Anti-piracy’s great achievements

In Depth - A merciless lens pointed on the hot topics, passionate and detailed retrospectives, reflections beyond the appearancesIf there is one thing that we must rightfully concede to the contents industry, surely it’s the ability to reach concrete results in its fight against unauthorized file sharing. The copyright corporations are experiencing a happy time, and it little matters that practically nothing seems to change for the aforementioned file sharing: beggars can’t be choosers, they say, and no one like the majors can be satisfied with the results achieved by their relentless anti-piracy effort.

During the past year, for instance, the industry was pretty active in killing the to-go places for some million users of torrent-based sharing: the surrender of KickassTorrents in the past Summer is already history, and with KAT went down what had become the most popular BitTorrent search engine on the Internet.

More recently, the obituary of noteworthy torrent sites has grown with NYAA, a landmark for fans of Japanese anime, and then with ExtraTorrent, that after the KAT shutdown was the second most popular BitTorrent search engine. It seems that in both cases the admins voluntarily decided to give up the fight, a sign that the good fella of the industry are now capable of scaring even the most bad and ugly pirates of P2P.

ExtraTorrent

In the United Kingdom the majors have finally obtained the increasing in maximum prison sentences for illegal shares from two to ten years, while elsewhere they erased the threat of T411, the number one torrent engine for French-speaking users. The bots of the anti-piracy organizations are maybe running into too much zombie-URLs to suppress, but the idea of hijacking unrepentant pirates’ browsers and the offensive powers of the new, gigantic coalition in defense of copyright (Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment) should ensure a greater effectiveness in fighting piracy in the future.

Unfortunately for an industry that is spending huge amounts of money to put P2Pers in prison, however, this post is mostly a satirical exercise where I can’t help but concluding with the harsh, factual truth: torrent-based sharing is still extremely popular especially in Europe, if ExtraTorrent closed down its uploader groups are continuing their business elsewhere and the rest of search engines are absorbing traffic from users in search of a new home.

A worsening in anti-piracy policies is encouraging the development of new approaches like the piracy-focused, advertising-free one from Skytorrents, while indie game developers are trying to treat BitTorrent users as something different from the ugly and dangerous criminals described by the majors.

Could we miss a note about The Pirate Bay in the end? Of course not: eleven years after the historic raid by the Swedish police the Bay still is one of the pillars of P2P on BitTorrent and one of the Internet 100 most visited Web sites according to Alexa, the oldest torrents still working have reached the age of 13 and the site’s original founders will never pay back a money debt that could soon become some billion-dollar affair.

So thank you, dear copyright majors, for contributing so generously with so many opportunities to discuss but mostly to uncontrollably laugh for pirates around the world. Go on and good luck: you will need it.

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