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What is the link between a particular NZ-made beer and claims that the "three strikes" law has slashed the rate of music/movie piracy in NZ?
Not much -- except that after hearing the claims that "internet piracy appears to have halved since the controversial "SkyNet" three-strikes copyright law came into effect in September" my first thoughts were "Yeah, right"
Who measured this drop and how was it measured?
I'm picking that we're talking about industries that have proven themselves quite capable of making up whatever figures they want to prove their claims and, more often than not, those figures have little basis in fact.
If the recording and movie industries really do believe that they're making huge inroads into preventing piracy then they're even stupider than I thought they were.
How do I know?
Well a few weeks ago I was chatting to a guy who'd received one of these "warnings" for downloading music and movies. He just laughed about it and said "of course that was before I learned how to use stuff like Tor".
So has he stopped downloading this stuff?
Of course not.
Do his anonymised downloads figure on the industry's radar?
Probably not any more -- so they'll count him amongst the successful number of Kiwis who have been deterred by these new laws.
He was also saying that there's an awful lot more USB and MicroSD card-swapping going on at school these days. I bet the movie/recording industries aren't able to track that accurately.
So I have to say that I'm very skeptical of the claims being made by RIANZ et al with respect to the effectiveness of the three-strikes law. The reality is probably not that it has halved the levels of piracy so much as it has driven at least 50% of that traffic underground.
Once it's off the radar, this trafficking in illicit copies of copyrighted material becomes much harder to quantify and control - so have they done themselves any favours?
I doubt it.
On the flip-side, I spent $26 last week buying another TV series on DVD -- only to find that I am forced to sit through an accusation that I *could* be a pirate!
Being constantly reminded (in the obvious assumption that I'm a pirate) of the hideous penalties for copying DVDs gets bloody annoying. It's also a real PITA having to sit through promos for a myriad of studios, audio standards and other crap -- when all I want to do is watch the movie or TV series I have paid for.
To date, I've been an honest, law-abiding consumer of movies and TV series but I have to say that *I* am starting to reach breaking point with all the accusations and threats that now accompany so many of the disks I've paid good money for.
Just a warning to these idiots -- if you threaten and accuse someone of it often enough, perhaps the effect will be to brainwash them into actually becoming a pirate.
I think I'll buy some good DVD ripping software and rip my DVD collection to a server so that I can access it without flipping disks around. In the process, I'll strip out those nasty, warnings that border on defamation. And next time I want a TV series, I might just find it in a format that saves *me* the hassle of doing the ripping.
Oh yes -- the industry's anti-piracy strategies are really working -- NOT.
When I pay good money for a legal "store bought" DVD, I expect to enjoy the viewing experience, not *endure* it.
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