Copyright groups continue to get creative in war on piracy in 2011

Similar to years past, the music and movie industries are expected to spend millions lobbying lawmakers and attacking websites such as The Pirate Bay. As the technology and methods behind file sharing evolves, the tactics and strategies to combat piracy must also undergo constant change, which will continue into this year.

Copyright groups continue to get creative in war on piracy in 2011

Many different strategies will be deployed by copyright groups and governments to crack down on Bit Torrent piracy. Government involvement will range from domain seizures and efforts to cripple torrent and piracy groups — ICE and FBI raids aim to make life uncomfortable for pirates that previously could operate freely.

The RIAA, MPAA, and other groups only began to lobby lawmakers heavily in 2009 and 2010, but it should only accelerate further in 2011.

Also of interest, the MPAA and New York City government officials are working together on a new anti-piracy ad campaign.  Working directly with New York City helps ensure the ads are seen by a large demographic, but similar efforts could take place in San Francisco and other select markets.

There will be added pressure on ISPs and webhosts to police their subscribers and users, or face fines and punishment from governments.  Most ISPs and hosts are requiring to see subpoenas before turning over subscriber information, but they walk a fine-line dealing directly with copyright groups and legal issues.  Most ISPs want to protect their subscribers, but don’t want the copyright groups continually hounding them about piracy and Internet P2P use.

Enforcement against individual file sharers won’t be done directly by the RIAA, MPAA, and other large copyright groups interested in wide-scale enforcement. However, groups such as ACS:Law will continue to chase down pirates, even under higher scrutiny and criticism.

After WikiLeaks faced continued public and government scrutiny, MasterCard and PayPal dropped payment support for the site — and this could happen more frequently in 2011 with sites that are allegedly infringing copyright. Many Bit Torrent websites use collected donations to help cover domain hosting and other expenses. These funding sources could quickly dry up as payment processors ban & blacklist payments to these operators.