The Death Of Anti-Piracy Companies And Copyright Trolls

Opinion

The potential effects of both PROTECT IP and the E-PARASITES legislations have been the subject of intense speculation in recent times. One side insists they will damage piracy and little else, opponents say they will only succeed in killing the Internet. But there are other potential casualties in all this - the poor anti-piracy companies and their copyright troll allies.

Anti-piracy companies aren’t really known for having a sense of humor, but there are exceptions.

TakedownPiracy isn’t a “let’s sue file-sharers” company, it concentrates on taking content offline with DMCA notices. It is run by a guy called Nate Glass and make no mistake, he is one funny dude who just loves to stir up a hornets nest.

Once we even offered him a chance to come and say something entertaining to the TorrentFreak readers but he didn’t answer our email, leaving us no option but to fight back the tears and try to move on. Sadly, Nate’s deliberately controversial blog has been strangely quiet for a month, but yesterday a new post burst forth and as usual, provided some food for thought.

Nate argues that while some lawyers are protesting against the pending PROTECT IP and E-PARASITES legislation on grounds that they are unfair and unbalanced, what they really want is for online piracy to continue. Of course they do – they are getting rich from representing both copyright holders and their targets, the file-sharers.

Which got me thinking.

Just for a moment, let’s entertain the notion that several things these bills intend to achieve actually work as planned. Let’s presume that all the prominent torrent and other file-sharing sites either have their domains seized or their DNSs blocked, and no Internet service provider in the United States carries their traffic anymore.

Visitors to these sites from the United States would cease to exist, just like that. Not only would there be no visitors from the US, but no advertisers and no friendly payment processors either. To these sites the United States may as well be dead because the country would be completely useless to them.

At this point, one can’t help worrying about Nate.

With the United States having taken off the metaphorical gloves and hitting file-sharing portals with the doomsday scenario they’d been promising all these years, what do we think is going to happen when Nate sends them his list of infringing URLs? Are these sites that are already being heavily punished simply going to comply and take them down?

Even with takedown requests being given the bird, Nate’s business model could well take a bit of a battering domestically. After the hugely successful forthcoming United States DNS, ISP and domain blocks take hold, presumably 312 million fewer people will have almost no access to pirated music and movies.

This means that even when Nate does manage to find a site that still respects DMCA takedowns after it has been blocked, censored and had its US payments cut off, each deleted URL will prevent exponentially less amounts of piracy than they do today. So, taking the entertainment industries’ notion that illegal downloads represent lost sales, these links aren’t going to be worth very much anymore.

But if Nate’s plight isn’t tearing you apart, please spare a minute of your thoughts for the copyright trolls behind the United States Copyright Group and their clones. With no US Internet subscribers having access to pirated media via BitTorrent anymore, where are the settlements going to come from?

Let’s face it, for once the MPAA and IFPI are absolutely right.

Just like the lawyers pointed out by Nate earlier, there are way too many entities around today making suitcases full of money from online piracy.

So let’s thank God for PROTECT IP and E-PARASITES – the perfect mechanisms for cutting off their finances and shutting them down for good.

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