In the past I have done some posts where I call into question the responses to online copyright infringement. Most of these posts concern the disproportionate use of legal methods and court orders such as ex-parte injunctions to force entire websites of the grid. The focus of all this writing has been to striking a balance between an open and collaborative web vis-a-vis the rights of the copyright holders. Its also been to focus in on how intermediaries which vary from our internet service providers to file sharing websites provide the backbone of our network communications. Quite simply, these intermediaries which mediate our information exchanges should not be made onerously liable, otherwise they may just disappear. All this discourse presumes the intermediary to be a good/reasonable actor.
What I have failed to take into account is that the rights holder (the person who is owning the copyright) acting within the bounds of law as well as propriety and an intermediary refusing to comply with a court order. Now this is far from an academic problem. Torrent websites sometime quite belligerently refuse compliance with court orders or the DMCA. While there may be sophisticated arguments such as them not hosting the files but only links to the files, in the end they often do facilitate copyright infringement. Are there any alternatives for the copyright owner other than requesting a court to block the website/webpage ?
- 199 Take-Down Requests, 1 Court Order (iltb.net)
- the great singham filesharing block (iltb.net)
- British court orders ISP to block piracy site Newzbin (gigaom.com)