is not a physical phenomenon like water running through pipes, so how can these idiot ISPs ever know for certain who, where, what and why?

    Sorry if that doesn’t make any sense. I just have a gut feeling that this will get way out of hand, and it will be like drone strikes with more innocent victims than not.

  • Cherry

    Yes I do actually.

    The problem isn’t piracy itself, it’s the protectionist attitudes that so heavily restrict content well beyond what the free market EVER intended.

    The likes of Disney and Fox took advantage of a tiny piece of European legislation WITH a sunset clause and set about making it illegal for ANYONE to use ANYTHING within the entire life of an author plus 70 years.

    This encourages laziness and stifles innovation. If all you had to do was write Happy Birthday which is like a five bar song, and then live off the proceeds of that, how can a free market economy find that fair? If lightening only strikes once for you, take up another trade.

    The party who claims to espouse the interests of the free market, the Republican Party, have been doing a laughable job of trying to fix this form of protectionism. Because that is what it is. Some bright sparks put out a paper in the House suggesting the length of copyright be wound back, which was quickly redacted.

    The US can continue to push its agenda, and I, an Australian, will continue to push to have the AUSFTA (Australia-US Free Trade Agreement) scrapped or heavily amended for all of its copyright protectionism.

  • http://bestmobileoptions.com James Cochrane

    This is setting the stage for some HUGE lawsuits. And talk about the ISP’s biting the hand that feeds them! Morons!

  • Old Grumpy

    “Piracy is a problem that needs to be dealt with. I don’t think anybody is going to refute that.”

    I refute that very strongly. With download albums costing as much as their CD equivalent or more, it is clear that the music industry has learned nothing. They still think they can continue to gouge the public as they always have, despite the enormous drop in their costs that digital distribution brings.

    The only way to make the record industry realise that this cannot go on, is to hit them in the wallet.

    They are an anachronism that have passed their time. When sound movies arrived, who cried for the musicians being thrown out of work? There are many other examples of technology shifts that drive old industries out, why should the content industry be artificially supported?

  • http://roundedcornermaker.com Bryan

    These alerts look a lot like rogue viruses, and most certainly virus makers will take financial advantage of that, and try to extort money from everyone.

  • http://glory-in-nature.org Jim

    Do I think piracy will ever stop being a problem? Or is it just a fact of life in the Internet age?

    That depends on us. If we realize that theft is theft regardless of the medium or context, then it will begin to decline…

    • John DeVille

      Theft is Theft… and Piracy is NOT theft.
      In theft, you take somebody’s property away, depriving them of it.
      In Piracy, you copy their property without their awareness, you didn’t deprive them of their property.

      Theft is not piracy, nor is piracy theft. They’re different things.
      The sooner people learn this, the sooner we can have rational discussions about it.

      • Keith

        Its not copyright theft its copyright infringement.

      • Michael Kealy

        “In Piracy, you copy their property without their awareness, you didn’t deprive them of their property.”

        And herein lies the problem. Most people just don’t look at piracy as theft. When you copy someone’s property, you deprive them of an income.

        If you owned a brickyard and I entered it every night and threw 10 or twenty bricks in the trunk of my car, you wouldn’t notice them missing from the hundreds of thousands of bricks lying around, so by your example, I’m not hurting you because you weren’t aware that I was taking your property. Oh, I’m sorry, you’re going to argue that’s not the same thing because I’m taking something tangible that’s you’ll eventually miss.

        Fine, let’s use a better example, probably the one people like you are used to thieving upon. If I write a book, record a song, make a movie, create software or a game, I am entitled to earn a living off my product. By copying my product you are depriving me of earning an income. You didn’t have my permission to copy my product, just like I didn’t have you permission to help myself to your bricks. It’s theft.

        What do you for a job? How do you earn your living? Let’s say you’re a doctor, how about the next time I come and see you, you tend to my problem, tell me what’s wrong, and write me a prescription; I say, “Thanks. I won’t be paying you today because I think doctors make too much as it is.” You can apply that analogy to any scenario in which you earn your income: mechanic, dentist, restaurant owner, store owner.

        What would you call it if after you created a product or delivered a service, someone just refused to pay you but kept the product or benefited from the service?

        Um … I call it theft.

        • Flaming_Liberal

          BRAVO !! Well said !

        • Greg

          What a silly argument based on false assumptions!
          Everyone that downloads something that is not willing to pay for it is a non factor for the author or the creator. Either he downloads it or not it does not alter a thing for the creator and his income.

          In fact the most pirated stuff are the most profited. (the example of avatar is demonstrative)
          Open minded creators WANT their stuff to be pirated so it can be widely known and advertised. And those that pirate most are those that actually pay more to buy stuff. (this has been proven in various researches indeed…)

          So what you claim here is pure propaganda based on lies and false assumptions.

          • Michael Kealy

            Greg: What have you created that is currently being pirated? Do you have any first-hand experience to back up your claim that “those that [sic] pirate most are those that actually pay more to buy stuff.”

            I have first-hand experience. I used to make a nice income for myself back in 2004-2008, and by “nice” I mean I was able to support my family in a modest lifestyle, but these days due to people pirating the content I market, I’ve seen my income cut in half. So where are all those pirates who are paying more to buy stuff?

            Non-paying downloaders are definitely a factor in the equation. If you’re not willing to pay for something you shouldn’t have it unless the creator has said, “Here, take this, it’s free.”

      • Conran

        Taking something without paying for it is theft. There is no way any sane Human on this planet can say that taking something intended to be made available through payment is not theft. It is, and no twisting of words or alternative opinions will change that very basic fact.

        You take something that is intended to be sold without paying for it and you are STEALING.

        END OF DISCUSSION.

  • http:butterflystorms.bog.com Dan

    This seems to be an assault by the Big Players, Movie Mongols, who make tens of millions and live in opulence. They’re already heavily protected by a very pushy Federal government.

    I don’t pirate movies or such but this is just more bs protecting the rich and powerful.

  • http:butterflystorms.bog.com Dan

    I guess, then, that the telephone company ought to be head accountable for death threats and such made over their phone lines!!!

  • Scott

    People should buy the things they actually use and enjoy…
    But how many times have I bought something that sucked and couldnt get my money back? lol
    If they think somebody would actually physically purchase 40,000 songs they are smokin crack.
    Get the prices under control, and then if you want, they could block illegal file sharing at the isp. the isp’s just dont want to ad any value by spending on their infrastructure, but they could block viruses and file sharing on their end so easily.

    Read “Weapons of Mass Extortion” on kindle its great. lol

  • http://webbeetle.com.au webbeetle

    These copyright laws are another example of “old” media not being able to understand “new” media! Instead of adjusting their “old” media offerings to new distribution channels they want to use brute force to prevent an imaginary loss.

    We heard the same outcry when tape machines were released in the late 60s, we heard the same complains when VHS video recording hit the market, then again with CD burning technology, and now with the internet… And still from exactly the same companies!

    So the previous copyright killers (audio tapes, VHS, CD burning) didn’t affect their business as badly as predicted = these companies are just scared of anything new!

    So now they want to ruin ISPs. If my ISP would enforce policies like this I would change to a different provider = smart business for an ISP (not!)…

    [To make one thing clear: I don't encourage total disrespect of copyright.]

  • Dominic Ford

    Here’s a simple idea: pay for products, services and content you use. Pirating content is theft, unlawful replication and distribution and deprives copyright owners of their ability to make money. This isn’t just about the rich companies getting richer. It’s about indie artists making a decent living and mom & pop companies paying rent. And it’s about protecting YOUR content if you ever produce anything. Yes, this protects you too. Not just the large companies.

    You all have this impression that content producers are swimming in money. In porn, one if the hardest hit industries, most companies are tiny and survive month to month. This is not the millionaire companies of the 80s and 90s who were charging $80 for a VHS that cost $1 to make. These are websites that cost $24.95 to join and are barely breaking even or going bankrupt because people feel entitled to enjoy content for free. Producing content costs a lot of money.

    Content and entertainment isn’t free. There is no moral high ground that you will EVER use to rationalize piracy. None. So stop trying. “I wouldn’t buy it anyhow,” “they’re so big they’ll never even feel it.” “It’s too expensive.” These are all stupid arguments that hold no water. I agree that prices must be reasonable and delivery methods must be convenient. But never are you entitled to free content simply because you think it’s overpriced or not on the device you wish it were on. That doesn’t give you the right to steal it. Ever.

    There will come a time when people won’t want to pay for whatever you do for a living and you are now setting a precedent for the world to look at you and say ‘who cares’ to you when you can’t make money for the same reasons content producers aren’t making money now.

    Pay for your content. Period.

    Dominic Ford

    Isitpiracy.com
    PornGuardian.com
    DominicFord.com

  • http://Mabuzi.com Mabuzi

    My ISP slows down all downloads especially content from competing networks.
    This will only catch part timers and idiots like drug mules at airports who are only the patsy.
    We cannot leave content filtering to corporations as there is no accountability.

  • Trevor

    Authorities should get more power to go after cheap bastards who don’t want to pay for products or services. People spend money to produce music, films, books or whatever and other feel they can just steal their products. That’s bad. People who download or upload illegal content should be put in jail. It’s theft and thus it’s a criminal activity.

    • Greg

      So you suggest the imprisonment of millions of people (because millions of people actually download stuff from internet and from torrents sites) just because they use the internet for its primal function? (to share and download bits and bytes!)SHAME ON YOU! And you proved here that you are the criminal!

      I am an author and yes my books have been illegally downloaded. But I would not propose the imprisonment of any of my illegal downloaders.
      I would be a criminal monster to suggest so…

      Enough with the copyright monstrosity that threatens the free internet as well as the basic rights of all humans…

      • Conran

        “Enough with the copyright monstrosity that threatens the free internet as well as the basic rights of all humans…”

        Enough with the bombastic statements about Human rights. You do not have a basic right to steal.

        I agree that imprisonment is not the answer. But then I would say that about someone stealing something from a shop. In that case they would be barred from the shop, and that is what we should be aiming for.

        If you cannot conduct yourself to the laws and basic standards of our society, then you do not DESERVE the freedom that the internet (which is NOT a basic Human right) affords you.

  • Matt

    Why would they throttle “popular sites”? Why not just throttle or block whatever source the person downloaded the pirated content from? It seems unfair to punish random popular websites that have nothing to do with pirated content.

    Frankly, it sounds like a waste of time anyway. People will just switch to encrypted VPN’s or proxies so the ISP’s can’t tell what they are downloading, or where from.

  • stop-thief!

    a thief is a thief is a thief. not only do intellectual property thieves steal copyrighted content, they also steal bandwidth from the those who don’t. folks who try to transmute p-i-r-a-c-y into p-r-i-v-a-c-y are truly delusional – unless/until they might actually create something themselves – and then cry “bloody murder” when it’s stolen from them.

  • Darren

    What utter nonsense. Go get ‘em EFF!

    F**K these idiots.

  • Bill

    This is simply another attempt by big corporations and politicians to reign in the Internet and get it under their control. It’s proven to be a great equalizer and those with money and power don’t like that – unless of course, it’s keeping them in power and making them a ton of money.

    If it’s not various government entities trying to figure out how to tax the usage of the Internet, it’s the corporate honchos trying to figure out how to hoard the money making aspects of the Internet, while screwing the consumer all the way to the bank.

    I don’t think piracy is as big of an issue as folks would like us to believe. Greed and over pricing is and that’s why we have piracy.

    If the real issue is that the entertainment industry wants to stifle piracy then all they have to do is price their products at a price the masses can afford. If you over price your products you encourage piracy – it’s just that simple.

    I think invasion of one’s privacy trumps piracy. Monitoring customer’s activities, penalizing consumers without some sort of checks and balances in place, using spam like e-mails to notify consumers of a problem and holding their feet to the fire when they don’t respond accordingly – all this is supposed to solve the piracy “problem”?! Really…?!

    Piracy is simply a means to an end – taking control of the Internet piece by piece.

  • John

    America has truly become a Corporatocracy.

    • Conran

      That happened long ago, and if you want to talk about Corporatocracy you might want to look at the military industrial complex and the farce of your medicated society before you start saying people protecting what they paid and worked for to create is evidence of it.

      This is nothing, it’s people actually protecting what they make, and earning a fair living from their work. That is not Corporatocracy, that is fighting back against THEFT.

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  • http://www.businesscreditcenter.us Allan

    This is just proof that people have to much time on their hands. Boys, pull up your big girl panties and focus on a real issue like Congress!

  • WatchingtheWheels

    Maybe it would be best if the NOUVEAU POWERFUL TECHIES, acquired some common sense, and respect for others, as opposed to selling their own delusional senses of self importance.

    I’m not gonna sweat it.

    TECH LAND managed to rouse the masses into being tools for them during SOPA.

    Whoever wants to be respected needs to be willing to do so, in the reverse.

    :) I am curious, will these entities wage their battle overseas, along with threatening Americans? Or is this a case of kicking the dog, because you’re too scared to tackle the real sources of the transgressions?

    I’ve seen it written, too many times, someone involved in techland, rationalising how they are “really” helping the copyright holder by giving his stuff away. Why do I never run across similar from copyright holders, thanking tech, for the free exposure?

  • anynomous

    time to activate privacy lawsuits against ISPs

  • Commonality

    I do refute your statement “Piracy is a problem that needs to be dealt with.” Whatever. There will always be a piracy “problem” as you call it. There are laws against killing people, rape, robbery, theft, insider trading, etc., etc., etc. However, these things still happen each and every day. You are never going to stop the pirating activities of the masses. You can try, but you will never win. You may find a few and lock them up to set an example, but this will only enrage the masses and cause an even larger uprising. They will then go after your bank accounts, credit and identity too. Why not. Just because it is illegal never takes care of any issue 100%. Don’t be so lame in thinking things are going to change. Besides, I also think that piracy is actually good for the economy. It creates jobs and even opportunities for people to learn things that they otherwise would be unable to. Maybe I have pirated stuff in the past, maybe I haven’t – I am better today for the things that I have done in the past. Don’t point fingers, you have probably done just as bad if not worse than those that you are accusing of breaking the piracy laws.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Piracy is a problem, but I do see that it has its positive uses. As I mention in the story above, piracy is actually dying at the hands of more convenient services like Spotify and Netflix. Piracy is good in that it forces old industries to adapt to new distribution models. It’s those that refuse to adapt and implement backhanded programs like CAS that are the real problem. I’m not going to defend piracy, but I’m not going to defend dinosaur industries either.

      • Commonality

        Thank you for your well thought out response. I wouldn’t ever think that you would defend piracy and I’m not asking that you do either. I just find it kind of funny when almost all people that I know and even people who say that they are against piracy actually have downloaded and used software or watched movies that are pirated material. I’m not saying that you have done this, but the overall chances are very high that it has occurred; especially by people who start pointing fingers. Thanks again for your insights.

    • Conran

      “I also think that piracy is actually good for the economy. It creates jobs and even opportunities for people to learn things that they otherwise would be unable to.”

      What an utterly delusional statement to make!

      I work in the adult entertainment business, and you think piracy actually HELPS any industry?

      I can tell you now, with absolute certainty, that piracy of adult content has done the following…

      1. Put thousands of affiliates out of business.
      2. Lowered the quality of adult entertainment across the industry.
      3. Closed down several adult studios completely.
      4. Lowered the income of performers.
      5. Made hundreds of editors, technicians, set assistants, camera crew, performers, unemployed.

      Some pimply teens in their moms basements might live in some delusional paradigm where we all work for nothing and people create art for the masses while they sleep in their car and starve. But that is not reality.

      If things continue as they are with piracy in the adult entertainment business, the quality and production standards will lower to the point where those pimply thieves have nothing else to enjoy other than cheap tube videos of grannies and amateurs.

      All those buff and tight bodied hotties won’t be in the business any more because they can’t earn enough to pay their bills.

      Think about that the next time you download some of your favorite adult content from pirate site or tube, and think about the day when all you have is cheap and tacky 30 second clips of how the business USED to be before YOU helped to destroy it.

      • Tymon

        Actually, numerous studies have proven that piracy does help out the economy. The vast majority of ‘pirate downloads’ are not lost sales, but try before you buy, or people who can’t afford the product to begin with. Neither of these are lost sales, unless you include the first group as a lost sale if your movie/song/software sucks and without the ability to test it out first, they’d have to buy it and as such get ripped off anyway. Generally speaking, Hollywood and co, HATE the concept of try before you buy and anything that intrudes upon their antiquated business models. Remember when they tried to say ripping a CD you own was classified as copyright infringement because it’s unauthorized duplication? Or when they tried to say MP3 players were copyright infringement? Yet studies conducted by legitimate independent organizations have proven time and time again that ‘pirates’ typically buy as much as TEN TIMES MORE than ‘non-pirates’.

  • ZImberfitz

    This is one of THE worst ideas I have ever heard. How are you holding entire families accountable for one person’s actions? And killing out local caffe’ is dreadful. Whoever cas may be, We should all give the swift kick in the -ss. And then several more. IDC if people pirate. If it was really worth paying for, they would. I know there are some people who pirate everything, so THAT’S the people we need to target, not your common 20 year old who downloads an emulator and the legend of zelda for the 64.

    • ZImberfitz

      They should all be ASHAMED!

    • Conran

      I have a home internet connection that several people are able to use when they come over. I am responsible for that connection and I understand that, as the bill payer, it is my job to make sure that those using it are using it legally.

      “If it was really worth paying for, they would” Utter tripe! We know that this is BS, because piracy is out of control. These people are selfish, greedy little looters who would grab something from a smashed up storefront if they were walking past it. It has nothing to do with the value of the content and everything to do with a complete lack of morals by a generation who thinks the world owes them the Moon on a stick without them getting off their lazy fat ass to actually EARN anything.

      Ultimately, there are methods for businesses with shared connections (like bars, hotels, restaurants etc) to block access to pirate sites and so on, and they can use those methods to make their intentions known. They will not be prosecuted in the same way as an individual SHOULD be.

      If people don’t like the threat of being caught for stealing, don’t F’ING STEAL!

      People complaining about this is like people complaining when they get caught for speeding. Don’t do it and there won’t be a problem.

      • VirtualPrivateNetwork

        It is obvious people won’t stop sharing. The content mafia needs to come up with a business model that takes file sharing into account.

        The sad truth is that despite the file sharing, the content producers are still making a ton of money. If they weren’t they wouldn’t have so much resources to chase after file sharers in the first place. They are still filthy rich but being filthy rich isn’t enough. They want more.

      • Tymon

        So, all the people getting strikes when they didn’t do anything that actually infringed upon copyrights should just shut up and accept it? Kay. Hope you get pulled over by a copy for DOING the speedlimit sometime and actually get a ticket for it. Because that’s what this system has done to people already.

  • Rob

    They could curb piracy tomorrow if they really wanted to. Everyone knows what they need to put out, an online streaming alternative.

    They can sue everyone on the planet but it won’t stop it. Only a market alternative will do that.

    Problem is the same as it has been since the printing press. Eventually these dinosaurs will be dragged into the twentieth century and internet streaming kicking and screaming as they always have been. I just hope they don’t screw up the internet before they do.

  • Eric Bray

    NO SIX STRIKES WON’T WORK! Here is the reason why it won’t work. All the users will do is to use a 128 bit encryption program to encrypt the “file(s)” and make the password great than 21 characters. Then use a remote access and/or VPN to exchange the files. It would take 2 years using a supercomputer just to decode the “file(s)” and no ISP is going to waste their resources of decoding thousands of files!

  • bayguy

    Just subscribe to a VPN or proxy service to completely bypass your ISP monitoring your activity. Many of my friends now pay for pirate sites that are encrypted off the grid of torrents or Usenet. They pay $40 bucks a month for all you can consume pirate sites. Imagine if the movie and music industry went to a similar model…put everything out there and charge a subscription. People are willing to pay for the content but not under the current business model.

  • VirtualPrivateNetwork

    Obviously, file sharers will just find another way to give and receive the files or simply subscribe to a VPN and continue their activities as usual. It is cheaper in the long run to use a VPN compared to exposing yourself to possible legal troubles that would well exceed the cost of the VPN.

  • Tymon

    It’s obvious this is going to screw over people. Innocent people have already been harmed by this. and having to pay to prove you are innocent, is completely ridiculous.
    http://www.cinemablend.com/games/game-mods-get-hit-with-dmca-notice-from-six-strikes-policy-53305.html
    Is an example of how retarded this system is. A game mod is considered copyright infringement?