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: copyright, ed felten, modest proposal, three strikes