ISP’s warnings could drop P2P sharing by 70%

Filtering all Internet traffic to look for signs of illicit file-swapping has been a hugely controversial idea, criticized on grounds of privacy, efficacy, cost, and long-standing “safe harbor” principles that apply to network operators such as ISPs and phone companies. But a new study out from UK media lawyers Wiggin suggests that, if it works, such filtering could actually curtail “digital piracy” by 70 percent.

The finding is of special relevance in the UK, where some form of ISP filtering is currently being considered as a way to deal with the illegal trading of copyrighted material. ISPs and content owners are engaged in a voluntary negotiation over how to address the problem, but the UK government has indicated that it will legislate in April 2009 if no agreement is reached by then. The government appears to be planning something similar to the French system, which is developing a “three strikes” approach to notifying and then blocking offenders. (link)


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