Blocking of piracy websites works say tech experts

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WASHINGTON – Evidence shows that blocking of piracy websites is effective and does not damage the internet ecosystem says a leading group pf technology experts.

Although many opponents of blocking websites that facilitate digital piracy say it would be ineffective and, worse, would damage the Internet ecosystem, the evidence from twenty-five countries that allow such policies prove that none of those claims is true.

In the Spanish edition of its analysis on this subject, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading group of experts in science and technology policy, concludes that legislators, the media, and the public should be more skeptical of ‘’hysterical and unfounded objections’’ to such reasonable policy measures.

“The main argument of opponents to blocking websites that engage in digital piracy is that the internet would not work and  blocking would actually ‘tear it apart’.

But we now have empirical evidence from the UK plus the experience of 24 other countries that allow piracy websites to be blocked, which shows that this alarmism is wrong.

The evidence should serve as an example and a reminder that in discussions of internet-related issues lawmakers should properly consider misinformed claims by those who oppose more effective enforcement of intellectual property. ”

Cory’s report includes a review of a Carnegie Mellon University study that found that blocking offensive websites has been effective in combating digital piracy.

The study analyzed the impact of the blocking of 53 UK pirate websites on the behavior of 58,809 users. The results showed that blocking such sites caused a 90% drop in visits to pirated sites and generated a 10% increase in site visits backed by legal notices and a 6% increase to sites with subscription.

The ITIF report also argues that, despite critics’ suggestions that the blocking of websites would “shatter the internet,” there have been no negative results in the 25 countries that allow websites to be blocked for breach of copyright.

“Regardless of what opponents claim, free and open source internet is not the antithesis of blocking websites that facilitate copyright infringement,” Cory concluded.

“Even the most eloquent advocates of Internet freedom recognize that it is legitimate to eliminate or limit access to some online materials, such as child pornography.

The key question about internet freedom is not whether the internet should be completely free or whether governments should have unlimited authority to censor, but rather where appropriate boundaries should be set, how they should be marked and how they should be implemented.

 

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