In collaboration with all major US ISPs, the MPAA and RIAA will start to roll out a program to warn and incriminate copyright infringers. But no cause is without effect; as such cyberlockers and VPNs are going to experience a significant increase in revenues.
This summer copyright holders, helped by ISPs, will start chasing down pirates. It’s not something new (they were already doing that), but this time a formalized process bearing the name of “copyright alerts” (http://www.copyrightinformation.org/alerts) will exist. It’s a graduated response system which will notify people if they’re accounts are used of illegal downloading. Unlike the three-strikes system, this one has six steps; after six warnings ISPs are bound to apply several measures, including the disconnection of that account for a certain period of time.
While some are not yet aware of the danger and may download without the use of a proxy server or VPN, others are already taking precautions. Therefore, the effectiveness of the system is not guaranteed.
For example, a recent survey in France – where Hadopi is already in place – shows that only 4% of file-sharers stopped downloading infringed data, while most of them are using proxies and VPNs to stay anonymous.
Speaking to several VPN owners TorrentFreak found out that their user-base recorded a huge increase in numbers in the past few years – some of them are directly linked to news about copyright enforcement efforts. As the six-strikes system is being implemented, there will be no surprise if VPN and proxy services are going to get their pockets filled by file-sharers.
But they’re not the only ones to profit from it. Cyberlockers will also record an increase in revenues, since they’ve already outgrown some of the most popular torrent sites. That is mostly because the anti-piracy law is targeting only peer-to-peer file-sharing. For example, it’s a known fact that sites like 4Shared, RapidShare, and Hotfile are used to share copyrighted materials.
In a nutshell, pirates will always prefer VPNs and proxies, even if that requires the least amount of investment – but what’s money compared to a copyright lawsuit or prison?
Six-strikes will indeed take its toll, but the predictions indicate that the percentage of those who will completely stop from downloading illegal materials is not significant.