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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UK 3 Strikes: Goldilocks and the 3 bears

A draft Code of Conduct for ISPs and copyright holders (thanks for the link to IPTegrity) has been issued by the government departments responsible for its implementation, and its suggestions illustrate the fairytale dilemma facing industry. How do you persuade subscribers to do the right thing, without either putting the fear of God into them and getting a thousand appeals set in motion by civil rights groups, or putting in so many checks and balances that it amounts to a free pardon? How can the porridge be not too hot and not too cold, and the beds not too hard and not too soft? Frankly its clear that its not possible to strike the right tone. 
The draft Code note sets out the problem: 'The consideration for the code would be to strike a balance. Setting the trigger levels too high would decrease the credibility of action and in effect give infringers x amount of free content. Setting the level too low would result in far more “final warnings” which we anticipate would generate excessive numbers of costly appeals. Ironically this too would reduce the deterrent as we only expect copyright owners to take civil action against the most damaging of infringers and we would then have the situation of large numbers of subscribers receiving final warnings who then had no further action against them.'

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