Evaluating Graduated Response

Rebecca Giblin

Monash University - Faculty of Law

37 Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 147-209 (2014)

It has been more than three years since the first countries began implementing 'graduated responses', requiring ISPs to take a range of measures to police their users' copyright infringements. Graduated responses now exist in a range of forms in seven jurisdictions. Right-holders describe them as 'successful' and 'effective' and are agitating for their further international roll-out. But what is the evidence in support of these claims?

After providing a detailed snapshot of the structure and application of graduated response schemes in France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, the U.K., Ireland and the U.S., the paper synthesizes the available evidence regarding the efficacy of the various arrangements, and then evaluates the extent to which they are actually achieving the copyright law’s aims. Of course, as the work acknowledges, it is impossible to identify any one unifying target or rationale. Accordingly, the paper evaluates the extent to which the global graduated response is helping to achieve any of several distinct aims that are often put forward to justify the grant and expansion of copyright (while being agnostic as to which, if any, should be preferred). Thus, it asks:

1. To what extent does graduated response reduce infringement?
2. To what extent does graduated response maximize authorized uses?
3. To what extent does graduated response promote learning and culture by encouraging the creation and dissemination of a wide variety of creative materials?

The analysis demonstrates that, judged against these measures, there is little to no evidence that that graduated responses are either 'successful' or 'effective'. The analysis casts into doubt the case for their future international roll-out and suggests that existing schemes should be reconsidered.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: copyright, ISP liability, tertiary liability, infringement, United Kingdom, South Korea, New Zealand, United States, Taiwan, Ireland, France, Hadopi, infringement notices, enforcement

JEL Classification: O34, K00

Accepted Paper Series

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Date posted: September 8, 2013 ; Last revised: February 19, 2014

Suggested Citation

Giblin, Rebecca, Evaluating Graduated Response. 37 Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 147-209 (2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2322516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2322516

Contact Information

Rebecca Giblin (Contact Author)
Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
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