Three Strikes Law Moves Forward in UK

I saw this article on Slashdot which was a bit troubling even for an attorney who has been on the plaintiff’s side of copyright disputes. Basically, the proposed “three strikes” law in the UK as well as similar ones in France and elsewhere would kick people off the internet if they are accused of infringing copyrights three times. That’s right even when simply accused.

This of course is a serious free speech issue which I don’t doubt others have picked up on already. The French law may be unconstitutional, and if a similar law were proposed in the US it would no doubt face First Amendment challenges.

The problem with efforts like the “three strikes” laws for the copyright holders is that its bad for business. Whatever business model overtakes distribution of physical copies in the future, the internet will be a major part of it. What those models will be is still uncertain. But it makes no sense to remove your customer base from the channels of commerce. It will be difficult to sell subscription services to people who cant access them.