Do you feel the new Copyright Alert System that ISPs will soon be rolling out will significantly reduce illegal downloads and result in bringing back lost revenue to the music industry?
I doubt it. You see, there's two problems.
1) ISP's policing traffic will only work if they are actually intercepting and reassembling data packets to determine what the contents of the data being transmitted and received are. This takes an enormous amount of computing power for just one user if they are high traffic users with multiple things happening at once. For instance, right now I'm on turntable.fm listening to something, I'm downloading several tracks from drop box to put a medley together for a dance show director, I'm over here doing this, and I've got email coming and going almost constantly. Multiply what's going on by the number of users an ISP has and....well, they can certainly spot check the users that are consuming the most bandwidth, but they'll never catch everything.
2) Take the tracks I'm downloading from drop box. They're copyrighted tracks from the 60's - but I suspect they've been re-recorded because they're just music tracks, no vocals. Now, the dance director paid for those tracks, and is sending them to me so I can stitch them together. After that, since I have no use for them, I'll delete them. The whole situation is perfectly legal, but since I'm a high bandwidth consumer, lets say they're looking at me, and they tag me for these tracks I'm pulling right now. Where's the justice in that? It will only take a few false accusations, reduction of bandwidth that I pay (dearly) for before ISP's end up in court over improper sanctions. Then how eager do you think they'll be to expend the resources needed to continue monitoring users?
@ Drew Sanford:
That makes a Lot of sense to me Drew.
I would have to agree with the points you made, and as it seems that they will have to adhere strictly to the "letter of the law", and therefore I suspect there will be a lot of unjust or improper sanctions.
I have to agree Drew, enforcement seems to be the big question here. While the technology is available to track every data packet, I am not sure it is practical at all. Unless every file is embedded with ownership and copyright information, how are they going to tell if it is in violation. Just as in the age of physical product, the laws are in place for those who choose to abide by them and prosecutions only occur when a big enough operation is detected breaking the law.