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14 April 2010

UK’s Music Industry Hopes “Three-Strikes” Go Global

Entertainment industry outfits like IFPI, RIAA and BPI cheer up the passage of the UK’s DEB (Digital Economy Bill), allowing website filtering, Internet disconnection and banning public Wi-Fi, feeling hopeful that it will force the graduated approach to fighting piracy worldwide.
The Digital Economy Bill has just passed in the UK, but the music industry is already lining up to praise the MPs for entering a new age of anti-piracy legislation.
Mitch Bainwol, the RIAA Chairman, said they welcome the UK government‘s acknowledgment that Internet Service Providers play an important role in defending copyright owners, and perceiving the Internet as a source of economic growth and a basis for new business models. Moreover, the more this regulation goes global, the better the opportunities are for a prospering music industry to satisfy copyright holders and their fans.

        The DEB, passed recently in the United Kingdom, contains provisions regarding banning open Wi-Fi, website filtering, and a “three-strikes” regime, allowing to disconnect file-sharers. It will make ISPs to shift from neutral providers to the defenders of the web targeting at rooting out the copyright violation.
However, the problem remains that the Bill is intended to turn pirates into paying customers by increasing scrutiny for signs of illegal file-sharing, following by regarding them correspondingly. The matter is that it won’t address the core issue of the problem, which is definitely the failure of music industry to create a business model giving the pirates an incentive to buy.
What is worse, the situation in France after introducing its own “three-strikes” already calls for alarm – P2P users there just mostly switched to alternative resources of copyrighted content, like illegal streaming sites or HTTP-based download websites. In France there are two thirds of former users registered to switch to the mentioned alternatives or options like Usenet and VPN.
Nevertheless, the music industry either doesn’t care, or is blinded by its ignorance, keeping declaring that DEB will help eliminate piracy. As if locking down the Internet could the right way to force the industry to take any creative risks. Restricting users’ freedom by monitoring them in order to catch the signs of infringing can hardly be called a sustainable ecosystem, which the industry claims for.
The only comforting thing for us is that it’ll less likely ever happen in the US. Despite our country can have some faults, it still takes privacy protection very seriously.