If Even The Death Penalty Won't Stop Infringement... Perhaps A Different Approach Is Needed

from the enforcement-doesn't-work dept

We've argued for years that stricter enforcement doesn't stop "piracy," no matter how many times industry folks and politicians insist it otherwise. There's been some recent new empirical evidence that enforcement doesn't work, from the massive SSRC report, but still politicians and industry folks seem to think enforcement is the only way forward. Rick Falkvinge questions how far it needs to go before people realize enforcement won't stop copying when copying feels totally natural. He points to the situation a few centuries ago in France, where the king set up (and sold) monopolies on certain fabric patterns -- and when people kept copying the fabric patterns, they kept ratcheting up enforcement mechanisms until it was punishable by death. And out of that, sixteen thousand people ended up dying.

But at least copying went down, right? Nope. There was no noticeable change in the amount of copied fabrics:
Capital punishment didnít even make a dent in the pirating of the fabrics. Despite the fact that some villages had been so ravaged that everybody knew somebody personally who had been executed by public torture, the copying continued unabated at the same level.
So why do politicians and industry folk still think that greater legal threats will make a difference?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2011 @ 10:30am


    imagine AC saying that in an elmer fudd voice.

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
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

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