If copyright holders want to stop piracy, seizing domains from infringing sites isn’t an effective method, according to computer science researchers from Northeastern University. A much more effective strategy would be to go after the money that pirated materials and sites generate, they claim.

The study looked at what it calls one-click hosting (OCH) sites, like Megaupload and Rapidshare, and attempts by copyright holders to have their content taken down if hosted illegally. Looking at the typical effects of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices, the researchers noticed that there was usually a mild short-term drop in the relevant files being available before they reappeared elsewhere — the start of what the researchers describe as a “cat-and-mouse game between uploaders and copyright owners”.