ISPs and the Great Online Pirate Chase
"It all smacks of publicity stunt ... . I'm not quite sure why anybody would be more punished by this system, especially since the old system was you would get sued, right? And attorneys would come to you and say, 'hey, you've been downloading music and movies, video games, whatever. Stop it -- otherwise, you're going to court."
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?"
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.