French culture minister proposes web-block list in new anti-piracy push

A French minister has proposed launching a piracy blacklist. This would inform internet service providers, search engines and ad agencies which websites are actually naughty copyright infringers. Those companies could respectively block them, de-list them, and ensure their ad spend doesn’t work its way into the pirates’ pockets.

Ten years ago, when the music industry’s top piracy gripe was P2P file-sharing, copyright owners started discussing two possible anti-piracy tactics: three-strikes and web-blocking. The former would see suspected file-sharers being sent stern letters by their ISP threatened disconnection of internet access if file-sharing continued. The latter would see ISPs ordered to block their users from accessing piracy sites.

In the end the latter took off in a much more prolific way. But while three-strikes was still part of the debate, France introduced such a scheme. It was probably the most draconian of all the three-strikes systems introduced – or indeed even considered – although in the end the penalties weren’t quite as harsh or widespread as expected.

But France’s culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, reckons that the three-strikes approach to tackling piracy is now becoming ineffective, because letters are mainly sent to those spotted uploading or downloading copyright material without licence. And – as anti-piracy experts Muso recently noted – pirated content is increasingly being streamed rather than downloaded. But those unlicensed streams aren’t being monitored.




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