Beware illegal downloaders
Written by Charlotte Newlyn on 08 February 2013« Return to Reading Room
In response to the illegal file sharing ISPs are reportedly about to unveil a new warning system to combat the issue. This system supposedly, however, raises quite a few issues and could potentially draw a lot of criticism.
The system is graduated and consequences intensify as the infringer continues file-sharing. The first two warnings seem to use an innocent until proven guilty approach, it assumes that the accused is not aware of their acts and provides them with an informative website, showing them whether their computer contains file-sharing software. The subsequent warnings become more intimidating, including a video showing the consequences of copyright infringement.
A similar 3 warning system was implemented in France and results showed a dramatic decrease in the amount of illegal file-sharing. A considerable amount of first warnings were issued (1.5 million) but this dramatically dropped to only 340 third warnings; meaning that the public took notice of the warning and took immediate action. Of those final warnings, only 2 have actually been convicted resulting from investigations of 14 cases.
The question is whether this is necessary, should the government unite with other forces to try and punish individual illegal file-sharers, or should they simply nip it in the bud and agree with internet providers not to accommodate for such sites?
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