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ISPs and the Great Online Pirate Chase

By Scott Steinberg
Aug 23, 2011 5:00 AM PT

Technology analyst Scott Steinberg fields a viewer question on the latest approach to curbing online piracy: "Internet service providers policing pirates: What is Hollywood smoking? And does anyone really think that this will work?"

ISPs and the Great Online Pirate Chase

Not really, suggests Steinberg. Enforcement would be costly and cumbersome, and probably not at all effective -- pirates could just easily change their habits to avoid detection, and even if they're caught, the remedies amount to little more than a slap on the wrist.

Still, this is a good thing for consumers in general, he suggests, because it signals an end to the entertainment industry's previous litigious approach. It doesn't make sense to sue single moms and 12-year-olds over file-sharing, Steinberg maintains, requiring them to pay egregious sums to settle their cases.

ECT News Network contributor Scott Steinberg is a tech industry analyst, author and radio/TV host. Visit his website to submit questions on consumer products, computers, electronics, software apps, IT, online services or any other tech topic that interests you.

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