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70% of P2P Users Would Stop if Warned by ISP 318

Umpire writes "As the UK considers a three strikes policy to fight copyright infringement, a new survey reports that 70% of UK broadband users would stop using P2P if they received a warning from their ISP. 'Wiggin commissioned the 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey, which found that 70 percent of all people polled said they would stop illegally sharing files if their ISP notified them in some way that it had detected the practice. When broken down by age group, an unexpected trend emerges: teenagers are generally more likely to change their behavior than older Internet users.'"
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70% of P2P Users Would Stop if Warned by ISP

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  • I'm in the 30% (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheDreadedGMan ( 1122791 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:54PM (#22627736)
    that would get disconnected??
  • Unlikely? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Conception ( 212279 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:54PM (#22627742)
    Teenagers don't pay the bill? So, they don't want to get in trouble?
  • No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:55PM (#22627750)
    99% of people downloading copyrighted stuff know its illegal, and also realize its wrong, and that they should be paying the content creators. The temptation of easy free stuff is just too great for some people.
    It's like speeding. people speed every day, until they get flashed by a speed camera and given points on their license or a fine. Then they suddenly start obeying the law they ignored.
    This would be a win for everyone. Nobody wants to waste time suing potential customers. People should be warned, and then we can go back to a normal, functioning market.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:55PM (#22627752)
    > When broken down by age group, an unexpected trend emerges: teenagers are generally more likely to change their behavior than older Internet users.'"

    When broken down by who's paying the bills, an obvious trend emerges: People who have to answer to Mom and Dad as to why nobody in the family can get their email anymore are generally more likely to change their behavior than people can just buy another throwaway account.

  • by Yokaze ( 70883 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:58PM (#22627790)
    "Would you stop doing illegal things, when reprimanded by someone?"

    Did they also asked: "Would you stop your perfectly legal activity, when reprimanded by your ISP?"?
    Or: "Do you think it is right, that your ISP should monitor your activity on the internet?"

  • by UezeU ( 731858 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:59PM (#22627804)
    about PeerGuardian.
  • by Starturtle ( 1148659 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:59PM (#22627812) Homepage
    People wouldn't stop, usage would simply change as people found other methods of acquiring their music, movies and software such as usenet, irc etc. This could also lead to the discovery of new and unthought of methods.
  • Encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbill1234 ( 715607 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:00PM (#22627814)
    They can't stop legal P2P - there is nothing illegal about that. All that will happen on the illegal side is it will go encrypted - then the ISP will have no idea of what is being transferred which kind of absolves them.
  • by Sorthum ( 123064 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:01PM (#22627824) Homepage
    I'd take a warning as "You need to find a better method of obscuring what you're doing, like tor..."
  • that 100% thought that traffic encryption and ip obfuscation would be desirable features of the next generation of file sharing apps

    get clue, riaatards. the game is over. you lose. your business model is dead, and cannot be extended with legions of lawyers

  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:05PM (#22627880) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it is more like the older users (as in, used a computer more in their lifetime), are more aware of what concequences the ISP can really do. After all, they AREN'T the copyright holders. They aren't the police. "And what the hell are you doing looking at my traffic anyway? If you are going to be like that, I'll just go somewhere else!"
  • by MarkKnopfler ( 472229 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:12PM (#22627952)
    And they would be

    1. Yes I have been using P2P, but I have been torrenting legal stuff like unlicensed media and free software. So why the warning ?
    2. Could you please give me the reasons as to why you think I am downloading illegal content ?
    3. Could you please show me the logs which show I have downloaded illegal content ?
    4. What are the methods you have followed to come to the conclusion that the stuff I am downloading is illegal ?

    If the ISP has valid answers for my questions, I will have no choice but to comply. It after all, is the law. The answers however, I would need.
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:12PM (#22627954) Homepage
    Nearly every ISP on the planet has terms of service, and almost all of them have provisions regarding the unauthorized distribution of copywritten material, child porn, hate speech, and so on.

    From my perspective, enforcing those policies would be entirely within their mandate.
  • Source? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:14PM (#22627982)
    Just who is "UK media lawyers Wiggin" ?

    I'm a self proclaimed British Media Expert, and I can hereby announce that a credible source has revealed to me that 85% of artists think privacy and free speech is more important than profit.

    Sorry, but based on previous events "media lawyer" is not something which smells particularly credible.
  • Hilarious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GlL ( 618007 ) <gil AT net-venture DOT com> on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:15PM (#22627992)
    I work for an ISP in the US, and I find this to be hilarious! 70%! Bull--oney! I have told customers about cease and desist letters our ISP received, and the response that I have gotten universally has been: So what?

    Maybe in a less independantly minded country 70% is the case, but on this side of the pond the best response you will get is laughter.

    Whoever posted this article, thanks for a much needed laugh.
  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:15PM (#22628000) Homepage

    people know (downloading copyrighted stuff) it's wrong
    Some people "know" a different reality...that it's about as wrong as me going over to my friend's place to listen to a CD or watch a DVD movie he's purchased or rented.

    In any case it's not the place of the ISPs to impose a (flawed) version of morality on anyone, just like it's not the place of the phone company to monitor my phone conversations for possible illegal or immoral content.
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpathetiq ( 726625 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:16PM (#22628008) Homepage
    Just because something is stated in a ToS doesn't mean it's legally stated in a ToS.
  • Honesty (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:34PM (#22628176)
    I don't really have a problem with the content-controllers who are going around trying to convince people that it is morally wrong to duplicate data. Their agenda and incentives are obvious, and to some degree, I can't blame them for trying.

    I DO have a problem with people who sincerely believe that data duplication is morally wrong. We are talking about the arbitrary imposition of limitations of freedom of *every human soul* in the world to prevent the proliferation of an inexhaustible resource. This is utter madness.

    It is different in the case of data that could be directly harmful to a person, such as account numbers, passwords, a social security number (or similar), embarrassing medical information, and so on. The free distribution of this kind of data has a very direct, and harmful, impact on a person. Real dollars that this person has earned, owns, and has in the bank, can be taken out of said bank, due to this data duplication. That is genuine theft, and it is enabled by the distribution of the data. I could accept that duplication of this kind of data is morally wrong, for this reason.

    Duplicating a song or a movie does not have this kind of effect. You can't use an MP3 file to entice a bank to deliver someone else's money to you. That category of harm is just not there. It is true that the free duplication of this data means that the original creator may not get paid for every copy duplicated...but I submit that the expectation that he is entitled to receive money for every copy made is unnatural, unreasonable, needless, and ultimately harmful (as it encourages the deprivation of people's control over their own actions and over their own hardware which they have paid for).

    Once upon a time such limitations on freedom may have been necessary. Today, there are not. Despite the free data duplication which is alive and well, and has been so for well over a decade, there is no shortage of new art production. The art industry is bigger than ever. We are doing just fine, and as such we don't need any peculiar notions of the immorality of data duplication (for intrinsically harmless data) in order to keep things humming along.

    Don't submit to a system of "virtue" which was designed by rich people for the purpose of keeping themselves rich, to your detriment.

  • by Undead Ed ( 1068120 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:34PM (#22628184)
    But I would also stop 70% of my CD/DVD purchases.


  • I wouldn't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:37PM (#22628228) Homepage
    since i only use bittorrent to download CC material, linux distros and DRM protected videos, I wouldn't stop using P2P if i got a warning... I think I'd sue them for trying to stop me from using legal software for legal purposes...
  • Re:well then (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:43PM (#22628292)

    Some of us pirate to help the current Music and Movie industries implode quicker

    Too bad pirating something you never would have bought does about $0 in economic damages.

    What was your media budget pre-internet? That's about as much damage as you can inflict regardless of how much you piss off your ISP.

  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:43PM (#22628294) Homepage
    Sure it does. Their terms say you can't do something. If you go ahead and do it anyways, they have every right to end your service.

    That's about the extent of what they can do given the terms, but given how few options there are for internet connectivity, it's a fairly serious threat.
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locklin ( 1074657 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:46PM (#22628318) Homepage
    The terms say you can't do illegal things. The terms don't say that they reserve the right to snoop in on your communications.

    The terms are there to protect the ISP from lawsuit when the client gets sued by a copyright holder - it's not a mandate to become the police.
  • by garett_spencley ( 193892 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:50PM (#22628352) Journal
    Hypothetical scenario:

    Let's say everyone on a free way is driving 100mph when the speed limit is 70mph. What is the safer speed to drive: 70mph ? Or 100mph ?

    Of course that might not be a fair example since if EVERYONE was speeding you don't really risk getting pulled over.

    But the point is that driving fast does not necessarily mean driving dangerously. If you're alert, matching traffic, keeping your eye on the road and leaving adequate space between you and other vehicles you can drive quite fast and still be completely safe.

    Anyway in my opinion speeding limits are just another preemptive law designed to make the government richer at the expense of the population. Does imposing speeding fines lead to fewer accidents ? The answer may be "yes". However, throwing the book at anyone who physically injures another while driving could have the same effect. If you're driving dangerously and you end up killing someone there is still manslaughter, reckless driving, public endangerment, charing them for any repairs to public property and to the victim's vehicle, medical bills etc. I'd rather punish people for actually hurting people rather than for nothing.
  • Poor Association (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jekler ( 626699 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @05:57PM (#22628442)
    I absolutely despise that "illegal" is almost always used in reference to file sharing. No one words other activities that way, such as illegal retailing. People need to start applying the descriptor to the appropriate specific activity, not to the activity as a whole. Stop calling it "illegal file sharing", refer to it as "illegally distributing copyrighted works" if you must, but don't word it in such a way as to marginalize file sharing as a concept. Some people might this this is nitpicking, but I do think that the way we phrase the activity shapes the public perception. Lobbyists just want to beat it into everyone's head that file sharing itself is illegal, but it's not, and shouldn't be thought of as such.
  • Re:Real change? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:09PM (#22628596) Homepage Journal
    There are plenty of legal reasons why you would encrypt your traffic.

    Or have you never heard of the concepts of 'trade secrets' and 'industrial espionage'?
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:21PM (#22628758) Journal
    Yes and no. As long as they don't police your traffic, then they're not responsible for policing your traffic. Once they take that step, they're opening up a whole can of worms, and putting their common carrier status in jeopardy.

    Once they start down that road, its only a matter of time before someone sues them for something that came through their network. I mean, it's not so far-fetched to have a class action suit against a provider for allowing crackers to run mass automated remote exploits on their network...If I can recognize them on my end, then they should be able to recognize them on the network. Hell, that's trivial beside trying to determine whether someone is downloading kiddy porn or lol cats.
  • Say Versus Do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:33PM (#22628892)

    a new survey reports that 70% of UK broadband users would stop using P2P if they received a warning from their ISP.
    Good example the wrong conclusion from interesting data. It should read "a new survey reports that 70% of UK broadband users say they would stop using P2P if they received a warning from their ISP." They might not stop. What people say and what they actually do are often vastly different things. Polls can be accurate but you have to be very careful about what questions are asked and what the results actually mean.
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ushering05401 ( 1086795 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:35PM (#22628926) Journal
    Hate speech? I am surprised to see that in a list of things that violate ISP TOS.

    Out of curiosity, are you based in Europe? Even given the seemingly downward spiral of American rights or expression, I believe that hate speech is still legal here, and not at all deserving of being lumped with child-porn in a list of no-nos.

    I know of several future lawyers who spend a lot of time on the net researching fringe movements and their psychology. A ban on the transmission of the hateful speech of these fringe groups would hugely handicap those who seek to understand the phenomenons of xenophobia and ultra-nationalism in America.
  • Re:Honesty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QRDeNameland ( 873957 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:37PM (#22628946)

    Would you be alright, then, if your boss came up to you tomorrow and told you that you would only be paid for 35 of the 40 hours you work each week?

    Seems to me that the gov't came up to me on the very first day I ever worked and declared I would only get paid for about 25 of the 40 hours I work each week, and that they would take the rest. What's your point, other than that bad analogies make bad arguments?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:43PM (#22629024)
    I remember when all the subpoenas were going on I went to my ISP's website and they said proudly that they'd never turn over customer information and would fight legal battles to protect the rights of its customers. ISPs know what their customers want. I doubt they'd send out emails that would reduce the number of paying subscribers.
  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rizole ( 666389 ) <{rizole} {at} {}> on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:44PM (#22629048)
    Older users are less likely to fall for fud (and that's all this is until it's enacted in law) and I've found age has added a clear understanding in me that everything has a workaround, shortcut or backdoor; encryption is one example and I wont even mention usenet.


  • Re:Unlikely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:47PM (#22629074) Homepage
    You're making the flawed assumption that for anything agreed to in a contract, any circumstancial evidence or means of verifying it is implicitly ok. Just because the contract with my landlord says I can't do certain things doesn't mean he can set up video surveilance in the apartment or lock himself in and search it any time he wants to. Some random guy on the street can't get me evicted just by making an accusation. The ISPs don't know, don't want to know, shouldn't know and what you're seeing is nothing other than trying to force the landlord into being the moral police. If you can't see the difference between "If you get caught smoking pot in the apartment I'll evict you" and "I get to rummage through your belongings looking for any hidden pot stash at any time" or think one implies the other, I hope you never get to enforce any such mandate. Or at least I want to slap you with a fat lawsuit if you do.
  • Why -1? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peaker ( 72084 ) <gnupeaker@yahoo.ERDOScom minus math_god> on Monday March 03, 2008 @07:45PM (#22629696) Homepage
    While I do agree with your conclusion, I think there is a flaw in your reasoning, or lack of recognition that this is a trade-off. If copyrights are abolished, maybe the world will be a much better place. However, all of us copyright-abolishment supporters must recognize that until you try it, you cannot tell whether the net effect will be positive. Maybe movies and games will all be at the level of current independent movies and games, or even worse than that. Maybe the needs of some expensive software niches will not be answered. Lots of negative possibilities arise from the abolishment of copyright. I agree that they are unlikely, but you must be honest and recognize the possibility.

    I believe that the only way to know is to test it out. Declare all works as of 2010 to be public domain, and no new copyrights will be granted on anything. Give it a couple of decades and see how the market adapts to handle it. Then solve any problems that arise, and the market cannot handle.

    Maybe we need some middle-ground, where copyright only applies to for-profit entities. Maybe some other, non-copyright creative solution should be used.

    Moderators: Even if you don't agree, this guy makes good points, and represents a legitimate viewpoint that a lot of people hold. So why -1?
  • For how long? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @08:02PM (#22629886)
    The problem with this survey is that it does't take into account how long they'd stop for.

    A lot of folks stop speeding for a while after they get a warning from a cop. Virtually none of them stop speeding forever.

    Most people stopped using the networks which got downed, and if there's a high chance of getting caught using a particular service then yeah they're going to stop, but with encrypted connections, and the general fact that ISP's will only do what they're forced to by law or which benefits their bottom line, and you're probably looking at a pretty low number of people actually getting caught, so you're looking at pretty low risk.

    I know the brits tend to have a please sir give me some more attitude when it comes to government shafting(or so it seems lately, though the US isn't much better), but this seems rather silly.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham