“Three-Strikes” Laws

A law where the third offense results in more serious penalties.

A “three-strikes” law is a reference to baseball, where it is “three strikes and you are out”. Such laws have stronger penalties following a third infraction. In the copyright context, three strikes laws are copyright enforcement statutes where an Internet user’s Internet access can be summarily cut off after three accusations of copyright infringement.

While strongly supported by the content industry and institutional rights-holders, these laws have come under a great deal of criticism from Internet users, advocacy groups, Internet service providers and libraries for heavily favoring content providers and rights-holders over the public. This is because these laws penalize users based on accusations ( received complaints about a user), not proven infringement, so there is a strong sense of “guilty until proven innocent”. Further the procedures for making an accusation are highly streamlined, whereas the procedures for challenging them are difficult. Such laws have been proposed or passed in France, South Korea, New Zealand and Canada, among others, although some have failed to pass or been struck down.

See also:

  • DMCA
  • Glossary#Glossary#.22Notice_and_Takedown.E2.80.9D

Other resources:

» Glossary