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British Government Considers Tenfold Increase To Copyright Penalty

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the bigger-stick dept.

Patents 154

Out-Law is reporting that the British government is planning to increase the maximum fine that can be awarded for online copyright infringement tenfold. "The Government and the Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) are consulting on the plans, which would allow Magistrates' Courts in England and Wales to issue summary fines of £50,000 for online copyright infringement. The larger fine is proposed for commercial scale infringements, where the person involved profits from the infringement. The plan would implement another of the recommendations of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, the 2006 report by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers which has been the foundation of intellectual property policy since its publication."

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Ouch (1, Insightful)

Atheil (1184445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618649)

Well, at least it's only going to punish people who are illegally profiting from another's work. I don't see any reason to hate this law yet.

Re:Ouch (4, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618703)

I dunno. Is linking a torrent or posting a MP3 or video clip on a website that has AdWords, or something like that going, enough to say someone's making a profit on illegal copyright infringement?

Re:Ouch (1)

Atheil (1184445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618773)

Only if the person who owns the site, and the person who posted the copyrighted content are the same person I'd surmise.

Re:Ouch (3, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619123)

Only if the person who owns the site, and the person who posted the copyrighted content are the same person I'd surmise.

Yeah, I totally trust the government to make that distinction.

Re:Ouch (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619901)

Spare us the FUD. These decisions will be made in a court, and in the lowest court at that. The government has no direct say in such cases; government ministers wouldn't even get out of bed to attend this sort of case.

And for the record, as someone who has actually seen a Magistrates' Court in action, they are IME sombre, serious places where the decisions are made carefully and with extreme care. It's a side effect of getting lay people to make the decision: they tend to consult their legal advisor frequently, but come from an outside perspective.

Re:Ouch (0, Redundant)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620233)

You mean in a court much like the one where someone got
hit for $200,000 for sharing 10 moldie oldies in her Kazaa
folder?

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620431)

Well, no, I don't mean anything like that. Perhaps you noticed that this is a story about the UK?

Re:Ouch (1)

Atheil (1184445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621171)

Isn't it really simple to check which IP address posted the content, which IP address hosts the site, and then who owns those IP addresses?

Re:Ouch (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618747)

I see a reason to hate it. It takes the UK that much closer to imposing higher fines on ordinary, not-profit-seeking citizens who download movies and music. It also opens up yet another channel of abuse, where a person's actions can be construed as profit-seeking even if they really weren't, to levy a higher fine against them.

Re:Ouch (3, Insightful)

Atheil (1184445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618803)

I agree to your first statement, that it may indeed lead to higher fines against regular users, however the slippery slope is a fallacy. For all we know this could lead to lower fines against people who aren't profiting. As to your second point, I assume it can only be construed as profit-seeking if you actually would benefit monetarily from posting the content. And I mean, as much as I hate the RIAA (or the UK's equivalent) and the idea of copyright as it stands in general, I do disagree with people profiting from another's work by direct copy of that work.

Re:Ouch (3, Interesting)

statusbar (314703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618957)

This law could also be used to generate more money for developers by suing people or companies violating the copyright of GPL'd software when they don't comply with the GPL requirements...

--jeffk++

Re:Ouch (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619273)

A bad law which turns out to have good uses does not become a good law.

Re:Ouch (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619705)

Bigstrat's law of bad laws. Useful for making bumper stickers against various laws. Unfortunately, poorly justified at the present time IE a bad law.

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619763)

But this is a law which definitely has some good uses, but only in a hypothetical future version has some bad uses?

Re:Ouch (1)

Atheil (1184445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621185)

Is it a bad law to fine people for copying someone else's work and profiting from it?

awww (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620995)

I was hoping your homepage was this one. [somethingawful.com]

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619781)

The "slippery slope" argument is a fallacy as a matter of logic, not necessarily as a matter of empirical evidence.

If a government is known to create palatable laws as a way to introduce what would otherwise be less-palatable laws later, then there would be cause to believe that the slippery slope argument is valid in this case.

Empirical evidence trumps logic.

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

Snospar (638389) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620003)

"Empirical evidence trumps logic."

That line sounds best in the style of K-9 being smug with his "I'm far superior to you humans" attitude.

Or have I just been watching too much old Doctor Who?

Re:Ouch (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620351)

Slippery slope is hardly a "fallacy" in a legal system built on it.

If they want to address profiteers then they should frame it in that
manner: the ill gotten gains. Although this ends up being "inconvenient".
They just want to punish without the burden of actually proving anything.

Beware of any escalation of copyright fines/damages not tied to actual
real damages or gains.

Re:Ouch (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621055)

They just want to punish without the burden of actually proving anything.

Those of us who live in the UK see this as business as usual.

Eurofags (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618899)

Always trying to steal everything and complain about right abuses when caught red handed.

While we are winning the war in Iraq, you are losing the war in Afghanistan. You suck...

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619897)

No, actually it's great.

For too long have amateur pirates been downloading and sharing material. It has almost destroyed professional piracy.

Where it used to be possible to sell burnt CDs and DVDs of music and film, and have pay to use FTP sites with ratios, now people expect to get it all for free.

Tighter laws will be a boon to the piracy industry, and we can finally get back to making some proper money again.

Re:Ouch (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620053)

I see a reason to hate it. It takes the UK that much closer to imposing higher fines on ordinary, not-profit-seeking citizens who download movies and music.

How? In what way — any way — does this apply to Joe Average? Did you even read the summary?

And if you're going for a slippery slope argument, that's pretty much doomed here as well. This move is based on the recommendations of the Gowers Review. In case you weren't aware, Gowers made a whole load of recommendations. Another one that is being supported by the government, for example, legitimising format shifting under certain circumstances. Do you consider that a step towards removing copyright altogether?

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620679)

So is downloading movies and music supposed to be OK then? Why? If you can't be bothered to buy it, do without it.

Re:Ouch (5, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618827)

I agree, I've always thought there should be a distinction between mere piracy (taking something for free) and illegally profiting from infringement. There's been a push in the US to equate the two, which I think is a mistake. In the majority of cases involving piracy, the person obtaining the work is not going to pay for it anyway (they just want it for free), so even though it is against the law the original creator is not losing any money. When people are paying someone else for the work that does not own it, that is a direct illegal transfer of money that should be going to the copyright holder.

Re:Ouch (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619189)

Well, at least it's only going to punish people who are illegally profiting from another's work. I don't see any reason to hate this law yet.

Don't worry, in fairly short order "profiting" will be redefined so as to encompass "normal people" as well.

Re:Ouch (1)

Drathos (1092) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620049)

Don't worry. BPI (RIAA in the UK) will probably claim that anyone who downloads a song is profiting by not paying for the album therefore they are subject to the new fines.

Why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618693)

Why is this tagged "patents"? A patent != copyright != trademark. Sure, they're all intellectual property, but they're not the same!

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

techiemikey (1126169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619223)

because someone doesn't know that and tagged it "patent". People have flaws, get used to it.

not news. (3, Insightful)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618749)

nobody here cares if you prosecute people who are making money off your patents/copyrights.

we only care that they stop prosecuting their customers.

Re:not news. (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619005)

But it only takes one step to go from making money on copyrighted works to downloading copyrighted works.

Take a look at censorship:

Harmful for children becomes harmful for good citizens becomes harmful for you becomes harmful for the state.

Just because it starts out with something small doesn't mean that it won't keep growing.

Re:not news. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619591)

It's perfectly acceptable to think that you should be able to control what your kids watch on tv, to some extent.

That's "censorship" but it's by no means extremist censorship.

In fact it's perfectly acceptable.

If you oppose this because you're afraid of what it could become, then you've lost touch with reality. There has to be a boundary line, a threshold that can't be crossed, and you have to be willing to accept that these copyright holders can't have people selling their property for profit.

If you aren't willing to yield that, you're just giving all of us a bad name and giving them an infinite amount of ammunition to use against us when they do decide to cross that line.

Re:not news. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619905)

It's perfectly acceptable to think that you should be able to control what your kids watch on tv, to some extent.

I was talking about government-imposed censorship like what the FCC does.

If you oppose this because you're afraid of what it could become, then you've lost touch with reality. There has to be a boundary line, a threshold that can't be crossed, and you have to be willing to accept that these copyright holders can't have people selling their property for profit

Yes, but is a tenfold increase necessary? Nope. It makes sense for if I am selling pirated books knowing that they were pirated I might have to pay a $500 fine to the copyright holders and give them all of my income from those books. Not I have to pay a $100,000 fine.

Re:not news. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620327)

It makes sense for if I am selling pirated books knowing that they were pirated I might have to pay a $500 fine to the copyright holders and give them all of my income from those books. Not I have to pay a $100,000 fine.

Surely it depends on the scale of the infringement? It wouldn't be much of a deterrent if the fine for catching a train without a ticket was only the ticket price + 10%. It wouldn't be much of a deterrent if the penalty for fraud were only returning what you had illegally taken plus a $10 court fee. Statutory, punitive fines like these are only worth anything as deterrents, and they have to be set on a scale that reflects this.

Re:not news. (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621069)

I agree that penalties need to be significant enough to provide deterrence. In the U.S., there's a rule of thumb frequently used, which allows for triple damages in cases where, for example, simple negligence gives way to criminal levels of negligence. I think that is derived from English common law so the U.K. probably has similar principles in some areas of modern law.
      But often, that idea means instead that the penalty becomes stiffer if the tort or crime is one that most of the time goes unpunished or uncorrected.
      This can end up resulting in punishing more severely anyone breaking a law the public often disagrees with. If the public (or a big segment of it) actually doesn't want to turn in people committing crime X (i.e. drug use), then the additional penalties would get adjusted upwards to make up for that reluctance. The U.S. already has some penalties like this - for ex. the HOPE tax credit, which the taxpayer can't get if the student was ever convicted of a drug related felony, but could theoretically still claim if the student was convicted of rape, murder or even treason.
      The fact that a large minority disagrees with a law, and might passively disregard it, should make the government think the law might be too harsh, rather than serve as an excuse to make it harsher.

Re:not news. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620859)

"Yes, but is a tenfold increase necessary? Nope."

Well, they have to keep up with inflation. :)

Re:not news. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620621)

What about non-profit copyright infringement?

Don't take it for the face value (5, Insightful)

burnitdown (1076427) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618751)

If you take society at face value, you assume that institutions and rules actually control this place.

In reality, values and economics and demographics do.

They can increase penalties all they want, but that's not addressing the economic role of piracy and the new demographic that sees it as normal.

In my view, record labels, software firms and book publishers all had it easy with record profits on super-popular hits, and so they ignored the rest as "niche topics."

Now that everyone can publish, the market is flooded with material, reducing its value. Labels and publishers need to compete more aggressively, not spend money lobbying for laws.

All IMHO.

Re:Don't take it for the face value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618981)

TEST

Re:Don't take it for the face value (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620977)

Hell yeah, man.

Re:Don't take it for the face value (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619151)

They can increase penalties all they want, but that's not addressing the economic role of piracy and the new demographic that sees it as normal.

On the other hand, the fact that for a few decades now a huge percentage of young people in various countries has considered smoking marijuana completely fine has not resulted in the total decriminalization of it. There may very well remain a disconnect between the attitudes of the people and the severity of the law in the "intellectual property" issue as well.

Re:Don't take it for the face value (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620911)

Actually that example fits perfectly into the GP's example. All that represents is the difference in values in the current "electable" demographics and the average values of the remainder of the set.

Re:Don't take it for the face value (2, Interesting)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620861)

Exactly. They're losing the war, and are desperate. If you use the laws against those who bought them, especially in this area, enforcement will become prohibitively ever more expensive and impossible. You gotta copy the file to check to see that it's pirated. Nobody illegally copies more files than the copyright investigators of big media. If you applied the same evidence standards used by big media in their lawsuit campaigns against big media, they'll be instantly bankrupted many times over.

They'll find out what a double edged sword such surveillance and penalties are, just like the police are finding out in the US with police brutality posted youtube videos. Expect to see entertainment industry careers destroyed just like you will see political careers destroyed from privacy invading scandals, ala Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards. The corporate-government collusion has far more to lose, for at best marginal gains from combating piracy. The little guy has suckered them into going all in on a Texas Hold 'Em style hand.

This is going to be a fun ride to watch.

Funny acronym (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618771)

UKIPO? Is that pronounced "uki-po"? I'd be embarrassed to work for them, even if the job itself wasn't a disgrace.

Re:Funny acronym (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620557)

The plan would implement another of the recommendations of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property

They actually named the study GRIP? Really? That's not even Orwellian, that sounds like something stright from Emperor Palpatine!

I guess they have stopped pretending that these laws are about anything besides giveing the government more power over citizens. Good thing I have a written Constitution to protect me from such shenanigans, right? Right?

Re:Funny acronym (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620799)

That's both interesting and scary. At least the Brits are honest about their Orwellian laws, unlike us Americans who call the traitorous "cowardly government official self preservation act" the PATRIOT act.

Tenfold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618791)

Does that mean theft in the tenth degree? That should carry the death penalty.

Interesting to see the dichotomy (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618841)

Between the UK and Germany (see the article about Germany now refusing to prosecute less sharers of less than 3000 songs, a little bit below this one on the Slashdot front page).

As much as I hate to say it... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618849)

But this could very well be a good thing. Especially if combined with the the german idea of not prosecuting casual users ttp://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/15/1252217

Assuming of course that one does not over interpret the concept of a derivative work.

Personal use (1)

IAAE (1302511) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618859)

They should just switch over to ONLY going after people who are making a PROFIT from copyright infringement. If someone is selling another person's copyrighted work (like that Russian MP3 site) and making a profit, clearly a sale has been lost and the copyright owner should be entitled to compensation.

Re:Personal use (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619285)

Profit shouldn't have anything to do with copyright enforcement.

Nor does it have anything to do with compensation, or sales.

"They" shouldn't go after anybody for what is a civil law issue. It is not for the government to enforce. If you violate somebody's copyright, and they sue, that should be it.

What really needs to happen is that terms should be sane, criminalization should be undone, and penalties should be realistic and proportional.

Re:Personal use (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619383)

"They" shouldn't go after anybody for what is a civil law issue. It is not for the government to enforce. If you violate somebody's copyright, and they sue, that should be it.

You do realize that it is the government that hands out and enforces those civil penalties right?

Re:Personal use (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619549)

Hands out, yes. Enforces, not necessarily.

Re:Personal use (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619589)

Enforces, not necessarily.

Your statement makes no sense. Civil penalties only have meaning because the government enforces them. If there is no government enforcement they have no force of law.

Re:Personal use (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619985)

It makes complete sense.

For starters, the government isn't sufficiently aware of private contracts to proactively enforce civil laws. They instead rely on one of the parties involved to either file suit, or request the aid of the government in investigation (which may be denied based on a set of criteria). Then, once a decision is found in favor of one of the parties, the government doesn't enforce the judgment. They provide services and tools to help with collections, but they don't do the actual enforcement work.

One must wonder if you've ever been on either end of civil litigation....

Re:Personal use (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619803)

It's in civil cases that 'profit' does matter, not criminal ones.
Making a profit shows that there was enough demand so damages can be reasonably inferred, and often there are reasons for the court to deviate from treating the issue neutrally and actually assume there is no damage to the plantiff otherwise.

Take a DVD seller, who makes an English language version, encodes only for region 1, and doesn't produce a subtitled version. That seller has effectively said that France wasn't intended as a market, that Katmandu wasn't a market, that Sri Lanka wasn't a market, etc. So, somebody who subtitles the work for local consumption hasn't cost the original rights holder any damages, as there wasn't a market, at the very least until they did something the original rights holder thought wouldn't be cost effective.
    But, if there's a profit, then the originator can probably base damages straight from that, and not worry about a bunch of apple and orange comparisons, between what it cost a local group to do subtitling vs what the foreign business was told it would cost, and what price each would have set, etc.
      For companies, it's a more straight forward lawsuit, and they don't have to open their books to the court as much, so they can sue without their own employees turning around and suing them for shares of the profits they hid, and such cases.

Re:Personal use (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620063)

Your argument is based on false assumptions. One is that litigation is solely to recover "damages". Which isn't always the case. The other is that "damage" must have occurred for the defendant to be in violation of a civil law.

Since both of those assumptions are incorrect, the rest of your post is irrelevant.

Re:Personal use (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620279)

Is there an argument you are presenting beyond simple assertions? Why shouldn't commercial scale copyright infringement be treated as a criminal activity?

Re:Personal use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619501)

allofmp3.com was legally operating under russian law ;)

Re:Personal use (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620379)

So as long as it only takes six degrees of P2P separation to distribute the latest blockbuster movie to the entire world, you think it's OK for a movie studio to invest $100,000,000 in making it and be able to sue one guy who leaks it into bankruptcy and recover at least 0.001% of the damages? That's hardly incentivising production and distribution of new works, is it?

Conflict of interest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618883)

They raised a fine for copyright and they are increasing the length of copyright as well? Wtf?

Bad use of "fold" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24618893)

Isn't 10-fold 2**10 ?

Re:Bad use of "fold" (2, Insightful)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618983)

No, it isn't.

-fold, a suffix added to a cardinal number signifying "multiplied by"

Why is it always the UK? (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24618971)

Every time I come on Slashdot it is my country that is guilty of the latest casual trampling of civil rights. Can anyone recommend a country that isn't blithely gamboling towards outright fascism?

Re:Why is it always the UK? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619099)

Antarctica?

Re:Why is it always the UK? (3, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619195)

I could make you a list, but you be dismayed to find it full of countries that have already achieved outright fascism...

Re:Why is it always the UK? (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619241)

no, we cannot find another country. this is NOT about the UK or US. or even the west. its a 'catchy virus' that all countries are not embracing ;(

take a lesson from brer rabbit (ie, from the BANNED film 'song of the south', by disney). you cannot run away from your troubles.

seriously, there is no where to run to - as soon as you try, THAT place will increase the anti-freedom crap that you are seeing in the UK (and we also more or less see here in the US).

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619559)

I disagree - there is some degree of bullshit in every country, but the UK is definitely the top of the pile. Try to find equally concerning news about Switzerland or Norway.

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620413)

I disagree - there is some degree of bullshit in every country, but the UK is definitely the top of the pile. Try to find equally concerning news about Switzerland or Norway.

and then go see sweden and THEIR wiretapping desires!

given time, the 'good countries' will soon see the fruits of tapping their citizens and no one will want to be the last country standing that isn't 'enjoying' the same restrictions as others.

like I said, its catchy. the UK is one of, if not THE worst; but its just a matter of time before it spreads.

GWB says 'freedom spreads'. well, anti-freedom spreads faster, it seems.

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619951)

take a lesson from brer rabbit (ie, from the BANNED film 'song of the south', by disney). you cannot run away from your troubles.

Oh, I'm afraid we'll have to take you in on that one. Mentioning a copyrighted work is now a violation of copyright, especially if in a pejorative tone.

Please stand up, turn around, drop your civil and human rights on the ground, and come quietly.

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620619)

in fact, you'll HAVE to take my word on it since that film CANNOT BE FOUND (new or legit) in the US! ;(

there were prints from long ago but the political correctness 'squad' in disney figured it would be simpler to just BAN the whole movie than to explain that it was a product of the 1940's and that WAS what life was like (racial attitudes) back then.

if I was disney (yeah, right) I'd take the moral high ground, release the movie (it really WAS a masterpiece) and then also comment on it and even apologize for the racial overtones, but by suppressing it they only create 'pirate bay' downloads for it.

you can find used copies in VHS (only) from UK (PAL tapes) and very rare in japan (ntsc).

its sad that I can remember 'lessons' from bre'r rabbit (classic stories from my youth) and yet since the movie is now banned, people younger than myself won't have any idea at all what I'm talking about ;(

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619681)

Every time I come on Slashdot it is my country that is guilty of the latest casual trampling of civil rights. Can anyone recommend a country that isn't blithely gamboling towards outright fascism?

First you have to name a country that is 'blithely gamboling towards outright fascism'. (Hint #1: "trampling of civil rights" != "fascism". Hint #2: you don't have a 'right' to violate someone else's legal rights in the first place.)

Re:Why is it always the UK? (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619925)

No individual violation of civil liberties represents, in itself, fascism. They are bricks that together build up the walls of a police state. Complain when you see the bricklayer turn up, not when you are already trapped.

And you do have a right to fair punishment. Copyright laws are deliberately, maliciously and excessively punitive.

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619801)

Since when is breaking the law a civil right?

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

Warll (1211492) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619833)

Sealand: http://www.sealandgov.org/ [sealandgov.org]

Re:Why is it always the UK? (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620347)

What civil right is being trampled here?

Re:Why is it always the UK? (& US) (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620521)

Can anyone recommend a country that isn't blithely gamboling towards outright fascism?

China?
Might be communist, but they don't give a *$%&* about IP law.

Lest ye forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619041)

Attention: those that would vote Conservative thinking that they would be any better. Remember David Cameron will increase copyright to 70 years in return for state censorship of the media [blogspot.com] . This is how that utter cleft proposes to solve the youth crime problem in Britain: by stopping the kiddies from seeing the bad stuff.

This government is mild in comparison to the Tories. I wish there were someone we could vote for who aren't a complete bunch of bastards, Monster Raving Looney party perhaps?

creators consider penalties for corepirate nazis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619045)

perhaps they (the glowbull warmongering execrable) should be put on display in glass containers, so our young can observe the behaviors so as to avoid same in the future, such as it may be. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Those damn commoners. (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619073)

<satire style="Stephen Colbert" >
I mean, the nerve of those commoners - copying data without a whim of care towards the strict control of information. Taking good sales pounds from BMI and other sacred institutions. It's downright madness - thinking they could just download and copy what isn't rightfully theirs, and think they could get away with it.

I say, no more - they must be punished further - £500,000, no $5,000,000 per... bit of data copied. By god, they shall learn what it means to write data that isn't theirs.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to yell at squirrels for taking nuts from my trees - I do believe they now owe me twelve trillion fully grown oak trees - damn selfish squirrels, they will learn, oh yes, all of them will learn what it means to take my precious acorns - potential trees, all of them, stolen from me!
</satire>

Hmmm... (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619101)

I'm rather curious to see how much longer laws can be enacted that seem to be in direct contradiction to what is increasingly the norms of society.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619729)

I'm rather curious to see how much longer laws can be enacted that seem to be in direct contradiction to what is increasingly the norms of society.

That's just the thing - piracy isn't a norm of society. Protecting rights is the norm of society, and that's what this law is doing.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620025)

That's just the thing - piracy isn't a norm of society. Protecting rights is the norm of society, and that's what this law is doing.

Piracy is a norm, just as much as breaking the speed limit.

You may not like it, and it may not be a good thing -- we'd have less pollution and fewer fatal accidents if people didn't speed, after all -- but whether it's desirable or not has nothing to do with whether it's reached the point of being the effective status quo.

(While I work with Free Software, the games I play and the software my wife uses for school are commercial, and I do spend money on them; likewise, I've been buying music from Amazon MP3 since it became available. This isn't an attempt to rationalize my own behavior, but rather an observation regarding what's generally considered acceptable behavior in public).

Anyhow, inasmuch as this really is targeting commercial infringers, more power to them -- if, at least, it's actually liable to help. Commercial infringers are scum, and that meme is widespread enough to be considered a norm as well. On the other hand, if it leads to suits targeting individuals for far more than their total net worth for what once would have been a civil violation worth treble actual damages... well, that is thoroughly unfortunate. Even if the police can't pull over and fine folks every time they're speeding doesn't make it acceptable to confiscate a person's car, house and other worldly possessions on the one occasion that they're unfortunate enough to get caught; why is that approach considered acceptable in the context of copyright infringement?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620745)

Piracy is the norm within UK society, the BPI likes to state that 6 million people regularly pirate in the UK. There are only ~20 million broadband users in the UK, this suggests a good fraction of people see nothing wrong with piracy and are happy to do it. 1/10th of our populaton admit to regularly pirating and don't see anything wrong with it. Piracy is a society norm, there are less iPhones and iPods in the UK both of which are considered "norms".

What needs to be addressed is how do we deal with this problem, Labour government seem hell bent on headlines and so are prosecuting everyone in sight. Your not going to convince people its wrong and just like Speeding no matter what lies, statistic and campaigns you do people are still going to do it (that was a reference to speed camera's whose effectiviness is current being strongly questioned in light of the 100 million pound in fines the government gets.)

Re:Hmmm... (1)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619749)

I'm rather curious to see what happens when the penalty for stealing potential money outweighs the penalty for stealing real money.

Dear recording industry (4, Insightful)

DI Rebus (1342829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619353)

As is common in other areas of industry, the value of your inventory has changed. Please adjust your expectations.

Watch out Seagate, Western Digital, Apple, ISPs (2, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619369)

Watch out Seagate, Western Digital, Apple, and any other company that "seeks profit" from the abuse of piracy.

Terabyte hard drives, CD/DVD burners, Broadband providers and portable music players all owe a good portion of their success to the business of "copyright infringement." They have all, at some point, advertised the fact that they are the tools for anyone who wants to download, store, and play digital media. And none of them really care where that media came from, so long as you fill them up and buy more of their hardware.

If anyone is making a profit off the business of piracy, it's the hardware manufacturers and the services that allow the infringing material to be transmitted or recorded. When will we see THEM up against the wall?

Re:Watch out Seagate, Western Digital, Apple, ISPs (3, Interesting)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619653)

Terabyte hard drives, CD/DVD burners, Broadband providers and portable music players all owe a good portion of their success to the business of "copyright infringement."

Indeed. In Spain it is assumed that consumers buy this stuff with piracy in mind and they make everyone pay just in case. Buy a new hard disk, pay 12 euros (plus tax, to add insult to the injury) that will go to the 'authors'.

Now, I won't claim that I bought my last Tb for my own pictures, home made movies, etc. But the following industries are getting nothing of my 12 euros: Porn, sports (I downloaded the last Wimbledon match for example), software...

I wonder what is going to happen when they demand a piece of the cake.

Re:Watch out Seagate, Western Digital, Apple-SONY! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621001)

If anyone is making a profit off the business of piracy, it's the hardware manufacturers and the services that allow the infringing material to be transmitted or recorded.

Let us not forget Sony, who feeds both ends of this equation.

The Gowers Report is well worth reading (4, Informative)

davide marney (231845) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619561)

I highly recommend skimming through the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property [hm-treasury.gov.uk] , the 2006 study on IP that seems to be the basis for this new law.

It seems to be a truly balanced study, full of interesting insights and recommendations. Some bits I liked:

  • Page 34, Models of Innovation - a nice explanation of 'open' and 'closed' innovation
  • Page 35, Cost of licensing spending - where I learned that in 1999, 90% of companies spent less than 10% of their R&D budget on licensing, but by 2009, that figure had dropped to only 10% of companies spending less than 10% on licensing. Wow.
  • Page 49, IP "performance" scorecard - a frame for judging the cost/benefit of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs.
  • Page 56, Revenue Distribution of Songs - where I learned that even the credit card companies make more on downloaded songs than the artist does (!). That's just sad.
  • Page 58, Sales of fiction by year of publication - proof that an extremely small number of works makes any money beyond just a few years after publication

And I could go on with the remedies suggested by the study, but I'll stop here. If the world were to adopt the recommendations in this Study, I do think it would be a huge step forward.

Re:The Gowers Report is well worth reading (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619761)

Revenue Distribution of Songs - where I learned that even the credit card companies make more on downloaded songs than the artist does (!). That's just sad.

Why is it sad that an organization receives just recompense for providing a service?

Re:The Gowers Report is well worth reading (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619997)

Cuz it defies common sense? If I pay for something I'd like to think that most of that money goes to whoever created it when in reality the reverse is true. Unfortunately I doubt this will change and I also doubt it's because of The Man. There are so many people who can write music, sing, and want to be musicians that supply/demand takes over and forces the value of their labor down to almost nothing.

Re:The Gowers Report is well worth reading (2, Funny)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24619849)

where I learned that in 1999, 90% of companies spent less than 10% of their R&D budget on licensing, but by 2009, that figure had dropped to only 10% of companies spending less than 10% on licensing. Wow.

Wow indeed. I guess the licensing on time travel is pretty damn expensive ;)

Re:The Gowers Report is well worth reading (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621165)

In common with most reports commissioned by the UK government, they'll take the bits of the Gower Report that they like and implement them while ignoring everything else. Even if the bits that they implement are clearly headlined with "THERE IS NO FREAKING POINT IN EVEN LOOKING AT THIS UNLESS YOU'RE PREPARED TO IMPLEMENT THIS OTHER THING THAT YOU MIGHT FIND SLIGHTLY UNPALATABLE".

what increased tenfold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24619569)

the bribes from IP lobbyists I'm sure

Lets quit pussy footing around (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620589)

Just make it the death penalty for copying a SINGLE song. That will teach them darn pirates....

Of course that will also cause a revolt and we will all finally overthrow these insane governments.

Given the fall of their currency, (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620735)

soon the status quo will be reached as the Pound will eventually be worth 1/10 of the USD or Euro.

I notice... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24620855)

I notice...

...that when 2 different penalties are out of agreement with each other, it's never suggested that the harsher one be brought down to the level of the milder one.

...that the British government seems not at all interested in serving the interests of the British people at all.

The Path Less Traveled (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24621097)

Option 1: You pirate a song that you never would have bought anyway from another music lover - the artist gets no money.

Option 2: You buy the song from the record company - the artist gets less than the credit card company processing the transaction gets.

Tell me again how this as all about the starving artists (and their families for decades after the artist is dead).

Now tell me just who has been starving the artists in the first place?
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