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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Internet Providers and H'wood at Odds on Piracy

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The major internet service providers (ISPs) are ending their participation in the four year-old Copyright Alert System, whereby consumers received a 'copyright alert' when viewing peer-to-peer pirated content.

Started in 2013 the policy was viewed as a major way to fight movie and TV show piracy. How the system worked was that any user who received six alerts would suffer legal penalties, which included the slowing-down of their internet content delivery - this penalty being administered by the various ISPs.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) cited lax enforcement of  penalties by the ISPs as to why the system was being shut-down. In a statement issued by the MPAA it stated, "an estimated 981 million movies and TV shows were downloaded in the U.S. in 2016 using P2P piracy. The provisions under the Digital Copyright Act are not being enforced by the ISPs, particularly against repeat violators."  So, after four years of extensive consumer education and engagement the Copyright Alert System will cease to exist.

The flaw in the Alert System that it is based upon an erroneous premise - that consumers were unaware that they were pirating content and once informed would stop, but the opposite is true.
The use of content piracy has grown, not lessened, and not only for P2P  content, but even more so with online streaming.

Now that they are full-on competitors in the content game, the ISPs have no interest in helping the Hollywood studios fight piracy. In fact, the more content that is pirated the more the ISPs make. There is no incentive for them in curtailing consumers use of the internet service they provide.

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