- Update 2022
There is also increasing consensus on approaches to enforcing copyright. From the EU perspective, site blocking is now seen as an entirely appropriate response to deal with websites hosting infringing material. A number of countries including the US are also embracing the approach of sending warning notices to Internet users who upload/share files which are subject to copyright restrictions.
A 2012 report from the Hautes Autorité Pour la Diffusion des Oevres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI) – the agency created in 2009 by the French government to administer a graduate response approach (sending warning letters) to combat illegal downloads – concluded that the initiative had been largely ineffective and had generated only a handful of successful prosecutions. The report also suggested that increased emphasis should be placed on monitoring streaming and direct download services (as opposed to simply P2P sharing services).
While graduated enforcement responses may have an initially positive impact for content creators (in terms of reduced numbers of transgressions) – it was suggested that attempts to combat illegal downloads using site blocking and Internet user monitoring techniques will be likely to provoke a technical “arms race” in which the only winner will be the pirates (as ever increasing numbers of mainstream users adopt practices to circumvent these measures using proxy servers…etc). It was concluded that there is no effective technical solution to piracy which does not throw they baby out with the bathwater in terms of limiting Internet freedom and stifling innovation.
The point was made that across society copyright is not universally understood which creates significant challenges in terms of effective national and international. Another challenge is the level of innovation associated with piracy. Another factor is that digital licences have replaced the concept of ownership in many commercial contexts – which leads some young people to declare “if it is not mine – then it is everybody’s”! Internet users are also becoming increasingly aware of extortion schemes where service/content providers charge for access to material which should be (or is already) publically available.