Monday, March 14, 2005

The Raid Effect

More on ISP raids, this time from Australia. Last week an Australian ISP was raided by the Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) for hosting BitTorrent pages. The effect of this raid already seems to show. According to this article several (BitTorrent) hubs have decided to call it a day, displaying notices like: "Due to the increasing number of raids on P2P sites which seem to be getting closer and closer to home, we've decided to call it a day. This is to protect ourselves, as well as you users."

The article notes finely that this may exactly be the effect the MIPI seeks to achieve from high profile raids: come down with force, sue the accused with lots of press coverage and spread rumors that this is just the beginning (of the end). Of course this tactic is reminiscent of suing individuals, the display-to-execute cowboy style of the RIAA & MPAA. So far this has not massively discouraged file-sharers from flocking P2P-sites. Individuals and internet institutions are a different meal for the content industry. ISPs can provide a goldmine to dig through, privacy regulation withstanding. Making users (prematurely) aware that their info could be acquired through these raids, may push the raid effect further along the internet chain, to the file-sharers. Even if these actions have still to be tested in court.

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