Richard S. wrote:Firstly this would require an invasion of privacy, the only way they would be able to determine what the file is would be by examining it's contents.
Is it an invasion of privacy if there is no lasting record of the results of the analysis and if no person ever even knows that you attempted to download a protected piece of media, much less what specific piece of media it was? If the knowledge is all in the machine, it is kept "alive" for only the duration of a connection session, and results in no fines or anything else, just simply a blocked download... is that an invasion of privacy? Certainly, if there is a court order then the results can be stored for a longer term, but only under that circumstance would I envision it being allowed, in my "high bar" standards for allowing this kind of content blocking at the ISP level.
Secondly you're putting the burden of protecting copyrights of third parties on the ISP, ultimately this burden will fall on the consumer. It would be like paying a penalty before you even did anything wrong.
There is a practical enforcement issue that the internet and digital media and broadband connections gives rise to that make it, I think, unreasonable to continue dealing with this only at a consumer level. There is also the argument, and I think it is quite true, that ISPs are profiting off of the illegal piracy that they themselves enable by virtue of providing the fat pipes to suck all this data through. The burden, as a practical matter, I think has to shift to a more centralized point in the data transfer chain.
I'm not saying my idea if good, in fact I suspect it is ultimately pissing into the wind for all the good it will do in the "fight" to maintain copyright in the internet and digital age. But there is a practical reality with digital media that is a new phenomenon which I think necessitates shifting the burdens and costs around a bit to make better protection of IP practical, or at least to build in a "tax" to partially compensate media producers who wish to enforce their copyright.
Lastly it can't be stopped, this has been like that whack-a-mole game.
I actually tend to agree with you on this point. So long as the content can be digitized it will find its way through any protection measure eventually and people will pirate it because there will always be demand for the content and there will always be those that don't respect copyright or are ignorant of it.
I have very little hope for the digital content protection industry. The solution will have to ultimately come in the form of new business methods and practices on the part of producers and distributors. As a result, I expect the tumult in the media industry to continue for another 5-10 years. Broadband speeds will continue to increase, to the point where downloading full res, high quality encodes of HD movies and TV is as short and easy as it is with mp3's today. At the same time storage space will increase and low cost, low power hardware to playback these (currently) high CPU usage codecs will become common place. At that point, if the new business model isn't in place, the industry will be circling the drain.