The effectiveness of warning letters sent to households that are thought to have downloaded media that’s copyright protected is pretty much unknown. Some people pay up if money is demanded to make the whole thing go away, some ignore it and others fight it saying that it certainly wasn’t them. However one thing we do know for sure, in Canada at least, is that sending someone a piracy notice warning seems to increase the person’s interest in hiding their activity via VPN.
Canada is an interesting example, as it’s very fresh when it comes to piracy notices. As the new year rolled around, ISPs were forced to send out notices to their customers if they were discovered to be pirating anything. These letters have been going out in their thousands every single day, even at the smaller ISPs. On top of those notices, media lobby groups like the US based RightsCorp, have been sending out their own letters, often demanding settlement fees to avoid court time. However, often in those cases the firm has been using payment as an admission of guilty, then either requesting more money or pushing for court.
Whether these notices are stopping people pirating is hard to tell, but clearly a lot of them are interested in anonymising their activity, as interest in VPNs has shot up in Canada in recent weeks. TorGuard, a VPN and BitTorrent proxy service, has seen its business double in Canada since the start of 2015 and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there, increasing by the day.
TorrentFreak spoke with the owners of a few different VPN providers, asking them if they too sent out notices for piracy – as they are legally required to by the government – however, most don’t keep logs of IP addresses, which is part and parcel of the security and anonymity they provide users. It does make you wonder though if that will leave them open to problems in the future.
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KitGuru Says: Of course we don’t condone piracy, but if you do take part in it, would a letter in the post affect your actions?