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UK "Creative Industries" Call For File-Sharers Ban

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the smoking-an-unprecedented-joint dept.

The Media 211

siloko writes "An alliance of so-called 'Creative Industries,' including the UK Film Council, have signed a joint statement asking the UK government to force ISPs into banning users caught sharing illegally. In an 'unprecedented joint statement,' the alliance predicted a 'lawless free-for-all' unless the government ensured the 'safe and secure delivery of legal content.' The previous tactic of pursuing individual file-sharers in the courts appear to have been abandoned. 'Instead, [the government] should provide enabling legislation, for the specific measures to be identified and implemented in an Industry Code of Practice,' it recommends. One wonders how they remain 'creative' in their vocation when they keep on trotting out the same old story backed up by imaginary statistics (they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure). The BBC also has a blog entry dissecting their statement."

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Um (5, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921173)

Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal [torrentfreak.com] ?

Re:Um (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921277)

"No restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities ... save when public security is threatened..." - Out-Law.com [out-law.com]

Yes, it certainly seems so. I don't expect it to make much difference, though, as you'd need to take the case to the ECHR to get a disconnection overturned. Who can be bothered with that?

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921473)

That doesn't mean much. In the United States a directive (such as "medical marijuana is illegal") forces all the states to fall into line, but in the EU the concept of "States Rights" is still alive and well. Individual member states may ignore EU directives if they desire.

That's why the French Legislature pushed for a three-strike law in direct defiance of the central EU government, and now it appears the UK is heading down the same path. What's the EU going to do? Send a strongly-worded letter? ;-)

Re:Um (5, Interesting)

flyneye (84093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921667)

I'm sorry but "states rights" makes it sound as though the power flows from the fed to the states to the people. In fact, it is the opposite.
          This is why Arizona, for example, doesn't do daylight savings. Most states whore off their "states rights" in exchange for federal $. Unless they meet federal guidelines they get no money for programs. Medical marijuana is legal where legalized. The fed is just trying to posture and assert illegal authority. Unless someone points out more often that "the king wears no clothes" our posterity will grow up thinking that the federal government is our master and not our servant. Remember the feds only jobs are to run a post office, protect the borders, keep interstate commerce fair and nothing else to speak of. Anything the fed does now is largly ILLEGAL.
        Revolt at will.

Re:Um (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921823)

>>>I'm sorry but "states rights" makes it sound as though the power flows from the fed to the states

No it doesn't. States rights, a term that dates back to the 1780s, implies that the States hold the power as a natural consequence of their existence, and that the central government is merely their puppet which they created. Read the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This principle applies in the E.U. as well. France, the UK, Germany, et cetera existed first... the EU is their creation and therefore secondary.

Re:Um (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921795)

Exactly. They can push the legislation through, and enforce it within the UK, but if a defendant is prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights and the disconnection is found to be unlawful, it will severely affect the extent to which the law can be applied within the UK.

ECHR precident is binding upon all lower courts within the EU. IAALS.

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922121)

What's the EU going to do? Send a strongly-worded letter? ;-)

Overturn [eurocare.org] the [guardian.co.uk] ruling [huliq.com]

Re:Um (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921301)

The European Parliament ruled that the 3 strikes policy was illegal. If the person is caught and found guilty by a court then it should be ok.

Re:Um (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921417)

Well the action was to be taken from the ISPs side, so we're back on square one. They don't want a court verdict to be necessary.

Re:Um (1)

techiemikey (1126169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921439)

Wouldn't it require the court to allow them to ban the person for that reason? Or does "Without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities" mean until convicted?

Re:Um (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921435)

Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal [torrentfreak.com] ?

Yes, probably why they are trying to motivate the UK gov to resist (as if it needed any more motivation).

"according to an expert an the specialised area that is European politics, this amendment could be significant and might spike the guns of the pro-copyright "flog 'em and hang 'em' brigade" (now led by French President, Nicholas Sarkozy)."
http://web20.telecomtv.com/pages/?newsid=43004&id=e9381817-0593-417a-8639-c4c53e2a2a10 [telecomtv.com]

spike the guns, indeed.

And the Dead Horse dies again! (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921513)

Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal [torrentfreak.com] ?

A harsh ban is illegal? Sure, that makes sense; but I don't think that's the point that this group of companies is trying to make.

They are simply whining because there's money involved; and people often listen to whiners, don't they? "Ask and you shall receive."

The fact that they're allied on "facts" that are more fiction says to me that someone's just stirring the pot.

50% was a very early "guesstimate" for file sharing "losses". It may be proved to be false, but it ignores the mathematical world of statistics.

Just watch: if they get their way, even the newspaper that's printed will be DRM'ed so you can't photocopy it.

The "victims" of what's called "piracy" get FREE advertising and product demos from people who only want something that works for them. That's a population segment that isn't completely covered by their lazy or ineffective marketing.

They should be looking at this as a PR opportunity rather than whining because other people can't grow up. What bothers me is the "you're stupid, so I'll act stupider" mentality. It never ends!

And now that the dead horse is beat, I say "neigh" to it all.

Re:Um (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922025)

Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal?

Employees, governments, laws, and ethical awareness comes and goes, but the corporations just keep growing and lobbying.

The only "creativity" here is legal... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921201)

The only creativity in this situation seems to be that involved in pulling numbers and "legal" justifications out of one's ass.

Also, is the phrase "the government should provide enabling legislation, for specific measures to be identified and implemented..." equal parts vague and sinister, or what?

Re:The only "creativity" here is legal... (4, Funny)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921575)

they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure

That's pretty creative.

UK Freedom (0, Troll)

GrifterCC (673360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921213)

I have done a regressive study of all the /. articles about the UK and have determined, to a scientific certainty, that every single UK citizen spends exactly 84% of his time dreaming up new ways to make the UK less free (and make me glad to live in the U.S.).

Re:UK Freedom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921247)

Please don't feed the troll.

Re:UK Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921347)

Or on a US site you get rather bias stories on the UK. I'm sure the US version of the Creative Industries Alliance are wanking themselves senseless over this idea.

Re:UK Freedom (1)

GrifterCC (673360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922049)

Irony, folks...irony.

Re:UK Freedom (2, Informative)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922173)

Not at all. 84% of the UK population spend time writing sums in the little book they've got concealed in an alcove next to their TV.

Its our politicians gleefully rubbing their hands at each erosion of freedom, and the population is too broken, demoralised, and drunk, to do anything about it.

One word.... (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921221)

Encryption. Now, kindly STFU, "creative industries"

Re:One word.... (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921293)

Ban on unwaranted encryption.

Two can play this game and nothing good will come out of it for anyone.

Re:One word.... (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921477)

Changing protocols is a far quicker procedure than banning, as proven. Thus the mouse has an advantage in this cat and mouse game.

Re:One word.... (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921695)

Ban is not just passive filtering (whitelisting btw, cat is quite dangerous when it is ordered to stop being friend and takes advantage of all its options) Ban could also mean fines or worse. French three strikes, anyone?

Not to mention that protocol change is annoyance that severely hurts networks, end user experience and may end up making p2p useless for anyone except hardcore. There is limit of annoyance after which ordinary user just gives up.

Re:One word.... (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921855)

That would just give rise to the modern day sneaker net. It was quite popular before the advent of the intertubes. If somebody *really* wants something, they'll probably get their hands on it. Usually somebody "knows somebody" who can get them stuff, digital files are pretty easy to peddle.

Re:One word.... (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922091)

... end user experience and may end up making p2p useless for anyone except hardcore.

This reminds me of the IRC era before Napster. There was plenty of sharing to go around, and this was using far thinner internet tubes than today. Back then this was considered pretty hardcore, and even today it requires far more knowledge than uTorrent + TPB. However my comparison is not entirely fair. The internet generation holds far more general computer knowledge than the pre internet generation. Unless the hassle is extreme (which I doubt will be necessary) I'm sure that the internet generations equivalent to IRC filesharers will be more than the latter.

But then again, we're both speculating since it's too complex to be foreseen.

Re:One word.... (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921573)

The only sure way to end this is with a bullet to the head of RIAA. I guarantee his replacement will back-off from the policy of sending 5000 dollar "pay else or else" extortionate letters and dragging citizens into court, if only because he's scared he might get shot too. Nothing works better to keep the leaders under control than an unruly populace willing to protect their basic rights (like a trial by jury).

"What matter a few deaths in the course of a century? From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with blood... let the citizens take-up arms." - Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party

Re:One word.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921709)

So go do it.

Re:One word.... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921937)

Okay. Rather than pay a 1 million dollar fine, which is effectively a life sentence trying to pay that off, I will "do it". It's ridiculous to sentence people to life sentences just because they downloaded a five songs, and I won't just calmly comply.

Re:One word.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922139)

Then ... just ... go ... do ... it.

Re:One word.... (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922191)

If you think protecting someones business model is worth pissing on the privacy of citizens you need to get your head out of your arse. Nobody is owed a living that costs my freedom. That is the end of it.

Re:One word.... (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921543)

Encryption.

Not a panacea, unfortunately. Suppose I connect to a torrent, and begin downloading. My communication with the tracker site is done via SSL. My communications with all peers are also encrypted. Nobody can tell what I'm doing, right?

Well, er... not quite. Anybody can connect to the same torrent, and they can connect to peers as well. Then all they have to do is nslookup the IP numbers, identify the ISP, and then with the ISP's cooperation they can get my personal details.

You could use systems like Freenet to get deniability in this matter, but that's still pretty slow. And you might not be happy about the high statistical likelihood that your computer will be serving cp.

If everybody breaks the law ... (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921229)

... you should not make the law stricter, you should change the law.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921507)

The industry just needs to rethink itself, instead of lazily deferring to governments. It's time for time to get of their lazy asses instead of cashing in on copyright infringments, undust that brain and come up with a new business model. I couldn't give a rat's ass whether their intellectual property is stolen, it's their own fault and reponsability.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921589)

Speaking as a lazy ass, I have to say obeying Newton's law is the most significant one in my life. I most certainly prefer to stay at rest.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921971)

Newton's poorly-named "law" is no longer in force. It's been replaced by Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and more-recently string theory. Gravity is variable.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922269)

It's fine as long as Erroneus isn't traveling at relativistic speeds. I'm pretty sure he isn't.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922377)

Newton's poorly-named "law" is no longer in force. It's been replaced by Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and more-recently string theory. Gravity is variable.

Until string theory has made testable predictions that are confirmed by experiment, it can't be said to have replaced anything useful.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (3, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921539)

That isn't how they think.

You have to understand, that just like at the end of the Cold War, Western elites (I won't bother distinguishing between judges, politicians and businessmen in this matter because of the almost total blurring between the leaders of state, judiciary and corporation) consider us at the End of History. Our present form of government is perfect now, and for a thousand years hence.

When you believe have a perfect state, it logically follows that everything should be in the state, for the state, and of the state. Any element that goes against the wishes of the state must be wrong and evil, for the state is perfect and good.

I believe the people in power today, more so than in previous generations, are so convinced of the suitability of present laws and institutions they will resist all substantial changes with any force required. They are the last men, who say they have discovered happiness. Their destruction is a prerequisite for any further advancement of the human species.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921699)

at the end of the Cold War, Western elites consider us at the End of History. Our present form of government is perfect now, and for a thousand years hence.

When you believe have a perfect state, it logically follows that everything should be in the state, for the state, and of the state. Any element that goes against the wishes of the state must be wrong and evil, for the state is perfect and good.

This is the theme of Anthony Boucher's [wikipedia.org] novelette "Barrier". In that story, a time traveler went to the future to find a world where even irregular verbs were banned, because anything irregular would detract from perfection. The government form was an absolute dictatorship, of course.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922145)

That's one idea I agree with. I don't think it should be a "law" but since we no longer speak using German-style tenses (masculine, feminine, neuter), I think eliminating the last vestiges of that ancient pre-1100 A.D. language is logical. No more "goose" "geese" or "swim" "swam" "swum". The government school monopoly should start teaching kids to say "gooses" and "swimmed".

Most kids already speak like that, so it would be ridiculously easy to encourage them to continue along those lines. The parents might make a fuss, but we'd just tell them BOTH forms are considered correct. Either "swam" or "swimmed" and both would be given A's in the schoolroom. After about fifty years, the old forms would be all-but-dead, replaced with a consistent methodology - "ed" for past tense, "s" for plurals.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922193)

This of course, represents exactly what our government wants:

They seek a dictatorship, we seek freedom. People will always be at ends with the government that they are a part of if they are intelligent people.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921829)

As conspiracy theory, i would rate this "D, put some effort, but is utterly unconvincing"

It is same as it always was: Power. They know pretty much everything is shitty, they don't care. Current situation is worth preserving because it is the one with them in power.

Not different from any other historical situation.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922015)

Conspiracy theory? Conspiracy implies secrecy, and I implied no such thing.

The difference with the current situation is that you are wrong - they honestly have no clue as to how shitty the situation is. Most politicians (especially in the UK) live in a completely different universe from us. They've been training to be politicians all their lives, and know nothing else - not work, not wider society, not technology - nothing but politics. Their entire worldview is formed by focus groups, comprising largely of the middle-aged and middle class. See the works of Adam Curtis and Peter Oborne for more on that.

Gordon Brown, for instance, has such a pitifully unpolished public persona that if he were insincere about his beliefs it would be obvious to everybody. The current financial crisis caught them flat footed for this very reason - until it happened he and the rest of the Labour leadership were loudly parroting the neoliberal line as if it were handed to them on stone tablets by God himself (well, Margaret Thatcher, which is much the same as far as New Labour are concerned sadly).

There is a very deep philosophical belief in the perfection, and more terribly the finality, of the western, neoliberal system of government. Its failure in the one area it claims total expertise - the economy - hasn't even dislodged it completely. After a brief, nostalgic flirtation with Keynesianism they will blink and return to their established 'utopia', using all their power to ensure its continuation regardless of results.

They are oblivious, fanatical, and ruthless. A bizarre and dangerous combination.

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921609)

Like speeding. If the engineers come to you and say, "This straight-as-a-ruler highway is safe for 85 miles an hour," and the people drive 80-85 miles an hour, then maybe you should listen to the people and the engineers, instead of stubbornly slapping a 65mph limit that everybody ignores and is unenforceable.

Damn stupid politicians. Why hire engineers and other experts if you're not going to listen to them?

Re:If everybody breaks the law ... (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921781)

Damn stupid politicians. Why hire engineers and other experts if you're not going to listen to them?

To stimulate the economy! </snark>

Future the Internet (4, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921239)

Is file sharing. Rather than waste time trying to fight this, find ways to work with it. Look at what Apple did with their music store, even in the days of "piracy" they're still doing quite well for themselves. Digital distribution is here to stay, rather than go after people downloading illegally, give them a reason and easy means to acquire your product. I know lots of people that pirate, and when they find something they like, they buy it. Funny how that works like that...

The British have a history of doing this (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921481)

In the 19th century the invention of the automobile was delayed by restrictive legislation [wikipedia.org] in Britain. File sharing may well be the future if the internet, I agree with you in that, but a legislation that tries to freeze the past could delay considerably the progress.

Re:The British have a history of doing this (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921557)

The problem here is that it's global, and information spreads that much quicker. With more people using applications like Tor, it will be harder to track the legitimate pirates anyway, leaving the first time pirates, or the young kids not knowing what they're doing to get caught by this. There was a time when legislation could have stopped something like this, but that time is past and if anyone will get hurt by this it will be the companies/politicians that try to stand in its way.

My Anecdote Can Beat Your Anecdote (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922095)

I know lots of people that pirate, and when they find something they like, they buy it.

And I know plenty of people, and many sub-people, who pirate with no intention of ever buying it. They collect digital files of music they don't like, books they can't read, even pictures they don't understand, all for purposes of uploading them to thousands of strangers for the odd reason that it makes their dick grow to be such a big "contributor" to the "community"

£112 bn lost? (5, Insightful)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921259)

They claim that 800,000 jobs are threatened, with the loss of £112 bn in jobs and sales?

Money doesn't just disappear like that. If a file-sharer doesn't buy media and downloads it instead, they have more money to go see a movie, or have a nice meal at a restaurant - whatever. The money is still used in the economy, just not in same industry as media.

To suggest that filesharers are causing an 8% drop in GDP is idiotic, as well as the 50% of all traffic is illegal. And they want to ban illegal filesharers? Ok, lets ban half the population of the UK from surfing the net, or more!

Let's see how your sales drop after that pal.

Re:£112 bn lost? (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921311)

Money doesn't just disappear like that.

Yes, it can. Multiplier effect.

Not saying that it's true in this case, mind you, but it's certainly a possible claim.

Re:£112 bn lost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921423)

Everything is possible. That's my claim, and it's so possible it blew up your beard.

Re:£112 bn lost? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921531)

The multiplier effect would still occur in the alternative products and services people purchase with the money they don't spend on music / movies.

Really, this is more of a Broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] . The idea that people not spending money on the music industry is costing society is flawed, because people are free to spend that money in other markets which thereby benefit.

The 'broken window' in this case is the music industry - they claim that breaking the window (forcing people to buy CDs) is good for society because it keeps a window repairsman (music executive) in a job.

In fact, society is less efficient because it has incurred a cost in a non-productive asset that could have otherwise been spent on something else, possibly something that adds to society's productive capacity thereby increasing maximum GDP.

A music executive in no way contributes to society's productive capacity, so money spent on the music executive is a purely consumption expenditure and is not beneficial to society in terms of GDP at large at all.

In summary, if these idiots truly cared about the productive capacity of society (which is what GDP measures), then they should fire themselves and all the media / music executives, because they divert resources away from spending which would increase productive capacity. Until such time as they do that, they should feel free to eat a bag of hell.

Re:£112 bn lost? (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921721)

If you're going to convince me you need a better explanation than "multiplier effect". The grandparent poster's argument makes a lot of sense to me. If I'm not spending $1000 a year on CDs, then I'm spending that $1000 on something else like a new computer or new bigscreen TV or buying stock for my IRA. So it's basically a displacement of jobs from one group (music suits) to another group. There's no loss overall.

Using the classic whipmaker example, yes they lost their jobs when cars took-over from horses, but a bunch of other unemployed guys got jobs making steering wheels. There was no net loss overall. It was just a shift.

The problem is that the music suits at MCA, RCA, et cetera don't want the shift to happen. They don't want me to transfer my $1000 a year expenditure on CDs to some other article like videogames. They are Luddites trying to sabotage a technology shift.

You're missing the point (0, Flamebait)

castrox (630511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921457)

You're missing the point. They don't believe in this themselves, but they need to say something outrageous so that the politicians - the sheep they are - will listen to them. They're now behaving like a spoiled child that doesn't get whatever it points at - shouting like crazy.

I'd really like a way to filter out all consumer BULLSHIT from the Internet so they'd leave it the fuck alone. But they LOVE the Internet - as long as they control it and this is precisely what they're aiming at. A wonderful, democracy, information, development tool is instead used as a fucking commercial channel.

I can't stand the fuckers, really. Keep your fucking music and movies and stay the fuck away.

Re:112 bn lost? (3, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921489)

To suggest that filesharers are causing an 8% drop in GDP is idiotic, as well as the 50% of all traffic is illegal. And they want to ban illegal filesharers? Ok, lets ban half the population of the UK from surfing the net, or more!

Their argument is self-defeating. If 50% of people are really file-sharing, and they want all those people banned from using the Internet... well, just imagine what would happen to the economy if 50% of Internet-users were forced to stop using the Internet. These are people who are supporting numerous businesses with their web browsing (e.g. ads), purchasing products online, running their own businesses using the Internet, etc. Imagine the number of lost sales, the number of jobs lost, the number of small-business bankruptcies... (Not to mention other economic disruptions: e.g. people less productive at work because they can't web-browse at home; the creation of a black-market for net access.)

The UK GDP would take a far greater hit from 50% of their net-using population being forced off the net than it does from the same 50% illegally sharing some content.

Re:112 bn lost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922055)

Well obviously they believe that if they get just 1% of that 50% banned, the rest will start 'behaving themselves'. In fact, they'll just drive the P2P software to be more and more ingeneous.

Re:£112 bn lost? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921495)

Money doesn't just disappear like that. If a file-sharer doesn't buy media and downloads it instead, they have more money to go see a movie, or have a nice meal at a restaurant - whatever. The money is still used in the economy, just not in same industry as media.

To suggest that filesharers are causing an 8% drop in GDP is idiotic, as well as the 50% of all traffic is illegal. And they want to ban illegal filesharers? Ok, lets ban half the population of the UK from surfing the net, or more!

Let's see how your sales drop after that pal.

Oh, stop whining will you! You make it sound as if rampant piracy doesn't harm the content industry while boosting all sorts of other parts of the economy. In other words nobody loses, which is of course bullshit. If you are consuming services and content for free that you could easily afford to pay for somebody is losing money. Just because you are spending the money you save, by pirating digital content and software, to stimulate other parts of the economy, that doesn't make you any less of a harmful parasite to the people whose hard work you are ripping off. You can make the argument that piracy is OK because everybody does it but it still does not change the fact that what you are doing is basically dishonest.

Re:£112 bn lost? (3, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921947)

The monopoly holders are the parasites, by holding onto monopolies far longer than necessary to encourage progress of science and useful arts. Sharing information is natural human behavior. The only reason information monopoly holders have the right to restrict sharing is because the public gave them that right. When the deal is no longer profitable we can rescind it.

Re:£112 bn lost? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922265)

Maybe it does cause an 8% drop in GDP. So does slavery being illegal. By not being forced to work 20 hours a day in a factory you are depriving trainer companies of valuable income. THIEF!

In other suprising news... (1, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921263)

An alliance of car thieves are calling for legislation to force people to leave their keys in their car.

While I agree that it's important to keep up with such stories, can't we just wrap up all twenty or so of these in a 'This Week (or Today) in Intellectual Property'. For the sake of poster's time, I'd suggest an auto submit with the twenty or so most popular comments.

Not Stealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921493)

An alliance of car thieves are calling for legislation to force people to leave their keys in their car.

It's not stealing, it's "copyright enforcement".

Re:In other suprising news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921527)

A better analogy would be "An alliance of car manufacturers are calling for legislation to force people to service their cars at a manufacturer-owned garage."

They don't care about money being spent elsewhere. They just want money to be spent on their product, payable directly to them.

Fsck the economy, they want a huge dividend.

an unprecedented statement? (0)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921273)

you mean it's the first time they tell us that file sharing is illegal and that they should disconnect offenders? :) No way??

next they'll tell us they should augment copyright length.... because of increased life span.

Damn it to hell! (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921357)

The banning of people from ISPs without due process of law (i.e. a hearing in the courts) is the antithesis of a democratic Republic. It is a nullification of human rights philosophy. It is the return of a class system where Monarchs and Nobility rule by default in the United Kingdom.

Bravo conservatives! If you succeed, you will have wrestled control away from the people. It took 200 years but you finally succeeded in turning the people back into mere commoners, to be declared "guilty" with a mere flick of a noble parliamentarian's effeminate wrist. No jury by your peers. No defense of liberty.

Re:Damn it to hell! (0)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921649)

The banning of people from ISPs without due process of law (i.e. a hearing in the courts) is the antithesis of a democratic Republic.

Did you catch the bit in the title where it said 'UK'? You know what the 'K' stands for, right? Kingdom, as in 'not a republic'.

Re:Damn it to hell! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922189)

Well since your king is nothing more than a figurehead, with no real power, you are effectively a government ruled by law. And those laws are created by an assembly that represents the People. i.e. You have evolved from a kingdom to a republic.

Re:Damn it to hell! (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922597)

Replies to this general thread:
1) We don't have a King, we have a Queen as the ruling Monarch.
2) We are effectively a democratic republic with full parliament. This is all (in theory) at the pleasure of Her Majesty (thus we still have a Monarchy).
3) Strangely, our Monarch is a level headed person, who is one of England's best diplomats, and makes far better decisions than our elected bunch of yobs.
4) The pressure to get this ban in place has been posed before by the Elected Representatives, not the Monarch, so the reference to this being like the old class system is humorous.
5) Conservatives? It's a Labour government that have been pushing this. Yes, the titular Socialists. So, well done "the people's party" for savaging the people to play nice to the commercial sector with lots of cash to trough in.

Re:Damn it to hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922635)

"It is the return of a class system where Monarchs and Nobility rule by default in the United Kingdom."

If you replace Monarchs with corperations an Nobility with self serving morons I think we're already there.

The Wild West is already here (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921359)

In an 'unprecedented joint statement,' the alliance predicted a 'lawless free-for-all' unless the government ensured the 'safe and secure delivery of legal content.'

Isn't the Internet a "lawless free-for-all" anyway? On one hand, you have commerce sites like Amazon and Newegg, news sites like the New York Times et al, government sites, and so on. On the other, though, you have plenty of sites out there -- and plenty of people -- who are basically outlaws. But for all that, the Internet works. If this "alliance of creative industries" doesn't want to play ball, they should yank out their LAN cables [slashdot.org] and go home.

Re:The Wild West is already here (2, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922561)

Part of their problem is that they haven't even got the LAN cable plugged in yet. What do they even do online?

These are huge companies. They could offer better speeds and better quality than torrent sites and still maintain a low enough price to be enticing. They can afford mainstream advertising to bring in lots of customers. They can offer more features and better ease of use than a torrent site.

They could use the BT protocol to save on bandwidth costs. Offer both one-off-payment single movie downloads and subscriptions to all movies. Have an optional embedded player for the technologically retarded but allow downloads of individual files. Lay off the DRM, offer the service worldwide and lose the geographical restrictions. The competition doesn't have those limitations.

Where is all this stuff? They've had the means for years and they still haven't done it. My dad actually askes me where he can go online and buy a movie to watch when he feels like it; where can he? It's just not there.

You know, it's interesting... (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921419)

Over the past decade or so, I've watched companies freak out over source code becoming more and more available to the recipients of software. First it was Java and how "easy" it was to decompile. Then it was HTML/Javascript and how easy it was for someone to steal unobfuscated code. Nowadays, practically every bit of compiled code is easy to reverse.

Invariably, this caused managers to attempt to buy into bizarre technical solutions to "protect" their investments. Which was ridiculous. The correct hammer to use was a legal one. If someone stole your code and tried to hide it (which isn't easy to do successfully, as the GPL violators can testify), the correct hammer is a legal one. It's much easier to legally go after someone dumb enough to steal code rather than running around like chicken little trying to protect something that's inherently unprotectable.

Fast forward to today, where the core concern is content and the theft thereof. Again, the industry tried the technological hammer (DRM) and predictably failed. Now they're trying the legal hammer. Which is only partially a correct tool to use. Yes, feel free to root out the pirate organizations. But for the vast majority of the users, the real solution is proper paid access to the content.

I remember when MP3s first came into existence. I said then, "The music companies should sell their music online. That would prevent people from illegally distributing MP3s." As expected, the music industry was not going to go that direction. What happened? Well, the market found what it wanted: Napster. And the music industry lost BIG TIME. A service like Napster with fees for song downloads could have been huge. But instead, the industry allowed the public to get a taste of the "free" mentality.

Even so, it's still possible to reverse the effects. (To some degree.) The correct solution is to continue embracing digital distribution. Offer a fair product at a fair price and people will pay for it. For the vast majority of users, their time is worth more than tooling around trying to find the content they're interested in. But as long as companies make it worth more to run through virus-laden torrent sites than to download off of their websites or iTunes, then consumers will go for the virus-laden torrent sites.

Welcome to the new competition media industry. For the first time ever, you have to compete. And guess what? You're competing against yourselves. ;-)

Re:You know, it's interesting... (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922479)

The correct solution is to continue embracing digital distribution. Offer a fair product at a fair price and people will pay for it.

Isn't the problem, at least in part, that the current scheme allows bundling of maybe two decent songs and a whole bunch of filler crap on CD's, while digital distribution allows cherry-picking? In order to keep up their revenues, it would be necessary to produce far more quality content. And that's hard to do...

An enabling act? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921433)

They want the government to sign into law an 'enabling' act, designed to curtail free speech and free association, in response to a vague threat which they've refused to provide evidence for the scope of?

Some people are just asking for Nazi comparisons.

Re:An enabling act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921647)

An enabling act simply means an act to do something. In principle, the Crown in Parliament can pass an enabling act to do ANYTHING, although violating the certain parts of the constitution would probably be very difficult to do. In practice, anything too evil wouldn't go ahead because either: it wouldn't pass in hte Commons; the government would lose the next election; or, in extreme cases, the Queen could refuse to assent to it (this would only happen if the government were to try to abolish elections or Parliament or something similar)

Re:An enabling act? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921845)

I know that, but they could've chosen better wording. If you want your law to sound sinister, describing it in similar terms to the law that gave Hitler absolute power is a pretty good starting point. I'm surprised the term gets used at all anymore, given it's historical connotations.

four words. (5, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921471)

Innocent until proven guilty.

Re:four words. (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921655)

Not anymore it isn't.
I don't think you have been paying attention to the way judges rule nowadays.
Law means nothing, It is all about how the feel about a given topic.

one word (1)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921787)

Innocent until proven guilty.

thats criminal law

this is civil law which means its about money and with civil law you can keep appealing (with grounds of course) till someone runs out of money/gives up.

A civil action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922079)

cannot produce punitive damages, only losses.

They're trying to get civil procedures but criminal sanction.

As someone else put it, if I get truly done like a kipper over this, I'll just push the head of whichever arsehole I can get to through a pane of glass and get their throat cut by the broken glass.

I'll be showing how dumb the law is by serving 15 years for filesharing and 5-10 years for murder.

Re:one word (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922299)

this is civil law which means its about money and with civil law you can keep appealing (with grounds of course) till someone runs out of money/gives up.

That's a flaw of the adversarial system, the standard of proof in civil litigation is a fact must be proved on the balance of probabilities with the evidence before the court.

Re:one word (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922303)

"...banning users caught sharing illegally...

Seems to me that criminal law very much factors into this.

You need another word (1)

Perx (107558) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922281)

Presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Drafting challenge (1)

sfarmstrong (1106577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921577)

This doesn't strike me as an issue. I can't imagine how you'd draft a statute that would effectively suppress torrent traffic by content. Users just have to encrypt their torrent traffic, which would render ISPs unable to determine the legality of the traffic over their networks. Granted, they could try banning all torrent traffic, but that's a whole different kind of problem..

Caught sharing illegally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921581)

force ISPs into banning users caught sharing illegally

If they were caught, then surely they have been tried and found guilty in court, and have already been punished?

Also, this is akin to banning a car thief from using roads ever again..

Wankers (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921595)

This story started the day being reported sympathetically by the bbc and others. Thankfully they have since updated their stance to include the views of ISPs, the people who would have to implement this measure (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8046028.stm). They rightly point out that such a move is impossible and disproportionate, "Ispa members have consistently explained that significant technological advances would be required if these measures are to reach a standard where they would be admissible as evidence in court." I particularly like the use of "in court" here. We all know what often happens when file sharing cases actually get to a judge who understands technology

50%, eh? (0)

bentcd (690786) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921631)

they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure

Does this imply that the entertainment industry is now assuming responsibility for about half the spam out there? Better sharpen our lawyers while there's still some cash left to be shaken out of them :-)

automatic licensing is the wa to go (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921701)

how does the market work for tangible, physical products ? it's based on the assumption that after i buy something, the manufacturer loses all control over the good. i can resell, rent, loan, give it away, etc.

now why doesn't this work for music and video ? because they want _control _ ? well, FUCK control. think on profits, damn it !!!

work like that: ANYONE can resell ANY music or movie they wan't, as long as they buy it beforehand.

set up a music wholeseller. this service will only work with online stores and sell licenses for the content. so, i set up my online store and connect to them, everytime one of my visitors click on "buy", my system contacts the distributor, transfer a few cents and get a digital receipt, this will prove that the content i just re-sold was sold legaly. i collect the money from my costumer and keep the diference.

i'll have to keep comprehensive logs of everything that was downloaded from my site, and it'll be required that the downloads match the number of digital receipts i have on file.

this would establish the same relationship for abstract products (i.e. digital contents) that exists for real products. in other worlds, to be able to resell a pen, i must first buy a pen from a wholeseller, have the pen delivered to me, then i can resell and deliver it to my costumer. only in the digital version, instead of buying i'll just buy a license for the content over the wire.

this system would allow pretty much anyone to resell any digital content. artists and studios would receive their share, the public would have easy and convenient access to whatever it is and there would be competition on the market to keep proces down.

win-win situation. and piracy would end simply because it'd be unneccessary and obsolete,

Upcoming EU elections (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921735)

Is it just me, or is this yet another happening that will generate votes for the Pirate Party at the upcoming EU elections...?

!Good business sense. (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921775)

That's it, instead of competing against free illegal copies of dubious quality with a superior, consistent, higher quality product, distributed as cheaply, try to strong arm an tangentially related industry into propping up your obsolete business model.

I'm sure that'll work out of ya, just look at the horse & cart industry.

It just doesn't make sense (2, Insightful)

polemistes (739905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921835)

They are artists, creative people. They should be in the forefront of the development of human culture. Then they base their business model on certain technological limitations. That is bad in the first place, but then, when the limitations are overcome, they try to force the limitations back, just so they won't have to adapt to a new reality. That's not very artistic. With that kind of attitude, I'm not sure I want their stuff, for free or not. Then again, I hope very few actual artists think in this way. I guess it is the industry people, who are very rich and conservative, and want to stay rich and conservative.

Music is overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921861)

In the March 19, 2009 Rolling Stone there was a quote from 'major label source' on Walmart's thoughts on the music industry: Talking about The Eagles album 'Long Road out of Eden', he said that "[The Eagles] kind of turned them around from thinking music was a shit category to thinking it was a good category that was mispriced."

The record industry needs to realize what they're problem is...their crap is overpriced. If all of a sudden new releases were $5 each, I would probably buy 25-30 albums per year. I'd take chances on new artists, and buy albums based on one cut I heard on the radio. Digital albums should be even cheaper, maybe $2.50.

$10 for a digital copy of an album, and $18+ for an actual CD? That's crazy! The product is not worth what they are charging. Especially when it's available for free with a few mouse clicks.

It's never been cheaper or easier to produce high quality music. CD production costs are miniscule. There's no reason for their prices except greed.

Re:Music is overpriced (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922017)

When CDs first came out, I remember press citing that they were more expensive than tapes only because economies of scale and scope were not in place. In time, prices were supposed to come down. They did not. Instead, as more and more people stopped buying their (imo) overpriced tripe, they started charging more. The only new CDs I've bought in the past 13 years have been from bargain bins. I've purchased everything else from used book stores (hurray! Half Price Books), rummage sales, and online. Recently, I've been picking up some albums via Amazon MP3 for under $5. I think you're right. If they were to price new albums at the $5 mark, they would sell boatloads more than they do today.

Re:Music is overpriced (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922345)

I will never pay for digital downloads.

If I'm prepared to wait or search around a bit, I can buy any CD cheaper than the digital downloads, plus I get something tangible that is nice & shiny, not lossy & therefore sounds nice in my reasonably good hi-fi

I do use P2P & Usenet to preview albums that sound like they might be interesting - if they're good, I buy them & if they're crap, I delete the downloads.

I buy 3 or 4 CDs a month, occasionally more, knowing that each one is worth the money I've paid for it because I've already heard it. That means that CDs are, to me, great value & are things I am more than happy to continue to buy. Oh, and I also lend them to friends sometimes who then also go out & buy the albums.

Therefore the record companies do well out of me and I'm happy that they're releasing enough new music that interests me - everyone wins.

The only downside is that my legal purchases subsidise those people who never buy any music & just download it freely. Those people need to stop & think about what would happen to music if everyone grabbed it for free.

One Path: I2P & Similar (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921921)

Nobles, Romans, Geeks, lend me your ears. This is not going away. They will not stop, no matter how many times they are proven wrong. No matter how many times they are slapped down by the courts. They will keep coming at us, and they will never stop. They have a lot of money, and they think they have it all to lose. The only solution is to disappear.

Start working on your darknet, today. The only way out is to become invisible.

There are others, and I think this one shows promise:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P [wikipedia.org]

I am not advocating copyright infringement. I don't think you should use a darknet to break the law. But you absolutely should do what you can to make your Internet behavior inscrutable. It is none of their business, but they will keep monitoring you, and finding new things you are doing to outlaw, until they own you, or you disappear.

This, copyright infringement, is only one tiny piece. It is not the only field in which you are being watched, and it is far from the most dangerous one. The only way to protect free speech and free association is to make your speech and association impossible to observe.

Now go, and actively engage in the hard work of being free.

This is a great idea! (1)

Godman (767682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921943)

I also support other such measures like:

Stripping people of their cars for speeding.

Banning certain people from owning hammers after being sued in civil court for a case only tangentially involving a hammer.

Chopping the dicks off of sex offenders.

Taking aspirin to pretend I don't have cancer.

Making razor blades illegal to stop cocaine abuse.

Enabling Act? (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922041)

Any time there is a call for:

enabling legislation,

it always seems to turn out like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933 [wikipedia.org]

The internet's for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922107)

(they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure

They must only be counting out of the less than 1% of net traffic that isn't porn.

Just to note: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922391)

It is not the creative industries that say that, because this would mean the artists. But this comes from the dying (and as we know for a good reason) distribution industries.
The very people that want the creatives to get as little as possible from the sales cake. 1-4% with music, and they still have to pay the expenses, like the studio, from it.

I wonder how this process of article and summary writer selection works here on Slashdot? Do they choose the one with the least knowledge of the topic in an epic contest, similar to the Upper Class Twit Of The Year Show [youtube.com] ?

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