Predicting the futility of French three-strikes laws to affect piracy

September 23, 2009

Anybody care to make any measurable predictions for how the French three strikes law plays out over the next year?  I predict:

1) It’ll probably never really go into effect in any meaningful way.  It’ll either be blocked somehow, or not enforced, or in some other way neutered.  By this time next year, there won’t be a single person shut off as a result of the law.  This is the most easily measured of my predictions.

2) Regardless of whether or not it is enforced, there will be stories of how piracy took a nosedive.  But given that piracy is so incredibly difficult to measure, these stories will have essentially no data to back them up.

3) Despite claims of a nosedive in piracy, there will *not* be a substantial uptick in sales via legitimate channels.  It’ll continue growing at roughly its current (slow) pace.

4) This I’m the least confident in, as France is too small a pirate market to really drive this sort of innovation, but at least one of the major pirate tools (probably Azureus) will begin shipping with encryption default “on”.

Any other predictions?

David Barrett

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