Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ofcom aims at wrong target

The interim statement and proposal to make an order re Online Infringement of Copyright and the Digital Economy Act 2010 was published today by Ofcom in respect of the UK.

Having looked through the document it sadly appears to a bastard child created by intense lobbying between ISP's and major content owners without the basis of much actual data on the piracy ecosystem. In particular the provisions appear to be aimed at the consumers of pirate content rather than the providers, facilitators and supporters of it.

The process is also so slow and cumbersome that the pirates will be long gone before any real impact is achieved.

If the objective is to stop piracy it needs to be done at source by engaging with the websites, streaming companies and advertisers who all drive the ecosystem.

In addition the provisions are all aimed at torrent sites / p2p sharing platforms where it is possible to detect end user IP address rather than streaming sites which are proving increasingly popular and are linked directly into set top box technology delivering high quality pictures to a TV.

It would be a great pity if a well intentioned effort to protect copyright in the digital age through legislation ended up being an irrelevance on publication.