We were just talking about how three strikes hasn't done anything to actually increase sales. Instead, as many, many people predicted, sales have continued to decline
. Of course, perhaps treating your biggest fans
as criminals is not a particularly wise strategy. But, then again, the big entertainment legacy players aren't exactly known for wise or thoughtful strategies.
With France, the biggest supporters of a "three strikes (accusations) and we kick you off the internet" plan facing pushback
from the government, it appears that the industry folks have hit on their latest ridiculous strategy. Rather than kick people off the internet, why not take a page from copyright trolls, and force them to cough up money
. Yes, indeed, it appears that the entertainment industry is looking to turn "piracy" into a "business model" by forcing people they accuse (not convict) of infringement to pay up in large masses. Except, rather than using shady dealings via questionable court procedures, they're just hoping to roll it into existing three strikes plans:
UPFI, (Union of Independent Phonographic Producers), said that it agreed with the opinion of French music rights group SACEM that a disconnection regime should be replaced with warnings along with fines of 140 euros.
PCInpact contacted Jerome Roger, Director General of UPFI, who confirmed the group is indeed in favor of such fines.
This leaning towards cash penalties is also endorsed by Warner Music President Thierry Chassagne. In recent comments Chassange suggested that not enough punishments have been handed out under Hadopi and that a deterrent is necessary.
In other words, if kicking people off the internet isn't getting them to give us more money... how about we skip that middle step and just force them to give us money. It is, clearly, taking a page straight out of the copyright trolling handbook.
According to French publication Numerama, this new direction is basically a done deal
in France. And, of course, once it shows up there, expect the same sort of things to start popping up around the globe quickly. The industry doesn't spring stuff like this in just one place alone. There's a global strategy behind it.