The world we live in is filled with contradictions and misconceptions. A recent reported by the European Union Intellectual Property Office goes to show how little they understand current technology. According to the report’s findings, Tor and Bitcoin are two factors hindering anti-piracy efforts.
A Payment Method Is Hindering Anti-Piracy?
Apparently, there is some clarity needed as to what Bitcoin does exactly. To be clear, Bitcoin is a payment method, and as long as people pay for goods or services, there is no piracy to speak of. Theoretically, that is, as Bitcoin is not officially recognized as a currency in most countries around the world.
The recent report by the EUIPO seems to feel differently, as they paint a picture of business models used to illegally exploit intellectual property. Some content providers who stream movies, tv shows, and music over the Internet, charge a subscription fee for doing so. That subscription can be paid for in Bitcoin, so there is some correlation there.
“Several infringing business models rely on encryption-based technologies. The Tor network and Bitcoin, for example, are repeatedly mentioned as part of this “shadow landscape.” It more and more relies on new encrypted technologies like the TOR browser and the Bitcoin virtual currency, which are employed by infringers of IPR to generate income and hide the proceeds of crime from the authorities.”
That is something entirely different from saying how Bitcoin is a direct hindrance to anti-piracy efforts. People voluntarily decided to commit piracy acts, and willing accept Bitcoin in exchange for their service. If cryptocurrency had not been around, they would use different payment methods, including PayPal, credit cards, Gift cards, and whatnot.
Moreover, the EUIPO is complaining about how Bitcoin transactions are hard to trace to a particular user or company. Their entire approach hinges on “follow the money”. Instead of blaming Bitcoin technology, their time should be sent on researching this new technology. Moreover, internet criminals get smarter, and using age-old techniques will not yield a high rate of success moving forward.
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