France's Anti-Piracy Efforts Paying Off

-- France's anti-piracy efforts are beginning to curb piracy, at least judging from the results of a survey by French tech site ZDNet.fr. With Midem just a week away, this new data will help create a better dialogue about the need for anti-piracy legislation and how such measures should be implemented by lawmakers.

Highlights of the study, which was conducted by market research firm LH2 and reached 1,016 individuals 15 year of age or older via telephone, include the following:

-- 80% of respondents never or almost never download illegal files.
-- 4% of respondents and 20% of file sharers say they have completely stopped illegally downloading files.
-- 15% of respondents and 75% of file sharers - continue to illegally download.

Some may be dispirited that 75% of filesharers continue illegal downloading unabated, but there are a couple things to keep in mind: First, Hadopi, as the French anti-piracy measures are known, is in its infancy and will need more than a few months if it is to gain traction and produce results. Second, Hadopi shows some promise when a fifth of file sharers say they have stopped illegal downloading. While that's just 4% of all Internet users, it's still a nice chunk of consumers the record industry will welcome back with open arms.

It is unimaginable that any legislation or government entity can completely eliminate piracy. The question now is what level of piracy is acceptable for the music industry?

( ZDNet)

Sacre Bleu! France's 70,000 Infringement Warnings Largely Ignored
-- While France's Hadopi agency has sent out initial infringement warnings to 70,000 Internet users, "less than 10 percent" have replied, according to an official at Hadopi's Rights Protection Commission. Three-quarters of people who reply asked that Hadopi identify the infringing material, she said, while some others dispute the claim or say their computers were hacked.

( Reporters Without Borders)


Homeland Security Director Defends Domain Seizures

-- The director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has defended the November seizure of domain names of sites that infringed copyright. "They were all knowingly engaged in the sale of counterfeit goods," he said. "We're going to enforce the law. It's that simple."

In November, ICE seized the domains of 82 sites that were found to offer material that infringe copyright.

Among the seizures were the domains of Torrent-finder.com and two hip hop blogs, OnSmash and RapGodfathers. The ICE official says ICE and the Department of Justice spent "a lot of time" examining the websites. He added that not all requests from copyright owners were honored, which implies copyright holders had tipped off ICE to more than the five music or movie sites that were shut down.

To prove the slipperiness involved in the matter, some sites quickly re-appeared using different domains. Torrent-finder.com, for example, was moved to Torrent-finder.info and RapGodfathers.com reappeared at RapGodfathers.info.

( IDG News)