Tackling internet piracy: The spider and the web – The latest effort to cut piracy is less dim than its predecessors

Scottish legend has it that Robert the Bruce once took shelter in a cave, where he noticed a spider repeatedly trying, and failing, to build a web. The struggle against online piracy is beginning to feel the same way. On August 25th the department for business announced another effort to tackle a problem that has defeated lawmakers and media companies in several countries. Robert’s spider eventually succeeded. Will Britain’s government?The new approach would strengthen a plan laid out earlier this summer. “Digital Britain”, a government white paper, set out a rather relaxed timetable for tackling piracy. Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, was to establish how much file-sharing was going on. Offenders would at first receive letters. If piracy did not drop by 70%, internet-service providers would be required to roll out stronger measures. Nothing much would happen until 2012.

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