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The Internet Government The Courts News

ISPs Dragged Into Swedish File Sharing Battle 120

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sinking-worm-on-a-hook-feeling dept.
paulraps writes "Swedish internet service providers may soon be required by law to take greater responsibility for unlawful file-sharing. Although rejecting the ludicrous idea of an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders, a government report published on Monday called for internet providers to be 'bound to contribute to bringing all copyright infringement to an end'. Under the proposal, copyright holders whose material is being shared illegally would be entitled to compensation from ISPs which did not ban users. Needless to say, the country's ISPs are not happy."
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ISPs Dragged Into Swedish File Sharing Battle

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  • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:48PM (#20453473)
    making roads take more responsibility for drunk drivers?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by wik (10258)
      One can always try to hold the roads responsible [justia.com].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)
      Do all printing press operators work to end print piracy?
    • Wooo hooo...Great Idea!!! The police can set up loads of Gatso (a.k.a Traffic Cameras) for the internet. Place them everywhere. If your caught, 3 points on your license. 12 points and your banned for 6 months and fined £1000...All you need is the ISP to be your traffic cameras...and voila...Orwellian society awaits...
      • This is the end all, be all of centrally planned economies... its socialism at its best... those that blame either Adam Smith or "capitalism" or "free markets" don't realize that all this is the end result of the UNFREE markets. This has been the way socialism works... surprise, it ain't pretty.
        • No, it's what happens when you throw the socialists out of office and replace them with moderates. :P
          • Haha, whatever floats your boat. I've seen plenty of problems with "centrally planned systems". I prefer to avoid being a willing member of any such sheep herd. Why? Because I prefer to slaughter and eat sheep... not be one.
    • by severoon (536737) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:49PM (#20455153) Journal

      I think this is a fantastic idea. They should be very careful to spell out the terms, but provided that it's not an exhorbitant amount per person (say, 5 cents per month), think about the flip side of that deal: for say 5 cents per person per month (or whatever nominal fee they work out), copyright holders are paid. That means that all people are free to copy as much music as they want. No more need for sites like pirate bay to operate in the shadows.

      I mean, surely the copyright holders don't want to be paid and give nothing in return at all. Right? Guys? ...guys?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Mathinker (909784)
        > copyright holders are paid

        You meant **IA and its ilk will be paid; thousands of independent artists won't, and their own artists will almost not.

        Bad idea, if only that the wrong people get the money.

        • by severoon (536737)

          Oh, hm. Well, whatever...long as I get to download all the free music I want. The rest of it sounds like SEP to me.

          (Of course, in case you missed it, I was being sarcastic in my original post above. Just for the record, I think it's a terrible idea to mandate the state require people support any particular business model just because it happens to be otherwise unsupported. I have lots of terrible business ideas too, but I don't see anyone rushing to my aid with a bailout.)

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        I think this is a fantastic idea.

        My sarcasm sensor is flickering at a sub-alarm level here.

        They should be very careful to spell out the terms, but provided that it's not an exorbitant amount per person (say, 5 cents per month), think about the flip side of that deal: for say 5 cents per person per month (or whatever nominal fee they work out), copyright holders are paid. That means that all people are free to copy as much music as they want.

        I don't know about you, but I would really strongly object to payin

    • by LS (57954)
      I think your analogy is flawed. While I don't agree to holding ISPs responsible for monitoring user traffic, I think a better analogy would be:

      making toll road owners responsible monitoring drivers carrying contraband.

      LS
    • No. That's like the suggesting an ISP and a copper phone line are the same thing.

      Besides, do you mean to imply that on principle, people should be allowed to drive drunk even if it were technically possible to prevent it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:50PM (#20453521)
    >>> 'bound to contribute to bringing all copyright infringement to an end'.

    Does this mean they can donate to organisations that want to end copyright altogether ?
    • by tashammer (905647)
      i think it is a great idea to charge everyone a tax/fee/levy just in case they hear any music one day and then give the money to the corporates. Another that i think would be a better idea that all the agencies, companies, incs, etc ought to be charged a reasonable fee for the amount of social services that they are using up. Welfare dependent companies such as the record labels obviously are not very good businesses if they have to keep turning to the government for assistance be it regulatory or financi
  • Uh oh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by revengebomber (1080189) on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:54PM (#20453579)

    the ludicrous idea of an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders,
    Next week on Slashdot: US government passes new legislation...
    • Yeah, this sounds like something American government might do. We already do this with the (major) record labels and radio stations. We could arrange it for broadband: every broadband account has to pay extra money to the RIAA and MPAA, and then the RIAA and MPAA will at least consider going easier on the ISPs and webpages.
      I wouldn't say this is a good idea: when you read about what's going on between internet radio and Soundexchange, you see how this idea will work in practice. But it's an idea...
      • Re:Uh oh... (Score:5, Informative)

        by hedwards (940851) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:11PM (#20454633)
        The equivalent has been done, and it doesn't bring relief from the media corporations. Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.

        I can't imagine that it would go better here, where the government and courts are even more beholden to the interests of the media conglomerates.
        • Re:Uh oh... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jugalator (259273) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:28PM (#20454879) Journal
          Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups.

          Sweden actually has the same kind of organization ( http://www.copyswede.se/default.asp?ML=10622 [copyswede.se] )... I think it even applies to hard drives!

          That's also a pretty crappy idea, because what happens...? Well, since we became members of the EU, making online orders from outside the country became much cheaper, and I can just order 50 DVD-R's in bulk from Denmark for a cheaper price than in Sweden due to these fees, even including the shipping charges. All they're really achieving with these leives is risking making Swedish businesses lose profits due to these uncertain reports of how much the piracy even impact sales. I guess the fallacy being that Sweden is alone in the world, and they can do whatever they wish without impact to the economy. :-p
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Crayon Kid (700279)

          Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.
          So... it's like a protection tax?
          • Yes, just like the PIRA can go to a building site and demand PROTECTION money or their windows get broken (and their legs).
        • Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.

          I think you're right on this one - the blank cassette/CD/media levy has been a schmozzle from an artist's perspective.

          As I understand it, however, it has been the legal toe-hold that has made downloading of any material from a p2p network *not* illegal in Canada, so it has had an unintended side-effect that has helped avoid the RIAA lawsuit debacle up here. See the link below for background.

          http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-5121479.html [com.com]

  • by bartman31415 (1151439) on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:56PM (#20453601)
    Seems rather absurd way to deal with the problem to me. Why not make telephone companies responsible for policing wire fraud crimes then?!
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:01PM (#20454505) Journal
      Agreed, and two more things... There's probably more to it too...

      1. How are they even going to successfully monitor their activity and avoid getting busted for it? I would not be a happy ISP CEO if I actually tried stopping this, much to my customers' fury, and still got busted, which will most likely happen if they just look at the customers. There's always some group of people doing illegal activities on their network.

      2. If successful (which I doubt this even can be) -- won't their customers just risk opting for a cheaper, lower bandwidth offer? The ISP's risk losing tremendous amounts of revenue. In extension, ISP's could then try to raise the fees, but that could make Sweden regress its Internet presence and have a harder time convincing users of adopting high bandwidth services like Internet TV. I don't really think I'd like to see that sort of progress. I think that piracy is helping out a lot in increasing high bandwidth demand, and that can indirectly benefit other, more clean, service providers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oyenstikker (536040)
      Make the post office responsible for mail fraud. If ISPs must inspect the contents of packets, the post office must inspect the content of mail.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arminw (717974)
        ....Make the post office responsible for mail fraud.....

        Actually they do. It's one of the jobs of Postal Inspectors. There's a whole body of law specifically dealing with crimes involving the postal system and their enforcement. In some counties, the communications infrastructure, as well as roads and railroads are owned and run by the government. In the US, the Post Office is mandated in the Constitution and was a cabinet level department of the US Government.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Yeah, it is as ridiculous as accusing telephone companies when the government wiretaps phone conversations...
      Now wait...
    • by arminw (717974)
      .....Seems rather absurd way to deal with the problem to me. .......

      It's not really new nor absurd. Governments have been using business to enforce all sorts of laws. Tax laws, such as withholding, immigration laws, such as requiring businesses to verify the identity of job applicants and employees, all sorts of anti-terrorism regulations for transportation businesses. So big deal, what's one more kind of business getting forced into being a policer of government edicts, in this case, for enforcing special
  • Actually I'm not sure taxing users is necessarily ludicrous when compared to the artificiality of DRMing content. This is what happens with Universities, the BBC etc. - it rather depends doesn't it?
    • by lixee (863589)
      [b]This is what happens with Universities, the BBC[/b] Yeah, we all know BBC people and university staff drive Ferraris and vacation on the Cote d'Azur.
  • by jafoc (1151405) on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:59PM (#20453653) Homepage
    Making ISPs more "responsible" means increasing their costs, which can only result in higher prices for internet services that all of their customers will have to pay, including those who (e.g. out of respect for the law) would never engage in non-authorized "file sharing".
    • by Weedlekin (836313)
      "hich can only result in higher prices for internet services that all of their customers will have to pay, including those who (e.g. out of respect for the law) would never engage in non-authorized "file sharing"."

      The law abiding always end up footing the bill for those who choose to ignore various laws. We pay higher prices for products and services whose manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers pass the costs of losses to crime and the security apparatus they use to reduce such losses onto us; we pay in th
  • Ludicrous? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Improv (2467)
    I don't personally like the idea of copyright fees for media, but I wouldn't call it ludicrous.. People as diverse as RMS and corporate folk have suggested it as a workable solution..

    It's kind of sad to see people attach spit words to anything they disagree with, without telling us why...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxwell demon (590494)
      But what is ludicrous is to charge copyright fees on media and at the same time forbid making copies of copyrighted material onto those media. What exactly do I pay for, then?
      • by Improv (2467)
        Hmm.. that's a point. I think what you're paying for is the cost of enforcing laws pertaining to the media that you're choosing to involve yourself with... or in part the damages relating to those laws being broken.

        It's not quite analogous, but I don't think it'd be a terrible thing if the cost to maintain a driver's license floated to include all costs of enforcement of driving laws and damages from that (that arn't covered by tickets and lawsuits), so those of us who choose not to drive can opt out of tha
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by arminw (717974)
          .....given that driving is in most areas a harmful vanity (compare with public transit) and society is better served when people don't drive.....

          That's why many who feel like that, would like nothing better than to herd EVERYONE as much as possible into the large, crowded ghettos otherwise known as big cities. There it is much easier to make people utterly dependent on Government. Try having a decent vegetable garden when living in a high rise of a large city. Of course, there it is also possible to force p
          • by Improv (2467)
            There are trade-offs with big cities, true.. the ecological footprint per-person is lower in large cities, but it alienates those people further from nature. I think public transit is cost-effective in more than the largest of cities though - it's more that it's politically difficult to convince people to give up cars that holds us back there. There's nothing wrong with being dependent on other people though - we're a social species, and all the advances we've made in the thousands of years of civilisation
            • by arminw (717974)
              ......There's nothing wrong with being dependent on other people though - we're a social species.......

              True enough, as long as I get to choose who I am dependent on and who on me. Dependence on the state is a forced, one way relationship. I can no longer choose.

              (....it's politically difficult to convince people .....)

              The biggest fallacious assumption made by public transit advocates is that many, if not most people's time isn't worth much. We used to live in the SF Bay area, and even there, what was a 25 mi
              • by Improv (2467)
                I understand that dependence on the state is a relationship that one can't readily opt out of, but I can't see any way around it - the state is just another manifestation of society at large. What would it mean to choose not to depend on other people at all? Is it really important to try to figure that out and make ways for it to happen? Why would someone want to withdraw? Maybe there are other solutions to make it so they can get what they want without such withdrawal?

                Your public transit argument is actual
      • by ultranova (717540)

        But what is ludicrous is to charge copyright fees on media and at the same time forbid making copies of copyrighted material onto those media. What exactly do I pay for, then?

        You pay for the greater share price of your Corporate Overlords, of course. The same as you always have.

  • language (Score:3, Insightful)

    by micktaggart (1047954) on Monday September 03, 2007 @01:02PM (#20453699)
    So if ISPs will contribute one closed user account per year in order to bring copyright infringement to an end, will them overlords be happy? Why is it always that government reports do not use operational definitions. At one time in the report, the author talks about blocking "the subscriptions of people who use the internet to share copyright-protected material on a large scale." What does that mean, large scale? One song? Thousands of songs? One MB? Thousand MB? If you as author of a report talk about copyright infringement being a problem, without providing metrics, your report basically says nothing.
    • At one time in the report, the author talks about blocking "the subscriptions of people who use the internet to share copyright-protected material on a large scale." What does that mean, large scale? One song? Thousands of songs? One MB? Thousand MB?
      Oh, that's easy. The minute ass-covering lawyers are brought into the mix, the leeway granted by any vague language rapidly approaches zero.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday September 03, 2007 @01:05PM (#20453727)
    Now that we'll soon see the post office being held liable for every mail bomb delivered.

    Hey, why not? It's exactly the same. They mustn't look what's inside and are liable for it.
    • by Xuranova (160813)
      Except the PO is fed operated and the fed can't be held responsible for anything.
    • by jma05 (897351)
      > Now that we'll soon see the post office being held liable for every mail bomb delivered.
      > Hey, why not? It's exactly the same. They mustn't look what's inside and are liable for it.

      Because it is not the same.
      "The proposal does NOT entail that ISPs will be called upon to hunt down file-sharers."

      They are required to look. It only says they are, if the proof (which is hard) is shown to them and they refuse to take action. A better (but silly and impractical) example is asking the postal dept to block m
  • Sweden is often portrayed as a very progressive (from the slashdot user's POV), permissive state with regard to P2P, copyright and internet issues, but will that last? Judging by what I read of the Pirate Bay's battles with the government there, it seems the current permissiveness is really just an accident, something the government really resents. And the government is the agent that can change laws, not the Pirate Bay or their supporters (unless they get some serious popular support that translates to vot
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tenebrarum (887979)
      Who couldn't see this coming after the Social Democrats were kicked out by the theocra..., erm, fasci... I mean, centre right coalition?
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      And the government is the agent that can change laws, not the Pirate Bay or their supporters (unless they get some serious popular support that translates to votes at election time).

      Not only The Pirate Party is positive to our liberal file sharing laws, but also many youth organizations affiliated with our political parties. Heck, even some of our actual political parties have been cautiously positive (to not offende the IFPI etc too much, I suppose) to our existing laws.

      So even if currently the Swedish gov
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      I thought the Pirate Bay was in the Netherlands nowadays. Am I wrong?
  • by matsuva (1042924) on Monday September 03, 2007 @01:09PM (#20453777)
    Here in Belgium Scarlet telecom has recently lost a lawsuit issued by the belgian RIAA (SABAM). The judge has ruled that the ISP should ban P2P traffic, needless to say Scarlet has appealed against this bs decision. All other Belgian ISP's have received a letter treathening to sue them too if the don't cut off P2P traffic.
    I'm sorry for my poor knowledge of English and i am currently fortifying my house out of fear for the grammar nazi's.
    • The judge has ruled that the ISP should ban P2P traffic [...]. All other Belgian ISP's have received a letter treathening to sue them too if the don't cut off P2P traffic.

      This is very dangerous for freedom on the 'net. The only way to "ban P2P traffic" effectively is to ban all traffic that can not be verified to be something else.

      This means for example that ISPs would have to restrict ssh remote login to hosts on a whitelist.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dunbal (464142)
        This means for example that ISPs would have to restrict ssh remote login to hosts on a whitelist.

              This is what all governments want, anyway. After all, who wants the common person to be able to instantly communicate his ideas to any amount of people in the world? That would be DANGEROUS.
      • by takev (214836)
        The joke of course is P2P traffic is any and all traffic on the internet. Every host is equal from the point of the IP protocol, and thus P2P.

        Of course since the introduction of NAT everything has become more complicated, so now P2P applications have to punch through the NAT to connect to an other host, something which application didn't need to do before NAT arrived.

        So if they follow the letter of the law/judge, then that ISP has to turn of their internet completely.
      • Can P2P traffic be made to look like "something else"?

        I'm betting it can - easily!

    • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Monday September 03, 2007 @01:39PM (#20454235)
      If so then all email must, by law be shut down. Now there is a solution to spam.
      • by Bios_Hakr (68586)
        My understanding of email is that when I click "send", the message goes to my local server. From there, it transfers to the server of the recipient. After that, the recipient downloads it from his server to his machine.

        So, it's more like P-2-S-2-S-2-P.
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      Them danged noise horseless carriage "motor" cars are scaring women and children and horses. They should be banned, or should have someone walk in front of them with a flag to warn us decent folk.

      Amazing how legislators are always the last people to understand a technology and its impact on society.
    • by antdude (79039)
      Your grammar wasn't bad. I have seen worse. Mine can be bad. :)
  • Encryption, my friends. Govt can't censor what they can't read. And personally I believe it's ridiculous to equate a downloaded file to a lost sale - many of them wouldn't be sales, anyway. (Also check my manifesto [slashdot.org] for a more revolutionary opinion)
    • Actually, the problem is that encryption is NOT the solution in this case. You see, what this here means is that if ISPs are unable to stop file sharing, they might be fined in some way. That means higher internet costs for everyone.

      They can't stop file sharing, but they can make it so expensive, students won't be able to afford it...
      • You see, what this here means is that if ISPs are unable to stop file sharing, they might be fined in some way.

        Wrong. Encrypted P2P networks a-la freenet are private, i.e. they could be swapping porn, linux iso's or doing live teleconferencing, MMORPG games, etc. They'd need a warrant to ask the users what kind of encrypted info they're sharing.

        In other words, ISPs only are held accountable for VERIFIED copyrighted file sharing. The lesser the detected copyrighted works traffic, the lesser the fine.
    • by BitterOak (537666)

      Encryption, my friends. Govt can't censor what they can't read.

      Why not? They can simply censor everything they can't read, i.e. block all encrypted traffic except SSL connections to known businesses like banks, etc.

  • Actually, an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders
    might be the most sensible way to deal with this whole mess. And not just in sweden.

    Why not put in systems that measure, based on statistical sampling at some representative
    routers, a rough idea of the number of copies of content item x,y, or z that are making their
    way across the net at any given moment, then average that out over a week, say, and use
    that figure to determine the weekly share of the copyright tax.

    This is
    • Your content file would only be measured if you explicitly opted it in to the technical system for measuring,
      say by providing a copy of it with a claim to copyright attached to a central web service for receiving
      those claims. There would have to be a good way of verifying the copyright claims, and a dispute
      resolution mechanism built in.

      If you did not opt your content in, nothing would track its travels in some kind of disturbing orwellian fashion.

      Users of such content would also be made aware of the general
    • Why not put in systems that measure, based on statistical sampling at some representative
      routers, a rough idea of the number of copies of content item x,y, or z that are making their
      way across the net at any given moment, then average that out over a week, say, and use
      that figure to determine the weekly share of the copyright tax.

      That would make spam really lucrative: Write copyrighted text, register it with the system, and then send it by mail to everyone. This guarantees that you'll get hits on every rout

    • Actually, an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders might be the most sensible way to deal with this whole mess. And not just in sweden.

      Yes, it is a good idea and it does work. The thing is that in Sweden, we already have these fees in place. We have Svenska Filminstitutet [www.sfi.se], Film i Väst [filmivast.se], subsidies from the EU, Kulturrådet [kulturradet.se] and dozens of other regional and national institutions in place to support movie makers, music artists and writers. We pay lots of money in
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Monday September 03, 2007 @01:39PM (#20454225) Homepage
    It's obviously a debate that is bound to generate some buzz, but how realistic is it? In my opinion, it is not a realistic plan.

    - For starters, where do you draw the line? Is downloading one song enough?
    - Who is going to pay for all the incredible amount of data processing?
    - How often can one be 100% certain that it is in fact piracy?
    - How are they going to disprove that an ISP isn't doing what's expected?
    - How are the ISP:s expected to keep up with the fast pace of anti-anti piracy prevention methods?
    - Why is the ISP supposed to police its customers, when it is clearly the police dep's job?
    - How is this filter going to work and how will they make sure that the customer's privacy rights are preserved?

    Good luck. It's probably a media stunt by some lawyer with a fat paycheck from RIAA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Why is the ISP supposed to police its customers, when it is clearly the police dep's job?''

      Ah, yeah? Friends sharing a song they enjoy is cause for police involvement now?

      The problem with the Copyright Cartel's rhetoric is that there is so much of it. Even if most of it is rejected as obvious bullshit, some of it apparently sticks.

      Copyright infringement is not theft. It's breaking the law, but it's really quite innocuous. In fact, it is not even completely clear that anyone is harmed by it at all. We cert
  • It's true this would cost the ISP's dearly as somebody already mentioned. It would not cost them because the systems needed to control users are expensive. With the amount of money telecommunication companies through into IT systems that is not significant. It would cost them because once file sharing does not exist, people won't really need 24 megabit connections.

    I would imagine consumer internet connections costs in Sweden go pretty similarly as they do here in Finland (apart from the huge government su

  • "It is a bad proposal, ineffective and wrong in principle, and I don't understand how it's supposed to work in practice," said CEO Marcus Nylén.

    "We as an operator can't act like we're the police and check where our customers are surfing. Scaring internet users is the wrong way to tackle the issue," he added.

    ^- I'm just happy I'm a customer on this ISP.

    The purposed "law" sounds completely arbitrary, and out of touch with the modern society... People are doing lots of other things than sharing P2P, and t

  • to run the computer there would be no online or computer piracy. They should go after the OS makers. Might as well control peoples food intake and make them too weak to think and have no enrgy to be able to use a computer..

    Maybe BestBuy should require people to take polygraph testes to see if they intend to download files from the internet when they go there to purchase a computer/cd writer or a bigger hard drive. Then refuse to sell them the equipment if they fail.

    If all music/movies were free then th
  • Show the world that sweden was not unrightfully labeled as one of the foremost civil liberties countries.
  • Am I the only one who's getting a little sick of copyright holders constantly trying to enforce their will on manufacturers, legislators, service providers, and the general public ?

    In fact I'm starting to get sick of the whole concept of copyright itself, and so I ask: do we really need it ? If the "artists" can't make millions from a single recording, and if no one can build a multibillion dollar company around a singing and dancing cartoon mouse, do we really lose anything important ? And more important

    • by Sancho (17056)
      I think that copyright is important, but too powerful right now. It's far too long to be useful, and even if it was shorter, laws like the DMCA effectively make it permanent (I can't copy my DVD, even after the copyright expires, because the tools to do so are still illegal.)

      The way to deal with copyright is to watermark everything. That way, if it gets loose onto the Internet, the copyright owner knows who to contact. Let P2P thrive, let me view my content on any player I wish to use, and sue the bigges
  • 1. Find a IT story about Sweden
    2. Post on Slashdot
    3. ???
    4. Profit!

    Seriously - there seem to be a lot of stories from Sweden at the moment? I'm beginning to think that Lichtenstein and Andorra are not pulling their weight.
  • 'k make up your own joke, I'm to tired.
  • One can't reasonably deny the importance of incentivizing content production and that means we need to pay our artists somehow. Now I think the current copyright system has *huge* inefficencies. It stops people from using the content they purchased in the ways they want, it restricts derivitive works, it stops people from using content they can't track down the copyright holder. In short it sucks.

    Now it's an unfortunate fact about human nature that if you don't punish people for crime they tend to do it.
    • Was a really nice troll up until:

      ... producers ought to be compensated by the government proportionally ...
      You rumbled (exposed) yourself, at that point.
      • by Sancho (17056)
        Why? Canada already does this (with taxes generated from blank media sales), only they haven't taken the extra step to shut the media cartels up about all the p2p that goes on up there.

        You could even change it a bit. Only charge the tax on Internet access exceeding a certain speed. Moms and pops don't need 9Mbps down--let's face it, 99% of reasons for a home user to get that speed is to pirate.
  • If the media companies are serious about having a flat fee and allowing free and legal sharing of copyrighted media, I'll go along with it. I would happily pay a monthly fee for access to all copyrighted material, as long as DRM of any kind was banned and I, as a producer of high quality MIDI music, were entitled to my cut as well.
  • Is the government agency that is going to collect that money. The Netherlands have a similar 'non-profit' agency that collects the extra levies on CD's, DVD's, hard drives, MP3-players (and everybody knows by now that mass-importing it from Germany is cheaper), it's called Stichting Thuiskopie, and recently the government noticed that they are collecting money but hardly (better yet, not at all) distributing that money among neither artists, media producers nor 'cultural' projects.
  • by spage (73271) <{spage} {at} {skierpage.com}> on Monday September 03, 2007 @11:55PM (#20460131)

    the ludicrous idea of an overarching broadband fee

    How exactly is that ludicrous? If you paid a 15-20% surcharge on your ISP fee to download anything and everything anytime and the money went to artists on a straight popularity basis (easily monitored at the network level), all kinds of good things would happen.

    The devil is in the details. A good system would render record labels and TV networks obsolete so they would fight it. But it's a great solution.

    The EFF has suggested something similar, a $5/month Voluntary Collective Licensing Fee [eff.org]. Making it voluntary is fantasy (and I say that as one of a handful of people who actually gave money to FairTunes each time I made an MP3 for friends). Making it a percentage of broadband cost (so someone on DSL pays less than broadband, and dial-up less still) is fairer than the subscription model Rick Rubin proposes in the NYTimes article, and making it compulsory makes DRM irrelevant.

    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I've suggested something similar, except that it would be purely by usage -- a micropayment based on a secure watermark placed in legit files. Second, that filesharers could earn credit in the system by hosting files (ie. using their own bandwidth for distribution). If this data was recorded at the ISP level, you could still use whatever software you wish, and there would be a clear record of who deserves what percentage of the royalties. And if ISPs get a cut, that'll remove their whining about overuse of
  • I just want to say that I read this as "ISPs Dragged Into Swedish Fish Sharing Battle," and for a split second was prepared for the most awesome thread of the last five years.

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