Christian Engström, Pirat

11 juni 2010

”Information and sanctions haven’t worked,” says IFPI

Filed under: Copyright Reform,English,informationspolitik,IP Observatory,Ipred — Christian Engström @ 11:54

The Legal Affairs Committee JURI in the European Parliament has a Working Group on Copyright. I think we have had close to a dozen meetings, where we have invited various experts and stakeholders to educate us about their views on copyright.

This has been a very valuable exercise. I have learned a lot about copyright, both in theory and in practice, from these seminars. As I understand it, the group will continue to meet after the summer break, which I think is very good.

The Working Group on Copyright is chaired by French MEP Marielle Gallo from the large Christian Democrat group EPP. She is also rapporteur (i.e.: the responsible draftsperson) for the Gallo report on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement, that was adopted by JURI last week.

Although the Gallo report and the working group are not formally connected to each other, the working group has provided a very useful opportunity to learn more about the subject covered by the report.

Apart from the experts, we have also had several chances to hear what different stakeholders and special interest lobbyists have had to say.

This week, Mr. Ted Shapiro from the Motion Picture Association MPA and Ms. Olivia Regnier from the record producers’ organization IFPI were kind enough to come and explain their views to the working group, together with two other speakers. MPA and IFPI are typical examples of stakeholder organizations.

Ms. Regnier from IFPI talked about how many fantastic things the record companies would put on the market if only on-line piracy could be eliminated or reduced. To achieve this, she was asking for information campaigns aimed at Internet users, and stricter sanctions against copyright infringers.

She showed this slide:

"The music industry favours an approach which combines the information of Internet users, with sanctions for persistent infringers." (Click to enlarge)

Incidentally, this happens to be exactly what the Gallo report in the form that it was adopted in JURI proposes. Information campaigns about copyright directed at Internet users, and sanctions handed out by the Internet Service Provider companies, without involvement of courts.

But leaving all other aspects aside, do we have any reason to think that this will be effective?

When it was my turn to ask a question, I reminded IFPI and the MPA that they have more than a decade’s experience of this strategy, from both the US and Europe. It was in 1998 that DMCA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, was adopted in the US. In Europe we have seen a number new laws for stricter enforcement being introduced over the years, notably the 2001 Copyright Directive EUCD. We have also seen a number of information campaigns, often equating file sharing with theft.

With so much experience from a number of countries, the rights holder’s organizatons are of course in a very good position to judge how effective the strategy has been.

”Could you tell us about these experiences, and could you give any examples where illegal file sharing in a country had been eliminated or greatly reduced by information campaigns and sanctions?” I asked the representatives from IFPI and the MPA.

Ms. Regnier from IFPI said that so far the strategy had not been very successful. This is because the rights holders are forced to go through the courts to punish illegal file sharers, which severely restricts the number of cases they are able to pursue.

IFPI and the other rights holders would need to make a more wide scale mass response in order to create an effective deterrent, she said. For this reason, she was welcoming the adoption of the Gallo report in the JURI Committee.

When it came to giving an example
of a country where stricter enforcement had led to significantly reduced file sharing, she mentioned Sweden, where the IPRED directive was implemented on April 1, 2009.

So let’s look at the graph for the total Internet traffic in Sweden:

Internet traffic in Sweden, two-year graph by Netnod

It is indeed true that there was a sharp drop in the total network traffic by about 40 per cent on the day the IPRED law came into force. IFPI and the other anti-piracy organizations in Sweden immediately sent out jubilant press releases saying that the IPRED law really worked. This has been the line that they have maintained ever since.

But when we look at the graph, we se that six months later, the network traffic was back to where it used to be. If this was a success for the sanctions strategy against file sharing, it was a very short lived one.

And this is how it has been all over the world. Just like Ms. Regnier told the European Parliament Working Group, information to Internet users and stricter sanctions have so far been unable to stem the tide of illegal file sharing. But they still hope that more of the same will be effective.

I am very grateful to Ms. Regnier for her frank answers to the working group, and for making IFPI’s position so clear.

But I’m afraid that she failed to convince me. I don’t think that more information and sanctions will work any better this time than the previous ones, no matter how much some stakeholders would want them to.

I think it’s time for Europe to start looking for a better way.

…………

Update: I had spelled Ms. Regnier’s name wrong, for which I apologize. I have now corrected that.

Photos by Christian Engström, free for publication CC0.

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31 kommentarer

  1. Well written Christian
    Now a question regardin the group. Have JURI also invited the ”other” side?

    BR
    Fredrik Larsson

    Kommentar av Fredrik Larsson — 11 juni 2010 @ 12:21

  2. It has gotten so far that when I hear the word ”stakeholder” I reach for my matches…

    Corporativism…

    Kommentar av viktualiebroder — 11 juni 2010 @ 13:25

  3. I would very much like to hear about the other side. Also has there been any discussion at all about the idea that infinite copyright is not a good thing?

    Kommentar av AxMi-24 — 11 juni 2010 @ 14:31

  4. ”But when we look at the graph, we se that six months later, the network traffic was back to where it used to be.”

    Even more interesting, if we look at the year before IPRED, we see a graph that almost exactly mirrors the graph after IPRED, which leads to the conclusion that it might be a cyclic event unrelated to IPRED.

    Kommentar av Anders Troberg — 11 juni 2010 @ 14:37

  5. offcourse bandwith use is higher in the winter than the summer. that however does not explain the steep drop. the most probable conclusion, according to me, is that the drop reflects the time it took for people to go from dc++ to torrents

    Kommentar av Tobias — 11 juni 2010 @ 15:06

  6. Here is my view of what happened:
    Internet traffic increased slowly in 2008, until July when people started to hoard digital media. Planing for copy parties to be held a year later, friends planed their bandwidth consumption deciding who should download what.
    Traffic grew until April 2009 when people finished seeding and IPRED was in effect. The ball was in the rights keepers court now, what will happen?
    Copy parties were held as planned in spring and summer 2009 and by fall, people started to run out of digital media.

    Kommentar av Peter Eriksson — 11 juni 2010 @ 16:20

  7. Spamhaus
    http://www.spamhaus.org/

    Confessions of a Spam King
    http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/inboxed/2010/05/26/confessions-of-a-spam-king/

    Bill Waggoner is back to talk about his new book Confessions of a Spam King, plus we discuss list hygiene and brand management with James Carner of Quickie Marketing. We also hear from Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy Officer for Eloqua, as Jon and Kevin begin a regular segment of speaking with members of the Email Experience Council.

    Lyssna på denna intervju Christian Engström

    Kommentar av Anti Spamhause — 11 juni 2010 @ 18:38

  8. Bill Waggoner
    http://www.spamhaus.org/rokso/listing.lasso?file=606

    http://www.888freedom.com/

    Kommentar av Anti Spamhause — 11 juni 2010 @ 18:45

  9. A friend of mine said ”Madness is to repeatedly try the same thing over and over again – and expect a different result”. The ”deterrents” and ”information” that they speak of increasing, will that mean that you will have to sit through an hour long propaganda movie on your legally bought copy of ”1984” before the actual movie starts?
    The propaganda doesnt work, because Joe Public generally is more savvy in tech than the people pushing for these issues. If someone wants to fileshare a movie, they will do it – but they will be careful about covering their tracks.

    The small time infringers are the ones that will be caught by this, and the only people benefitting from it are the lawyers. The creators and even the right holders will hardly see a dime in the end, but they will be on the wrong end of the stick because of the negative press and opinion it causes to their brands.

    Personally I won’t TOUCH anything electronic or a CD from Sony after that infringing and illegal DRM debacle a few years ago – and many are of the same opinion. I do not fileshare half as much these days, because mainly I go for out of print or hard to come by movies and books. Music? I got Spotify live streaming services for that, so it would be interesting to see the impact those services have had in countries where filesharing of music used to be abundant. Show us the numbers. Clearly, here we have a business model that WORKS.

    Personally I think the innovation is not stopped by piracy, but actually by rights lawyers and red tape. Cut the red tape and like Shakespeare said ‘kill all the lawyers’ and I think the world would be a much more happy place full of innovation and easily accessible culture for everyone.

    Kommentar av Opolitiskt — 11 juni 2010 @ 19:20

  10. ”But when we look at the graph, we se that six months later, the network traffic was back to where it used to be. If this was a success for the sanctions strategy against file sharing, it was a very short lived one.”

    I disagree. Without IPRED, the internet traffic would have continued to grow with a rate similar to before IPRED, leading to a much higher internet traffic today.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 11 juni 2010 @ 19:52

  11. How could you disagree?

    The graph is there and sais what it sais!

    Whitout Ipred there would be another graph YES!…

    But you can´t still disagree with the graph…IT´s there! and NO one in the wourld could say what it woul´d be today….Exept YOU naturally…You know everything that no other know!
    So..If the internettraffic would have continued to grow IS YOU´R assumption nejtillpirater!!

    Where are you´r graph:s for you´r facts?

    Please let us all know, and please show us here were you´r fact:s comes from so we all can conclude that you are the only one that know how the whole of the internet works.

    As always…you´r comments and ”facts” are as always in you´r mind…Saw you´r blog tonight, you stated that you are thinking of closing you´r blog..
    My recommendatin is: DO that! PLEASE!

    Regards
    Jan

    Kommentar av Jan — 12 juni 2010 @ 2:42

  12. …And then/soon comes Sten…The Nejtillpiraters rescue…

    Kommentar av Jan — 12 juni 2010 @ 2:45

  13. Thought they where the same person?

    Kommentar av DanielS — 13 juni 2010 @ 3:10

  14. Next time they bring up Sweden as a “good” example, you can ask them in how many countries the population got so sick and tired of how the copyright mafia can dictate laws so they voted for a party that could stop the madness in EU?
    You can also ask them if they want that to happen in more countries, which it will if they continue.

    Kommentar av Anders — 14 juni 2010 @ 9:11

  15. ”I disagree. Without IPRED, the internet traffic would have continued to grow with a rate similar to before IPRED, leading to a much higher internet traffic today.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 11 juni 2010 @ 19:52”

    No, not really. The gap has simply been in lockstep with the way reliable anonymizer services have spread through the swedish market. Today, just like before, there are around 2 million swedish filesharers who share approximately the same amount of material as they did back then.

    The only thing this tells us is that a few % more filesharers today are active, and that very few of the existing ones have upgraded their bandwidth in the meantime. The growth curve of filesharers in Sweden during this period corresponds very well with the average growth of filesharing as a phenomenon in the rest of the western world. This would be obvious to anyone capable of reading statistical data on a layman’s level and above.

    But if you only log on in order to state your view, actual comprehension of the presented material isn’t a top priority, perhaps.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 14 juni 2010 @ 13:04

  16. @Anders, #14:

    According to recent polls, the support for the piracy mafia (The Pirate Party in collaboration with The Pirate Bay) is extremely low, less than 1%. No mafia can dictate laws in a democracy, neither the ”copyright mafia” or the piracy mafia. With less than 1% support from the voters, dictating the laws will be even harder…

    @Scary, #15:

    ”This would be obvious to anyone capable of reading statistical data on a layman’s level and above.”

    Trying to strengthen already weak arguments in this way will result in a backlash. Yes, it did…

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 14 juni 2010 @ 17:33

  17. @nejtillpirater
    According to the latest election we had in Sweden PP got 7% of the votes. Polls are just BS and wishful thinking! For instance I read a poll on Internet which gave PP more then 40% so I guess PP will get somewhere between 1% to 40% in the coming elections.
    To think that money can’t dictate what laws a country has is naive to say the least…

    Kommentar av Anders — 15 juni 2010 @ 8:46

  18. @Anders

    The sub 1% values for the Swedish Pirate Party come from opinion polls made by Novus, a professional company specialized in that area. The 40% value comes from a web poll made on a personal pirate blogg, linked from numerous other pirate blogs. If the results of the former is BS and not the latter is an opinion that you’re entitled to have but don’t expect it to be shared by others.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 15 juni 2010 @ 17:36

  19. You’re to be complimented on your consummate patience with these people. In time you’ll probably be granted an honorary doctorate in paleontology.😉

    Kommentar av Rick — 16 juni 2010 @ 6:41

  20. @nejtillpirater:

    ‘Without IPRED, the internet traffic would have continued to grow with a rate similar to before IPRED, leading to a much higher internet traffic today.’

    You’re right. Today it would be well over a zillion gajllion megabits per nanosecond. Absolutely.

    Kommentar av Rick — 16 juni 2010 @ 6:44

  21. @Scary Devil Monastery:

    ‘But if you only log on in order to state your view, actual comprehension of the presented material isn’t a top priority, perhaps.’

    Brilliant. Hear hear!

    Kommentar av Rick — 16 juni 2010 @ 6:46

  22. @nejtillpirater
    It’s a liberal blog, not a pirate blog, but I’m not surprised that you fail to see the difference.
    All those professional companies specialized in making rigged polls didn’t even have PP on the radar 2 months before the last election, and what happened?

    Kommentar av Anders — 16 juni 2010 @ 9:21

  23. Dear Sir,

    I request that you remove my photograph (the photograph of me that you took at the copyright working group of the JURI committee last week) as it was taken and posted on your blog without my consent.

    I take this opportunity to point out that your report of my intervention at that working group is a complete distortion of the facts.

    Yours sincerely,

    Olivia Regnier
    IFPI

    Kommentar av Olivia Regnier — 16 juni 2010 @ 9:22

  24. @Olivia
    If you are not a fake (most likely you are) why not take the chance to correct Christer’s report then and give us the facts as you see it?

    Kommentar av Anders — 16 juni 2010 @ 11:18

  25. @ Anders,

    I have every reason to believe that the above comment by Ms. Regnier is not a fake, as I got exactly the same message by mail, sent from a mail address @ifpi.org.

    I sent the following reply:

    Dear Ms. Regnier,

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    It was a disappointment to learn that you no longer stand by the information you gave the Parliamentary Working Group.

    I, on the contrary, stand by what I wrote in my blog post, and I have no intention of removing the photograph I took of you.

    I do, however, apologize for getting the spelling of your name wrong, and I have now corrected that.

    Best regards,

    Christian Engström
    MEP

    Kommentar av Christian Engström — 16 juni 2010 @ 11:27

  26. @Christian Engström — 16 juni 2010 @ 11:27

    Oh, that was simply brilliant. Do politicians and lobbyists today actually stand up and believe that what they state in public will not be quoted verbatim back to them?

    Please, CE, keep us updated on the future correspondence with Mrs. Regnier.

    @nejtillpirater — 14 juni 2010 @ 17:33
    ”Trying to strengthen already weak arguments in this way will result in a backlash. Yes, it did…”

    Statistical analysis is not an issue of argument. The graph says what it says. Not what you erronously make it out to be. Similar graphs monitoring filesharing in countries where IPRED is not a factor (such as Spain) corroborate that analysis. They have an increase of a few % within this period, but without the intervening dip in traffic.
    That lessening of traffic and subsequent recovery corresponds very well to the way use of VPN has increased in Sweden. I advise looking through the database of Cybertrends at the University of Lund which has monitored the explosive growth in anonymizing/encryption services.

    The difference between you and me on this issue is that i base my analysis and commentary on publicly available fact where your analysis seems to come from undisclosed sources or from wishful thinking. And that does not fly better on this blog than it did when you tried to post and subsequently applaud yourself under ten different names on Rick Falkvinges blog.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 16 juni 2010 @ 11:53

  27. I was asked by the Parliament to remove the picture of Ms. Regnier as a courtesy to our guest, so I have.

    The important thing is what she said, after all.

    Kommentar av Christian Engström — 16 juni 2010 @ 16:11

  28. So you respect the Parliament but not Ms. Regnier as an individual?

    This really puzzles me. An MEP from a party that struggles for unlimited anonymosity and ”integrity” for criminals and cheaters refuses to remove a picture of a person that asks for it.

    This reminds me of The Pirate Bay, that refused to remove the torrent file leading to autopsy pictures from the murdered children from Arboga in Sweden, as requested by the parents and other relatives and numerous other people. The Swedish Pirate Party is now in collaboration with the Pirate Bay since the Pirate Party supports The Pirate Bay with internet capacity.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 16 juni 2010 @ 17:36

  29. @Scary, #26

    ”The difference between you and me on this issue is that i base my analysis and commentary on publicly available fact where your analysis seems to come from undisclosed sources or from wishful thinking. And that does not fly better on this blog than it did when you tried to post and subsequently applaud yourself under ten different names on Rick Falkvinges blog.”

    This is simply not correct. I consistently used one name in Rick Falkvinges blog and I never used other names to applaud myself. Rick Falkvinge used censorship against me an several other persons with opinions not shared by pirates. He banned IP addresses and deleted posts that looked like posts from the persons he didn’t like. As a result of this, I started my own blog, Nejtillpirater (No to pirates and the PIrate Party). This blog is continuously growing and shows that I take criticism of the Swedish Pirate Party seriously, despite the repeated Ad hominem attacks from you and other pirates.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 16 juni 2010 @ 19:15

  30. @nejtillpirater

    Given the hamfisted way you went about turning yourself into a crowd, that denial of yours does not hold up. or are you saying that every one of your ”fellow anti-pirates” just happened to share one and the same ip-address at the time?🙂

    And we all know your blog. Most of your readership seem to be pirates who find your antics and misrepresentations of reality highly entertaining.

    As for Christian’s actions…are you in fact calling every journalist and newspaper in the world criminals when they follow established publishing practice? Or is it just MEP’s you happen not to agree with who should be exempted from the protection of common law?

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 17 juni 2010 @ 8:01

  31. And you still fail to clarify how come your views on elementary graph analysis diverges to such a degree from what we get taught in school. Are you inventing new math as you go?

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 17 juni 2010 @ 8:04


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