US ISP’s Adopt (Futile) 6 Strike Approach to Illegal File Sharing

 Last week I mentioned a survey about the proposed UK 3 strikes law that concluded that it would not significantly deter filesharing behaviour. And added my views on why such laws are not a good idea.

Here’s a Reuters article that starts off by saying:

U.S. Internet service providers, including Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc, Cablevision Systems Corp and AT&T Inc agreed to alert customers, up to six times, when it appears their account is used for illegal downloading. Warnings will come as e-mails or pop-up messages.

If suspected illegal activity persists, the provider might temporarily slow Internet speed or redirect the browser to a specific Web page until the customer contacts the company. The user can seek an independent review of whether they acted legally.

It is touted as an educational vehicle that will help reduce online copyright infringement.

In my view, that assumption is wrong. Consider all the efforts taken over the last several years to sue music filesharers – which clearly hasn’t had that effect. And consider that every time a lawsuit ends a filesharing site, others immediately pop up to fill the void. 

3 strikes – or however many more you want to add – is not the answer.

People download music, movies and TV shows from various locations for many reasons. Fundamentally, I believe its because they want the content, and they want it when they want it. The solution is not to beat people up for wanting to consume your product. The solution is to make your content easy to get, timely, safe from malware, and inexpensive. In other words – find a way to get it to people when and how they want it.

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