Why Not Apply A Three Strikes Rule To Everything?

from the watch-the-accusations-fly... dept

Back when the entertainment industry first got serious about pushing its silly three strikes concept, we were among those who wondered if the entertainment industry would accept a reverse three strikes rule, meaning that if they send three bogus accusations, they lose their own internet access.

However, leave it to Ed Felten to demonstrate just how ridiculous any sort of three strikes policy is — especially one based on accusations, rather than convictions — by suggesting that we
extend a three strikes rule to print as well, noting that the reasoning behind the internet three strikes rules seem to also apply to print:


My proposed system is simplicity itself. The government sets up a registry of accused infringers. Anybody can send a complaint to the registry, asserting that someone is infringing their copyright in the print medium. If the government registry receives three complaints about a person, that person is banned for a year from using print.

As in the Internet case, the ban applies to both reading and writing, and to all uses of print, including informal ones. In short, a banned person may not write or read anything for a year.

A few naysayers may argue that print bans might be hard to enforce, and that banning communication based on mere accusations of wrongdoing raises some minor issues of due process and free speech. But if those issues don’t trouble us in the Internet setting, why should they trouble us here?

Yes, if banned from using print, some students will be unable to do their school work, some adults will face minor inconvenience in their daily lives, and a few troublemakers will not be allowed to participate in — or even listen to — political debate. Maybe they’ll think more carefully the next time, before allowing themselves to be accused of copyright infringement.

In short, a three-strikes system is just as good an idea for print as it is for the Internet. Which country will be the first to adopt it?

It seems like anyone who thinks three strikes rules are a smart idea should be required to (a) read this and (b) explain why it shouldn’t apply to print.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Why Not Apply A Three Strikes Rule To Everything?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
32 Comments
lulzsays:

Yes, if banned from using print, some students will be unable to do their school work, some adults will face minor inconvenience in their daily lives, and a few troublemakers will not be allowed to participate in — or even listen to — political debate.

Hold on, I need a breath.

Okay.
The mere idea of banning people from using printed materials is so asinine, it should be illegal. No. No. NoNoNo. The proposition is not only unenforceable, but ridiculous. You can’t force someone to not read printed things. You just can’t.

No newspapers.
No books.
No journals.
No paper.
No pens.
No literacy.
Not possible.

If no one accepts a law as being a law, you can’t make them follow it. People will do whatever they want. They already are doing whatever they want.

Ed Felten is just another idiot who wants to be another totalitarian dictator.

This naysayer thinks you should jump off a bridge for being incompetent at having a rational thought process.

Nicolas Sarkozysays:

3 strikes makes sense because I am president and I say so. Well, it makes sense except if you’re accusing me of course. But anyone else is ok!

As for 3 strikes for print, I love the idea. Maybe I’ll push through that law as well to make some money for these poor helpless newspaper companies!

Vive la France Libre!

lulzsays:

Maybe they’ll think more carefully the next time, before allowing themselves to be accused of copyright infringement.

I’ll be sure to think more carefully the next time somebody accuses me of copyright infringement…

Even if I didn’t infringe on anything

Your assertion is that it takes 3 suggestions that you’ve infringed anything. It doesn’t actually have to be true.

Chronno S. Triggersays:

Re:

“Your assertion is that it takes 3 suggestions that you’ve infringed anything. It doesn’t actually have to be true.”

Um, Lulz, that’s the entire point Ed Felten is trying to make. The present three strikes policy in France (and being pushed elsewhere) is based exclusively on accusations. I don’t even have to own to copyright to accuse someone of infringing on it. You don’t even have to actually infringe on the copyright that I don’t own to be accused. Ed’s just taking it to the next step to point out how completely stupid the idea is.

Even you see the insanity of it, and that’s what he wants you to think:

“This law would be completely asinine and should not be passed. Wait, this internet bill is the same damn thing and should never be passed as well.”

Anonymoussays:

Actually, I somewhat like the idea for the simple fact it has the possibility to escalate to the Supreme Court very quickly.

Consider the 6th Amendment. Ed’s hyperbole is making very good use of playing devil’s advocate, and such a direction, if adopted, has possibility to re-affirm the 6th Amendment on multiple levels. While somewhat sarcastic in tone, his proposal presents a longer path, but one that could holds more long-term promise and legal precedence.

Anonymoussays:

lulz,

That IS EXACTLY what the entertainment industry is talking about, three ACCUSATIONS.

Not three convictions in a court, three completely unsubstantiated accusations based only on whatever they consider sufficient evidence. No third party review, no court, no “proof” required.

Please read up on this stuff and start telling your congress people what you think!

Hulsersays:

Genius

Too funny. This Ed Felton guy is a genius. I would love to see a supporter of the Internet three strikes rule get asked this question in some public forum. Oh, say…like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report where the person would be called on their inevitably bullshit response rather than the interviewer just moving onto the next softball question.

Anonymoussays:

The relationship between an ISP and a user of its services is a private one based upon contract law. If an ISP elects to incorporate into its TOS a “3 strikes” provision, there is nothing in law that prevents it from doing so.

If such a provision was incorporated into federal/state statutes, the “government action doctrine” would come into play. But here this is not the case, so the doctrine has no applicability.

There are, of course, some rules of law that do provide restraints on private action via contract or otherwise. The utilization of P2P does not, as a general rule, strike me as one that would be so restrained.

If ISPs decide to implement a “3 strikes” rule, that is their prerogative. If a user doesn’t like this, they are always free to use another ISP.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it