Three strikes laws, the fabled ‘golden bullet’ to deal with copyright infringement has taken a beating over the past year. The debate over the effectiveness has focused on three areas – proportionality, judicial oversight and accuracy – and more evidence keeps piling up against it.
Opponents to three-strikes, or ‘Graduated Response’ laws have been boosted in recent weeks by the news that the UN has condemned such laws, citing their disproportionate nature (that the punishment is far greater than the alleged crime warrants). In the wake of this statement, UK groups have started pushing ever harder to get significant parts of the Digital Economy Act (DEAct) – which has already cost the taxpayer around £5.9Million – repealed.
The Act, passed in an incredible rush in 2010 has been constantly under fire for legitimizing the practices of accusation-based punishment. On June 14 an Early Day Motion was submitted to the Government, building on the UN’s report, asking that a review of the DEAct be undertaken, and is currently signed by 20 MPs.
The UK Pirate Party is also putting pressure on the Government, with it’s “Axe the Act” campaign. The campaign asks UK citizens to urge their MP to support the Early Day Motion, as well as a petition.
Since errors in graduated response schemes have now been publicly documented, and the whole system has come under global condemnation, how long will it be before content industries are pushing a new ‘golden bullet’ to solve the claimed problems of piracy.