Pro-copyright lobbyists make spurious claims that only damage their own credibility

In issuing what appears to be a biased, self-serving report on the dangers of using “pirate” sites, the copyright industry may have shot themselves in the foot. Their claims of bad things happening to the computers of visitors to the sites doesn’t appear to be supported by facts. On the contrary, their assertions smack of scare tactics.

The report was commissioned by the Trust For Intellectual Property awareness. Its members include Amazon, BBC Worldwide, HMV, BskyB, Sony and Walt Disney. In analysing 30 of the most oft visited “pirate” sites dealing in copyright infringing material, it reported that they contain, malware, spyware, ransom ware and other dangerous things. None of the statements seem verifiable.

Curiously, the industry did not name the sites. But maybe not. Why give them free advertisement? By not naming the sites, however, the industry casts shadows of doubts on the veracity of its report. Moreover, it doesn’t point out that other sites sometimes serve up unwanted toolbars and other spyware in exchange for a download. It’s not just “piracy” sites which can be harmful.

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The industry report touts a website it claims to be the panacea- This site guides visitors to legitimate sites to purchase streaming and such. But apparently a lot of popular programming cannot be found there. Sources indicate that FindAnyFilm. com may have a good selection of recent movie releases but, beyond that, its portfolio is lacking. The Game of Thrones, for example, a widely pirated piece of content, cannot be found there. And apparently there is scant evidence of its existence. Also there seem to be problems with its browse function.

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Critics of the report say that championing as a solution may actually backfire. Because of its dearth of offerings, people may flock to “illegitimate sites” to gain access to material. Hence, industry scare tactics may prove fruitless. Then there’s the likelihood that the industry appears immoral for their effort. In any event, the report may have little effect on user’s habits as it is too obviously one sided to gain any real traction.

Stan Ward Stan Ward has enjoyed writing for 50 years. Writing has been a comfortable companion to a successful business and teaching career for him. Find him on Google+.

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