Research says that French “three strikes” law has no deterrent effect
Copyright , Internet / February 2014

COPYRIGHT Internet   The effectiveness of graduated-response anti-piracy systems that have now been implemented in France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA has always been debated, and new research from American and French researchers, based on a survey of 2,000 internet users in France, has found that the so called 2009 ‘three strikes’ system in France (the ‘Hadopi’ law) has not deterred individuals from engaging in digital piracy and the system does not reduce the intensity of illegal activity of those who did engage in piracy. The researchers from the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and the Université de Rennes I – Center for Research in Economics and Management also noted that for those internet users with closer links to the piracy community – a classification based on the piracy chat in said users’ social networks – the introduction of three-strikes in France, which targeted exclusively P2P file-sharing, pushed file-sharers down other routes to accessing unlicensed content.  More than a third sampled —37.6 percent—admitted to illegal downloading, with 22 percent using P2P networks and 30 percent using “alternative channels.” About 16.4 percent of those who had engaged in the downloads received a warning from Hadopi, the government agency with the…

Taiwan brings in ‘three strikes’ law as the French version is finally approved
Copyright , Internet / June 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet Taiwan’s legislature has passed an amendment to the island’s Copyright Act aimed at discouraging digital copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks and increasing the responsibility of Internet Service Providers. The country has adopted the much debated ‘three strikes’ system where web users who continue to access unlicensed sources of content after receiving two warnings could lose their internet connections – or at least have them restricted. Whilst a number of countries have looked at this system, so far only France and New Zealand have implemented ‘three strikes’ as law. In France the much criticised proposals have now worked their way through the French parliament although in New Zealand the Government is still trying to work out how to implement their new and again much criticised law . The Taiwanese government has introduced the system in order to achieve it’s twin aims of cracking down on internet piracy – without flooding the courts with lawsuits from foreign content owners against the providers of file-sharing services or individual file-sharers. The courts in Taiwan are known to be overburdened. It seems the new law means that repeat offenders will have their internet access “restricted” rather than automatically cut off. That could mean…

Record labels clamp down on student downloading in USA and Taiwan
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2007

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels US Universities have been counting the cost of policing illegal music downloading by students after being contacted by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on intellectual property. The University of Winconsin at Madison (UW) said that it had spent more than US $300,000 responding to cease and desist leters from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and to a lesser extent the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Staff have to deal with cease and desist letters, follow up with students, notify the RIAA when the music is deleted and secure the student’s agreement not to copy again. The University also spends time and money publicising the implications of copyright theft. Last year UW received 1,158 cease and desist letters from the RIAA. Purdue University, which made the top 10 lists of both the RIAA and MPAA for unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, says tracking down alleged offenders and verifying identities has been a “significant cost to the university” with each case taking 3 – 4 hours to properly deal with at an estimated $50 per hour cost. Last year Purdue received 1,068 notices form the RIAA and 873 from the MPAA. In mid-September, the RIAA issued…

The copyright industry tightens the screws on illegal peer-2-peer file swappers, swapping sites and software that facilitates file swapping

COPYRIGHT Record labels, music publishers, internet Following on from the success of the MGM v Grokster case in the USA (Law Updates August2005) and other successes against peer-2-peer websites offering illegal download files (including cases in Australia, Korea and Taiwan) there have been a rash of recent news stories reinforcing the improving position of record labels, music publishers and film companies – although all still against a background of heavy piracy in illegal downloading and file swapping. iMesh has becomes the first of the ‘illegal’ P2P service to go legal (although UK based playlouder.com already offered a legal swapping service to its subscribers). iMesh’s new software blocks any music with a copyright from being downloaded. The service will charge using the subscription model, charging users $6.95 per month. However the real challenge will be to tempt the 5 million users of the old version that allowed free sharing to pay. In the week preceding the announcement the old version of the software was downloaded over 1.5 million times. In Hong Kong a magistrates court has convicted a man of attempting to distribute film content over the BitTorrent P2P network. Chan Nai-ming, from Hong Kong, received a three (3) month jail sentence after being…

First criminal ruling against an internet peer-to-peer service in Taiwan

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet The IFPI, representing the international recording industry, has welcomed the conviction of Taiwan-based internet file-sharing service Kuro, in what is the first criminal conviction of a peer-to-peer (p2p) service in the world. A Taiwan court today convicted Kuro of criminal copyright infringement, imposing a fine of NT$3 million (approx US$90,000) and sentencing the three principals of Kuro, along with a user, to jail terms of up to three years. The judgement follows three other court rulings on file-sharing services – all within the past three months. The IFPI say that all four – the ruling against Kazaa in Australia (see abopve), the unanimous US Supreme Court ruling against Grokster, and the injunction against Soribada in Korea – establish there is no defence for file-sharing services that build their businesses on the back of unauthorised trading of copyrighted material. Lauri Rechardt, IFPI Taiwan has called upon Kuro to stop immediately the unauthorised file-sharing, to either close or make the necessary changes to allow the technology to be used legally. The Chen brothers, who ran the service, have been each sentenced to three years imprisonment; their father, who was president of Kuro, to two years; and…

File Sharing Illegal in Taiwan

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet A 22 year old Taiwanese man (Mr Chung) who shared music files over the Internet without the permission of record labels was forced to make an apology and agree to ‘cease and desist’ from file sharing in a settlement hailed by the music industry yesterday as a landmark in the fight against online piracy. “This case proves that peer-to-peer file-sharing infringes copyright,” International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Taiwan branch secretary-general Robin Lee told the Taipei Times in an interview. As in other territories, the music industry in Taiwan claims that peer-to-peer web sites break the law as they allow subscribers to download music via the Internet without paying royalty fees to the rights holder. But so far only ‘proactive’ file swapping sites such as the ‘old’ Napster have been effectively shut down. There is continuing litigation worldwide against sites such as KazaA and Grokster with mixed results so far (seehttp://www.musicjournal.org/03dontshootthemessenger.html) Taiwan has now followed the approach adopted by the RIAA in the USA and has brought an action against an individual. “We will use this case to let everybody know that users of peer-to-peer web sites are breaking the law, and we will bring…

Taiwan copyright law revisions ‘a step backwards’

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists, Film, Television The Taiwan Anti-piracy Coalition have said that the country’s revised copyright laws are a step backwards in the fight against piracy. The Coalition said the removal of minimum penalties on some intellectual property offences was a major concern. The Legislative Yuan passed the revised Copyright Law in June 2003 after making a total of 53 changes to a draft originally proposed by the Executive Yuan. According to the Coalition, these changes have seriously weakened copyright protection, especially regarding penalties for copyright violators, since the law now defines a copyright violation as making more than five copies of a product or selling copies that are worth more than NT$30,000 on the street. This means that persons who make fewer than five copies or less than NT$30,000 will not be regarded as criminals. In addition, the Coalition argue that the removal of the minimum six-month prison penalty would make people less worried about infringing copyright. The Coalition said the lack of adequate intellectual property protection will have serious consequences for industry and the future of the nation’s economy. See: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2003/09/17/2003068192

GLOBAL SALES OF ILLEGAL CDs TOP 1 BILLION UNITS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists, Internet A report published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) shows that the illegal music market is now worth $4.6bn (£2.8bn) globally. It believes two out of every five CDs or cassettes sold are illegal. The IFPI said much of this money is going to support organised criminal gangs, dispelling the myth that it is a “victimless crime”. Jay Berman, chairman of the IFPI, said: “This is a major, major commercial activity, involving huge amounts of pirated CDs. The IFPI’s top 10 priority countries where labels want a crackdown on piracy are Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Spain, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. The IFPI also pointed out that when factoring in unlicensed downloads then “only one in three music products in the UK is authorised.” Despite the increase in the amount of CDs illegally produced and sold around the world, up 14% on 2001, there has also been a rise in the amount of CDs and recording equipment seized. The number of discs seized on their way for public sale was more than 50 million, a four-fold rise on the previous year. The IFPI is concerned in two main…