Stopping Piracy the Wrong Way
I suspect part of this deal has to do with the inability to permanently shut down notorious torrent sites like The Pirate Bay because they come from other countries outside the United States. Numerous attempts to take the site offline only result in temporary downtime. As reported by the New York Times in June 2011, the hacker group Lulz Security used the site to issue a public statement.
Since taking down torrent sites has proved to be so difficult, the RIAA and MPAA are now going after the downloaders and they have ISPs collecting information on their paying customers to give to them. It makes me wonder if the ISP will get a kickback or reward of some kind for every customer they help bust. A piece of that lawsuit money will probably be worth more than what AT&T or Verizon could make off one customer over several years of service.
Downloading copyrighted material online is wrong, and there is no excuse for doing it. Whether it’s some Metallica album you last purchased on cassette tape in the 80’s or the latest Lady Gaga album, you should pay for these things. The same goes for movies, games and software. The PC game industry now employs all kinds of annoying sales practices that generally rip off their customers, but it’s necessary because of the amount of online file sharing that happens. In no way am I endorsing any kind of online piracy by speaking out against this deal, but I do feel like it’s the wrong way to go about stopping piracy.
Unless your ISP makes more of an effort to stop sources like file sharing torrent sites, then the problem of online piracy is not going away. Workplaces block Facebook and YouTube access for most users. Don’t tell me that ISP and search engines couldn’t also block source sites if they really wanted to stop people from using them.