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In the UK, a Plan To Criminalize Illegal Downloaders 382

Posted by kdawson
from the naughty-naughty dept.
krou writes "It looks like the launch of the UK Pirate Party came not a moment too soon. The Independent reports that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is going to take a hard-line stance to preserve copyright after intense lobbying by the music and film industry. 'Under the proposed laws, Ofcom, the industry regulator, would be given powers to require Internet service providers to collect information on those who downloaded pirate material. The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.' Prospective punishments included restricting internet access, either slowing down an offender's broadband or disconnecting them altogether, and fines up to £50,000. The Pirate Party came out against the scheme, calling it a gross invasion of civil liberties, while Tom Watson, the former minister for digital engagement, spoke out against the move, saying that the government should stop trying criminalize downloaders just so as to 'restore 20th-century incumbents to their position of power,' but should instead be 'coming up with interventions that will nurture 21st-century creative talent.'"
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In the UK, a Plan To Criminalize Illegal Downloaders

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  • Mandelson (Score:5, Funny)

    by Canazza (1428553) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:27AM (#29103011)

    Lord Mandelson. It *is* a villainous name. He's a slimy horrible member of the undead. He just keeps coming back...

    • by krou (1027572) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:43AM (#29103095)

      As Frankie Boyle [wikipedia.org] said recently on Mock the Week [mocktheweek.tv], "Who made this guy a Lord, the Sith?"

      My other favourite was, "Mandelson's back from his summer vacation - what they don't tell you is he stopped on his way back to visit his parents ... in Mordor."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      It does sound like a villain name out of a cheesy crossover between James Bond and DC comics, doesn't it?

    • by damburger (981828)
      It isn't helped by the fact he really looks like Hitler. Honestly, draw a toothbrush mustache on any picture of him. Its freaky.
      • Re:Mandelson (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MindKata (957167) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:48AM (#29103459) Journal
        "It isn't helped by the fact he really looks like Hitler."

        Its funny but also somewhat scary you say that, because for years I've thought he not only looked like but also behaved very much like Heinrich Himmler. At times I find Mandelson a truly scary character because he seems to have immense political power behind the scenes. Time and time again he has been linked with corruption. He has even been thrown out of Government twice, yet he is back for a 3rd time and within months of being back, somehow he has one of the most powerful jobs in New Labour. He must have some very powerful friends and considering the speed he has got back to such a powerful position, I wonder if he has also enough dirt on other MPs to blackmail and force himself back into such power. In some ways he is just as manipulative and controlling as Heinrich Himmler was. I think if Mandelson ever got anymore political power, He would create a nightmare country with him at the center of power.
        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          and controlling as Heinrich Himmler was. I think if Mandelson ever got anymore political power, He would create a nightmare country with him at the center of power.

          Welcome to Mendelsonia.

          Population: *Your security code isn't high enough to access that information*

        • Re:Mandelson (Score:5, Informative)

          by FourthAge (1377519) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @07:49AM (#29103755) Journal

          Himmler is close, but both I and Mandelson himself [timesonline.co.uk] think that Stalin's henchman Lavrentiy Beria [wikipedia.org] is a closer fit:

          "You're a kind of Trotsky figure," said a fellow guest.

          "Oh no," said Lord Mandelson. "I'm far more of a Beria."

          Beria is the nasty version of Himmler, as you will find if you read about his activities as Stalin's secret police chief. What sort of man would find a comparison with mass murderers like Trotsky and Beria flattering and amusing? A former member of the Young Communist League, perhaps? [bbc.co.uk] But I'm sure he abandoned the Marxist ideology years ago, just like the rest of New Labour. You know, when they became "right wing" like the BBC says. <Hollow Laughter>.

        • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot AT davidgerard DOT co DOT uk> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @10:12AM (#29105247) Homepage

          Baron Mandelson, 679, of Transylvania, [today.com] smiled for the cameras, only having to reconstitute himself twice when the flashes dissolved him into dust. "I only enter where I am invited," he said in sepulchral Eurocratic tones. "When I am called upon, I shall return."

          Labour MPs rushed to greet the chief architect of New Labour, many carrying wooden stakes, garlic and crosses.

          Mr Mandelson has had a chequered career in office. Previous Cabinet terms have ended with unfortunate resignations due to being beheaded by angry villagers, burnt at the stake, wrapped in chains and thrown to the bottom of the Volga and, in one case, nuked from orbit.

    • Re:Mandelson (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bs7rphb (924322) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:31AM (#29103373) Homepage

      What constantly astounds me about Mandelson is the lack of furore about the fact that he's unelected. We didn't vote for this man. How the hell did he get to be running the country?

      • by Canazza (1428553)

        He's running the country because everyone else has swine flu

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drsquare (530038)

        What constantly astounds me about Mandelson is the lack of furore about the fact that he's unelected. We didn't vote for this man. How the hell did he get to be running the country?

        This is Britain, not a democracy, why does he need anyone to vote for him? No-one voted for Brown, and two-thirds of the country voted against the ruling party in the last election yet they were returned with a large majority.

        You've never needed an electoral mandate to rule this country, what are you so surprised about?

    • Re:Mandelson (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:33AM (#29103385)

      Put slimebag Mandelson into perspective...

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/471585.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      "Mr Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet in December last year after it was revealed he took a secret £373,000 home loan from his ministerial colleague, Geoffrey Robinson, who also resigned over the affair."

      Pulled in a few favors and got away with mortgage fraud on the mortgage application form by not declaring the secret loan. Anyone else would be in prison for that fraud.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1210506.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      "Peter Mandelson and Europe Minister Keith Vaz have been cleared of wrongdoing by the Hammond inquiry into the Hinduja passport affair. The inquiry into the circumstances that led to Mr Mandelson's resignation in January accepted that he had not deliberately lied about making a call to a Home Office minister. Secondly it found there was no connection between the Hindujas' donation to the Dome and their successful applications for citizenship."

      Pulled in a few favors, got away with arranging a passport for a Labour donor, whitewashes inquiry into affair.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205049/Lapping-sun-super-rich-friends--Mandy-man-whos-supposed-running-country.html [dailymail.co.uk]
      Story seems to have been strangely deleted and not in anyone's cache about Mandelson living it up on a rich benefactors behalf.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1207060/Mandelson-met-Gaddafis-son-Corfu-ahead-Lockerbie-bomber-release-talks.html [dailymail.co.uk]
      "Lord Mandelson faces the prospect of a sleaze investigation after he met Colonel Gaddafi's son days before it emerged that the Lockerbie bomber was to be freed."

      Now reports that the alleged bomber may be freed on compassionate grounds.

      • Interesting that you should mention a vanished newspaper article that criticised Mandelson.

        A while back I tried to find a quotation from Mandelson in which he said that "we now live in the post-democratic age". It was reported in a newspaper. He said it while working as a European Commissioner.

        Weirdly, the original quotation is nowhere to be found. It turns up on blogs and so on, but there's no source.

        I guess I must have been mistaken in ever believing that it existed. The Commissar vanishes. The lie become [newseum.org]

  • anonymous? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Bubble (827153) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:31AM (#29103029) Homepage

    The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.

    This must be some definition of the word 'anonymous' that I was not previously aware of.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's the British definition.

    • Re:anonymous? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PeterBrett (780946) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:53AM (#29103143) Homepage

      The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.

      This must be some definition of the word 'anonymous' that I was not previously aware of.

      Yes, quite. The whole thing is pure fascistic lunacy, that appears to have been drawn up by corporate lobbyists and Whitehall bureaucrats with no awareness of either the technical or legal ramifications of what they are doing.

      Also, since the rate of progress of technology nowadays is so much faster than big business and government can respond to it, this scheme will be obsolescent by the time that it gets implemented.

      I recently wrote [peter-b.co.uk] to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in response to the pre-legislative consultation documents [berr.gov.uk], and I would encourage other technically-literate Brits to do the same.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        You wrote to the UK authorities and expect anything other than a response to say "We're right, shut up" ?

        I've given up after many times having had to wait for months for a reply and then have it made quite, quite clear to me that not only have they not taken on board my concerns, they haven't even bothered to read them.

      • Re:anonymous? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by damburger (981828) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @08:18AM (#29103971)
        The ruling class is utterly insulated. Politicians in this country can live their entire lives without meeting anybody outside their social class. All the MPs have been railroaded from private school through to Oxford, and thence into safe seats arranged by their mentors and parents. Their entire reality is defined for them by their lobbyists.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by scamper_22 (1073470)

          you say the word lobbyist as if it is a bad word.
          What do you think democracy is? The interested parties lobby to get their way.

          What you have a problem with is not lobbying.... but the fact that lobbies you do not like are successful.
          Corporations are a lobby.
          Public sector unions are a lobby.
          Lawyers are a lobby. ...

          You could easily form your own lobby with whatever you wish. Get some names. Get people out there to care about the issue, and you too can influence government.

          In any case. I do not believe in

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.

      This must be some definition of the word 'anonymous' that I was not previously aware of.

      It's a typo. They meant the data would be an oni mouse; i.e.: A mouse that travels through an optical network interface.

      It's a faunization of the truck analogy.

    • by joaobranco (55662)

      The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.

      This must be some definition of the word 'anonymous' that I was not previously aware of.

      The correct term would be pseudonymous, I guess. It is not directly personably identifiable information, but stands for it. Idealy it would not be reversible by itself, but could allow for identification upon further downloads. Think of a one-way hash.

  • If they are downloading something illegally, aren't they already criminals?

    I thought criminalising something was where you took something that wasn't illegal ( but a significant amount of people do ) and making it illegal?
    • *sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

      by tygerstripes (832644) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:42AM (#29103087)
      Illegal != Criminal. There are whole swathes of law which are not "criminal law".
    • by TheLink (130905)
      Depends on the law.

      It could be illegal to throw sweet wrappers on the street, but still not a crime.

      Breaches of contract are not normally considered criminal - the aggrieved party might file a civil suit. The cops might start looking for you if you keep not showing up in court and ignoring the court's requests.

      Now to wait for someone to say [citation needed] ;).
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:56AM (#29103171)

      Copyright infringments are not in the criminal code, at least not in civilized countries where the criminal code is reserved for laws "against the general population". Things like murder, rape and arson are in there, where you may assume that someone doing it is posing a threat to anyone and everyone, not just to a selected group of people, or that someone is posing a threat to life and wellbeing of a person, a group or everyone.

      In general, these things are prosecuted by the state without you requiring to sue (it's one of those things where the cases are called "the people against "+$name.

      The alternative is the civil code. Here, you have to sue if you care about someone doing something. Here you have things like slander or trespassing. I could maybe not care if someone told everyone I have a romantic inclination towards fish, or I could probably not care that my neighbor constantly walks through my yard. I have the right to make them stop, if necessary by legal force, sue them and I will get my right, but the state and attorney couldn't care less until I make the first move.

      What's been done by the RIAA (and its local counterparts) is to push copyright towards the criminal code. The idea is simple: Save money, and have you, the taxpayer, pay to protect their rights.

      • Copyright infringments are not in the criminal code, at least not in civilized countries

        By that definition, the world is rapidly running out of civilized countries.

        Not that I disagree with you.

      • But theft (physical theft) is considered a crime in civilised countries. Theft bears no damage to the general population, yet we still use public servants like policemen to chase down offenders, public servants like judges to prosecute them, and public facilities like prisons to punish them.

        I believe the reasoning behind theft being a crime is that it serves as a deterrent, and allows people to receive justice without having to dedicate an infeasible amount of time and resources into finding the prosecutor

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          Physical theft is considered a crime, because it deprives someone of a good...
          Copyright infringement on the other hand, does not deprive anyone, and it is impossible to prove that something would have been purchased had it not been available for free.
          Infact, it has been shown that copyright infringement has actually increased sales of various things, as it increases the product exposure, at least assuming the product is any good... If the product is really lousy, then people might tell their friends how cra

    • No, illegal and criminal are not the same things. Not everything illegal is criminal. Sometimes when you violate a law it's not a crime, just a civil offense.

      But yet, like you, I'm confused about the word "criminalize" in the title. Adding ludicrous measures against somebody doesn't equate criminalization, and when I read that something is criminalized I expect that either the police would get involved in chasing the offenders, or that it can result in jail time. There isn't anything like this mentioned in

    • Replying to myself.. but I wanted to thank those that cleared up that misconception that I had where anything violating a law was criminal.
      Cheers

    • by damburger (981828)
      Actually no. Current British law, iirc, makes provisions for private study. Its like that in most European countries at the moment in fact; TPB was only nailed because they were making (shitloads) of money off copying.
    • by seanalltogether (1071602) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:39AM (#29103407)
      How can they possibly write this law in a way that will clearly delineate what a legal download is from an illegal download? Is it the responsibility of the consumer to know whether or not the distributor has acquired the legal rights to allow you to download a file in the first place. Does paying for something automatically indemnify you from charges of illegal downloading if you're not sure of the legality? If netflix offers a promotion to allow me to watch 3 movies for free without signing up for their service, is that legal? What about a site that streams the movie to me, inserts commercials, but doesn't have a license with the movie studios. Am I charged for illegal downloading or are they charged with illegal distribution, or both? What exactly is an illegal download when the distributor (even a pirate distributor) is willfully giving you content without charging for it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's a very good point. And it's not just academic.

        I think most courts would contend that any reasonable person would know that the files being offered through links on Pirate Bay are not sanctioned. Conversely any reasonable person would agree that files being offered for purchase through iTunes are sanctioned. But there is a wide middle-ground. YouTube now has so many officially-sponsored channels and deals that it's hard to know, when you watch something, whether it was posted officially or not. In
  • Copying is stealing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wild_quinine (998562) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:40AM (#29103077) Homepage
    It's starting to look like the war is over, and the lobbyists won. I doubt they even have to work that hard any more. The perception of the population has been changed.

    Copying is stealing.

    The very fact that we're willing to accept that sentence for discussion shows how far things have come. Stop and think about it, taken out of context. How Orwellian it sounds!

    Now that every uninformed member of society believes that copying is a criminal act, well of course it should be criminalised. That only makes sense.

    I do believe that artists and creators need to be rewarded. But more and more I'm coming around to the notion that we should scrap the whole bloody slab of law that covers IP, and start again with something sensible.

    That won't happen of course. It seems that preserving industry and building capital is the single only motivation for existence in this brave new Labour world.

    What ever happened to the notion that money is not valuable in and of itself, but only as a means to the ends we choose?

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:02AM (#29103199)

      It deprives us from works becoming public property long after they cease to be economically feasible, being held hostage by the 'rights owners' who refuse to let them go into PD and be renewed, to serve as a foundation for new work, new art, as it has been so many times before. We are deprived from the same rights that authors and musicians during the times enjoyed, to look at what was, rethink it, rephrase it and wrap it in new clothes. Think of all the plays and movies that are based on the basic idea of Romeo and Juliet (and I'm not talking about cheezy works like the one movie with Leonardo), something that could not be done if Shakespeare lived and worked today.

      How many songs have been written that used classic tunes and parts thereof as their base, rearranged and reworked to fit the tastes of today? Have you ever heard Vanessa Mae play Toccata and Fuge? If Bach lived today he could demand that his work is to be played with organs only and we would never hear this goosebump-creating work of violin again. Ever.

      You see how easily that argument is turned around? Why shouldn't we spin "copyright is stealing" in return?

      • by migla (1099771)

        How is the parent a troll? Did someone just look at the subject and assume the post says the opposite of what the post actually says?

    • The aggressive anti-piracy clip on pretty much every DVD release in the UK really, really pisses me off. It horribly misinforms and outright lies to the public in an effort to FUD us into compliance. For those who don't know it, it goes something like this:

      *Cue jarring, aggressive music, quick & jerky camera cuts*

      You wouldn't steal a car.

      You wouldn't steal a handbag.

      You wouldn't steal this movie.

      Piracy. Is. Theft.

      Theft. Is. A Crime.

      Quite apart from the conflation of downloading a film with stealing

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      It's starting to look like the war is over, and the lobbyists won. I doubt they even have to work that hard any more. The perception of the population has been changed.

      Copying is stealing.

      Pfff, that's a minor victory.

      They won't be happy till they reach:

      Copying is GENOCIDE!

      They're already preparing the scripts for the movies about the rise and fall of the pirate nazis; how killing jews opened the door to more heinous crimes like downloading songs or installing their games in multiple pcs.

      P.S.: Yes, I am very proud of my best Goodwin yet.

    • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:19AM (#29103311)
      Bullshit. Its acceptance by the mainstream media shows the irrelevance of the mainstream media. The fact that a behaviour casually classed as 'criminal' by newspapers is engaged in by such a large portion of the population shows they haven't won anything. Furthermore, the proportion of the population that does engage in this 'criminal' behaviour is disproportionately young.
      • Bullshit. Its acceptance by the mainstream media shows the irrelevance of the mainstream media. The fact that a behaviour casually classed as 'criminal' by newspapers is engaged in by such a large portion of the population shows they haven't won anything. Furthermore, the proportion of the population that does engage in this 'criminal' behaviour is disproportionately young.

        But the mainstream media aren't irrelevant.

        Those of us reading /. constitute the tiniest minority, and we are precisely those educated in this field. The majority absolutely do believe what the mainstream media tell them.

        Sure that doesn't stop people copying, any more than a notice in the Times about casual theft in the workplace would stop Joe Bloggs from taking home a few ballpoints or a ream of paper.

        But the damage is done. Yes, even those kids who download anyway believe that it is stealing. They

    • by Znork (31774)

      The perception of the population has been changed.

      I doubt it, most (online) polls I've seen show very little acceptance for the ip lobbyist view.

      Further, vpns and f2f networks are already getting wider deployments all the time. VPNs bypasses the snooping, and once the move to f2f becomes prevalent it'll all just be encrypted friend-copies-to-friend which is basically untracable and unmonitorable.

      start again with something sensible.

      Without a doubt. It's not very hard to construct sensible systems of reward f

  • by bheer (633842) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {reehbr}> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:55AM (#29103159)

    The Reg covered it yesterday [theregister.co.uk] and noted that Mandelson denied this report -- given they're due for an election in less than a year I can't believe they'd go out of their way to alienate voters.

    Offtopic, British lords are so hilarious. There's a secretary of transport called Lord Adonis [guardian.co.uk]. Had to chuckle at that.

    • by krou (1027572) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:02AM (#29103203)

      Mandelson denied this report

      Well, that's that settled then.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "given they're due for an election in less than a year I can't believe they'd go out of their way to alienate voters."

      I guess you don't know much about British politics. The ruling Labour party has spent the last few years doing just that, this is why they've lost every local council election and took a severe blow in the European parliamentary elections in the last year or two.

      They've been in power 12 years and lost sight of what the public care about, that doesn't matter to them anymore, they believe they

  • This is interesting (Score:2, Informative)

    by ProfYaff (1529295)
    Despite what Darth Mandelson says, it is a little odd that these plans have come out just after he attended a dinner with David Geffen, who is a massive critic of file sharing: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6797844.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
  • media types (Score:4, Informative)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:56AM (#29103167) Journal
    So, lord Mandy, a total media wonk (and highly manipulative individual) has gotten together with other wonks in the media to agree to 'crack down' on piracy. How nice.

    This is easy to beat folks; deprive them of money and mandy will slime away, like most modern politicians he's totally besotted with influence and power. Take away the music industries money and they loose that influence, and Mandy will sleeze away from them looking for the next big thing.

    Media types need to understand Economics 101, you used to be able to charge 20 euros for an album and I'd pay because it was the only way I could get the music in hi-quality for listening wto whenever I wanted. Ok.

    But now it is worth a 10 cents or less to me. This is an economic problem and trying to use the law to distort the market is anti-capitalistic.

    Do what I do, and totally stop paying for media. Not by piracy, but just by sticking only to free stuff. Plenty of original music gets delivered straight to my ears, completely legally, without the 'music industry' profiteering at all.

    I pay for my internet connection because that is a physical service, and I'll accept a moderate amount of advertising with my media, but that is all..

    I choose to get it direct from the artists (and through portals like magnatunes etc..); and if I am not allowed to download music from a site created or controlled directly by the artists, full quality, free in both senses of the word, then I simply move along. I support artists directly with concert attendance and buying merchandise. But again, I check to see how deeply the 'music industry' is involved in the process and avoid venues/merchandising that they control.

    Basically, I am using capitalism to solve the problem. Any objections from the 'industry' to that?

    Video is more of a problem, I still go to cinemas, and there is a lot of entertaining free video out there, but I still watch TV for my sci-fi, and pay for that because I have decided it is worth it.
    • Re:media types (Score:4, Insightful)

      by damburger (981828) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @09:53AM (#29104937)

      Capitalism is socialism for the rich

      Mining had to die, because 'the market' said so. Manufacturing, shipbuilding, all the other things had to go to. But when industries that the ruling classes have deep interests in, such as media or banking, start losing money - they must be saved to 'safeguard jobs' and 'protect creativity'.

      Twas ever thus. The market promotes self-interest, and self-interest distorts the market for its own benefit. Capitalism always does this.

  • by stiggle (649614) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:01AM (#29103191)

    Like those companies which abuse the GPL and release media STB but not the source code for them? Oh, like Humax for their Foxsat-HDR box as (and I directly quote them) "the consumer can't update the firmware so there is no need to release the source code we use".

    Thats just as much a breach of copyright as someone downloading a TV show off a torrent site.
    So will Mandelson remove their net connection

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chrb (1083577)

      Has this appeared on gpl-violations.org yet? Given that Humax is a German company I'd have thought that Harald Welte would be interested.

  • uh oh (Score:2, Interesting)

    whatever happens in Airstrip One will probably follow here in Oceania

  • by dreamer_uk (139940) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:07AM (#29103231)

    So we have more camera surveillance than anywhere else.
    We have more regulations than most places. And now we are going to help out the big money companies by criminalizing use of the internet.
    Why are we helping a business model that doesn't work and is being flogged to death. UK industry used to be innovative and groundbreaking. Now instead of encouraging evolution of business, we are actively saying we will help you keep your outdated methods and kick the people who innovate.
    We should be telling the record/movie industry to move with the times and only help when they have proven they have made changes that are compatible with the customers of the day.
    Yes I know about iTunes and other services. but the pricing models applied to them are often the same (or worse) than physical media. And with all the DRM pain when the industry failed again to move forward, these methods have a bad name.
    Things are changing and people *are* still buying music and movies. the losses the industry report assume that the downloaded tracks would have been bought (which is rarely the case) only a small preparation of downloaded music would have ever been bought. the rest would have been borrowed (taped/copied) from physical media as has been going on for many years. I don't ever remember a lawsuit over the sale of a dual tape deck that could copy between two tapes.
    More interestingly, downloaded music can lead to more sales as bands that are not mainstream are discovered and shared.
    I don't condone illegal music downloads. I do condone the use of laws to fund outdated industries that have big enough pockets to buy politicians.

    • by dwandy (907337)

      So we have more camera surveillance than anywhere else.

      if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.
      --Standard Overlord Answer book, revision 1, chapter 1, page 1, paragraph 1.

      Why are we helping a business model that doesn't work and is being flogged to death.

      the model worked for decades: it's the damn pirates that broke it.
      --Standard Overlord Answer book, revision 13, chapter 12.

      UK industry used to be innovative and groundbreaking. Now instead of encouraging evolution of business, we

  • Get a law passed that criminalizes The leakage of private information by Govt or its supreme "Yes, Minister" servants.
    That way, the next time some MP or minister or a civil servant loses a hard disk containing private information, he/she faces hard time in a Federal Prison: for 10 years or more.
    Why doesn't someone get the stupid ministers to pass a law like this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)

      Get a law passed that criminalizes The leakage of private information by Govt or its supreme "Yes, Minister" servants.
      That way, the next time some MP or minister or a civil servant loses a hard disk containing private information, he/she faces hard time in a Federal Prison: for 10 years or more.
      Why doesn't someone get the stupid ministers to pass a law like this?

      There already is such a law - the Data Protection Act forces organisations to keep data secure and a major mortgage company were fined for losing a laptop which had a whole lot of personal information on it. (They later announced that they'd pass this fine on to customers because they "didn't think it was fair" to pass it onto the executives, and nobody raised a stink. Go figure.)

      There is the minor issue that AFAICT the only thing they can do is fine an organisation - and of course there's only one place g

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:16AM (#29103299) Journal
    According to the article, this is "a practice engaged in by one in 12 of the population".

    If that large a portion of the population think that something should not be illegal (and it's reasonable to assume that most people consider behaviour they indulge in should not be illegal), then perhaps their views should be considered rather than having them declared criminals. Perhaps though, Labour really wants to lose the next election. At least they consider losing 8.3% of the vote acceptable losses.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      According to the article, this is "a practice engaged in by one in 12 of the population".

      If that large a portion of the population think that something should not be illegal (and it's reasonable to assume that most people consider behaviour they indulge in should not be illegal), then perhaps their views should be considered rather than having them declared criminals.

      Or perhaps they just think they're unduly entitled to free stuff because they don't want to pay for it ;) Just because people drive along road

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lattyware (934246)
        You seem to have forgotten that the government is meant to be there to implement what the people want. If everyone in the country wants the speed limits increased, then in theory, they should be able to vote for someone who says they will do that. The equivalent for this is the Pirate Party. The government are not meant to control us, we are meant to control the government.
  • 1) Anyone is allowed to share any infinitely-reproducible item which they are able to reproduce, for any price.
    2) After any such distribution, the copyright holder has a length of time equal to the term of their copyright to request a share of the gross price charged.
    3) Everyone making a claim gets an equal portion of the gross price. If three people make a claim, the gross price will be divided evenly four ways (one part to each making a claim, and one part to the distributor), etc. If someone makes a clai

    • @3: what about those who've spent thier share of teh money and can't afford to come up with it later. This could be problematical, if someone asks for thier money years after everyone else has forgotten about it

  • An artist's view. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gintoki (1439845) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @07:06AM (#29103547)
    I read this a while ago and also found it on wikipedia. It was said by Jean-Paul Gaster who happens to be the drummer for the band Clutch. "As a musician, I think it is irrelevant to me. It exists and it is out there and no matter what I try and do about it, it will always be there. I don't mind kids trading tapes, that's totally cool. Videos are cool too. They only add to the live show. A kid might show that to some of their friends and they might think that we are cool and might come out and see us next time. The reality is that an artist has to have a record go gold, before they are even going to see a dime. Bands put out 3 or 4 records on a label and never see a dime from record sales. So, it is not like people who are downloading would be putting a dollar in my pocket if they would have bought the record. The industry is set up so that the record company will immediately get paid from record sales. So...download all you want!!! I think that the internet has changed the record industry and will continue to do so. The record labels will find some way to make money. I think that the artists main concern is to concentrate on their live performance and be the best artist that they can". I don't know how much of this actual fact but this is coming from someone who has been making music for a very long time and is in a relatively well known band. So basically this will most likely come to pass considering all the lobbying from the music and film industry. Personally it does not affect me since I don't download music or films illegally (used to a few years back) but what does concern me is the privacy issues. I don't want someone keeping track of all my internet activity because I doubt that only illegal downloaders would be monitored.
    • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @08:38AM (#29104161)
      Good for him. I sometimes suspect the dividing line between artists who say 'OMG no copyright no more music' and ones who say 'Whatever, filesharing will just bring more people out to shows' is their own perception of their ability as a live performer. The weaker ones who require a studio to make them sound tolerable are terrified of having to depend on their lackluster live performances for an income.
  • Isn't it redundant to "criminalize" something that is already illegal? Isn't that sort of the definition of "illegal?"

    Funny, I thought they were synonymous.

  • by quarkoid (26884) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @08:12AM (#29103929) Homepage

    Firstly, this sounds like a Daily Mail [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] article, but nevertheless.....

    How do the government propose than ISPs determine whether content being downloaded is pirated or not? What is the difference between your browser downloading a copyrighted image on [insert name of favourite photo library site] for viewing and downloading an MP3 file? You and I may both download [copyrightedsong.mp3] but I may have permission from the publisher and you may not. How will the ISPs determine this? What if our connections were encrypted, encoded or used IPv6?

    I could go on. And on. And on......

    The fact is that apart from monitoring visits to [downloadyourillegalaudiofilesandfilmshere.com], there's absolutely sod all that anybody can do which is even remotely effective.

    Now, on the other hand, if the government were brave enough to stand up to the music/film groups and come up with some sensible laws which benefit both the citizens and the music/film groups.... well, if that happend, I'd be living in cloud-cookoo land.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314)

      They do what they already do, join BitTorrent swarms, note down the IP addresses in the swarm, see which ISPs they belong to, if the ISPs are UK ISPs, contact them to get their details, or get them via court order, then they sue.

      The problem is that BitTorrent is by default weak to this type of attack - you have to connect to a public tracker for a specific piece of content.

      If you use USENET to just download off of newsgroups on foreign servers using SSL then you should be safe to all government legislation

  • US Pirate Party (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gambino21 (809810) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @09:41AM (#29104801)
    For anyone who is interested, there is also a Pirate Party of the United States [pirate-party.us]. It appears to be based on similar ideas as other pirate parties.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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