Thursday, 24 July 2014

2015 Will see the UK government try to educate Internet pirates

Sometimes governments have good idea's.  It's a rare thing granted but it does actually happen.  Examples of good idea's the British government has had include the NHS, creating a metropolitan police force (the worlds first), the benefits system and many more.  Adding to this list is the announcement of a new initiative against online piracy that instead of attacking the pirates with fines, criminal charges or ban's from the Internet now want to educate them.

Let's face it, anyone who has used the Internet will have at some point or another illegally downloaded something whether it be a game, album, film, pictures and numerous other copyrighted materials.  It's been a big issue for some games developers over the years with different publishers making trying different methods of anti piracy control from draconian digital rights management methods to always online connections for singleplayer experiences.  None really work to prevent piracy in the long run and more often than not end up punishing the legal customers who simply want to play a game.

So the new initiative is to instead educate those who illegally download content by sending letters from that persons Internet service provider.  Apparently four letters can be sent a year with the intention to inform the person that they are aware of the activity and would point them to places they can legally obtain the items they are downloading at a fair price instead.  Of course this won't curtail piracy completely, honestly nothing will but it's positive step by the government to reduce it without the monumental task of prosecuting millions of people a year for relatively minor acts of piracy at times. 

It isn't unusual for those who pirate to only want to play the game or see the film because they may not have the money to blow on something that could be bad in their opinion.  Piracy can for some users be a try before you buy method and these new education initiatives I think will have an effect of allowing those people to find what they want online cheaper than they thought it was.  The final cherry on top of this announcement was that even if you did receive four letters in a year, you will never be prosecuted for it, only told they are aware of your actions.  Sometimes knowing that someone is aware of your activities is enough of a deterrent. 

So what do you think about this new UK plan against piracy?


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