Thursday, September 15, 2011


Can it be? Can the new laws finally be really effective in fighting online piracy?

In news reports, it is said that web traffic dramatically dropped after new, not to mention stricter, copyright laws were enacted in some countries, specifically Sweden and New Zealand.

Following EU's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, which requires its members states to adopt tougher protection against piracy, Sweden's law allow copyright holders, whose material/s has been shared online, to go to court and force Internet Service Providers to give information about its subscriber who used the IP address at that time. It is said that Swedish web traffic fell a whooping 30% and did not regain its previous levels for another six months.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, traffic reportedly lessened as much as 10% after the enactment of its "three strikes" copyright law. The said piece of legislation places the burden of proof on accused file-sharers. Penalties of a fine up to NZ$15,000 and/or Internet disconnection up to six months can be imposed upon repeat offenders.

The significant decrease in traffic along the information highway can probably attributed to the file sharing users, who are threatened of the penalties that can be imposed upon them. According to one New Zealand ISP, peer-to-peer file sharing represents the second-largest source of traffic after video streaming.

The joy and triumph of copyright holders may, however, be short-lived. It may not take too long for the tech-savvy to come up with a way to circumvent the same. Enthusiasts in fact say that, instead of file sharing, users can instead take advantage of services that stores no traffic data and whose end goal is to help people stay anonymous on the web. Pirate Bay's IPREDator is one fine example.

How can the snail pace of enactment and amendment of the laws ever keep up with the fast-changing innovations over the Internet?


Entry #13 by D. Lauron

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