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Police commissioner admits piracy enforcement won’t work

The debate over how much damage piracy has done to differing media industries has been raging since the original creation of digital products, be they music, movies, games or software. That debate has only intensified in the last decade with the growth of P2P sharing and the answer from lobby groups, studios and the police, has often been taking legal action against those responsible, be they site owners or individual downloaders. Despite much information showing that strategy doesn’t really work, they’ve continued onwards with it but not everyone still has their head down, as the commissioner for the City of London Police force admitted this weekend that enforcement strategies are never going to have much of an effect.

Speaking at the IP Enforcement Summit in London, the commissioner spoke to other police chiefs, movie studio executives and representatives from many lobby organisations. While normally you would assume these events are there to give everyone a chance to preach to the choir, the commissioner took a very different tack with his speech.

“I don’t think enforcement is ever going to find a way out of this problem,” he said. “When you’re in a tsunami you can’t push back the water and you have to start thinking very differently about how we protect society.”

ipsummit
If there’s video of this, someone, somewhere is pirating it

He went on to suggest that there were different ways to approach the problem that may be more effective. Going after advertising for example:

“We’ll never enforce our way out of this problem so we have to think differently about how we tackle it and target it. Organized crime is motivated purely by money and the way to start dealing with this is to target the money flows and how people make money out of this crime,” he said.

Looking forward, he said that there were several steps to bringing down piracy. The first in his and PIPCU’s current strategy, is to ask a site to shutdown (which TorrentFreak reveals, is successful in only four to ten per cent of cases). When that invariably doesn’t work, they go after the ads and payment processing on the site.

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KitGuru Says: Considering the responses you guys gave us the other day that none of this has had much of an effect on your downloading, it’s at least nice to know that pirates won’t be targeted individually with legal action, that always seemed like an odd way to go about ending piracy. Stopping one person at a time was never going to have much of an impact. 

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