Piracy Laws Have No Success WorldwideAccording to the recent report from Monash University, “three-strikes” laws introduced to stop digital piracy don’t work. The results of the research showed that graduated response laws designed to reduce online copyright infringement were useless and failed to make people pay for legitimate content.
The researchers from the Monash University’s Faculty of Law were trying to find connection between the “three-strikes” legislation and reduced piracy, but failed. Their report was published by Australian Policy Online, and it says that if “effectiveness” means reducing infringement, then the law is definitely not effective.
The research was built on case studies from a range of countries where “graduated response” system is in place and working – France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the United Kingdom. All of the mentioned countries have enacted legislation which penalized subscribers in some form, including fines and disconnections, for repeated infringements. However, all of them had significant drawbacks.
For example, France’s HADOPI failed to identify and process the worst repeat offenders, while Internet users in New Zealand simply changed their behavior – there was a fall in P2P traffic, but encrypted HTTPS data volumes rocketed. This meant that pirates were simply encrypting their antics so nobody could tell what they were doing. The matter is that the legislation in New Zealand applies only to file-sharing through peer-to-peer networks. It can be simply bypassed by switching to other networks, including Usenet, cyberlockers, VPNs, and remote access protocols. Seedboxes became the most popular method for Kiwis to circumvent the law. Seedboxes are basically remote servers hosted on high-speed networks in other jurisdictions, to which people are able to download content through BitTorrent and then directly access over an encrypted connection.
Talking about South Korea and Taiwan, the anti-piracy laws appeared to have had very little if any impact on illegal file-sharing. Despite the fact that the Taiwanese legislation has been in effect for several years, there’s no evidence in the English language materials that any user has had their access to the Internet suspended. Perhaps, the ultimate goal of the law was to get the country removed from the US Trade Representative’s special watch list.