3 Count: Three Strikes? You’re Out!

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: French court savages “three-strikes” law, tosses it out

First off today, the new “three strikes” law in France has been thrown out on constitutional grounds. saying that the law hands out punishments that are not from a judicial process. This, in turn, violates the French constitutional “innocent until proven guilty” protections.

The law, which just earlier this week had been praised by Senator Orrin Hatch at the International Copyright Conference, was viewed as a model for many copyright holders about the role ISPs should take when dealing with piracy on the Web. The French Constitutional Council, however, feels that disconnections should only come from within the court system, not an administrative one.

What is next for the law remains to be seen. It is likely that the French government will try again but the new law will likely be much weaker than the current one.

2: Stern letters from ISPs not enough to stop P2P use after all

To make matters even worse on the three strikes front, a recent study in the UK has found that merely sending stern letters is not enough to deter most file sharers, that is, unless the threat of disconnection is also there.

According to the study, only 30% of file sharers would stop if they received a letter, compared to an estimated 70% in a similar study last year. However, that number jumped to 80% when the threat of disconnection was on the table.

This means that, despite the encouraging study last year, the French three strikes law (see above) may be the only system to severely discourage piracy. However, given the constitutional and other issues with the law, it could be something of a catch-22 for copyright holders.

3: Are downloads really killing the music industry? Or is it something else?

Finally today, an article in The Guardian asks the question about whether or not it really is piracy killing the record industry and, by looking at the spending on various types of entertainment, finds that there has been an overall increase in the spending on copyrightable entertainment products, but that there has been a shift away from music and more toward games and movies.

The article does point out that video games currently do not have the same level of copying and piracy that CDs and even DVDs do, but movie sales also grew over the same period, despite widespread availability on file sharing networks.

It appears that the music industry may have bigger problems on its hands than piracy alone.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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