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Hollywood reckons US Copyright Alert System has had limited impact but is yet to reach scale

By | Published on Monday 12 January 2015


The US movie industry reckons that America’s graduated response programme for combating online piracy is having limited results, though they continue to endorse the so called Copyright Alert System and feel it is yet to reach an appropriate scale. This is according to leaked documents from the Motion Picture Association Of America reported on by Torrentfreak.

As previously reported, the music and movie industries in the US reached an agreement with internet service providers in the country that sees the latter send warning letters to suspected file-sharers identified by the former. The programme launched in early 2013.

If file-sharers continue to ignore the warnings there could be penalties down the line, though these come later than with some of the government-instigated graduated response systems introduced elsewhere in the world, resulting in the American programme being dubbed ‘six-strikes’ (as opposed to ‘three-strikes’, like the programmes introduced with limited success in France, New Zealand and South Korea).

In the internal report seen by Torrentfreak, Hollywood’s trade body admits that the American graduated response system is yet to have any major impact on the overall “piracy landscape”, though it concludes that this is because the scheme is yet to reach full scale (despite millions of warning letters being sent).

Despite the lack of impact overall, the report says that there is evidence a sizable number of the file-sharers sent warning letters do stop appearing as users of monitored file-sharing networks, though it is not sure if that’s because those users are opting for licensing content services instead, or if they switch to file-sharing platforms it is harder to monitor.

Nevertheless, the trade group recommends doubling the number of warning letters sent under the Copyright Alert System. Though, of course, we know that this isn’t the only anti-piracy measure being explored by Hollywood.

As previously reported, the studios are also investigating whether web-blocking – a popular anti-piracy tactic in some European countries which was dropped by US Congress as an option after wide-spread opposition – might actually be possible Stateside under existing copyright laws.

Plus studios will continue to put pressure on legit businesses that it considers help piracy operations, such as search engines, ad networks and payment processing firms. And, according to another leaked MPAA document seen by Torrentfreak, that list will this year include server firms which host cyber-lockers that are used for the unlicensed sharing of movie content, and which could now be sued by the film industry group.