Internet Piracy

Can it be banned?

Internet Piracy


The internet plays an important role in our everyday life. It is used to download and upload, research, and even send important information to others all around the globe. However, there are websites that allow users to download software such as movies, games, media, illegally. This is termed as internet piracy. Internet piracy techniques peer to peer networking, internet auctioning sites and free download sites. According to Pamela Samuelson in her article Legally Speaking Can Online Piracy Be blocked by Laws?, she says that “the Attorney General of the U.S. to seek court orders requiring foreign Web sites to cease providing access to infringing copies of U.S. works.” During the last few years the entertainment industries have tried numerous strategies to prevent Internet piracy. One of the most common, especially with the music industry, was to sue some file-sharers into submission thereby creating a climate of fear designed to deter others. This approach didn’t work particularly well. Hence my argument can internet piracy be banned?

Background research

“About 95% of music downloaded online is illegal. In 2010, over $59 billion of programming software was wrongfully downloaded. 71,060 occupations are lost yearly because of online theft in the USA, New regulation to reduce web theft which will see tireless document sharers just being sent "instructive" cautioning letters have been released as "ineffective" and "pointless" in shielding the work of artists. One year from now, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will only is able to send at most of four messages or letters to clients/customer who illegally download files. Although the language of the letters will increase in severity, they will have an educational tone and will not contain the threat of legal action.

UK internet service providers and the entertainment industry are near to agreeing a deal to combat piracy. After four years of negotiations, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have said they will send "educational" letters to people who illegally download copyrighted music, television or films. Under the voluntary copyright alert programme (Vcap), the music and movie industry bodies will monitor file-sharing networks for copyright infringements, recording the IP addresses of downloaders. The IP addresses, which identify individual broadband connections, will be given to UK ISPs who in turn will send out a warning letter about the alleged infringement to the registered subscriber of that broadband connection. The first letters will be sent out in 2015.The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is understood to be looking at the deal, but told the Guardian it did not rubber-stamp agreements.BT, Sky and Virgin Media said they were in talks with the BPI, which represents the British music industry and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) over Vcap, but that an agreement had not yet been made. The media industry originally intended for Vcap to target alleged repeat copyright infringers with letters informing them of possible punitive measures. Access to a database of known infringers was also requested, which could have led to legal action against internet subscribers. Instead, the draft agreement, seen by the BBC, suggests that no more than 2.5m letters will be sent out each year and that they will have an "educational" tone. Those who download illegal material can expect to receive up to four alerts. The cost of the system will be shared between the rights holders, who will contribute £750,000 or 75% of the cost for each ISP, with a further £75,000 or 75 percent of the costs a year to cover the running of the service.”

However, after the fourth warning is sent, no further act will be made. Similar regulations were placed in United States and New Zealand. The US "six-strike" battle included five of its greatest ISPs issuing notices to individuals associated with web theft. The US law contrasts from the UK proposition, however, in light of the fact that after their sixth cautioning, a suspected copyright infringer may have his or her web access limited. Did it work? NO

Why restriction will not work

Firstly, there is sufficient reason to believe that a non-zero level of copyright violation is socially beneficial. In countries like China where online piracy is at 91% for internet piracy, is nearly impossible to put rules and regulations. Some background: prior to the lawsuits, only 35 percent of people were aware that file-sharing was illegal, but after the launch of the end-user legal campaign, that number quickly rose to more than 70 percent. Sixty seven percent of digital piracy sites are in North America and Western Europe. In 2003 and 2004, the numbers of people using peer-to-peer to download music illegally increased. If awareness of the copyright laws and an appreciation of the consequences of getting caught for breaking the law had not had an effect, peer to peer growth rates would likely have continued unabated, and would have seriously undermined the potential for a legal digital marketplace. 22 percent of all global internet band width is used for internet piracy. As a result about 71060 jobs were lost in the United States. Between 2006 and 2009, the percent of Internet users downloading music illegally declined from 19 to 14 percent, while the percentage engaging in legal music downloading grew from 16 to 20 percent. Where there was virtually no legal digital market in 2003, today the legal digital market exceeds $3 billion annually and boasts more than 400 licensed music services worldwide.

Furthermore, recent legislative efforts to restrain online copyright violation have been futile because opponents expressed concern that copyright protection measures would put too much power in the hands of law enforcement, ISPs, and other gatekeepers to restrict access to entire internet domains even if copyright infringement only occurred on a single blog or webpage. Also, if search engines were required to delete domain names, this could result in unprecedented internet censorship.

After fruitless attempts of government to ban internet piracy most online users regard it as normal and therefore continue practicing the middle east and African regions, it cannot be helped as buying of software is unaffordable. Piracy in 2008 to 2009 was fifty eight to fifty nine percent. The results of the study show that it is nearly impossible for copyright holders and anti-piracy groups to change the attitudes of the public in their favor. If they want piracy to decrease, their best bet is probably to focus on lowering the incentives for people to pirate, there seems to be more opportunities in these areas.

In conclusion, The Internet and file sharing can be beneficial to the entertainment industry in a myriad of ways.

Therefore regardless of the measure laid there is continually going to be various individuals against banning it. The harm done to the business and genuine end client does not exceed the few favourable circumstances internet piracy has. With anti-piracy associations campaigning against the legislature to pass new laws, the few substantial contentions that despite everything they do have are vanishing. Despite the battles anti-piracy organizations have made, robbery routines won't totally stop piracy.


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