Denial of availability and UK anti-piracy law

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There could be a denial-of-availability risk to the enterprise in the new anti-piracy law passed by the British Parliament yesterday. Employees using company machines to swap pirated files could trigger a suspension of Internet service.

The law is aimed at repeat offenders, however, employee misuse of company resources or botnet takeovers of machines for use as file-trading servers are a significant threat. At minimum, unintentionally offenders will have some paperwork to deal with when their ISP lets them know they’re in violation.

Recent measures to cut down on piracy have been horrendously controversial – to the point that a Pirate Party has begun a (disorganized) organizing effort in several countries. Somehow the argument that “all information wants to be free” doesn’t answer the question: “who’s going to pay for the creation of all that music, video and software?” And “oh, they charge too much anyway,” isn’t really a recognized legal concept.

The Indian film industry, usually known as Bollywood, has been making a lot more films than its U.S. counterpart for decades but only makes a tiny fraction of the profit in large part because of world-wide piracy that began in the VCR days (You know, those pirated DVDs in every flea market and ethnic convenience store everywhere on Earth.)

In light of the new UK law, it might be a good idea for those in the jurisdiction to revisit company acceptable use policy, maintain good anti-malware and check logs of outbound traffic for uncharacteristically high volumes.

Details of the legislation and its passage here: “U.K. Approves Crackdown on Internet Pirates”

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