Blocking pirate Sites is Ineffective against piracy,says European Union

pirate siteInternet site-blocking and shutdowns have almost no effect against music and video piracy, new research from the European Union says. A new paper published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center concluded that copyright enforcement tactics, which include blocking of Web addresses to known illegal file-sharing and video-streaming sites, saw “significant but short-lived” declines in piracy levels.


Data retention will be a useful tool

The researchers examined Germany’s former most popular pirate video streaming site in 2011, which was shut down after police raided dozens of homes across Europe. Established in 2008, it became one of the most notorious illegal video-streaming sites in the world, allowing users to stream some of the latest movies for free.

But its shutdown by German police, though quick and effective, had a minimal effect on the black content market, the researchers say. Relying on clickstream data of more than 5,000 internet users across three countries, researchers determined that there was “little difficulty” for those users to switch to other sites.

When one pirate site was shut down, more emerged

When one pirate site was shut down, more emerged, turning a single site-blocking effort into a game of Whac-a-Mole. A number of governments, including Germany, France, and the UK, have enacted laws and fought cases in the courts to seek the shutdown of websites in recent years. A case against arguably the most famous piracy site, The Pirate Bay, at the UK’s High Court resulted in the major Internet providers in the UK blocking access to the site. The block reportedly had little effect on the site’s traffic, and remains one of the top 500 sites on the internet today, according to Alexa rankings.

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