We know that entertainment industry is fuming over illegal downloading and it has long expressed frustration for Canadian unwillingness to modernize copyright laws.
Here comes Neil MacBride, a vice-president with the Business Software Alliance, a Washington D.C.-based company (dubbed industry association) that fights software piracy. The company he represents, sent out about 60,000 ‘notice and notice’ e-mails to Canadian users in 2006.
The notices contain language intended to scare the illegal downloaders.
Following is an example of the verbiage used by NBC Universal:
“This unauthorized copying and distribution constitutes copyright infringement under applicable national laws and international treaties. We urge you to take immediate action to stop this infringing activity and inform us of the results of your actions”
Canadian users are tracked by IP address when content is downloaded from the internet.The ISPs are the only ones who know what individuals are doing what and the three major Canadian internet service providers including Rogers, Bell and Telus have voluntarily agreed to distribute the notices to their customers on behalf of the industry associations. Telus forwards an average of 4,000 notices every month ( I have recently heard about a friend of a friend who got one). But allegedly they do not pass any personal information about the users to any of the groups initiating the notice e-mails.
Although tens of thousands of e-mails have been distributed over the last few years, no one has been prosecuted for copyright violation as a result of the notices.
“Notice and notice” differs from the “notice and take-down” program that’s in place in the United States. There, when an industry group notices an alleged copyright violation, an e-mail similar to the ones being sent to Canadian users is forwarded to the American ISP. In most cases, the ISPs are forced to immediately take down the content or face penalties.
In the UK there is a draft proposal to deal with the same issue; according to the draft, ISPs, including BT and Virgin Media will be required to take action against users who access illegal material. It’s called the “three-strikes” regime and the broadband companies who fail to enforce it would be prosecuted and the customer’s details could be made available to the courts.
Isn’t it funny how the big fat cats of the entertainment industry are complaining how they’re losing billions due to illegal downloading, yet at the same time report that they are making record profits?
And isn’t it strange how they can find ways to police the internet when big companies whine that their profits are being affected, but claim they are unable to do anything about the kids pornography?
Oh, yeah right! I forgot a small detail: it’s not copyright infringement, it’s just a kid’s life and who cares about all the freaking pedophiles, when the poor big studios can’t charge us $20 for a miserable recorded album or $30 for a movie that in four months from now would be sold for $9 or less?
If the cable and satellite providers won’t charge a leg and an arm for what they broadcast, people won’t steal the signal.
If a CD or DVD would cost a reasonable amount of money (see the movies sold for $4 at WalMart) people will buy, not download from the net.
That is the reality.