Punish Music Pirates With Finger Amputations, Artist Says

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One musician thinks she has the ultimate solution to killing off music piracy. By employing a unique type of graduated response - amputating a finger at a time for each offense - music pirates might think again about their actions. Even if they don't, it won't matter, she says, as they won't have fingers to pirate anymore.

carrotIf there was a guaranteed and cost-effective way for the creative industries to clamp down on piracy, rest assured they would take it. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet in today’s arsenal.

Ordering ISPs to block ‘pirate’ sites is one approach, but at least in the first instance the process is both expensive and drawn out, often taking a number of years to come to fruition.

Another method is to hit Internet users who dare to download and share copyrighted material. Some frameworks, such as those in the United States and United Kingdom, envision a situation where people can be persuaded to do the right thing after receiving warning letters. More aggressive schemes, such as those in South Korea and New Zealand, foresee potential disconnections for persistent pirates.

But one musician in Nigeria believes she has a quick and easy solution to stop people illegally pirating her work. Her version of the so-called “graduated response” is controversial, but might just work.

“Cutting their fingers off will stop them, by the time you cut off two people’s fingers others will stop,” popular singer Stella Monye told the News agency of Nigeria.

Amputations, the singer says, are doubly effective. Not only do they act as a deterrent, but already-punished pirates will not be able to re-offend either.

“If their fingers are cut, they won’t [be able to use the hands] in pirating the works,” Monye said. “They will learn and it will be faster in stopping them; without a drastic measure they won’t stop.”

Web blockades have been previously described as a potential abuse of human rights, but Monye’s anti-piracy solution pushes new boundaries.

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