Piracy Law No Deterrent, Study of French Law Indicates

Karloff

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Piracy Law No Deterrent, Study of French Law Indicates



In fact, it makes pirates sneakier, this study of France's Three Strikes law suggests.

France's HADOPI or three strikes law, passed in 2009 and revoked in 2013, was meant to protect creative works on the internet. It had as its ultimate penalty suspension from the internet, for a period from two months to one year. But did it work? No, a recently published study by French and American academics suggests. Not only did the law have no substantial deterrent effect, those who were best educated about the law and piracy alternatives simply avoided monitored P2P networks and accessed content illegally through unmonitored channels.

The study is based on self-reported data from 2000 respondents sorted by age, gender, occupation and location, who were asked their views on the HADOPI law. About 37.6% admitted to illegal downloading, of whom 16.4% were given a HADOPI warning. This didn't stop anyone from pirating material, though it did affect the frequency of their downloads. All in all, the overall effect on file sharing was "negative but insignificant," the researchers conclude.

The bigger problem is the social network. If friends, family and the entire network are happily complicit in downloading, the likelihood that an individual will pirate increases. This is so even though people tend to overestimate the reach of the HADOPI law, and assume that unmonitored channels are actually being monitored. Those who are aware of the law don't stop pirating content; instead they become more strategic about it, selecting unmonitored sources to avoid detection.

The researchers feel that the only way a graduated response system like HADOPI is likely to have any effect, is if it starts cracking down on a significant portion of the population. If everyone's getting warnings and being punished, the allure of piracy vanishes. But HADOPI became unpopular, and was revoked, precisely because people didn't like it being enforced. Its ultimate sanction, removal from the internet [http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/07/france-defangs-its-anti-piracy-law-removes-disconnection-penalty/], was so unpopular that it was removed, and in its lifetime was enforced only once.

The full paper can be found here [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2380522].

Source: Ars Technica [http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/study-of-french-three-strikes-piracy-law-finds-no-deterrent-effect/]


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Falterfire

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You're saying that people willing to break the law to acquire something don't stop just because a different law is passed? I am incredibly surprised by these findings.

Still, this sort of paper is always necessary. Things that are 'obvious' or that 'anybody could have seen' still can't actually be used as fact until you actually have concrete numbers instead of just some guys on the internet rambling.
 

Alpha Maeko

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"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? o_O
 

JoJo

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Not really a surprise that a deterrent whose 'ultimate penalty' is suspension from the Internet for a year doesn't actually deter many people, that and the low percentage of pirates who even got a warning to begin with.

Its ultimate sanction, removal from the internet, was so unpopular that it was removed, and in its lifetime was enforced only once.
Yeah, out of a population of over 60 million, one person was disconnected. I'm sure the French were trembling in fear >.>
 

Albino Boo

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Alpha Maeko said:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? o_O
Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.
 

Athinira

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albino boo said:
Alpha Maeko said:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? o_O
Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.
As i read the report, they actually selected the people based on some criterias to get a good distribution of age, occupation etc., so it's not just your standard "Let's throw up a poll and see what random people respond" kind of poll (which of course would be silly in a scientific scope). Also the sample size of around 2000 people is pretty decent.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.
 

Alterego-X

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SonOfVoorhees said:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.
Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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Alterego-X said:
SonOfVoorhees said:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.
Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.
People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.
 

Albino Boo

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Athinira said:
albino boo said:
Alpha Maeko said:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? o_O
Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.
As i read the report, they actually selected the people based on some criterias to get a good distribution of age, occupation etc., so it's not just your standard "Let's throw up a poll and see what random people respond" kind of poll (which of course would be silly in a scientific scope). Also the sample size of around 2000 people is pretty decent.
They are still self selecting. Its only going to be people who actually care about the law are those that are likely to respond.
 

Scars Unseen

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SonOfVoorhees said:
Alterego-X said:
SonOfVoorhees said:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.
Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.
People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.
This is not untrue, however in this particular case it is not entirely true either. The problem here is not one of fear, but rather of a collective lack of moral quandary and social pressure. That a law exists is not enough. If the majority do not feel that an act is wrong, then a law claiming that it is is fairly useless. Most people want to be accepted by their peers and will at least keep up the appearance of doing the "right" thing in front of others in order to gain that acceptance(which is why internet arguments tend to be less civilized than those taking place face to face). When an illegal act gains general social acceptance, people stop perceiving it as "wrong." This encourages a much greater number of people to commit it than otherwise, and so most of the people that do not either have no interest, have a strong personal moral stance against it, or -as you said- fear punishment more than most.

With piracy, most of the blame can be placed on the major content providers: the music and movie industries and the like. By warping copyright law and pursuing draconian laws to make governments into their personal enforcers, they've demonized themselves to the point that people can't see them as victims. This does not excuse the act of copyright infringement, certainly not. But you can't soak your house in gasoline and claim no responsibility in another man's act of arson.

Of course, it's also true that the current state of piracy is different than that of previous decades only in scope. I don't recall there being any particular stigma on copying VHS tapes; it just took longer and resulted in a loss of quality. Perhaps that itself is an indicator that there is no winning move against piracy. Try a little and you're wasting money; try too much and you alienate your customers. Best just to focus on making your product appealing.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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Scars Unseen said:
SonOfVoorhees said:
Alterego-X said:
SonOfVoorhees said:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.
Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.
People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.
This is not untrue, however in this particular case it is not entirely true either. The problem here is not one of fear, but rather of a collective lack of moral quandary and social pressure. That a law exists is not enough. If the majority do not feel that an act is wrong, then a law claiming that it is is fairly useless. Most people want to be accepted by their peers and will at least keep up the appearance of doing the "right" thing in front of others in order to gain that acceptance(which is why internet arguments tend to be less civilized than those taking place face to face). When an illegal act gains general social acceptance, people stop perceiving it as "wrong." This encourages a much greater number of people to commit it than otherwise, and so most of the people that do not either have no interest, have a strong personal moral stance against it, or -as you said- fear punishment more than most.

With piracy, most of the blame can be placed on the major content providers: the music and movie industries and the like. By warping copyright law and pursuing draconian laws to make governments into their personal enforcers, they've demonized themselves to the point that people can't see them as victims. This does not excuse the act of copyright infringement, certainly not. But you can't soak your house in gasoline and claim no responsibility in another man's act of arson.

Of course, it's also true that the current state of piracy is different than that of previous decades only in scope. I don't recall there being any particular stigma on copying VHS tapes; it just took longer and resulted in a loss of quality. Perhaps that itself is an indicator that there is no winning move against piracy. Try a little and you're wasting money; try too much and you alienate your customers. Best just to focus on making your product appealing.
Excellent reply. Most kids used to copy music tapes or cds. Now things are digital and we have massive hard drives now the quality and quantity of what a person can pirate is through the roof. Where as when i was a kid, you were limited by the amount of blank tapes or cds you owned. So, i agree, piracy laws are fairly pointless as people will do it regardless as its not seen as a crime for them. Like stealing a pen from work, you dont consider it theft even though it is.

Personally the first thing i would like stopped is those anti piracy "you wouldnt steal a car" adverts you cant skip on dvds. Hate those as i bought the product legally.
 

Alterego-X

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SonOfVoorhees said:
Most kids used to copy music tapes or cds. Now things are digital and we have massive hard drives now the quality and quantity of what a person can pirate is through the roof. Where as when i was a kid, you were limited by the amount of blank tapes or cds you owned. So, i agree, piracy laws are fairly pointless as people will do it regardless as its not seen as a crime for them. Like stealing a pen from work, you dont consider it theft even though it is.
I'm pretty sure that most people *do* consider stealing a pen to be stealing, only a very mild form of it.

The real problem with piracy, is that unlike with theft, it's definition itself has been made up in these past few decades.

Back in the 18th century, when the first copyright laws were made up, the only thing they could refer to, was printing thousands of books with your own industrial printer, and sell them on the market while cutting the writer out of the loop. In that case, it made intuitive sense to give a printing monopoly to the writers, while the public never got to feel that the very act of freely accessing a text is illegal (since there was no such thing anyways).

Even in the early 20th entury, with the new mediums, copyright mostly limited counterfeiting, and the customers only choice was to which seller to buy from, the bootlegger or the (often higher quality) legit one.

It was only in the past few decades, with personal tape recorders, photocopiers, and CD writers, that public was told that some private usage of their everyday household tools, can be illegal. The analogy about how sticking your own textbook into your own photocopier can be an act of "theft", certainly didn't help. What does it mean that you own a book as your property, if someone else also owns the authority over you-not-being-allowed-too-print-that-book as his intellectual "property"?

The Internet just confused this latest stage further, by placing us in a life where we constantly share text, video, music, and software without them being "taken away" from their sharer.

Copyright has little legitimacy, because the original consensus about it's usefulness was about giving publishers a monopoly over other publishers, not about giving publishers a censorship authority over the same system through which people communicate all their content to each other every day.
 

Baresark

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SonOfVoorhees said:
People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.
That is a completely false. The risk/reward assessment of crime is archaic and more importantly proven completely false. Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime. All people commit crimes of a sort, whether it be the legal kind, civil kind, or social kind of crime. Every person commits crimes so far as they still "feel" honest. Crimes of piracy are a prime example of this. Many people feel that IP Protection laws shouldn't exist or are an affront to what is morally right. Whether you agree with this assessment is inconsequential because moral's are highly individualistic. But they are not making assessments based on their moral attitude, it's more intrinsic than that, it's much deeper, it's automatic. There are bigger things involved too though. For instance, the further something is removed from actual money, the easier it is for people to "steal" it. Most people will not steal $6 they see sitting around. They won't steal even $1. But if you put out 6 cans of soda, valued at $1 each, the chances of them being stole is greatly increased. Digital goods are so far removed from money, it doesn't even register on moral scales for most people.

The risk/reward assessment is also further disproven by studies where people are given the opportunity to be dishonest in a situation that they could never be caught. A study that was repeated hundreds of times showed this. There was a woman taking a taxi who was pretending to be blind. She was going from a specific location to an airport (this was performed in many major cities around the world). This is ideal because in every major city there are numerous routes to the city Airport. This is obviously intended to deal with congestion in cities. But because of that, there are often routes that are significantly faster and cheaper by taxi. In all instances of this study, no taxi deceived the fake blind woman. They gave them multiple chances. Sometimes it was just a ride to or from the airport. Sometimes she would intentionally given give them a larger bill than she "meant" to. Each time the taxi drivers never ripped off the woman. In some cases, the taxi drivers charged no fair at all.

There, that is out of the way. I just get a little annoyed by these conversations. It's not your, it's a problem that is indicative of education. A long time ago, someone made the assumption there was a risk/reward assessment in reference to how "honest" someone was. This ended up in text books and being repeated again and again. But no one studied it till about the 80's, at least studied it on large enough scale that people took notice of it. But, as you can see, the risk/reward assessments of crime still lives today, even though there is literally no evidence suggesting that it ever took place. Another part of it is that people like to think that humans are logical and rational creatures, but we mostly are not. Most of our daily actions are not based on kind of logic or rationality, it's part of human duality. We are the only species on the planet with this quality, so humans have a propensity to over estimate it's roll in our daily lives.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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I agree with the service theory. You will never stop some people from pirating short of locking them in a box. But, other people pirate or just plain don't use/watch/listen to/play the product because the service to get and support it is horrible. Itunes' DRM for years made people use stripping programs be able to use non-Apple mp3 players or more than one or so ipods. Always online single player games have people pirating it out of spite or in a desperate attempt to play the game they bought but doesn't work. People are also getting weary of using a service that saves their card info or don't have a card to use. PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, Nintendo and itunes all have prepaid cards sold in meat space stores that solve the card problems. One thing that affects everyone is the anti-piracy PSAs. Going to the theater or popping in a DVD leads you to being force fed the message piracy is EVIL over and over, though you bought the ticket or DVD. They treat their own customers like criminals even though the guy with the camcorder knows he's breaking the law and DVD pirate just strip that BS right out so whoever watches that DVD never sees the unskippable PSA or annoying trailers. They need to minimize that, because it puts off people wanting to spend more money.

Another problem is price. We see Hollywood stars, big publishing execs and musicians flaunting ridiculous wealth while many who might pirate are trying to save enough for rent, bills, insurance, and kids and just what to have some entertainment once in a while. They see the big media people and think they got enough money so they go sailing on Pirate Bay. If the damn media execs would stop charging oodles of money for things more people would go to movies and buy DVDs, games, DLC, music, and TV episodes. Even George Lucas has said that $3 should be the price of a movie ticket. If salaries in Hollywood and corporate America didn't escalate ridiculously in the early 20th century we might not have to worry about piracy. I stopped seeing movies since it's such a rip off. (Someday I'll rent Django Unchained and Pacific Rim.)

If execs would lower their prices even a little, take out crippling DRM, and improve their services, piracy would go to the very few that refuse to pay for anything if they can help it. Pirates will never die, but their number can become negligible. Laws won't stop them. Steam's sales and GOG's very modus operandi is proof that your can be successful in a market supposedly overrun with pirates.
 

DrOswald

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Baresark said:
SonOfVoorhees said:
People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.
That is a completely false. The risk/reward assessment of crime is archaic and more importantly proven completely false. Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime. All people commit crimes of a sort, whether it be the legal kind, civil kind, or social kind of crime. Every person commits crimes so far as they still "feel" honest. Crimes of piracy are a prime example of this. Many people feel that IP Protection laws shouldn't exist or are an affront to what is morally right. Whether you agree with this assessment is inconsequential because moral's are highly individualistic. But they are not making assessments based on their moral attitude, it's more intrinsic than that, it's much deeper, it's automatic. There are bigger things involved too though. For instance, the further something is removed from actual money, the easier it is for people to "steal" it. Most people will not steal $6 they see sitting around. They won't steal even $1. But if you put out 6 cans of soda, valued at $1 each, the chances of them being stole is greatly increased. Digital goods are so far removed from money, it doesn't even register on moral scales for most people.

The risk/reward assessment is also further disproven by studies where people are given the opportunity to be dishonest in a situation that they could never be caught. A study that was repeated hundreds of times showed this. There was a woman taking a taxi who was pretending to be blind. She was going from a specific location to an airport (this was performed in many major cities around the world). This is ideal because in every major city there are numerous routes to the city Airport. This is obviously intended to deal with congestion in cities. But because of that, there are often routes that are significantly faster and cheaper by taxi. In all instances of this study, no taxi deceived the fake blind woman. They gave them multiple chances. Sometimes it was just a ride to or from the airport. Sometimes she would intentionally given give them a larger bill than she "meant" to. Each time the taxi drivers never ripped off the woman. In some cases, the taxi drivers charged no fair at all.

There, that is out of the way. I just get a little annoyed by these conversations. It's not your, it's a problem that is indicative of education. A long time ago, someone made the assumption there was a risk/reward assessment in reference to how "honest" someone was. This ended up in text books and being repeated again and again. But no one studied it till about the 80's, at least studied it on large enough scale that people took notice of it. But, as you can see, the risk/reward assessments of crime still lives today, even though there is literally no evidence suggesting that it ever took place. Another part of it is that people like to think that humans are logical and rational creatures, but we mostly are not. Most of our daily actions are not based on kind of logic or rationality, it's part of human duality. We are the only species on the planet with this quality, so humans have a propensity to over estimate it's roll in our daily lives.
That experiment with the taxi's proves nothing about risk/reward assessment in crimes. It demonstrates that the idea that people are fundamentally and totally dishonest at all times and are only waiting for the opportunity to not get caught false, but it does not prove that there is no risk/reward assessment in crime. It doesn't even begin to demonstrate that. And I know that at least some risk/reward assessment happens when crimes are committed because I have seen first hand the risk/reward assessment being made on multiple occasions.

I once knew a guy who wanted to go to a 21+ concert but who was only 20. He was considering trying to pass off as his slightly older brother and spent several hours with me hashing out a textbook example of a risk/reward assessment. I knew people who did drugs, I knew people who tried to buy beer, I knew people who I was able to talk out of doing very stupid things because I told them how risky it was. This would not have been possible if there was not risk/reward assessment going on. I have had people come to me and ask me just how risky it is to pirate things online and what kind of punishment is applicable if they get caught.

Don't tell me that "Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime" because I have seen the risk/reward assessment actually happen on multiple occasions.

Now, if you had said that relying completely and totally on a risk/reward model for crime is incorrect I would have agreed. The problem is far more complex than that. But it would be equally foolish to completely throw out the idea of risk/reward assessment because it is an important piece of a much larger whole.

Also, you insistence that "there is literally no evidence" of the Rational Choice crime theory is demonstrably false. In fact, lets look at three examples:

1. Substantial reductions in aircraft hijackings in the 1970s achieved by baggage screening and other airport measures.
2. Reductions in thefts from parking lots due to surveillance.
3. Greatly reduced shoplifting and library books as a result of electronic merchandise tagging.

Or are you seriously going to argue that people didn't realize that hijacking aircraft was wrong until we started screening their baggage?
 

Something Amyss

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Baresark said:
I'd be interested in seeing some sources on those claims.

Scrumpmonkey said:
This is obvious to anyone who understands the basic principles of the internet. The problem is data like this needs to be presented because as SOAP proved no lawmakers understand the 1st thing about the internet. It's mainly a side effect of them being crusty rich old out of touch men who are ill equipped to function in the modern world.
It took SOPA to show that? What about the whole "series of tubes" thing? What about the bill (I think it was the INDUCE act) that attempted to ban illegal file sharing but would have effectively banned the internet and any internet-capable computer? What about the attacks on net neutrality because Congress believed the claims that we were "running out of internet?"