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Proposed UK File-Sharing Laws May Be Illegal, ISPs Upset

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-tread-on-them dept.

Government 198

mindbrane writes "Once in a while, a sidebar will throw a lot of light on a difficult problem. The BBC has a short piece on British ISPs' anger over proposed new laws governing file sharing in the UK. The new laws would include cutting repeat offenders off from the Internet. Early response suggests such tactics would fail: 'UK ISP Talk Talk said the recommendations were likely to "breach fundamental rights" and would not work. ... Virgin said that "persuasion not coercion" was key in the fight to crack down on the estimated six million file-sharers in the UK. ... Talk Talk's director of regulation Andrew Heaney told the BBC News the ISP was as keen as anyone to clamp down on illegal file-sharers. ... "This is best done by making sure there are legal alternatives and educating people, writing letters to alleged file-sharers and, if necessary, taking them to court."' The article also mentions a statement issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which 'proposes that internet service providers are obliged to take action against repeat infringers and suggests that the cost of tracking down persistent pirates be shared 50:50 between ISPs and rights holders.' Unsurprisingly, said rights holders are in favor of the idea."

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1984! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203385)

told you! my argument consists of a book title because i can't construct an actual argument. frt

Re:1984! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203607)

I suck dick for a living. Hey, it pays the bills nigga

Sith Mandelson (5, Informative)

duguk (589689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203467)

What's weird is the Digital Britain report said they should NOT cut people off, and European Parliament said it might be against human rights.

It's Sith Mandelson that's trying to introduce this. Strangely it was reported in some newspapers that he was caught having a meeting last week with some Record companies. Wonder if they bought him a iPod or something?

Re:Sith Mandelson (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203665)

It also propsed a £6 a year tax to upgrade the BB infrastructure. Apparently the tax along with the weaker proposed penalty (throttling connection) have been axed -- with throttling being replaced with disconnection and nothing to replace the tax.

I wonder if this is an attempt to make the tax and throttling more acceptable. i.e. "Okay, okay we hear you. We'll roll back the plan to the previous state (tax and throttling)." In the end, getting what they want with less opposition to push through.

Mandelson has no problem being seen as "the evil" in order to get policy through. It's not like his image could get much worse.

Re:Sith Mandelson (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203759)

Why is an infrastructure tax anything to do with filesharers? Record companies better not get one penny of that tax if it is levied; it should all be going towards bringing us at least up to the standard of our European neighbours in terms of broadband connectivity. At the moment BT is using circuit-switching trained hamsters instead of routers.

Re:Sith Mandelson (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203831)

Why is an infrastructure tax anything to do with filesharers?

Nothing, other than it was also part of the Digital Britain report and was changed at the same time as the filesharing stuff. Although, they'll probably roll out the argument that filesharing acounts for X huge percent of all traffic and therefore is an impediment to the BB infrastructure's health.

Re:Sith Mandelson (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203885)

Bah, I'm having a bad day. I read that as "What has an infrastructure tax to do with filesharers?". Even when I quoted it. Doh is me.

Re:Sith Mandelson (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203723)

>>>Wonder if they bought him a iPod or something?

My local GM dealer (now owned by the government) gave me a free MP4 player! Awesome. All I have to do is pay $29.99 in shipping costs. How generous of my government to do this for me. /end sarcasm

UK on a Nanny Binge Today :: Plastic Beer Glasses (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203837)

http://www.prisonplanet.com/uk-government-to-ban-glasses-in-pubs.html

And you guys are worried about what? The internet? Pfff.

PRIORITIES!!

Who's to blame here? I wanna blame somebody. Somebody. Anybody.

As long as I don't have to do anything myself and there is absolutely no risk either.

Otherwise count me in.

Proposed-UK-File-Sharing-Laws-May-Be-Illegal (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204105)

Of course it's illegal. It has always been illegal for a special interest group to attempt to run the country. That's true in every society that makes any claim to be "democratic". The question is not whether these attempts to control society are legal or not. The question is, when are people going to get pissed off enough to tell the government that these attempts will no longer be tolerated?

All of the lobbyists should be tarred and feathered, and run out of town on a rail. When that's finished, go back and grab the paid off politicians for the same treatment.

One round of that, and we'll see all lobbyists reconsidering their strategies.

Re:Proposed-UK-File-Sharing-Laws-May-Be-Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204969)

I believe this is why France once massed produced guillotines...

Re:Sith Mandelson (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204307)

Who in the hell would trust a Sith??

50:50 cost? (5, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203469)

Why should ISPs foot the bill to protect rights holders IP? Honestly, the idea of making ISPs liable is ridiculous. They should provide a service and be blind to anything on their networks.

Re:50:50 cost? (3, Interesting)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203539)

This sort of lopsided silliness (and the RIP Act) was why I walked away from being a ISP (one of the very first in the UK, with sensible notions of who owned the data passing over our wires).

So glad that I'm out of it, and still not really believing anyone makes money being an ISP.

Rgds

Damon

Re:50:50 cost? (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203729)

They should provide a service and be blind to anything on their networks.

OK - take that argument into some other industries:

Do you really think that the postal service should be immune if they carry a package containing methamphetamine? Even if they deliver it to a 13-year-old child?
Do you really think that a bus-line should be immune if they give a ride to a terrorist with a bomb in his back-pack on his way to blow up a kindergarten?
Do you really think that the phone company should be immune if they allow a 6 year old child to call a fetish phone-sex line?
Do you really think that a gun-company should be immune if they manufacture a weapon and a child accidentally shoots his friend while showing it off?

Please think about what you're suggesting before just blurting it out. Prosecute them all, let the gods sort them out.

P.S. - The first mod that hits me with a Troll will get a mighty pounding from my Whoosh hammer.

Re:50:50 cost? (5, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203951)

Yeah, I do think they should all be immune. The PS shouldn't be "inspecting" my packages. They're private. They aren't paid to snoop. The bus service isn't paid to look in back packs and conduct background checks. The phone company isn't paid to check the ages of people on the handset. The gun company isn't paid to parent people's kids. You know who is? The police. In every single case it's the legal authorities who should be doing something (well, apart from parenting, that should be the parents). A private citizen could call them and say "hey, there's a package labelled "meth" that was just delivered to a kid," or "there's a guy wearing a sign saying 'I'm on my way to blow up kids and all I'm getting is entry to heaven'" or "Hey, there's this kid on a public phone talking dirty," or "There's a kid on the playground with a glock." So, yeah, private industries should be blind and immune to abuse of their services.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204013)

*whooooooosh*

You were even clearly warned and missed the clue. Do we really need to bring back the <blink> in big red letters to warn people that the post may contain irony?

Re:50:50 cost? (-1, Troll)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204205)

Thank you for that - In less than 30 minutes, I've managed 7 direct replies. 5 of those saying the equivalent of, "Yes, you idiot! Of course the postal office should be immune because they don't search every package!" I don't know whether to weep or just facepalm and walk away.

My Whoosh hammer and I have some travel arrangements to make.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203977)

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203997)

P.S. - The first mod that hits me with a Troll will get a mighty pounding from my Whoosh hammer.

LOL - Congrats, you managed to dodge the Troll and landed a Flamebait. I will loan you my whoosh hammer. Sarcasm doesn't convert well to text.

I thought it was funny. =) Won't somebody think of the children???

Re:50:50 cost? (2, Insightful)

dbet (1607261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204005)

OK - take that argument into some other industries:

Do you really think that the postal service should be immune if they carry a package containing methamphetamine? Even if they deliver it to a 13-year-old child?

Yes. Are you suggesting that the post office be held liable for something that could not have known about unless they opened and inspected EVERY package? Are you suggesting that the post office in fact DOES inspect every package?

Do you really think that a bus-line should be immune if they give a ride to a terrorist with a bomb in his back-pack on his way to blow up a kindergarten?

Yes, they should be immune. Or again, should they inspect every backpack of every bus rider? Should every bus driver be an expert on detecting bombs?

The rest of your examples are equally invasive. You seem to want people to be responsible for things they can't possibly be responsible for without violating your rights and spending a lot to do it (which will increase your costs by a lot), lowering service, and treating every customer like a criminal. And in this case, for something that is difficult to put a value on, or know if it's even harmful to anyone.

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204037)

This anon coward will get modded troll, however,

The answer to all of those is, yes. In every single one of those instances it is not the delivery mechanism at fault but an external source.

Do you really think that the postal service should be immune if they carry a package containing methamphetamine? Even if they deliver it to a 13-year-old child?

There are already laws against drug dealing. Prosecute the drug dealer (and possibly the middle-man who actually sent the package) rather than the mail service. The mail service did exactly what they are required to do. The package, in this instance, could have easily contained a tin of butter cookies made by the child's grandmother.

Do you really think that a bus-line should be immune if they give a ride to a terrorist with a bomb in his back-pack on his way to blow up a kindergarten?

How do you propose the bus lines know a terrorist from a non-terrorist? It is simply the bus line's duty to transport passengers from one location to another. Many passengers on buses carry bags, purses or briefcases. Not only is it impractical (note: impossible) to search every single bag, it is a huge afront to civil liberties.

Do you really think that the phone company should be immune if they allow a 6 year old child to call a fetish phone-sex line?

In this case the parents need to have a little more direct supervision of that child. In no instance should the parents be allowing the child to call a fetish sex line, or even allowing the child to get into a situation where they could call such a line. The phone company is just a medium to move voice data from one location to another location.

Do you really think that a gun-company should be immune if they manufacture a weapon and a child accidentally shoots his friend while showing it off?

Yet again, the parents are responsible and should be storing the weapons correctly. If I have a firearm in my house (lets use the proper terms), it is my responsibily, not the gun manufacturer, to ensure proper storage of the firearm. This includes, removing the firing pin, removing all ammunition, locking the firearm in a secure location, and storing the firing pin and ammunition in seperate locations from the firearm (also under lock and key).

Every single one of your points are completely invalid as the company involved has (and should not have) any liability. I'm fairly certain there is case law in several countries stating the same.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204583)

This includes, removing the firing pin, removing all ammunition, locking the firearm in a secure location, and storing the firing pin and ammunition in seperate locations from the firearm (also under lock and key).

"Hang on a second Mr. Murderer, I need to retrieve my gun from the first safe, my firing pin from the second safe and get my ammo out of the third safe. Can you continue the attempt to kill me after I've finished with these tasks?"

Seriously, any one of the items you listed would be sufficient to secure a firearm. No need to get carried away. You should also educate your children on what to do if they encounter an unsecured firearm. Your scheme does nothing to protect them if they wind up at a friends house whose parents aren't as diligent as you are.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204783)

You should also educate your children on what to do if they encounter an unsecured firearm. Your scheme does nothing to protect them if they wind up at a friends house whose parents aren't as diligent as you are.

There's the number 1 point. Secure your firearm (or anything else harmful in the house including medication and your Internet connection) "well enough" and then educate your kids.

That said, my shotgun is on a high shelf in the closet with a chamber-lock and the barrel removed. The chamber-lock key is in a high drawer in the office. The shells are on a high shelf in the garage. If somebody breaks in while I'm in my bedroom, I'm going for the shotgun, but only because the barrel is a good blunt instrument.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204919)

One of the nice things about handguns is they are small enough to store in an unobtrusive lock box. Most of them will allow you to keep the handgun in a ready state and can be opened in seconds. Handguns don't give you the stopping power of the shotgun but it's harder to keep the shotgun in a ready state if you have kids to worry about.

Re:50:50 cost? (0, Redundant)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204057)

Yes.

Re:50:50 cost? (0, Redundant)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204059)

Do you really think that the postal service should be immune if they carry a package containing methamphetamine? Even if they deliver it to a 13-year-old child?

Yes. Are you honestly suggesting that the postal service ought to be liable to search every package? They weren't liable for the fools shipping around anthrax, or for the unabomber. There is no realistic (or non-Orwellian) way for the postal service to be able to control the content of packages, so they should absolutely NOT be liable (and this has been held up in court on numerous occasions). They should, however, assist the authorities in tracking down the source of the methamphetamine, in the same manner than the ISPs already respond to subpoenas from law enforcement.

Do you really think that a bus-line should be immune if they give a ride to a terrorist with a bomb in his back-pack on his way to blow up a kindergarten?

Yes. Again, are you really suggesting that the bus company ought to individually search every passenger getting on the bus? Not only would you never be able to get anywhere on time, but personal freedom and privacy would be completely out the window. Again, there is very good legal precedent for this. The bus company would be required to respond to any subpoenas from law enforcement as to assist the investigation, but they would have no liability as there is way they could have reasonably prevented the incident in question.

Do you really think that the phone company should be immune if they allow a 6 year old child to call a fetish phone-sex line?

Ok, now you are just getting ridiculous. This is stupid in too many ways for me to explain, so I will move on.

Do you really think that a gun-company should be immune if they manufacture a weapon and a child accidentally shoots his friend while showing it off?

Yes. They should be. And they are. This has (again) come up repeatedly in the American court systems and has been repeatedly shut down. The gun company has one responsibility -- they need to make sure that their products function properly and can be used safely by a responsible adult who so chooses. If you buy a gun, and it blows up in your face, the gun company is liable. If you use that gun to commit a murder, they are not.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

mckinleyn (1288586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204317)

Most epic WHOOOSH ever! Come ON! It's right there in italics! How hard IS this? XD

Re:50:50 cost? (0, Redundant)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204125)

I suspect your trolling, but your comment floored me. Also your analogies are silly. 1. The Postal Service is a Government agent and is held to a standard of holding public interest so they are expected to watch for the stuff. Your ISP is not a Government agent. 2. Most bus-lines check for those sorts of things to protect their own buses from attack. Even then they are not caring out the act. 3. The phone-sex line should be checking to stop children from calling. It would be impossible for the phone company to know it was happening. 4. Who gave made the gun available to the kid in the first place. Seriously your basically suggesting that the electrical company be at fault for people how toaster themselves in their bathtub. You hope that scare tactic and horrific examples will impress upon people your point. The person your quoting is suggesting a commonly discussed and rather valid business model for an industry. Why should ISP be expected to act as police, judge, and jury. Citizens simple do not have the resources to defend against corporations. The Government should be watching out for its people more anything else.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204345)

I suspect your trolling, but your comment floored me.

What about my trolling? I think that the phrase, "The first mod that hits me with a Troll will get a mighty pounding from my Whoosh hammer," should have been your first clue that those weren't heart-felt. Don't know why I'm replying to you instead of the half-dozen other folks who completely missed the point - I think you just had the highest 'Duh' factor.

Also your analogies are silly.

No shit. Really? My completely over-the-top "Won't somebody think of the children?" parallels were silly? I hadn't noticed that - Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought that all of slashdot would support 100% postal package searches, pat-downs before boarding public transit, monitoring of 100% of phone traffic, and holding manufacturers of all tools responsible for irresponsible misuse.

P.S. In case it didn't come across, the above post may have contained sarcasm.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204617)

and holding manufacturers of all tools responsible for irresponsible misuse

I think that's a fabulous idea. Let's start by suing CmdrTaco because of the GNAA and all the morons who responded to your post with indignation :)

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204313)

Dang, you had me until your P.S.

Well played good sir, well played.

Re:50:50 cost? (1)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204397)

I'm going to go ahead and take the whoosh hammer, but: Do you really think that the postal service should be immune if they carry a package containing methamphetamine? Even if they deliver it to a 13-year-old child? -- Postal Services are required to check incoming packages, also often drug dogs are walked around shipping facilities. Do you really think that a bus-line should be immune if they give a ride to a terrorist with a bomb in his back-pack on his way to blow up a kindergarten? -- A bus operator has the right to refuse to pick up any passenger that may appear harmful. Do you really think that the phone company should be immune if they allow a 6 year old child to call a fetish phone-sex line? -- The phone service requires that you verify that you are not a minor (even a 17 year old could figure that one out). Do you really think that a gun-company should be immune if they manufacture a weapon and a child accidentally shoots his friend while showing it off? -- There are already laws in most states barring the sale of guns to minors. So the private industry already has some laws and some policies around fighting off these problems.

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204665)

Postal Services are required to check incoming packages, also often drug dogs are walked around shipping facilities.

Don't know where you are, but that's not the case in the U.S. The DEA/FBI will occasionally walk dogs around, but the Post Office doesn't have to do much of anything except ask if you've got something banned in there. And I don't think the post office even has dogs.

A bus operator has the right to refuse to pick up any passenger that may appear harmful.

OK. But they're not checking the back-packs of every 'potential terrorist' that comes on. And if they refuse service to somebody who 'looks like a terrorist', they could be exposing the company to a racism suit and some bad PR.

The phone service requires that you verify that you are not a minor (even a 17 year old could figure that one out).

Really? Dial a 900 number and see if you talk to ANYONE from the phone company. The 900-number may say, 'Push 1 if you're at least 18' or employ an operator that asks, but that's about it. The phone company has nothing to do with it and the 900-number has a strong financial motivation to accept the 'Yes' answer even if it's a 13-year-old.

There are already laws in most states barring the sale of guns to minors.

Yes, but how many kids who accidentally shoot a friend actually OWNED the gun in question? It's typically just shitty parents who don't secure their weapons (not that it stops people from going after the gun companies any way.

So, now that I've pointed out that you're wrong on every point you attempted to make, where do we go from here?

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29205011)

Prosecute them all, let the gods sort them out.

Thanks for that post gnick - you have very cunningly tricked the fools who don't understand sarcasm and/or don't read posts properly to stick their heads up out of the trench.

I don't currently use any of the friend/foe/freak features of slashdot, but the other replies to your post provide a nice little list of people who are probably worth ignoring on this site, as they are essentially brain-dead.

Re:50:50 cost? (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203821)

Why should ISPs foot the bill to protect rights holders IP?

Because ISPs have a sparkly magic wand that will simply make this dreadful internet business and its calamitous effects on the entertainment industry disappear in a puff in punitive smoke.

I mean, really. There was a time in this country when a 5 minute pop song meant something. It was a sacred institution, protected by copyright and ensuring the livelihoods of distributors across the land. Now any old miscreant feels he can whisk his songs backwards and forwards over those ghastly green tubes just like one sends emails or spreadsheets or power-point slides. Well you can't! Music is not supposed to be treated like that. There are proper channels for its distribution and the ISPs know they they aren't it!

It's clear that they're being malicious. I remember meeting their representative. Frightful man. He accosted me with technical clap-trap; data, broadband, packet inspection, encryption, legitimate uses, feasibility studies. I told him what I'm telling you now. If the Chinese government can block off their entire internet from the BBC, then surely you can stop young scruffs from downloading things they're not supposed to. And if you can't stop them then you should cut them off! He threw his hands up in the air and left, but I sensed defeat.

It's only a matter of time. We have petitioned the Her Majesty's Government, and they have responded favorably. Soon we will make these ISPs bring their customers to heel, and we will do it with the full force of the Law. Honestly, the attitudes and doomsdaying of some people on this never cease to amaze me. Just last week I was in conversation with a chap who felt too much restriction on the Internet was dangerous or some such rot.

As I said to him at the time: "My dear Norfolk, this isn't Iran. This is England."

Re:50:50 cost? (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203823)

Why should ISPs foot the bill to protect rights holders IP?

Because they want to keeping getting the profits from raping people with their licensing agreements, but don't want to lose those profits in legal proceedings they are obligated to undertake in order to continue to have a valid claim on the copyrighted work. If they don't do something about this, a lot of copyrighted works could fall into the public domain because the derived income is less than the cost of legal proceedings to protect it. So all these manipulations of the copyright law will be for nothing. They've already increased penalties to the point of insanity, but the problem is the average file sharer can't compensate them for a fraction of even just the legal costs -- so it's a net loss for them.

So they've done the only thing left to them: Coerce other businesses. ISPs typically operate on narrow margins and don't have a lot of spare funds to combat these coersive attempts, and the Recording Industry is hoping for a few quick victories and the rest will fall into line -- and of course, it won't be long before they add in the disclaimer "We won't ask for the money as long as you install XYZZY Anti-Everything Appliance."

The Recording Industry has a tried and true formula for winning -- they pick on the weak, build legal precidents, and then go after larger targets where the real profits lay -- relying on previous legal precidents to force a settlement. They know they can't win in a full-on fight, but they make sure before they file it won't be in the other parties financial best interests to test them. Slimy, unethical, and it corrupts the entire justice system -- but it's very effective.

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204091)

...a lot of copyrighted works could fall into the public domain because the derived income is less than the cost of legal proceedings to protect it.

That doesn't work for copyrights. You're thinking of trademarks. And, assuming that you win your case well enough, you can recover legal fees (and penalties) from the defendant who was tromping on your copyrighted material.

Re:50:50 cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204167)

And, assuming that you win your case well enough, you can recover legal fees (and penalties) from the defendant who was tromping on your copyrighted material.

Absolutely true, however, you can't reclaim lost wages fighting these things in court, nor can you reclaim the time wasted fighting these things in court.

The gap between politicians and reality (5, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203473)

Lord Mandelson of Sith went to dinner with a corporate interest, and came back with a policy that suited that interest without regard to either citizens rights or even practicality.

How do you stop illegal torrents without crippling the UK Internet? I mean, more than BT has managed to do?

Re:The gap between politicians and reality (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203797)

>>>Lord Mandelson of Sith

I'm waiting for the trumpets of the Grand Republic to start playing. Ahhh... here comes Chancellor Palpatine now.

Re:The gap between politicians and reality (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203953)

Well, there is precedent... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG23bVpw65o [youtube.com]

Re:The gap between politicians and reality (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204233)

This just in.....

The Welsh military has been issued a copyright violation notice by FOX Studios. They are expected to pay $1000 per second of song played without FOX's permission.

Meddling Mandy (4, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203491)

Once again we've got a totally unelected, dictatorial government 'minister' who starts rattling his saber over file sharing, *conincidentally* after meeting with David Geffen and being wined and dined, and then lies barface to us - again - that this unprecendented personal poking of his nose in policy that has nothing to do with him wasn't connected to that in any way.

Why are the UK government getting into this? (5, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203495)

This is entirely a problem for the music and movie industry. Why are the government acting as their bitches against the will an freedom of the people who elected them?

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203579)

Your big mistake here is assuming that the government was elected. In particular, the minister moving this is Lord Mandelson - and he's a Baron because that was the easiest way to get him into government without the pesky election business.

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203811)

He was elected several times: in 1992, 1997 and 2001. He resigned from parliament to take a job in the UK's European Commissioner, and was made a lord in 2008 to bring him back into the UK government. Given the number of scandals he was involved with from 1992-2001 it's surprising that he was reelected, and especially that he was reelected twice. Given the lack of judgement shown by the Labour government, it's not surprising he was brought back. There is, apparently, no truth to rumours that he is a vampire.

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203979)

There is, apparently, no truth to rumours that he is a vampire.

He likes to suck on young virgins. That's a vampire, surely?

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204173)

He likes to suck on young virgins.

Who doesn’t?

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204305)

Who cares if they're virgins, so long as they are young with firm boobies and tiny butts.

Uh oh...something's come up.

I must go.

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (2, Informative)

rich_r (655226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204885)

Everyone seems to forget that Mandy's batting for the other side. The butts will be firm, yes, but the boobies will not be what you were after...

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

Rawjava (1622535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203791)

Because the industries pay better.

Re:Why are the UK government getting into this? (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204347)

Because the music and movie industry lines their pocket with more cash than the people do.

Sith Lord Mandelson (5, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203509)

This evil man, who somehow reappears in UK politics despite having been thrown out twice for being scum, has now become a Lord (!!!) and basically cares only for himself and his rich friends. He recently had chats with media companies, and suddenly he is espousing this hard line response. Coincidence ... hmm ...

I don't think that many people will be sad to see Labour lose in the next election. We might not be too happy with who will come in though.

Anyway, if 1 in 10 people is doing the same illegal thing, then what needs assessing? Surely the law itself!

Why have a special provision? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203519)

If somebody sharing a file on a network is breaking the law then why not pursue them within the law? For any other crime the approach would be to obtain evidence, and then prosecute them. I can't see why the "special status" of file-sharing means that the law should be circumvented in this case to allow punishment (disconnection) without any sort of due process.

Re:Why have a special provision? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203731)

Because following due process requires money. The media companies have no money because people keep downloading their stuff illegally.

Re:Why have a special provision? (2, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204435)

Because following due process requires money.

Not to mention evidence. It's more difficult to conduct a reign of terror if you actually have to start proving things.

Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203541)

Traditionally, the UK Parlement has had primacy and complete authority without any overarching controls such as the US Constitution serves in the American system. Whatever they pass becomes new law, and old law is automatically modified/voided.

Now, with the EU, Parlement might face some laws being invalidated by EU courts. A bigger question is whether the UK Courts can or will respect EU findings. It may be that UK citizens will have to petition EU courts, but UK courts might not enforce the rulings.

It is going to be fun to watch.

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203805)

I don't think 'Primacy of Parliament' means what you think it means (and it's certainly not how you spell it). To start with the monarch technically retains executive authority, delegated to ministers. While it's true that there is no supra-legal constitution equivalent in the UK (the Human Rights Act is legislated), the ammendability of the US constitution makes them both mutable in practice. That said, the real-politik of the situation is that you can't just go rewriting the HRA or constitution willy-nilly.

Of course, the UK works on a negative-rights system, and it's quite possible that they can legislate rights out of existence to appease US interests and that may very well bring them into conflict with EU rulings. It'll be interesting to watch!

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204657)

While it's true that there is no supra-legal constitution equivalent in the UK (the Human Rights Act is legislated), the ammendability of the US constitution makes them both mutable in practice. That said, the real-politik of the situation is that you can't just go rewriting the HRA or constitution willy-nilly.

Umm, it's a bit harder to pass an amendment to the US Constitution than it is to pass an Act of Parliament.

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204867)

Both can be changed, but neither easily. It would be political suicide to try to curtail the HRA; it effectively serves the same purpose as the constitution even if it's framed differently. There was much debate in Australia at one point, as well, as to whether we needed a bill of rights; in the end it was said that a bill of rights was superfluous and unnecessary since existing legislation did all that in practice (conspiracy theory: they wanted the power to remove our rights and enumerating them would make that harder!)

So far as file-sharing goes, I don't think either of them are expressly covered by either the constitution or the HRA. I think both governments could craft laws that would void file-sharing as a 'right' without making changes to any existing doctrine. It's not hard to imagine how it could be affected.

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203907)

Not really. The government is required to either abide by international treaties or withdraw from them. European courts have had UK laws overturned in the past, and no doubt will again. If the government really wants to push the law through, it can withdraw from the Treaty of European Union, but I suspect a lot of companies would object to suddenly being charged import duties moving goods to and from the EU and not getting any more EU subsidy money.

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204011)

>>>A bigger question is whether the UK Courts can or will respect EU findings.

Well during the early years of the United States, many state governments simply ignored the rulings of the Federal or Supreme Courts. I suspect we'll see something similar within the European Union where states like the UK or France simply ignore the rulings.

In the U.S. the solution was to keep a standing army such that States were afraid to challenge the authority of the U.S. Perhaps the EU will follow a similar tactic, surrounding the UK Parliament and saying, "Comply or else."

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204701)

surrounding the UK Parliament and saying, "Comply or else."

Or else what [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204185)

We don't have a written Constitution like the US, which can be amended as the government wants if it can get a majority ... what we do have is the body of law, which the government can modify as it wants if it can get a majority .... ... it has also international treaties (including EU treaties) it has signed up to that may invalidate some laws, just like the US ...

    It's simple the law governs Parlement and Parlement makes the laws (including international treaties) just like in the US ....

Re:Conflict of laws VS "Primacy of Parlement" (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204779)

We don't have a written Constitution like the US, which can be amended as the government wants if it can get a supermajority in Congress and supermajority of the States

Fixed that for you.

You know what is next.. (2, Insightful)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203565)

Car and Gun manufacturers being held responsible when their products are used in a crime..

Buying favour (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203583)

An internet provider should no more be police for content than the postal services, who don't open and read every letter or packet to see if there's something incriminating in it. Besides which, how much volume of information is flowing around per hour on the internet, and you're somehow going to police that for who owns copyright on the files?! Idiots.

These schemes are always thought up by politicians who have NO qualifications in engineering, information technology or ANYTHING remotely relevant. All we have is a bunch of self serving politicians who studied politics, law, history, art, English, Latin or any other completely worthless subject. And that's why our countries are in the state that they're in.

However, this is big business we're talking about, and the slime-ball UNELECTED politician in question who's pushing this internet cut off accepts freebie holidays from rich "friends", and decides government policy on the hoof... or rather, after meeting up with other rich "friends".

Maybe the debate for the masses should be re-written from "cut off internet" to "you are barred from having a phone", because for a lot of people, they are one and the same thing. You are not allowed to have contact with anyone on order from some pr1ck in the film / music business. A lot of government contact is going online, making the internet even more indispensable than before.

Re:Buying favour (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204489)

An internet provider should no more be police for content than the postal services, who don't open and read every letter or packet to see if there's something incriminating in it.

Dunno about the UK, but in the US, the post office does have an inspection service [wikipedia.org] that does just that. Not routinely (I'd hope), but they routinely cooperate with other branches of law enforcement, and IIRC, are authorised to carry guns and make arrests, and regularly do so.

Put another way, if you want to advocate ISP neutrality, I'd suggest something other than a metaphor that elicits the image of an armed BOFH.

Help! I'm in BT/Virgin Media/Comcast Jail! ;-)

file sharing (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203591)

You know, I keep hearing the phrase "illegal file-sharers" -- but in truth, what's left to share that's still legal? Upload it to a website and they now likely own the copyright via some license you didn't read. Transfer it over the internet, and the ISP can claim it has certain rights to it. It seems like almost anything that can be made digital is now controlled by some corporation rather than the original creator of the work -- and anything introduced into almost any distribution medium is gobbled up by those corporations via a network of complex laws. The only network left that doesn't have this insanity is sneaker-net.

Re:file sharing (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204685)

ISO images of free operating systems.

I don't share files. (0, Offtopic)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203615)

I just leech them off usenet and the free filehosts.

What annoys me most about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203671)

Is that this has been proposed by Peter Mandelson - who is an unelected Lord, who has twice resigned from government positions after being accused of corruption, and who continues to be frequently accused of conflict of interests since his hobbies include holidaying with businessmen on various yachts, and then making trade deals which benefit said businessmen.

No one gets to vote for Lord Mandelson, and yet he gets to be in charge of the UK when Gordon Brown's on holiday. Scary stuff.

As a result people often have to resort to desperate measures to get their point across: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agDKAAsloxo [youtube.com]

Guilty without trial by jury. (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203697)

That's basically what this boils down to. You are punished without a trial, or a chance to convince a jury of your peers that you don't deserve to be punished. Yes it's efficient but it's also tyrannical... like living under the old monarchy where punishment was swift but arbitrary.

Re:Guilty without trial by jury. (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204369)

Exactly.. note the wording...

internet service providers are obliged to take action against repeat infringers

The problem is that they want service providers to take action against alleged repeat infringers.

If the media providers want the ISPs to cut off people while they're in prison for copyright infringement, that's not so unreasonable. Unfortunately, this likely isn't what they meant.

In other words... (1)

The Excluded Middle (716082) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203701)

In other words, ISPs are upset at the idea that they will lose paying customers. Isn't it funny what happens when a major coprorate interest butts heads against another? This has nothing to do with the rights of their cusotmers, that's for sure.

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29203949)

Who says they're paying, or customers? Steal someone's wireless today!

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204065)

Not only will they lose paying customers, they also get to pay half of the bill for bringing some one to justice.

Our Government are inept, laughable and willing to be any ones bitch, even for very little reward.

Brown isn't fit to lead a country and Mandy can't be trusted with any kind of power, the sooner they find themselves in the history books the better.

Coming soon (1)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203703)

Laws to make gun shop owners, alcohol retailers and car dealers responsible for all illegal activity conducted with their products

Re:Coming soon (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204735)

..alcohol retailers...

Actually, there is a little known liability with bars and DUI's where you can actually pursue claims against the bar for not cutting you off. I didn't believe it myself when I first heard about it, but I feel the source, a bar owner, was reputable.

check riaaradar.com (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203891)

Guess who is trying to get these laws passed. When you buy music, make sure to check http://riaaradar.com/ [riaaradar.com] to see if the album is from a company that funds the RIAA. If they do, don't buy it and stick it to them a couple dollars of lost earnings at a time.

Re:check riaaradar.com (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204929)

But if all albums of a band I like are there, then I can only:

1. Record the songs off the radio or TV assuming they are still played (requires a lot of time).
2. Buy it second-hand (does not change the fact that I bought it).
3. Download it (free, but illegal).
4. Borrow it from a friend and copy it (illegal, and the friend had to do [1-4]).
5. Do not listen to the band (but I like it and want to listen to it!).

Of course most of the time I end up doing #3, like everybody I know personally.

Vote 'em Out (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203897)

Members of parliament need to be reminded that they work for us, not Big Media Corp. They need to be reminded that their job security depends heavily on our support, not the support of a corporate lobby group - especially a FOREIGN lobby group. Members of parliament need to become aware that serving the interests of the people whom they represent is their number one priority and serving the interests of lobby groups can come somewhere much further down on that list. They need to be reminded in the simplest and best way possible - they need to be informed that, if they fail to represent the best interests of the people, the people will replace them with someone who understands their role better. They need to be reminded that Big Media Corp might be represented by a large and powerful lobby group but "the population at large" is a much large, much more powerful lobby group and we, as the population at large", are willing to flex our muscles if we aren't being represented properly.

Write to your member of parliament. Vote smart.

Re:Vote 'em Out (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204203)

Write to your member of parliament. Vote smart.

Yep, done this. Several times, in fact.

My MP is a member of the labour party, and a very loyal one at that. Chances of her rebelling against any measure the government propose is somewhere close to zero.

Britain on the edge (3, Informative)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203925)

Too bad the Labour Party has been taken over by a bunch of neo-conservative autocrats. The people of the UK now really have no choice except that between far right and even further right. Personal rights and due process are becoming a thing of the past, surveillance cameras proliferate like rats on Viagra, and the state is pushing its way into every area of one's private life...all in the name of security.

I'm entirely unsurprised that this latest assault on individual freedom and dignity is gaining currency with the UK government. Who cares whether the person whose connection is cut was actually responsible for the alleged piracy? Who cares whether they were even breaking the law? And how much more efficient it will be when the notoriously greedy and dishonest entertainment industry can inflict its will on average people without even having to prove its case in court!

All the fascists we fought during WWII would be laughing their asses off, because the current pack of neocon thugs are bringing about everything they wanted with the stroke of a pen. This latest offense against due process and the rule of law is just the cherry on an excrement sundae.

Re:Britain on the edge (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204277)

Labour are now neo-conservative are they?, they may be in US terms, but even our Conservative party only has a few people we would consider neocons and Labour are still (just) to the left of the majority of Conservatives ....

You forget that totalitarian regimes come in both left and right flavours and they both use the same tactics ....

Re:Britain on the edge (0, Redundant)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 4 years ago | (#29205023)

In terms of social policy, Labour are very left-wing; always have been. So are the Conservatives now.

But as you very rightly say, it's irrelevant from the perspective of the ordinary person. The extreme left and the extreme right are equally harmful to individual liberty.

What annoys me is business... (3, Interesting)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29203939)

What annoys me is that business chronically shrieks that the consumer should be ever more regulated and that the penalties for breaking those regulations should be ever harsher.

But when it comes to their own behavior, what I hear from Business is that they should be ever less regulated and the penalties for their noncompliance should range from weak to non-existent!

Now that kid over at the university who swiped 10 songs is costing me little or nothing...pennies, at most. But, at least here in America, the Businesses who have so successfully bought deregulation have cost my country, me, and my children trillions of dollars.

The system is whacked!

Re:What annoys me is business... (2, Interesting)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204639)

It reminds me of when Adam Smith rallied against the mercantile system: "It cannot be very difficult to determine who have been the contrivers of this whole mercantile system; not the consumers, we may believe, whose interest has been entirely neglected; but the producers, whose interest has been so carefully attended to; and among this latter class our merchants and manufacturers have been by far the principal architects. In the mercantile regulations, which have been taken notice of in this chapter, the interest of our manufacturers has been most peculiarly attended to; and the interest, not so much of the consumers, as that of some other sets of producers, has been sacrificed to it." (Chapter VIII, Book IV, The Wealth of Nations)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Forego Copyrighted Material (2, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204007)

If a copyrighted work doesn't come with a fair license, don't consume it.

Simple fact is, as long as we keep feeding these trolls, they will keep biting our hands. It's not hard to give it up, particularly if you allow yourself the occasional dalliance. Prior to the Metallica/Napster debacle, I had built up a collection of more than 1,000 CDs. Since then, I have bought maybe two dozen CDs and one downloaded album. I think all the CDs were used.

Meanwhile I have more than 30 gigs of podcasts on my iPod, and another 30 gigs on my hard drive. All downloaded perfectly legally, and most of it is an excellent replacement for the lackluster material coming from the gated cloisters.

As an added advantage, I'm spending a helluva lot more time listening to educational material about hobbies I am interested in, and a lot less time sucking on candy-media.

Give 'em what they want. They don't want us to use their media the way we want to use it? Fuck 'em.

Re:Forego Copyrighted Material (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204257)

If a copyrighted work doesn't come with a fair license, don't consume it.

Pirate it. When everyone will have bled the content distributors to death, they will not harm people anymore.

Re:Forego Copyrighted Material (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204261)

Even that doesn't work very well.

In order for it to work well, you'd need to cut the money off suddenly and more-or-less entirely. In other words, almost everyone on the planet starts a boycott simultaneously while loudly explaining exactly what they are doing and why. This would force them to re-think their business pretty well.

Unfortunately, what's happening is a few people here and there are starting a boycott and the industry doesn't know what's happening - all they know is they're making fewer sales. They've been blaming this on piracy for years, what makes you think they'll stop now?

Re:Forego Copyrighted Material (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204497)

I agree we need a more pervasive boycott, and we need it to spread more rapidly.

That is why I posted a call to boycott. Spread the word. :)

It will work. (1)

aaandre (526056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204117)

It is simple, efficient, and the people oppressed by this approach are already painted as "criminals." Would YOU want to stand in defense of "criminals and thieves" ? Didn't think so.

Move along people, nothing to see, RIAA's boot has finally found it's way to your collective ass.

ISPs pay for something irrelevant? (4, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204279)

It is not the ISP's jurisdiction to protect the rights of content holders. This is ridiculous.

It's like a telephone company being legally responsible for checking if I am reading copyrighted material. They're just trying to reduce they're own costs.

Media companies need to get with the times and compete.

Re:ISPs pay for something irrelevant? (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204319)

their

Why Don't They Cut Off the Botnets First? (0, Offtopic)

Mansing (42708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204531)

Start the the "users" that are already breaking the law ....

Hear ye! (0)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204733)

Let it be known throughout the lands that anyone caught watching a movie without paying for it shall have their eyes taken from their heads!

Anyone caught listening to music that they haven't paid for shall have their ears ruptured and made deaf!

Anyone caught reading a book they did not pay for shall be forced to read twilight for the rest of their days.

Let us ban TVs that more than one person can see, so that all freeloaders will be forced to pay for the content they view! Let us regulate the sale of speakers so that people must use headphones if they wish to listen to music and prevent people from hearing music they haven't paid for! Let us burn down every library in the land so that authors can be paid for their efforts!

Vote Pirate Party UK (1)

genjix (959457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29204837)

... Seriously! It's the only way to leverage big parties policies @ the internet away from industry!

I live in Britain and I welcome this.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29204879)

I own a house and after hearing about U.S. file sharers getting fines of over a million dollars for downloading some music I've been nervous that if the same happened here I could lose my house. This way the worse case scenario is I get warned and then if I persist I lose my connection. My connection isn't worth £200,000+ to me.

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