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In the UK, a Plan To Criminalize Illegal Downloaders

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the naughty-naughty dept.

The Internet 382

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

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382 comments

Mandelson (5, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103011)

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

Re:Mandelson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103019)

Worst post

Re:Mandelson (5, Funny)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103095)

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

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

Re:Mandelson (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103189)

Maybe he was a Grand Vizier in a previous incarnation.

p.s. somehow Grand Viziers tend to be portrayed rather "unsympathetically" in books and films, wonder why :).

Re:Mandelson (2, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103127)

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

Re:Mandelson (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103287)

It isn't helped by the fact he really looks like Hitler. Honestly, draw a toothbrush mustache on any picture of him. Its freaky.

Re:Mandelson (5, Interesting)

MindKata (957167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103459)

"It isn't helped by the fact he really looks like Hitler."

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

Re:Mandelson (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103579)

Fuck me but some people need a sense of perspective. Yes, Mandelson is corrupt scum, but comparing him with Himmler? You're the kind of wanker who'd compare Tory Bliar with Hitler.

Tosser. Read some fucking history books and get a grip.

Re:Mandelson (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103623)

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

Welcome to Mendelsonia.

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

Re:Mandelson (4, Insightful)

bs7rphb (924322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103373)

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

Re:Mandelson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103591)

He is part of the executive, we don't elect the executive.

Re:Mandelson (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103609)

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

Re:Mandelson (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103385)

Put slimebag Mandelson into perspective...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sodomy? Sounds like the brits alright! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103025)

When I think of dirty old men, I think of Ike Thomas and when I think about Ike I get a hard on that won't quit.

Fifty years ago,I worked in what was once my Grandfather's Greenhouses. Gramps had died a year earlier and Grandma, now in her seventies had been forced to sell to the competition. I got a job with the new owners and mostly worked the range by myself. That summer, they hired a man to help me get the benches ready for the fall planting.

Ike always looked like he was three days from a shave and his whiskers were dirty white under the brim of his battered felt fedora.

He did nott chew tobacco but the corners of his mouth turned down in a way that, at any moment, I expected a trickle of thin, brown juice to creep down his chin. His bushy, brown eyebrows shaded pale, gray eyes.

Old Ike, he extended his hand, lifted his leg like a dog about to mark a bush and let go the loudest fart I ever heard. The old man winked at me. "Ike Thomas is the name and playing pecker's my game.

I thought he said, "Checkers." I was nineteen, green as grass. I said, "I was never much good at that game."

"Now me," said Ike, "I just love jumping men. . ."

"I'll bet you do."

". . . and grabbing on to their peckers," said Ike.

"I though we were talking about. . ."

"You like jumping old men's peckers?"

I shook my head.

"I reckon we'll have to remedy that." Ike lifted his right leg and let go another tremendous fart. "He said, "We best be getting to work."

That summer of 1961 was a more innocent time. I learned most of the sex I knew from those little eight pager cartoon booklets of comic-page characters going at it. Young men read them in the privacy of an outside john, played with themselves, by themselves and didn't brag about it. Sometimes, we got off with a trusted friend and helped each other out.

Under the greenhouse glass, the temperature some times climbed over the hundred degree mark. I had worked stripped to the waist since April and was as browwn as a berry. On only his second day on the job and in the middle of August, Ike wore old fashioned overalls. Those and socks in his hightop work shoes was every stitch he wore. When he bent forward, the bib front billowed out and I could see the white curly hairs on his chest and belly.

"Me? I just love to eat pussy!"I ke licked his lips from corner to corner then stuck it out far enough that the tip could touch the tip of his nose. He said, A man's not a man till he knows first hand, the flavor of a lady's pussy."

"People do that?"

He winked. "Of course the taste of a hard cock ain't to be sneezed at neither. Now you answer me, yes or no. Does a man's cock taste salty or not?"

"I never. . ."

"Well, old Ike's willing to let you find out."

"No way."

"Just teasing," said Ike. "But don't give me no sass or I'll show you my ass." He winked. Might show it to you anyway, if you was to ask."

"Why would I do that?"

"Curiousity, maybe. I'm guessing you never had a good piece of man ass."

"I'm no queer."

"Now don't be getting judgemental. Enjoying what's at hand ain't beiing queer. It's taking pleasure where you find it with anybody willing." Ike slipped a handside the side slit of his overalls and I could tell he was fondling and straightening out his cock. Now I admit I got me a hole that satisfied a few guys."

I swallowed, hard.

Ike winked. "Care to be asshole buddies?"

***

We worked steadily until noon. Ike drew a worn pocket watch from the bib pocket of his loose overalls and croaked, "Bean time. But first its time to reel out our limber hoses and make with the golden arches before lunch."

I followed I ke to the end of the greenhouse where he stopped at the outside wall of the potting shed. He opened his fly, fished inside, and finger-hooked a soft white penis with a pouting foreskin puckered half an inch past the hidden head.

"Yes sir," breathed Ike, "this old peter needs some draining." He exhaled a sigh as a strong, yellow stream splattered against the boards and ran down to soak into the earthen floor.

He caught me looking down at him. He winked. "Like what you're viewing, Boy?"

I looked away.

"You taking a serious interest in old Ike's pecker?"

I shook my head.

"Well you just haul out yourn and let old Ike return the compliment."

Feeling trapped and really having to go, I fumbled at my fly, turned away slightly, withdrew my penis and strained to start.

"Take your time boy. Let it all hang out. Old Ike's the first to admit that he likes looking at another man's pecker." He flicked away the last drop of urine and shook his limp penis vigorously.

I tried not to look interested.

"Yer sir, this old peepee feels so good out, I just might leave it out." He turned to give me a better view.

"What if somebody walks in?"

Ike shrugged. He looked at my strong yellow stream beating against the boards and moved a step closer. "You got a nice one,boy."

I glanccd over at him. His cock was definitely larger and beginning to stick straight out. I nodded toward his crotch. "Don't you think you should put that away?"

"I got me strictly a parlor prick," said Ike. "Barely measures six inches." He grinned. "Of course it's big enough around to make a mouthful." He ran a thumb and forefinger along its length and drawing his foreskin back enough to expose the tip of the pink head. "Yersiree." He grinned, revealing nicotine stained teeth. "I t sure feels good, letting the old boy breathe."

I knew I should button up and move away. I watched his fingers moving up and down the thickening column.

"You like checking out this old man's cock?"

I nodded. In spite of myself, my cock began to swell.

"Maybe we should have ourselves a little pecker pulling party." I ke slid his fingers back and forth on his expandingshaft and winked. "I may be old but I'm not against doing some little pud pulling with a friend."

I shook my head.

"Maybe I 'll give my balls some air. Would you like a viewing of old Ike's hairy balls?"

I swallowed hard and moistened my dry lips.

He opened another button on his fly and pulled out his scrotum. "Good God, It feels good to set 'em free. Now let's see yours."

"Why?"

"Just to show you're neighborly," said Ike.

"I don't think so." I buttoned up and moved into the potting shed.

Ike followed, his cock and balls protruding from the front of his overalls. "Overlook my informality." Ike grinned. "As you can see I ain't bashful."

I nodded and took my sandwich from the brown paper bag.

"Yessir," said Ike. "I just might have to have myself an old fashioned peter pulling all by my lonesome. He unhooked a shoulder strap and let his overalls drop around his ankles.

I took a bite of my sandwich but my eyes remained on Ike.

"Yessiree," said Ike, "I got a good one if I do say so myself. Gets nearly as hard as when I was eighteen. You know why?"

I shook my head.

"Cause I keep excerising him. When I was younger I was pulling on it three time a day. Still like to do him every day I can."

"Some sayyou'll go blind if you do that too much."

"Bull-loney!" Don't you believe that shit. I been puling my pud for close to fifty years and I didn't start till I was fifteen."

I laughed.

"You laughing at my little peter, boy?"

"Your hat." I pointed to the soiled, brown fedora cocked on his head. That and his overalls draped about his ankles were his only items of apparel. In between was a chest full of gray curly hair, two hairy legs. Smack between them stood an erect, pale white cock with a tip of foreskin still hiding the head.

"I am one hairy S.O.B.," said Ike.

"I laughed at you wearing nothing but a hat."

"Covers up my bald spot," said Ike. "I got more hair on my ass than I got on my head. Want to see?"

"Your head?"

"No, Boy, my hairy ass and around my tight, brown asshole." He turned, reached back with both hands and parted his ass cheeks to reveal the small, puckered opening. "There it is, Boy, the entrance lots of good feelings. Tell me, Boy, how would you like to put it up old Ike's ass?"

"I don't think so."

"That'd be the best damned piece you ever got."

"We shouldn't be talking like this."

"C'mon now, confess, don't this make your cock perk up a little bit?"

"I reckon," I confessed.

"You ever seen an old man's hard cock before," asked Ike.

"My grandpa's when I was twelve or thirteen."

"How'd that come about?"

He was out in the barn and didn't know I was around. He dropped his pants. It was real big he did things to it. He saw me and he turned around real fast but I saw it."

"What did your grandpa do?"

"He said I shouldn't be watching him doing that. He said something like grandma 'wouldn't give him some,' that morning and that I should get out of there and leave a poor man in peace to do what he had to do."

"Did you want to join him."

"I might have if he'd asked. He didn't."

"I like showing off my cock," said Ike. "A hard-on is somethng I always been proud of. A hard-on proves a man's a man. Makes me feel like a man that can do things." He looked up at me and winked. "You getting a hard-on fromall this talk, son?"

I nodded and looked away.

"Then maybe you should pull it out and show old Ike what you got."

"We shouldn't."

"Hey. A man's not a man till he jacked off with a buddy."

I wanted to but I was as nervous as hell.

Ike grinned and fingered his pecker. "C'mon, Boy, between friends, a little cock showing is perfectly fine. Lets see what you got in the cock and balls department."

In spite of my reluctance, I felt the stirring in my crotch. I had curiositythat needed satisfying. It had been a long, long time since I had walked in on my grandfather .

"C'mon let's see it all."

I shook my head.

"You can join the party anytime, said Ike. "Just drop your pants and pump away."

I had the urge. There was a tingling in my crotch. My cock was definitely willing and I had a terrible need to ajust myself down there. But my timidity and the strangeness of it all held me back.

Hope you don't mind if I play out this hand." I ke grinned. "It feels like I got a winner."

I stared at his gnarled hand sliding up and down that pale, white column and I could not look away. I wet my lips and shook my head.

Old Ike's about to spout a geyser." Ike breathed harder as he winked. "Now if I just had a long finger up my ass. You interested, boy?"

I shook my head.

The first, translucent, white glob crested the top of his cock and and arced to the dirt floor. Ike held his cock at the base with thumb and forefinger and tightened noticably with each throb of ejaculation until he was finished.

I could not believe any man could do what he had done in front of another human being.

Ike sighed with pleasure and licked his fingers. "A man ain't a man till he's tasted his own juices."

He squatted, turned on the faucet and picked up the connected hose. He directed the water between his legs and on to his still dripping prick and milked the few remaing drops of white, sticky stuff into the puddle foming at his feet. "Cool water sure feels good on a cock that just shot its wad," said Ike.

***

"Cock-tale telling time," said Old Ike. It was the next day and he rubbed the front of his dirty,worn overalls where his bulge made the fly expand as his fingers smoothed the denim around the outline of his expanding cock.

I wasn't sure what he had in mind but I knew it wasn't something my straight-laced Grandma would approve of.

"Don't you like taking your cock out and jacking it?" Ike licked his lips.

I shook my head in denial.

"Sure you do. A young man in his prime has got to be pulling his pud."

I stared at his caloused hand moving over the growing bulge at his crotch.

"Like I said," continued Ike, "I got me barely six inches when he's standing up." He winked at me. "How much you got, son?"

"Almost seven inches. . ." I stuttered. "Last time I measured."

"And I'm betting it feels real good with your fist wrapped around it."

"I don't do. . ."

"Everybody does it." He scratched his balls and said,"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Then, looking me in the eye, he lifted his leg like a dog at a tree and let out a long, noisy fart.

Denying that I jacked off, I said, "I saw yours yesterday."

"A man has got to take out his pecker every once in a while." He winked and his fingers played with a button on his fly. Care to join me today?"

"I don't think so."

"What's the matter, boy? You ashamed of what's hanging 'tween your skinny legs?"

"It's not for showing off."

"That would be so with a crowd of strangers but with a friend, in a friendly showdown, where's the harm?

"It shouldn't be shown to other people. My Grandma said that a long time ago when I went to the bathroom against a tree whan I was seven.

"There's nothing like a joint pulling among friends to seal a friendship," said Ike.

I don't think so." I felt very much, ill at ease.

"Then what the fuck is it for," demanded the old man. "A good man shares his cock with his friends. How old are you boy?"

"Nineteen almost twenty."

You ever fucked a woman?"

"No."

"Ever fucked a man?"

"Of course not.

"Son, you ain't never lived till you've fired your load up a man's tight ass. "I didn't know men did that to each other."

"Men shove it up men's asses men all the time. They just don't talk about it like they do pussy."

"You've done that?"

"I admit this old pecker's been up a few manholes. More than a fewhard cocks have shagged this old ass over the years." He shook his head, wistfully, "I still have a hankering for a hard one up the old dirt chute."

"I think that would hurt."

"First time, it usually does," agreed I ke. He took a bite from his sandwich.

I looked at my watch. Ten minutes of our lunch hour had already passed.

"We got time for a quickie," said Ike. "There's no one around to say, stop, if were enjoying ourselves."

He unhooked the slide off the button of one shoulder-strap, pushed the bib of his overalls down to let them fall to his feet.

"Showtime," said Ike. Between his legs, white and hairy, his semi-hard cock emerged from a tangled mass of brown and graypubic hair. The foreskin, still puckered beyond the head of the cock, extended downward forty-five degrees from the horizontal but was definitely on the rise.

I could only stare at the man. Until the day before, I had never seen an older man with an erection besides my grandpa.

Ike moved his fingers along the stalk of his manhood until the head partially emerged, purplish and broad. He removed his hand for a moment and it bobbled obscenely in the subdued light of the potting shed. Ike leaned back against a bin of clay pots like a model on display. "Like I said, boy, it gets the job done."

I found it difficult not to watch. "You shouldn't. . ."

"C'mon, boy. Show Ike your peckeer. I'm betting it's nice and hard."

I grasped my belt and tugged on the open end. I slipped the waistband button and two more before pushing down my blue jeans and shorts down in one move. My cock bounced and slapped my belly as I straightened."

"That's a beaut." Ike stroked his pale, white cock with the purplish-pink head shining. "I'm betting it'll grow some more if you stroke it."

"We really shouldn't. . ."

"Now don't tell me you never stroked your hard peter with a buddy."

"I've done that," I finally admitted,. "But he was the same age as me and it was a long time ago." I though back to the last time Chuck and me jerked each other off in the loft of our old barn. Chuck wanted more as a going away present and we had sucked each other's dicks a little bit.

"Jackin's always better when you do it with somebody," said Ike. "Then you can lend each other a helping hand."

"I don't know about that," I said.

Ike's hand continued moving on his old cock as he leaned over to inspect mine. "God Damn! Boy. That cock looks good enough to eat." Ike licked his lips. "You ever had that baby sucked?"

I shook my head as I watched the old man stroke his hard, pale cock.

"Well boy, I'd sayyou're packing a real mouthful for some lucky gal or guy." He grinned. "Well c'mon. Let's see you get down to some serious jacking. Old Ike's way ahead of you."

I wrapped my fist around my stiff cock and moved the foreskin up and over the head on the up stroke. On the down stroke the expanded corona of the angry, purple head stared obscenely at the naked old man.

Ike toyed with his modest six inches. "What do you think of this old man's cock?" His fist rode down to his balls and a cockhead smaller than the barrel stared back at mine.

"I guess I'm thinking this is like doing it with my grandpa."

"You ever wish you could a done this with your grandpa?"

"I thought about it a lot."

"Ever see him with a hard-on."

"I told you about that!"

"Ever think about him doing your grandma?"

"I can't imagine her ever doing anything with a man.

"Take my word for it, sonny, we know she did it or you wouldn't be here." Begrudgingly I nodded in agreement.

"Everybody fucks," said old Ike. "They fuck or they jack off."

"If you say so."

"Say sonny, your cocks getting real juicy with slickum. Want old I ke to lick some of it away?"

"You wouldn't."

Ike licked his lips as he kept his hand pistoning up and down his hard cock. "You might be surprised what old Ike might do if he was in the mood for a taste of what comes out of a hard cock."

And that is what he proceded to do. He sucked me dry.

Then he erupted in half-a-dozen spurts shooting out and onto the dirt floor of the potting shed. He gave his cock a flip and shucked t back into his overalls. He unwrapped a sandwich from its wax paper and procede to eat without washing his hands. He took a bite and chewed. "Nothing like it boy, a good jacking clears the cobwebs from your crotch and gives a man an appetite."

***

The following day, We skipped the peliminaries. We dropped our pants. Ike got down on his knees and sucked me until I was hard and good and wet before he stood and turned.

"C'mon boy, Shove that pretty cock up old I ke's tight, brown hole and massage old Ike's prostate.

Ike bent forward and gripped the edge of the potting bench. The lean, white cheeked buttocks parted slightly and exposed the dark brown, crinkly, puckered star of his asshole "Now you go slow and ease it along until you've got it all the way in," he cautioned. "This old ass craves your young cock but it don't want too much too soon. You've got to let this old hole stretch to accomodate you."

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Easy boy, easy," he cautioned. "You feel a lot bigger than you look. Put a little more spit in your cock."

"It's awfully tight. I don't know if it's going to go or not."

""It'll go," said Ike. "There's been bigger boys than you up the old shit chute."

I slipped in the the last few inches.. "It's all in."

"I can tell," said Ike. "Your cock hairs are tickling my ass."

"Are you ready," I asked.

"How are you liking old Ike's hairy asshole so far?"

"It's real tight."

"Tighter than your fist?"

"Might be."

"Ready to throw a fuck into a man that reminds you of your grandpa."

"I reckon."

"I want you should do old Ike one more favor."

"What?"

While you're pumpin my ass, would you reach around and play with my dick like you would your own? Would you do that for an old man?"

I reached around and took hold of his hard cock sticking out straight in front of him. I pilled the skin back amd then pulled it up and over the expaded glans. I felt my own cock expand inside him as I manipulated his staff in my fingers. I imagined that my cock extended through him and I was playing with what came out the other side of him.

"C'mon, boy, ram that big cock up the old shitter and make me know it. God Damn! tickle that old prostate and make old Ike come!"

I came. And I came. Ike's tightened up on my cock and I throbbed Roman Candle bursts into that brown hole as I pressed into him. His hairy, scrawny ass flattened against my crotch and we were joined as tightly as two humans can be.

"A man's not a man till he's cum in another man." said old Ike. "You made it, boy. But still, a man's not a man till he's had a hard cock poked up his ass at least once."

Every time I think of that scene, I get another hard-on. Then I remember the next day when old Ike returned the favor.

I never have managed to come that hard again. If only I ke were here.

anonymous? (5, Insightful)

The Bubble (827153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103029)

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

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

Re:anonymous? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103107)

It's the British definition.

Re:anonymous? (4, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103143)

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

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

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

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

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

Re:anonymous? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103325)

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

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

Re:anonymous? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103221)

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

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

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

It's a faunization of the truck analogy.

Re:anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103447)

I want to know where these "computer ID numbers" all of a sudden appeared from because if they are MAC or IP addresses, either can be spoofed easily.

Re:anonymous? (1)

joaobranco (55662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103509)

I want to know where these "computer ID numbers" all of a sudden appeared from because if they are MAC or IP addresses, either can be spoofed easily.

Well, most computers have a CPUID nowadays. You remember, the ones that were supposed not to be used for identification against the user but to help e-commerce more secure. Yep. Of course, also not incredibaly hard to disable, at least on current motherboards.

Re:anonymous? (1)

joaobranco (55662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103489)

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

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

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

Keep It Simple, Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103049)

This seems unbalanced to me. Why would it be a criminal offence to 'download' copyrighted material but not to infringe on copyrights? The former only applies to citizens but the latter would cover corporations too (eg GPL violations) I'm all for laws that are simple in nature and easy to understand so if it must be a criminal offense to infringe on copyrights then I'm all for a simple and easy to understand law that applies equally all around. Don't take me as any kind of GPL zealot (I prefer BSD myself) but I understand that the GPL is a mechanism where the rules that they are forcing on us to benefit themselves are used to force them to act in our benefit. This kind of imbalance is the next attack on the citizenry by the corporations seeking power, make no mistake.

Re:Keep It Simple, Stupid (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103413)

"The law is made by the rich and powerful in order to make sure they stay that way". Piers Paul Reed, (but he may have been quoting somebody else, and from memory so may not be exact).

Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (2, Insightful)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103061)

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

I thought criminalising something was where you took something that wasn't illegal ( but a significant amount of people do ) and making it illegal?

*sigh* (5, Informative)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103087)

Illegal != Criminal. There are whole swathes of law which are not "criminal law".

Re:*sigh* (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103133)

PS. Sorry, I was rather rude. It's a reasonable question if you don't already know the answer.

Re:*sigh* (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103275)

No worries, to me it wasn't rude at all, just "matter-of-factly". It's all good :)

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

slysithesuperspy (919764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103091)

Countries like Portugal have decriminalised drugs but I think they are still illegal. I am guessing it is something to do with the enforcement. Though, I don't really know so perhaps I shouldn't have replied :)

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1, Redundant)

Walterk (124748) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103137)

Infringement of copyright doesn't fall under criminal law. It falls under database law, which is a civil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright,_Designs_and_Patents_Act_1988 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (5, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103265)

If you read the page you linked to carefully you will find:

The making, dealing in or use of infringing copies is a criminal offence (s. 107).

This is an example of /. needing a "-1 Factually incorrect" to cancel "+1 Informative" mods.

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103677)

This is an example of /. needing a "-1 Factually incorrect" to cancel "+1 Informative" mods.

Offtopic but, how do you interpret "-1 Overrated" on a "+1 Informative"?

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103147)

Depends on the law.

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

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

Now to wait for someone to say [citation needed] ;).

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103171)

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

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

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

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

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103637)

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

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

Not that I disagree with you.

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103179)

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

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

Now, whether the law would actually make it criminal or no, I don't know -- I'm not good at the semantics, and when an offense becomes a crime, but the title is misleading.

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103259)

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

Re:Criminalise Illegal Downloaders? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103301)

Actually no. Current British law, iirc, makes provisions for private study. Its like that in most European countries at the moment in fact; TPB was only nailed because they were making (shitloads) of money off copying.

What is an illegal download? (5, Insightful)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103407)

How can they possibly write this law in a way that will clearly delineate what a legal download is from an illegal download? Is it the responsibility of the consumer to know whether or not the distributor has acquired the legal rights to allow you to download a file in the first place. Does paying for something automatically indemnify you from charges of illegal downloading if you're not sure of the legality? If netflix offers a promotion to allow me to watch 3 movies for free without signing up for their service, is that legal? What about a site that streams the movie to me, inserts commercials, but doesn't have a license with the movie studios. Am I charged for illegal downloading or are they charged with illegal distribution, or both? What exactly is an illegal download when the distributor (even a pirate distributor) is willfully giving you content without charging for it?

Ciminalise illegal downloaders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103063)

IANAL, but if it's illegal, right, isn't it already, ok kind of illegal?

Just a thought.

Copying is stealing (5, Interesting)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103077)

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

Copying is stealing.

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright is stealing (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103199)

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

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

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

Re:Copyright is stealing (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103371)

Have you ever heard Vanessa Mae play Toccata and Fuge?

I have now [youtube.com] , thanks :-)

Re:Copyright is stealing (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103605)

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

Re:Copying is stealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103201)

re: Whatever happened?? That was Old Labour. New Labour loves the rich, especially the hyper-rich. I prefer to call the party "New Labour" "New Tory" .

The nail in the coffin for any semblance of being to the left is when Maggie Thatcher was feted at number 10. Of all the people.

Thank fuck I don't live in the UK.

New Labour, they always make me think of consultants from a company such as Mc Kinsey.

And as for their love of private financing of everything - WHAT THE FUCK is that all about?

They rent government office space from companies who hide their profits offshore. They allow consultancies such as Accenture who base themselves in tax-exiles to work on government projects.

As for the ID card, let's not go down that fucking stupid waste of cash road.

Tony Blair: What a fucking wanker.

You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103205)

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

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

You wouldn't steal a car.

You wouldn't steal a handbag.

You wouldn't steal this movie.

Piracy. Is. Theft.

Theft. Is. A Crime.

Quite apart from the conflation of downloading a film with stealing someone's car, the statement that "PIRACY IS THEFT" is down-right false!. Even if we accept the use of the confused term "piracy", the fact is that Theft is a clearly defined criminal act, and copyright-infringement is an entirely separately defined act. I couldn't even tell you for sure if infringing copyright is a criminal act in the UK (could someone enlighten me please).

They are both illegal, and covered by entirely different legislation. Lying to Joe Public to convince him otherwise is horribly immoral, and unfortunately - as the parent post says - seems to have worked. Most people in the UK would now find it difficult to understand the notion that they are not the same thing.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103215)

You wouldn't steal a baby.
You wouldn't kill a policeman, and steal his helmet.
You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet.
You wouldn't then send the helmet to the policeman's grieving widow.
and THEN steal it again.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103351)

Beat me to it.

IT Crowd FTW

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (4, Funny)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103281)

The IT Crowd spoofed this beautifully... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg [youtube.com]

If you haven't seen it watch it. I think of it every time I watch a legally purchased DVD and am forced to sit through their propaganda and smile.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103309)

I think every /.er needs to watch all three series, tbh :-)

Incidentally, when the scary PIRACY message comes up in the cinema, I get a little thrill from going "Yaaarrrr!" in my best piratey voice. Doing so before Pirates Of The Caribbean got an especially good reaction.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103339)

I use xine and skip the FBI warnings. I don't think the FBI have much jurisdiction in Europe anyway.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103461)

you'd be surprised :O

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (4, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103321)

[Hitler's] primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it. /Godwin.

It's the Big Lie technique, through and through. Do you really expect otherwise from these mooks?

Re:Copying is stealing (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103279)

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

Copying is stealing.

Pfff, that's a minor victory.

They won't be happy till they reach:

Copying is GENOCIDE!

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

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

Re:Copying is stealing (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103311)

Bullshit. Its acceptance by the mainstream media shows the irrelevance of the mainstream media. The fact that a behaviour casually classed as 'criminal' by newspapers is engaged in by such a large portion of the population shows they haven't won anything. Furthermore, the proportion of the population that does engage in this 'criminal' behaviour is disproportionately young.

Re:Copying is stealing (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103453)

Bullshit. Its acceptance by the mainstream media shows the irrelevance of the mainstream media. The fact that a behaviour casually classed as 'criminal' by newspapers is engaged in by such a large portion of the population shows they haven't won anything. Furthermore, the proportion of the population that does engage in this 'criminal' behaviour is disproportionately young.

But the mainstream media aren't irrelevant.

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

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

But the damage is done. Yes, even those kids who download anyway believe that it is stealing. They just don't care.

They'll care when it lands them a criminal sentence. And the laws criminalising it will be much easier to pass because, trust me, every teenager I know, and I'll warrant every teenager they know as well, fully believes that copying is stealing.

Re:Copying is stealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103389)

> Copying is stealing.

It's probably just me, but I read that sentence as saying copyright is stealing and I had to read it a couple of times to make it come out the other way...

Re:Copying is stealing (1)

griffinfinity (121020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103403)

No it isn't. Millions have made a career from copying. Your parents and grandparents PAID to see people copy. Every rock 'n' roll band in the world copied structure, chords and vocal styling from delta blues musicians. Most died penniless . Keith Richards smirks and crows "Aw, everyone steals from each other, that's music". His reps over at Polydor have a different take on that. Jagger copied Tina Turners moves, gestures and strut. Rich Little copied every famous personality of the past millennium. I copied my friends albums, they copied mine, ad infinitum.

Most of this would be a mute point save for the fact that music lovers around the globe have been accused, prosecuted, jailed, and had their parents jailed and fined in the name of 'justice'. Lives have been altered because a kid was doing what his friends do. As all this occurred, fraud and theft on the largest scale ever seen bankrupted everything from your kids college fund to your grandparents retirement funds. Consider that facts and figures were provided to the SEC and NOTHING was done. Perhaps, the feds were preoccupied over at your local ISP, serving warrants.

So where does it all end? Thank god we have progressed to the point (almost) that will finally see the physical ownership/storage of music come to an end. Technology will dictate that every bit of data be ubiquitous.

BTW, they won't confiscate your old vinyl. You'll get to keep it. After all, they have bigger fish to fry, right?

Re:Copying is stealing (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103491)

The perception of the population has been changed.

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

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

start again with something sensible.

Without a doubt. It's not very hard to construct sensible systems of reward for creativity, as long as one starts out with clearly defined goals of getting appropriate rewards to the creators. The IP system was always intended as a means of having the middle men support the crown by handing them indirect taxation right, so it's no wonder it tends to be inequitable and draconian.

Computer ID numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103093)

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

Computer ID numbers? You can track those on the interweb?

Re:Computer ID numbers (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103357)

Wait, what number is that? I haven't IDd my computers. Maybe they mean MACs or something. But that only identifies a network interface and not a computer, let alone a user.

So we're still shouting 'Thief! Thief' then.... (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103119)

...for games and music that we *wouldn't have bought anyway*.

Remember folks, home taping is killing music.

Re:So we're still shouting 'Thief! Thief' then.... (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103151)

And "VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone". I've met Jack Valenti and he seriously does believe that everyone who copies everything is a criminal.

Re:So we're still shouting 'Thief! Thief' then.... (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103601)

Heheheh he's absolutely correct.

However, considering that selling anything for more than it's actually worth (company costs included) is perfectly legal (even though it's basically a form of fraud), I'm not sure why they continually act so surprised that no-one else sees things the way they do :-)

But regardless, I will treat this as a UK MP would - if caught, I will then buy the product, not pay any fines, and insist that I have 'done nothing wrong' :-)

Re:So we're still shouting 'Thief! Thief' then.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103209)

Next we'll outlaw instruments, after all YouTube is full of people playing contemporary songs without paying the RIAA! Making music is killing music!

Re:So we're still shouting 'Thief! Thief' then.... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103335)

Youtube pays the PRS a royalty.

This news is from the 16th (5, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103159)

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

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

Re:This news is from the 16th (3, Funny)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103203)

Mandelson denied this report

Well, that's that settled then.

Re:This news is from the 16th (1)

leonstr (927273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103655)

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

Adonis is his real name (formerly Andrew Adonis, he's of Greek descent) and has the ironic nickname "Muscles". In fairness however he's doing a great job (unlike Mandy aka The Sinister Minister). The really rubbish thing is that both Adonis and Mandleson are key government ministers and neither are elected. The pretense of democracy is looking pretty thin now...

Re:This news is from the 16th (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103661)

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

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

They've been in power 12 years and lost sight of what the public care about, that doesn't matter to them anymore, they believe they're in power for good regardless and push their own agenda no matter the fact it's an absolute minority view.

Mandelson has also been caught lying on multiple occasions, in fact, he was kicked out the Labour party twice in the last 12 years for lying over something that was outright criminal. This is Mandelson, if he says he didn't do it, he's lying.

This is interesting (2, Informative)

ProfYaff (1529295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103165)

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

media types (3, Informative)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103167)

So, lord Mandy, a total media wonk (and highly manipulative individual) has gotten together with other wonks in the media to agree to 'crack down' on piracy. How nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video is more of a problem, I still go to cinemas, and there is a lot of entertaining free video out there, but I still watch TV for my sci-fi, and pay for that because I have decided it is worth it.

Punishment to fit the Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103169)

Not that I really want to help groups like the RIAA But what if they treated it like a speeding fine! Everyone speeds sometimes, if you get caught you pay $100. Most people won't be bothered to argue against it. http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/04/462.asp [thenewspaper.com] The can make billions from it! I think going after 1 person for millions of dollars is a stupid approach, why not go after 100,000 people for $100

Re:Punishment to fit the Crime (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103195)

In Britain if you're caught speeding, you pay 60 pounds and get 3 points on your license. Get 12 points within 3 years (or something like that) and you lose your license.

What about other 'copyright criminals' (4, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103191)

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

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

Re:What about other 'copyright criminals' (2, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103471)

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

uh oh (2, Interesting)

GarretSidzaka (1417217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103207)

whatever happens in Airstrip One will probably follow here in Oceania

Minister for Digital Entertainment? (0)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103225)

You Brits have a minister devoted to digital entertainment? Is finger-fucking covered by his portfolio?

Re:Minister for Digital Entertainment? (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103343)

You Brits have a minister devoted to digital entertainment? Is finger-fucking covered by his portfolio?

He's the man to call if you get hiccups... http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10207-ig-nobel-prizes-hail-digital-rectal-massage.html [newscientist.com]
Although as a member of the current administration he'd go for putting the whole fist in, without lube.

Re:Minister for Digital Entertainment? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103433)

Not with this particular minister, no.

Britian the land of the ... err free? (4, Insightful)

dreamer_uk (139940) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103231)

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

Re:Britian the land of the ... err free? (1)

dwandy (907337) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103719)

So we have more camera surveillance than anywhere else.

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

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

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

UK industry used to be innovative and groundbreaking. Now instead of encouraging evolution of business, we are actively saying we will help you keep your outdated methods and kick the people who innovate.

Innovation is hard work. It really is. You have to keep doing it (like a job!) to keep getting paid.
It's much easier to spend some profits from a previous quarter to legislate future profit guarantees.
This isn't new (like extending copyright which serves no purpose other than to enrich the current copyright owners), it's just either more widespread, or easier for the average /.er to notice thanks to the pervasive flow of information... or maybe both. In economic terms it is said that "that which you reward, you encourage".

Criminalize Leaks of private information by Govt. (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103255)

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

Re:Criminalize Leaks of private information by Gov (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103411)

First we'd need them to invent Federal prisons in a UK context - but I like the way you're thinking. Maybe instead just use Broadmoor, Parkhurst or Strangeways

Re:Criminalize Leaks of private information by Gov (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103495)

How about the London Tower? unheated in winter and with the Ghost of Anne running around, it may just be wonderful for those chaps. Isn't it?

Re:Criminalize Leaks of private information by Gov (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103519)

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

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

There is the minor issue that AFAICT the only thing they can do is fine an organisation - and of course there's only one place government can get money from to pay such a fine...

One in 12 of the population might disagree. (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103299)

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

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

Re:One in 12 of the population might disagree. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103397)

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

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

Or perhaps they just think they're unduly entitled to free stuff because they don't want to pay for it ;) Just because people drive along roads at reckless speeds doesn't mean that we should bump the speed limits up, and just because lots of people want stuff for free doesn't mean that everything needs to be made available for free.

As for the general idea, I seem to have had the misunderstanding that doing something illegal was already criminal. In a less strict sense it is (if it isn't legal then you're not a law-abiding citizen, and if you're not a law-abiding citizen then the other class is generally "criminals"), but strictly there is apparently law that isn't criminal law. At the end of the day you're still breaking a law and getting something for nothing that you shouldn't do (not stealing - that's a corporate misdirection/lie) so it is only reasonable to charge people for it. They need to make sure that what they're charging people over a) isn't allowed to be shared (i.e. don't just go "he was using BitTorrent", since it could be a Linux distro), b) is actually something they did and c) is reasonably in proportion to the crime (i.e. not multiples of a thousand over the actual cost for sharing to three people). Unfortunately I don't think they're too accurate on any of those counts in general.

Re:One in 12 of the population might disagree. (2, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103455)

You seem to have forgotten that the government is meant to be there to implement what the people want. If everyone in the country wants the speed limits increased, then in theory, they should be able to vote for someone who says they will do that. The equivalent for this is the Pirate Party. The government are not meant to control us, we are meant to control the government.

!constitional ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103345)

How is this not constitutional when the country in question has no constitution? Stupid tags

Re:!constitional ? (2, Informative)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103475)

We do have a constitution. Parliament is the supreme power in the nation though, so effectively the constitution can be changed with a simple majority vote in the Commons.

It probably isn't unconstitutional, because if Parliament passes a law to sanction it (which it probably will in our elected dictatorship) then it becomes part of the constitution.

So many things wrong about the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103375)

Very good, guess it's time to get a high quality vpn service - I've been hearing that they are extremely secure. As a european who has been living in the UK for several years, I have many things to say about this country, but I don't want offend the british people around here.

Actually, I'll press on. There are four things that piss me off about this idiotic and hog-headed country.

1) The british disdain for a bidet. It is so time consuming, and so unhygienic to use the god damn shower. It's disgusting to think that a tub could actually be used as a tub without a bidet. But I am pretty sure that many british people will not actually care - I need not say much more about how ugly, dirty, and smelly this country can get, at times.

2) The majority of bathrooms in british households have a seperate tap for hot and cold water. That means that when one wants to wash his or her hands, those hands will either freeze or burn. During summer it's not so bad, given that the cold water will be mildly cold.. But it becomes incredibly annoying during winter, when the cold water approaches zero degrees celsius, and where the alternative is getting one's hands burned. So stupid...

3) The hordes of incompetent, ill-fitted, ignorant, and chav-like 18-20 year olds producing armies of babies, all because the idiotic government subsidizes and encourages them to create babies as if they were toilet-produced waste and not actual human beings. I feel very sorry for those babies, the vast majority of them will lead a very unhappy life.

4) The stupid social service system. So inefficient, so ineffective. Not only does it subsidize incompetence, but it also encourages abuse.

About the pirate party. I am definitely going to support them. 18 months for copyright seems quite good to me. Let art be art - people who produce works of art are only interested in making as many people as possible appreciate them, and putting money gathering as the forefront objective can only lead to unhappiness.

A message from The Warden (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103431)

We've got enough "innocent" prisoners already.

Proposed rules (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103457)

1) Anyone is allowed to share any infinitely-reproducible item which they are able to reproduce, for any price.
2) After any such distribution, the copyright holder has a length of time equal to the term of their copyright to request a share of the gross price charged.
3) Everyone making a claim gets an equal portion of the gross price. If three people make a claim, the gross price will be divided evenly four ways (one part to each making a claim, and one part to the distributor), etc. If someone makes a claim later, they will receive their share from all people involved. (equivalent to everyone putting what they've received from the item into a pot and re-dividing it equally)
4) No one has any inherent right to control the destiny of copies of their created works. You cannot deny anyone the right to distribute a copy of something.

next gen p2p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103529)

maybe GNUNET now? i'm not a developer, so there might be problems, but I think the gist is that it's completely decentralized and encrypted.

An artist's view. (5, Insightful)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103547)

I read this a while ago and also found it on wikipedia. It was said by Jean-Paul Gaster who happens to be the drummer for the band Clutch. "As a musician, I think it is irrelevant to me. It exists and it is out there and no matter what I try and do about it, it will always be there. I don't mind kids trading tapes, that's totally cool. Videos are cool too. They only add to the live show. A kid might show that to some of their friends and they might think that we are cool and might come out and see us next time. The reality is that an artist has to have a record go gold, before they are even going to see a dime. Bands put out 3 or 4 records on a label and never see a dime from record sales. So, it is not like people who are downloading would be putting a dollar in my pocket if they would have bought the record. The industry is set up so that the record company will immediately get paid from record sales. So...download all you want!!! I think that the internet has changed the record industry and will continue to do so. The record labels will find some way to make money. I think that the artists main concern is to concentrate on their live performance and be the best artist that they can". I don't know how much of this actual fact but this is coming from someone who has been making music for a very long time and is in a relatively well known band. So basically this will most likely come to pass considering all the lobbying from the music and film industry. Personally it does not affect me since I don't download music or films illegally (used to a few years back) but what does concern me is the privacy issues. I don't want someone keeping track of all my internet activity because I doubt that only illegal downloaders would be monitored.

Definition of "illegal?" (2, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29103607)

Isn't it redundant to "criminalize" something that is already illegal? Isn't that sort of the definition of "illegal?"

Funny, I thought they were synonymous.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29103671)

would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers

not their computer id numbers! hold me, i'm cold. so cold.

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