Hollywood Privately Acknowledges Six Strikes Program Isn't Doing Much, Guaranteeing It Will Get Much Worse

from the bigger-and-better-is-bad dept

We're getting close to the two-year anniversary of the Center for Copyright Information's (CCI) "six strikes" anti-piracy regime. The program, with cooperation from the biggest ISPs, involves forwarding on copyright infringement notices to consumers and punishing users via a "graduated response" program. Said responses vary by ISP but can include a user being temporarily locked behind a walled garden filter until they acknowledge receipt of one-sided "educational" materials, or having your connection throttled temporarily until you admit you've been naughty. If innocent, you have to pay a $35 fine to defend yourself.

While the program might seem effective in scaring little Billy straight once his parents notice their connection doesn't work, it clearly hasn't had much of a meaningful impact on piracy rates. Unsurprisingly, the entertainment industry argues this is because the measures don't go far enough; nobody tracks offenders between ISPs, absolutely nothing happens to a user that violates all six strikes (the program simply stops and no more notifications are sent) and most users can simply hide their behavior behind the use of BitTorrent proxy services.

That hasn't stopped CCI from frequently trumpeting six strikes as a smashing success, often using unreliable, contradictory evidence (when it can be bothered to show evidence at all) to support their argument that forcing ISPs into the role of content nannies is a great idea. Privately however, newly leaked MPAA documents suggest the entertainment industry isn't so sure six strikes is doing much of anything.

The leaked documents show the program isn't having quite the impact the MPAA would like, though again, unsurprisingly, the MPAA believes that's only because the program isn't big enough yet. While there's the occasional attempt to suggest that offenders change their ways after receiving notices, the document then proceeds to note the MPAA actually has no idea if people change their behavior, since it's possible they switched ISPs or are hiding their behavior via BitTorrent proxy services:
"The U.S. system is “not yet at scale” or operating with “enough education support” according to the MPAA. As a result the CAS has not made an “impact on the overall [piracy] landscape...“No current information as to the behavior of users who appear to stop P2P infringement – do not know whether [they are] migrating to other pirate systems or to lawful services,” the statement reads."
The MPAA's solution to this problem? Make Six Strikes bigger, bolder and thereby worse:
"Attainability as to existing programs boils down to whether ISPs will agree (a) to expand scale to levels that might impact overall P2P piracy, and (b) to enhance remedial measures so as to improve efficacy,” the MPAA writes."
I've spoken to execs at two large ISPs who have admitted privately they know most pirates have simply started using proxy services, but the ISPs are playing along begrudgingly. Already a bit put off by the added paperwork, few are going to be keen on an a voluntary expansion of the program. As such, look for the entertainment industry to lobby heavily to have this year's rewrite of the Communications Act include numerous new treasures aimed at ISP compliance of a plan expansion. Perhaps after that we can proceed to banning the use of VPNs and proxies entirely for the good of the nation?

Filed Under: copyright, hollywood, piracy, six strikes
Companies: cci, mpaa


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 6:24am

    Typo

    The program, with cooperation from the biggest ISPs

    'Cooperation' should almost certainly be put in quotes there, as they agreed primarily because of the threat of 'Do it on your own, or we'll pass laws to force you to do it'.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

      Re: Typo

      In the MPAA dictionary, co-operation means enforce our wishes at your expense, and education means learn to agree with our view on copyright, and only buy your content from where we let you.

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

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 7:24am

    I'm curious to know if Title II will kill this system before it has a chance to become worse.

    Know one, that I know of, was limited in phone usage under Title II if it became known they were making crank calls or engaging in "unlawful" practices.

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:28am

    Imprison anyone who has seen a real life computer, or a picture of one.

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

  • identicon
    Beech, 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:29am

    Edumacation

    "The U.S. system is “not yet at scale” or operating with “enough education support” according to the MPAA. "

    Why do they always try to bring education into it? In general, college students are extremely well educated and extremely likely to pirate. In specific, the more I learn about the MPAAssholes, the more I want to pirate. I think they need whatever the opposite of education is.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:45am

      Re: Edumacation

      I think that they like to harp on education because they prefer to pretend that the main cause of piracy is ignorance rather than a reaction to the lack of adequate legal offerings.

      Also, they probably think it makes them sound more reasonable.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: Edumacation

        College students seem the least likely to have piles of money sitting around to purchase goods and services.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 14 Jan 2015 @ 12:04am

        Re: Re: Edumacation

        The best comparison is Reefer Madness, fitting to compare a film to the wrong-headed moves of the movie industry. A film most likely made in all earnestness, but which was so ridiculously hyperbolic and counter to anyone's actual experience of the subject that it because at best a laughing stock. At worst, it was advertising the product it was trying to propagandise against.

        But, we are dealing with companies beholden to stockholders, and they won't take kindly to "people are pirating because we're refusing to sell them the product they want" or "we need to fundamentally change the way we do business" or even "some people just prefer videogames", so the misdirection will continue for now.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:55am

      Re: Edumacation

      Hollywood has a long history of drug abuse. When discussing issues with the pro-IP shills around here it quickly becomes apparent that they aren't the most intelligent people around. So why they would be promoting 'education' when they themselves are obviously not very intelligent drug addicts is beyond me. I guess it's one of those 'do as I say not as I do' type of things. They want others to be educated and intelligent even though they themselves don't seem to be very intelligent.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: Edumacation

        Perhaps a solution is to hire better shills. Then again better shills probably cost more and if the MPAA treats their shills like they treat their artists it's no wonder why they don't seem to be very excited about doing a good job. Low cost shills probably don't care all that much about their jobs. Maybe they should start a shilling union and go on strike with picket signs.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:04am

      Re: Edumacation

      I think you're misunderstanding... their "education" is propaganda materials passed along from the ISP to their customers so they can be "educated" in a way similar to brainwashing...

      This type of "education" occurs in college too, of course, but that isn't what they're talking about here.

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

      • identicon
        Beech, 13 Jan 2015 @ 1:34pm

        Re: Re: Edumacation

        Well yeah, but it's an image i just cant picture. "Hey, those MPAA guys just made some really good points. I think I'll stop pirating now" ...said no one ever.

        I mean, NO ONE is going to go torrent a movie fully believing it's a legit activity. they know whoever paid to make that movie will be getting no money out of them. So how is it they seem to think that there's some combination of words that will "educate" people to stop getting everything they want for free?

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

    • identicon
      New Mexico Mark, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

      Re: Edumacation

      Let's face it, X strikes programs ARE education programs. They:

      1. Inform people that their online activities are being intercepted, monitored, and fed to various private and public organizations without their knowledge or consent.
      2. Motivate people to take corrective actions to avoid said surveillance, and provide feedback if the avoidance actions taken are ineffective. No doubt, these newfound skills are shared among groups of friends in direct proportion to the severity of the notifications and/or enforcement.
      3. Help the public understand just how greedy and short-sighted the entertainment industry really is.

      We should cheer on any group who can help accomplish these laudable goals. Maybe EFF should list CCI as a resource for educating the public about the importance of privacy and freedom?

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

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:40am

    Boycott all MAFIAA CONTENT !!! Do not allow your money to go to them in any way or form.
    Buy and Support local and Indie Content only.
    FUCK HOLLYWOOD !!! We no longer need them to have a great and meaningful life.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      "We no longer need them to have a great and meaningful life."

      The true fact is that we never needed them for that.

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

    • icon
      surfer (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:47am

      Re: boycott

      been boycotting them since 1998, attempting to single-handedly destroy the industry with my pirating ways. 21Tb archive and growing every day. Have not seen a television commercial, or pre-movie FBI idiocy in over 15 years.

      they steal from the public domain, I infringe, so who's the criminal again?

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

  • icon
    krusty-g (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:47am

    Their buddies are still pushing ahead internationally

    Sadly the music labels are still (publicly) making the exact opposite claims, and I fear for the state of my own country's broadband thanks to their fuckery

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0113/672265-file-sharing/

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:58am

    While there's the occasional attempt to suggest that offenders change their ways after receiving notices, the document then proceeds to note the MPAA actually has no idea if people change their behavior, since it's possible they switched ISPs or are hiding their behavior via BitTorrent proxy services:


    Technically, switching ISPs, or moving to proxy services is the pirates changing their behavior. It's just not the change the MPAA desires.

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

  • icon
    TruthHurts (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:00am

    Let's fix a few other thngs first.

    First off, Hollywood accounting practices.

    Let's get these fixed, use 3rd party accounting firms that make bonuses derived from 10% of any hidden / redirected profits they uncover.

    MPAA - let's get this disbanded by filing Rico act violations against all the members and have their puling lawyers arrested for all of the illegal antics they've committed.

    DMCA takedown notices - let's put some teeth into a law purposely written to prevent false takedown notices from being submitted. Penalty? All copyrights and patents owned by the person or persons or corporation that files the takedown notice. Any person acting as an agent for an entity will make that entity the target of the penalty.
    The first time Sony or an agent thereof, files a DMCA takedown for something that isn't there's, all of Sony's Copyrights and patents become public domain, instantly, with absolutely no recourse for removal from public domain.

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

  • icon
    paul (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:27am

    One thing we know it's not

    The MPAA and their ilk must be truly out of touch if they think that anyone in this country can switch ISPs.

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

    • identicon
      New Mexico Mark, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:55am

      Re: One thing we know it's not

      Most people in the U.S. have two "choices" - usually between a cable monopoly or a phone company monopoly (land line or cellular). I guess this makes it the "Twelve strikes and you're out - kinda-sorta" program.

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

    • identicon
      Raging Alcoholic, 13 Jan 2015 @ 3:32pm

      Re: One thing we know it's not

      Well said. If you want quality network access there are only a few places to go. Because of the number of computers in my house I cannot even leave Comcast for a DSL provider because I don't think it can handle the bandwidth.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:48am

    So they are lying to themselves to justify their insanity? What a surprise!
    The whole of the mpaa should be locked into an early 20. century mental hospital.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 9:53am

    We said it wouldnt work. We implied that this was a way to get something "reasonable" through the door first and then make it worse later. They said it was'nt. Now look where we are........follow the logic, its gonna get much worse..........they'll either win and we're fked, or we win and they're fked......personally im hoping for the latter......a swift kick so far up their backsides sounds about justifiable

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

  • identicon
    Jack, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:13am

    This would disappear if people cared

    If this gets any worse and people actually start caring (like if they start throttling after x number of strikes), if consumers simply threaten to switch ISPs and occasionally follow through when they are capable, ISPs will stop doing this. If they are losing paying customers because some absurd "monitoring" company said their customer "stole" some poor, unknown company's IP, this whole thing will fall apart. Hell, just having huge numbers of people calling and complaining will cost ISPs lots of money - customers don't even need to switch.

    If the MPAA expands this and give it teeth, it'll fall apart very quickly.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:44am

      Re: This would disappear if people cared

      "if consumers simply threaten to switch ISPs and occasionally follow through when they are capable"

      I wonder what percentage of the population has more than 1 or 2 broadband ISPs available to them. I don't, I have 1, and lots of commenters here say that they're in the same position.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 2:33pm

        Re: Re: This would disappear if people cared

        Let's see what's in my area (a big city):

        1 cable network - speed good;

        1 telephone DSL network - speed OK;

        1 wireless broadband - speed OK but service unreliable;

        1 satellite network - speed unreliable and you have to watch zoning laws for the required satellite antenna;

        3 cellular networks - speed OK but you have to watch pricing and bandwidth;

        unknown number of 56k dial-up networks (they actually still exist?).



        So I do have choices. It's just that most of them SUCK!

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: This would disappear if people cared

          Ah, according to my own sensibilities, satellite and cellular networks don't qualify as broadband at all. Wireless broadband qualifies (but isn't in my area) -- but I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Dialup certainly doesn't qualify by anyone's standards.

          So by my reckoning, you have a choice of two broadband providers.

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

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:21am

    Venezuela Will Be There

    Back around 1930, when audio radio broadcasting was the big market, a station down in Mexico could simply crank up its power, and reach most of the United States, the signal being bounced back and forth between the earth and the ionosphere. There was nothing much which could be done about it under American law, and Mexican law was... unresponsive. The United States actually had invaded Mexico in 1916, in pursuit of the warlord Pancho Villa, when he started robbing banks in the United States, and the United States Army knew just how costly that had been, and how slight the results. So... nothing doing there, either.

    During the cold war, the United States broadcast to various communist countries, and these countries electronically jammed the signals if they could. However, that was about all they could do. War is simply too costly to be a practical response to radio signals.

    With television, offshore pirate broadcasting became irrelevant, because the technical characteristics of television required a much shorter range. When satellites came along, they were initially an attribute of superpower status. However, the truth is that a space rocket is not particularly complicated or expensive by the standards of, say, an Airbus.

    On available information, Venezuela has placed an order with the Chinese for three television broadcasting satellites.

    See: Peter Wilson, "Falling Oil Prices Push Venezuela Deeper Into China's Orbit." Business Week, December 12, 2014

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-12-12/with-oil-prices-falling-venezuela-needs-china-mo re-than-ever#r=hpt-ls

    The information is not very detailed, but, given that Venezuela already has excellent undersea cable connections (presumably including the new cable the Chinese are running around South America), it is a fair inference what the satellites are going to be used for.

    Long ago, in my youth, I went to Prep School with a bunch of Venezuelan boys, and I think I have a certain understanding of the Venezuelan mind. I know a number of words which are not in the dictionary, and the proper gestures to use with them. There are two Spanish idioms, which are practically untranslatable in their larger sense, "pudoner" (point-of-honor) and "me vivo" (hurray for me). Hugo Chavez always seemed like a kind of projection of my old friends, the common ground that all Venezuelan men find when they let loose their inner twelve-year-old. If you give my old friends Ricardo and Alexandro a broadcasting satellite to play with, I have a fairly good idea of what they will do with it. I assure you they won't feel any compulsion to be bound by Norteamericano rules. There will be pirate signals coming down from the sky which no one can do anything about, which can be picked up by anyone inclined to turn his dish to the right angle.

    Under those circumstances, "six strikes" will rapidly become irrelevant.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 11:44am

    Another vote

    Another vote for anti PRIVACY..
    Wow, doesnt this say something about your ISP monitoring ALL your data?
    But, can we charge the RIAA/MPAA for the people HIRED to monitor all the ISP data?
    Anyone want a $40,000 job?

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Jan 2015 @ 12:32pm

    “Intellectual Property” Is Like Communism

    It will only work when the whole world is forced to submit to it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 12:48pm

    the thing that can get worse, more than anything else, is the entertainment industries continuing failure to do what they know they should and will have to eventually, or face failure. people are not going to continually do what the industries want, they are going to progress and if those industries dont or dont want to, then so be it, fail miserably!! the continuous slagging off, suing, fining, bankrupting and jailing of people for doing what you wont is ridiculous! sooner or later it is going to come to the notice of someone who is not in the pocket(s) of the industries, unlike many in government, and serious questions are going to be asked! questions like 'why are you purposefully doing nothing to prevent your media from getting to the internet in the first place, let alone purposefully allowing it to be downloaded, just so you can sue people?' is this not something very similar to 'bait and switch'?

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

  • icon
    metalliqaz (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 12:53pm

    Didn't work? Let's try more!

    In my line of work we have a saying: "XML is like violence. If it isn't working, the solution is always to use more."

    I'll bet the MPAA loves XML, if you know what I mean.

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

  • icon
    Vhalidictes (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 12:55pm

    Try Harder! And see what happens...

    There's really no downside here.

    Either 1) The new expanded program doesn't work, and everyone is happy, or 2) It works great... and results in demand destruction.

    Piracy or Doing Without - it's all up to the content owners which way they prefer to not make any money.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 3:24pm

      Re: Try Harder! And see what happens...

      True enough. I remain absolutely amazed that Hollywood simply can't conceive of the notion that anyone can do without their products.

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

      • icon
        BernardoVerda (profile), 14 Jan 2015 @ 5:42pm

        Re: Re: Try Harder! And see what happens...

        I remain absolutely amazed that Hollywood
        simply can't conceive of the notion that anyone
        can do without their products.

        The interesting question is, how many of their customers (a.k.a. "the audience") can?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 3:07pm

    N. Korea and China have "re-education camps" too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 6:24pm

    Congress will introduce fast track to get the tpp done as soon as possible!

    Say good by to our freedom!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 7:26pm

    Why does the program need to be expanded if the industry is arguing against it by reporting that the program has been a success? Sounds like they can sit back and bask in their own glory at this point.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:23pm

    I'm fed up with all the whining cry baby shit fits the entertainment industry keeps throwing. Right after 6 strikes came out I went to a VPN. Not because I download but rather I resent the idea of my ISP doing any sort of spying on my surfing habits. This way I know Sandvine isn't going to help them know what sites I surf or even what I am interested in.

    As long as this keeps up I will continue to run a VPN. I happen to like my privacy.

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

  • identicon
    Name, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:13pm

    “enough education support”

    "The U.S. system is “not yet at scale” or operating with “enough education support”

    Educational support. Like when I was a kid and they told us in school "Officer Vic" was our friend. Unless you live in New York or Chicago.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jan 2015 @ 3:49am

    Its not worked the first 100 times, POUR MORE MONEY ON IT!!!

    Then we can justify everyone's salary increases, because we are doing more to fix the "problem" rather than deal with the reality of we are to focused on keeping control forever over content we "sell" that we forgot we are supposed to give consumers what they want.

    How many millions will keep being poured into the **AA's before someone dares ask why?
    They can never deliver what they promise and those wasted millions could have developed digital marketplaces that would have beat Apple, Google, Amazon to the punch... but the technology is scary bad juju that we must fight to stop.

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


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