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Britons Find Disconnecting Pirates Unpopular Option
March 18, 2009
Thomas Mennecke
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A study conducted by ISPreview.co.uk found that disconnecting alleged P2P pirates was a highly unpopular option in battling the transfer of unauthorized material. The UK and France are at the center of a potentially groundbreaking shift in anti-piracy policy, as the entertainment industry is pushing for a "three strikes" approach to stifling unauthorized distribution.

The "three strikes" policy basically works like this. Let's say you're caught uploading a copyrighted work online. Ok, no big deal. You receive a letter from your ISP, and they tell you never do it again. But you don't listen. You're caught uploading again, and in response, you receive a second letter. This time, they're serious and tell you sin no more, and if you do, you'll be disconnected. But you ignore the letter, and again continue business as usual. Once caught a third time, your ISP will then proceed to cancel your account and blacklist your name. Ouch.

What seems like a home run approach to piracy is anything but. The policy, which was about to launch in New Zealand, has been met with staunch opposition. As a result, the revised policy that was supposed to go live last month has instead been delayed until March 27th - and there's no guarantee that it will be enacted.

Things aren't moving much smoother in the UK either. According to ISPreview.co.uk, the idea of either disconnecting or blacklisting accounts is extremely unpopular with the public. Only 6.1% found blacklisting acceptable, while only 5.2% thought disconnecting was a good idea. The idea of suing individuals was even less popular, with only 3.6% approval.

The survey did find some support for tackling the issue. Of those surveyed, 20.7% thought ISPs should get involved on some level. However, the aggressive steps recommended by the entertainment industry have been a tough sell. Those supporting ISP involvement favor a much watered down approach, such as additional letters or restricting broadband access - but not blacklisting, disconnecting or lawsuits.

The bottom line remains that the "Three Strikes" policy is immensely unpopular. The public, who are also paying ISP customers and elect officials into office, are forcing governments to take a second look at a policy that is doomed to fail.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Studies/Research

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