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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week ISPs implemented their six strike anti-piracy policies, vendors highlighted software piracy in India to no avail and Japan released the results of a nationwide anti-piracy crack down.
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After months of delay, the Center for Copyright Information’s six strike Copyright Alert System finally went into effect last week. The Copyright Alert System is a six stage warning program where internet service providers impose progressively tougher warnings and penalties on their copyright infringing subscribers.
The system was originally agreed upon in July of 2011 and was set to go into effect December of that year. The implementation was then delayed until July 2012 and December 2012 before ultimately happening last week.
The six strike program only affects the subscribers of those ISPs who choose to participate, which includes the majority of the nation’s largest ISPs. Currently the participating ISPs are AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. While each ISP has a six strike plan, the details of that plan were up to the individual companies to decide. As a result the penalties vary but generally step up from warnings to educational “classes” on copyright infringement and finally to throttled internet speeds.
In Nehru Place, India’s largest market for computers, software piracy is an everyday sight. Young boys stand on the street, loudly announcing the pirated software they have for sale. Fed up with the government’s failure to enforcement copyright law and the resulting loss of software sales, local vendors decided to video record software piracy transactions hoping to push the government to move on the issue.
Despite this evidence it seems unlikely the police will act. Nehru Place law enforcement officers often stand guard within earshot of the boys yelling out “software, software” in order to advertise their pirated wares. There are even some allegations the police take kickbacks from the software pirates.
For their part, the boys don’t seem the least bit concerned. As long as they’re under 19 the worst they say they can expect from a run in with the police is to be roughed up a bit. After 19 years of age they would face jail time, which explains the young age of the average pirated software vendor in Delhi.
In a press release, Japan’s National Police Agency announced that software piracy sweeps conducted throughout Japan yielded 27 arrests for copyright violation. According to the Japanese news, one suspect - nicknamed “God” - uploaded around 1,300 programs over the past five years alone.
Under a new copyright enforcement law passed in October of 2012, if found guilty of uploading pirated content those arrested face up to 10 years in prison or nearly $100,000 in fines.
Questions, comments? Is there a story or topic you’d like to see covered in depth? Please leave a comment below or visit us at our Software Piracy Initiatives Forum and discuss the topics with experts in the field.
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