[HIGHLIGHT] 'Six Strikes' plan will have ISP's policing copyright from July 12th
UPDATE 5/22/2012 - Delayed till later in the year but not killed.. yet. https://torrentfreak.com/us-six-strikes-anti-piracy-scheme-delayed-120518/
The "six strikes" plan announced about a week ago hits us in the gut and threatens to undo everything that successfully repelling SOPA/PIPA has done and this time the problem isn't as easily solved at the governmental level.
CNet announced that the RIAA/MPAA plan will result in major ISP's (Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and possibly AT&T) inspecting the network traffic of their customers and essentially policing them for copyrighted material being downloaded, seemingly regardless if this is being done legitimately or under 'fair use' or not.
The CNET article linked above has more details on the specific details of each strike and how enforcement will gradually escalate but as many have pointed out this move not only needs antitrust scrutiny but is also a clear invasion of privacy with pretexting implications. Another point that has been brought up often this past week is how little this may end up affecting the pirates anyhow as many of them will just take advantage of measures such as VPN's and proxies to dodge the issue, the VPN shopping has already begun. Ultimately this is not whether about infringement is taking place, but also inability to have a choice between ISP's with different or lacking infringement policing policies given America's monopolistic/duopolistic internet provider situation in many parts of the country. While we normally stay away from politics and privacy issues, the implications of degraded service from punitive measures in this case vs being lucky enough to find a provider that has not signed onto this plan is clearly something we need to take into account when mapping and presenting differing ISP options.
RT's Six Strikes coverage.
Aside from legitimate online purchases from places like Amazon and Steam that may result in a false positive, there are MANY variations of cases where downloading a pirate copy of something may end up falling under fair use, especially those where an alleged infringer can prove that they have legitimate right. These are only some examples where a legitimate customer will be unfairly inconvenienced
- Downloading a pirate DVDRip to save yourself the trouble of encoding/backing up something you legally own for easier access (also working around or bypassing a crippled "digital copy" that may have an expiry date) for that purpose
- Replacing a scratched copy of productivity and development software for reinstall or patching purposes i.e. photoshop, visual studio quickly and efficiently while working on a contract deadline.
- Bypassing overly restrictive DRM that obstruct from fair use i.e. limited installs, forced internet connection requirements for offline use. The problem is exacerbated if the company goes out of business or they fail to maintain or keep up their authentication servers. Especially when the game is no longer being sold or patches to correct the situation in these cases are not provided by the company.
- "Someone rents a physical DVD from Netflix because it's not available streaming yet. When it arrives they find that it's scratched, and then they proceed to download that video. After watching the video they delete their copy and send the DVD back to Netflix. Is that a lost sale? in this case downloaded video will almost be certainly an inferior copy to the physical DVD given the nature of lossy compression in addition to the inconvenience.
Lastly, here are some petition links to sign in protest. We waited for some time to report and highlight this in order to also include any actions such as petitions in protest against "six strikes" in this writeup.