Targeting illegal downloaders ‘lost cause’

The founder of one of the UK’s most successful companies specialising in the removal of pirated content from the Internet says that targeting individual end users is a ‘lost cause’, and the only way forward is to target the websites hosting illegal material.

Ian Noble is Director of DiCopSys, which has just issued its 500,000th ‘take-down’ notice in six months and is achieving an 81 per cent success rate. DiCopSys has been ranked as high as 33rd in the world in the past month by Google for take-down of digital pirated material.

“Downloading illegal content, whether it’s TV shows, films, music or software, is theft,” he asserted. “Unfortunately a generation of people has grown up believing everything on the Internet should be free and there are just too many of them to prosecute individually. Targeting the websites that are hosting illegal content is the best option and research shows that this approach eventually drives people to legal download sites.”

DiCopSys uses US and European legislation to seek out and serve take-down notices on the offenders, adopting a three-pronged approach to tackle copyright infringement:

  • Removal of links from search engines such as Google, which is the easiest way for individuals to access illegal content.

  • Removal of index pages – aggregator sites that list or index infringing sites and provide links to downloads.

  • Removal of download files – the sites that actually host the material.

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