New laws mandating ISP website filtering will “only incentivize bad actors to find new avenues to disseminate infringing content,” Sasha Moss, copyright expert and Federal Affairs Manager at the R Street Institute told Motherboard. “The only way to combat piracy is to create legal and accessible options for sharing content online.”
Studies routinely show that while “pirates” are often maligned as freeloading ne’er do wells by the entertainment industry, they tend to be the biggest purchasers of legal content. One recent study out of the UK showed that 83 percent of copyright infringers first try to find the content they’re looking for from legal sources.
But instead of focusing primarily on providing better legal alternatives to piracy, the entertainment industry has long pushed for more draconian options, including demands that ISPs kick copyright infringers offline entirely for copyright infringement.
These kinds of scorched-earth tactics were a major reason for the massive backlash the industry faced during the SOPA/PIPA fight in 2011, experts note.
“SOPA/PIPA was riddled with problems and it would be nonsensical to go down that road again,” Moss said.