Brits Know More About Three Strikes than We Do.

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

The Brits don’t even play baseball but they know more about three strikes than we Yanks do. In fact, in the international pastime of Whac-a-Filesharer their style of hardball makes Americans look like minor league wiffle ballers.

Over the last few years we’ve commented on the moral outrage expressed by our English cousins over illegal filesharing and their willingness to take legislative action to stop it (See Britannia Rules – and a Pirate is Blocaded).

Their latest proactive measure, reported on, is a proposed Three Strikes law that goes like this: “Anyone receiving three letters in a 12-month period would then have their personal data, downloading and filesharing history handed over to the copyright owners to help them prepare a legal case.” it is expected to be acted into law to commence in March 2014.

Predictably, Internet heavies protested, but a court ruling cleared the way for the legislation to go ahead.

Could that happen in the United States? Sure – as easily as Microsoft can teleport its headquarters to Proxima Centauri.

Details in UK says three strikes is coming, but not until 2014 by Bobbie Johnson.

One thought on “Brits Know More About Three Strikes than We Do.

  1. P. Bradley Robb

    So…we’re just going to operate on the assumption that ISPs can magically detect what is and isn’t copyright infringement based on what, exactly?

    Is it protocol? Because BitTorrent is used by several legal entities (Veoh [Disney] and World of Warcraft [Blizzard/Activision] are just to examples) as an effective and efficient distribution method without requiring the setup of costly CDNs.

    Is it origin-location? Because file lockers are used my numerous people, including artists, to share large files amongst selected people legally. Even the Pirate Bay is being used as an exposure engine by up-and-coming artists in the film and music areans.

    Is it file name? Because as we saw with Viacom v YouTube, Viacom’s marketing arm was uploading content that it’s legal arm didn’t know about, which made the files legal. This also happened with the ICE siezure of

    And conversly, if we’re targeting illicit downloads via protocol, the protocol will change. If we’re targeting via origin-location, origins will morph and disappear in the perpetual game of wack-a-mole. And file name? That’s the worst option of them all – some pirates will purposefully seed content to create a sea of false positives and the others will continue to do what they’re already doing – encrypting payloads so that filenames are hidden under a salted one-way hash.

    So, please before advocating a Guilt-by-3-accusations policy, explain what safeguards are in place? How many false positives are acceptable? 1 in 3? 1 in 10? 1 in 100?

    What is the financial impact on the falsely accused that is commiserate with the protection of IP rights of content producers?

    What about the rise in prices of broadband accounts when IP rights holders shift the cost of policing their own copyright infringement to that of a disinterested third party?

    What happens when my neighbor’s kid hops on my wirelss network and uses it to pirate? What about when he cracks my wireless password? How far do I, as a subscriber, have to go to ensure I don’t bump up against that 3 strikes rule?

    Because, again, these strikes are not argued in a adversarial trial but are based wholly on accusation. So, the big losers will be those who are accidentally accused or those who are highjacked by their neighbors. They’ll be the ISPs who will become even more of the badguys when they cut off customers and raise pirces. The losers will be the border-poor who can’t afford internet with a tax levied by a zealous and bitter content industry.

    But the pirates won’t lose, they’ll stay one step ahead just as they have for decades now.

    So, again, please tell me how this means the Brits know more about 3 strikes then we do? It sounds like they’re going to know a hell of a lot more about being out.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *