29th dec, 2010

Microfines the future of enforcement

The last few days there has been a developing story in Danish newspapers about a Danish film distributor who has been collecting revenue from German file sharers. It is Zentropa who has settled with 600 German private file sharers over sharing of the movie “Antichrist” by Lars von Trier. The Danish Movie Institute has moved in to support Zentropa and demand a German model for copyright infringement in Denmark. 


It seems however that Danish politicians support a less harsh model – the letter model – where the offender receives a letter from the copyright owner demanding the infringement ceased. 


So far Zentropa has collected more than 5 mill. DKK from the German file sharers, which is more than the Antichrist has earned on sales in the Danish market. 


This makes me wonder: Is the future of enforcement in relation to file sharers microfines? Instead of suing people for many thousands of euro why not settle for 100 euro for each offender identified? Increased “patrolling” would increase the risk of being discovered and at the same time be an affordable enforcement. The idea resembles the classic trolling concept, but with the difference that there is an identifiable infringement linked to a computer owned by the user. And if you want to take it a step further: Why not allow the collecting societies to offer collecting services to the copyright holders? 


I think microfines could be the way forward. 

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