Re: Take down => Come up somewhere else.
I agree that this applies to any law, but surely the purpose of a law is to encourage behavior we want and discourage behavior we don't want. Moreover, when we create laws I think we acknowledge that with concept that the "punishment fits the crime".
Obviously some laws will be broken by some people, and the effort we put into enforcing them, and the severity of the punishment we assign reflects how likely we think the law is to be flouted and how important it is that it not be.
Copyright law is one that's obviously frequently flouted, but we know that trying to strictly enforce it is a hiding to nothing. It doesn't work. Trying to ramp up the punishment by imposing utterly ridiculous fines as a deterrent also doesn't work - and not for lack of trying.
I used the word "Route" loosely, which probably wasn't the best idea given that so many people on here do know how to use it strictly. I meant more along the lines of the old Irish* joke - How do I get to Dublin? Ach, you can't get there from here - where the "here" becomes the relevant point.
From where you are right now, there's no nice clean route to get to where you want to be because the first stop is going to be your ISP who will deliberately sabotage any attempt by you to go where they've been told to stop you. So we make all the the ISPs block the IP of the offending site/service at their end, and get the DNS providers to hijack requests for it to send you to the "Who's a naughty boy then?" page - this is already widely done.
...and is already widely pointless, since you just proxy around it. So if we want to stop that then we need to start trying to prevent proxying. And then we need to snoop on all the SSH tunnels to places that aren't on our christmas card list that people might try and use to escape from the copy-protection garden.
It all gets very complicated and I don't see it taking too long before it becomes a massive problem to implement without doing massive collateral damage and not worth all the bother - which brings me back to enforcing the law.
It'd be insane to deal with the fact that almost everyone speeds on the motorway by closing all the roads or by taking everyone's driving licences away. The roads are there for a reason - people need them. We can put cameras up and fine people enough to bankrupt them I suppose, which would probably put an end to speeding pretty quickly, but only after quite a lot of people were caught and ruined. You could probably argue that they knew the law and therefore deserved it, but the total loss of productivity for bankrupting everyone doing 80 instead of 70 wouldn't be worth it - and if it turned out that producing and maintaining that network of cameras cost more than the losses due to speeding** then that too would be a silly thing to bother doing.
What I'm saying is that if we're going to try and "strictly enforce" copyright law, we're going to fail, and fail in a way that is worse than not enforcing it at all. That doesn't necessarily generalize to all illegal activity on the internet because the effort required to achieve an useful reduction is relative to the scale of the problem - and copyright infringement is a really BIG problem at the moment - at least in terms of the number of people doing it.
* Also heard version of this attributed to Australian, Scottish and Welsh - but I reckon it stands.
** Doubly controversial - sometimes speeding leads to accidents in which people die, and loss of life is occasionally marked as one of those "infinitely bad, no dollar value can apply" type issues.