New research from Boston’s Northeastern University shows that blocking or censoring sites has no long-term effects on combating the proliferation or availability of pirated materials. If anything it has a short-term effect. Researchers monitored thousands of files across several of the most frequented file-hosting services and found that DMCA notices are a ripple in an ocean.
Researchers noted that file-hosting services such as Uploaded, Wupload, RapidShare, and Netload disable access to many files after receiving DMCA takedown notices, but that action ultimately does little to decrease the availability of pirated content. Researchers also said that the very public and dramatic Megaupload shutdown did little to hinder pirates.
"There is a cat-and-mouse game between uploaders and copyright owners, where pirated content is being uploaded by the former and deleted by the latter, and where new One-Click Hosters and direct download sites are appearing while others are being shut down,” the researchers write. "Currently, this game seems to be in favour of the many pirates who provide far more content than what the copyright owners are taking down,” they conclude.
The study also looked at the number of sites where copyrighted content is available and found that there were nearly 10,000 distinct domain names and 5,000 IP-addresses where alleged pirate content was hosted.
Ultimately researchers came to the conclusion that innovation often beats out legislation when it comes to online piracy.
"Given our findings that highlight the difficulties of reducing the supply of pirated content, it appears to be promising to follow a complementary strategy of reducing the demand for pirated content, e.g., by providing legitimate offers that are more attractive to consumers than pirating content."
You can check out the study here.