New research coming out of Boston's Northeastern University suggests that the strategies of the music and music industry that target the blocking of websites that host copyrighted material is not an effective anti-piracy measure.
Content that may be shut down in one location is likely to spring up somewhere else at a rapid pace, creating a cat and mouse game that cannot be won. They mentioned Megaupload, which, for example, was asked by Warner Bros. to remove more than 2,500 infringing links every day in September 2009. Yet even the seizure and shutdown of the site did little to slow piracy as this event is likely to have encouraged other "one-click hosters" (OCHs) to pick up Megaupload's traffic volume.
"Currently, this game seems to be in favor of the many pirates who provide far more content than what the copyright owners are taking down," the researchers said. "This imbalance of powers, together with the size and diversity of the One-Click Hosting ecosystem, suggest that anti-piracy laws to reduce the availability and reachability of pirated content may be less successful than what their proponents might expect."
The researchers said that there are currently more than 10,000 domains that are hosting pirated content. They said that copyright holders should not focus on the seizure of domains, but on blocking their ability to process payments from users, which could prove to be much more effective.
"On the other hand, strategies against economically motivated actors may effectively target certain parts of the ecosystem," the study concluded. "Together with increased legal proceedings, we expect them to render many OCHs more diligent, and maybe even proactive, in their own anti-piracy efforts."