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Graduated response and the emergence of a European surveillance society

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PurposeThis paper seeks to offer an alternative critique to graduated response, a warning and sanction mechanism aimed at fighting online piracy. Design/methodology/approachThis paper reflects on and frames graduated response in terms of theories on surveillance society and code. In particular, it analyses the graduated response debate in the European Union and the current initiatives in France and the UK. FindingsThe paper argues that graduated response portrays rights holders as being in a state of emergency, is a form of social sorting, and has a technological bias. Originality/valueThis paper contends that many objections raised to graduated response have been reduced to issues concerning the procedure rather than the principle, and that important societal questions concerning graduated response remain un(der)explored.

Keywords: Internet; Property rights; Public policy; Surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 28, 2010

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