Did The Recording Industry Really Step Back From Three Strikes? Or Is It Playing Word Games?

from the don't-buy-it dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting the story from TorrentFreak claiming that representatives from Music Industry Piracy Investigations -- an anti-piracy group representing the major labels in Australia -- has said that it no longer favors three strikes laws, following theUN report that condemned such measures as a violation of civil rights. I didn't report on this at first, but since people keep submitting it, I figured I might as well comment on it: and I think the story is wrong. From the sound of things, I think the MIPI folks may have pulled a fast one. The key line is the quote from MIPI general manager Sabiene Heindl that it supports "mitigation measures" concerning infringement, but that "such measures would not include termination of Internet accounts."

Now, clearly, that might sound like backing away from three strikes, but I don't think it does. That's because we saw nearly the same thing a year and a half ago in the debate in the UK over the Digital Economy Act, where politicians supporting the Act, which is a variation on "three strikes" fought back against the public campaign against the Act by declaring that "disconnection" was no longer on the table. But, really, they were just playing word games. What they meant was permanent disconnection wasn't on the table, but it wasn't really ever in the bill. They were still very much in favor of so-called "temporary account suspension" which could last six months or more in some cases.

In other words, it's a terminology issue more than anything else. Many people are concerned about any internet access account loss, and consider a six month suspension to be pretty bad. But to avoid the dreaded "termination" or "disconnection" buzzword, supporters of three strikes now like to claim that their plans include no such thing -- instead it's just a "temporary account suspension." I'm guessing that this is exactly what the MIPI folks meant by saying they don't favor termination, but do favor mitigation. That mitigation might just turn out to be a "temporary" account suspension for three strikes. So, my sense is that this story is overblown. MIPI has carefully chosen language to make it seem not as extreme and to not anger as many people, but it could still very much support three strikes... just for extended "temporary" disconnections.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2011 @ 5:42am

    I'm still confused as to why the recording industry sticks so firmly to baseball analogy as the solution...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 5:59am

    The fundamental mistake

    The mistake is to assume that what they say and what they do are consistent.

    If you assume that what they do is the complete opposite of what they announce, then you won't go wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:01am

    A prison sentence is also 'temporary' disconnection from life

    Even a lifetime prison sentence for downloading a file is only temporary. Eventually your body will be removed from the prison.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mike allen (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:12am

    Even if they do disconnect someone I can see ways round it jumping someone else'sa wi fi hot spot even a mobile account etc so it will never work.you cannot keep some one of line even for a day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Jun 2011 @ 1:35am

      Re:

      Indeed. It's the same issue as with DRM and any of the other measures they put in place - they will only affect the innocent or the most vulnerable.

      Live in a city and get your access cut off? No problem, switch provider, hop on someone else's for a while, wardrive for open hotspots or use a point located at a business that doesn't check what you're doing with their wifi (most of them).

      Run an online business from home out in the sticks with only one ISP choice? Tough, your business can die in the name of "protecting" theirs. Bonus points for flimsy and easily faked evidence having been used to cut you off in the first place. Actual damage to the innocent in revenge for potential and unproven damage to a big corporation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:14am

    That. Although I do welcome the 'change of heart' from MAFIAA I was wondering where the trick was. And there's the fact that the UN and nothing are pretty much the same as long as there's enough political or financial motivation.

    We need to see the future developments.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    taoareyou, 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:27am

    Question

    Who will pay the ISP for each account they suspend or disconnect? Removing Internet access is certainly affecting their business model.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:37am

      Re: Question

      The ISP loses this business upon the mere accusation of piracy. No proof required.

      You could never ever pirate anything. All it takes is three accusations to get you disconnected.

      Hey, that gives me an idea . . .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:46am

    But the recording industry still needs to make money, why doesn't anyone feel there pain. What has the internet got against them? ;D

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Andrew (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 6:57am

    Someone said this and I found it amusing actually (It could very well be this site so sorry if I am stealing anyone's thought but it was a good thought).

    When will the UN declare that having an internet connection is a necessity. Way back in the day when phones started coming out the powers that be realized it was a necessity. We are tied so much to the internet these days. From banking online, to paying for things, twitter, facebook...the list goes on and on. Taking away that from someone is almost tantamount to severing an arm or something (and as one person earlier rightly commented you can't stop someone from going online even if you temporarily suspend their account, between internet cafes and phones its next to impossible).

    Three strikes is a really bad bad bad way for dealing with piracy. I hope someone realizes this soon and lets it die.

    Oh and if anyone wants to read something interesting take a look. It kind of puts things into perspective to how bad service in America for the internet really is:

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-internet-access-in-america-disaster/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2011 @ 8:08am

    "but it could still very much support three strikes... just for extended "temporary" disconnections."

    Well, copyright lasts for a limited time, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
New And For A Limited Time
New Gear By Techdirt: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.