Internet piracy is big business for criminals and the absolute bane of existence for many authors, both traditionally and self-published. But one of the sad yet unrelenting truths about piracy is that there’s little the victim can do about it, especially if the stolen work is uploaded and distributed abroad. Short of giving up their writing careers to spend all day sending out cease and desist copyright notices, even finding the pirate can be problematic.
That’s why some advocates are working at a higher level, intent on taking action against countries that don’t work to stop piracy. One country that ended up on US government “watch lists” in the past for not taking piracy seriously enough is Switzerland, but that is changing.
According to Torrent Freak, speaking on a variety of piracy issues, “One of the key issues the United States identified is the lack of enforcement against hosting companies that do business with pirate sites. Branding these as a ‘safe haven’ for pirates, the US called for suitable countermeasures. A second problem that was highlighted is the so-called ‘Logistep Decision.‘ In 2010 the Swiss Federal Supreme Court barred anti-piracy outfit Logistep from harvesting the IP addresses of file-sharers. The Court ruled that IP addresses amount to private data, and outlawed the tracking of file-sharers in Switzerland.”
If governments around the world would take action on these kinds of crimes and pass legislation that holds internet service providers accountable for not stepping in when there’s clear evidence of illegal file sharing, then piracy could be significantly reduced. To see the scope of the damage to even an internationally bestselling traditionally published author, check out Maggie Stiefvater’s saga on fighting back against piracy of her books.