Content industries try a new strategy to combat file-sharing

The Copyright Alert System is a less confrontational way to dissuade infringement

The music and movie industries have been waging war against file-sharing for years, asserting this popular activity has produced an epidemic of online copyright infringement. The war, however, has not gone well. The content industries have spent vast sums of money in repeated legal attacks without putting any real dent in the amount of allegedly infringing file-sharing.

Now, however, these content industries are trying a new, less confrontational strategy. And this time, the industry may finally succeed in suppressing infringing file-sharing.

Rebel Reaction

One ISP, however, does punish allegedly infringing customers. After it sends a fifth notice of infringement, Verizon slashes the customer’s broadband speed down to a mere dial-up connection (i.e., from 25 megabytes per second to a pokey 256 kilobytes per second). This slowdown lasts for two days. If Verizon sends a sixth notice, the slowdown lasts three days.


Steven Seidenberg

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