New Study Suggests Microsoft, Apple and Other Operating Systems Block Pirated Content Natively

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The proposal is unlikely to garner much support from groups such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

A new study about online piracy in Sweden has a bold suggestion on how to limit illegal downloads that goes beyond the notion of holding internet service providers accountable. Wedged 35 pages into a Swedish-language report from Black Market Watch and the Global Initiative Against, both headquartered in Geneva, is a blue-sky idea that makers of operating systems could also be in a solid position to limit notorious torrent sites.

"Other players that possess the potential ability to limit piracy are the companies that own the major operating systems which control computers and mobile devices such as Apple, Google and Microsoft," the report states, before referencing a semi-controversial line in Microsoft’s Windows 10 service agreement that allows the company to make software updates that could prevent people from "playing counterfeit games."

The report, which was produced on behalf of Sweden’s Film and TV industry Cooperation Committee, goes on, "The producers of operating systems should be encouraged, or regulated, for example, to obstruct download improperly copied material." Sweden’s ability to influence the issue is small, researchers say, "but through the EU and the international community it can take action."

In order to publicize the idea of OS accountability, the study suggests that copyright holders lobby their local music industry associations, much like they do for similar efforts involving ISPs. Read the report here (you'll need this, unless you speak Swedish).