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July 03, 2005
Goldman on Recent DOJ Warez Group Busts
Eric Goldman writes about the continued futility of the law enforcement fight against warez groups (Operation Site Down--The Latest Warez Group Bust (vintage 2005)).
As I've written previously, the war against warez is ultimately futile. With sufficient enforcement, eventually we can put all of the warez traders behind bars, literally removing them from society to prevent their actions. Otherwise, the threats of criminal enforcement have had no measurable deterrence. Despite the apparent futility of criminal sanctions in preventing warez trading, I've predicted that the DOJ will continue to hunt down and bust warez traders to show Congress that it is taking advantage of the shiny new criminal copyright infringement laws that Congress keeps handing it. [links in original]
From his paper The Challenges of Regulating Warez Trading
While the enemy has suffered a few casualties in Congress war against warez, there has been no victory, and it will never come. No quantum of stiffened criminal penalties will change that result. Warez trading is about ego, prestige and reputation, and so long as intangible assets are fenced off, a group of enthusiasts will seek recognition for breaching the fences. In that sense, increased criminal penalties may counterproductively encourage warez trading by making it a little more daring and impressive.
If the goal is to reduce copyright infringement, it may actually be that DRM is not only not cost effective, but counter productive. What sort of egoboo
can one get for cracking something that doesn't have DRM?
posted by Ernest Miller |
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