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Noise tactics in the copyright wars

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Information networks can be disrupted in many different ways. One interesting tactic developed in the fight of peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted materials is to introduce files with different defects and faults. This tactic can be dubbed a noise tactic and its legal consequences are both intriguing and wide ranging. In this article it is argued that noise tactics may well be illegal, and that they may also affect the evidentiary value of digital evidence such as screen dumps. This, coupled with the fact that noise tactics become increasingly inefficient, seems to suggest that copyright holders' interests are not furthered by using such methods. There may even be a negative effect, because noise tactics clearly express a lack of belief in legal rules and due process-thus strengthening the impression that copyright does not work.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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