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UK Royalty Group Wants ISPs To Pay For Pirating Customers

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the sins-of-the-user dept.

Piracy 289

Idbar writes "A group representing British songwriters and composers will on Wednesday call for the introduction of a levy on broadband providers based on the amount of pirated music they allow to pass through their networks. Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music, will argue at a Westminster conference that a piracy fee would better align the financial interests of internet service providers with rights holders at a time when the two industries are at odds over who should bear the costs of online song swapping."

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289 comments

Rights Holder (5, Insightful)

jaminJay (1198469) | about 4 years ago | (#32910396)

Silly me, thinking that it should be up to the rights holder to protect their rights.

Re:Rights Holder (1)

TechForensics (944258) | about 4 years ago | (#32910416)

Jeez, what are they going to think of next. Just amazing.

Re:Rights Holder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910518)

Silly me, thinking that it should be up to the rights holder to protect their rights.

Silence, child! Know you not that we're in the age of externalities?

Funny, though, I thought that Brits would be familiar with the phrase, "Kiss my ass."

Re:Rights Holder (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910550)

My dear fellow, every Brit knows that it is "Kiss my arse"

I have no desire to be near a donkey

Re:Rights Holder (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 4 years ago | (#32910812)

My dear fellow, every Brit knows that it is "Kiss my arse"

I have no desire to be near a donkey

You do have a desire to be near an arse, then?

Re:Rights Holder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32911016)

Unless you have a remove arse kicking machine, it looks like he does.

Re:Rights Holder (-1)

shentino (1139071) | about 4 years ago | (#32910616)

It should be.

However, ISPs that have knowledge or notice of infringement should be on the hook as well.

Copyright infringement is a federal offense, and as a criminal act it is a common enemy of society that all entities share a responsibility in mitigating.

Re:Rights Holder (5, Insightful)

zebslash (1107957) | about 4 years ago | (#32910626)

A federal offense ? In the UK ? That's new for me.

Re:Rights Holder (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | about 4 years ago | (#32910754)

Yeah; that whole thing about being the 51st state isn't actually true, it just feels like it sometimes...

Re:Rights Holder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910864)

"A federal offense ? In the UK ? That's new for me."

With devolution in scotland, wales etc. the UK is a federal style national government, a bit like the Australian government. Unfortunatly england hasn't realised this yet and so hasn't got it's own government sorted.

Re:Rights Holder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910630)

Federal offense? In the UK? Eh?

Right. That's going to work well. Sure. (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | about 4 years ago | (#32910684)

> ISPs that have knowledge

They can't have knowledge of infringement because only the rightsholder knows what licenses he has given. The ISP doesn't know that. Oh, and real infringement can only be decided in a court of law because of those pesky exceptions like fair use/dealing.

> or notice of infringement

Great, so we're in the DMCA-mode, where it's trivially easy to game the system because there is no real penalty for delivering a mistaken notice of infringement?

Are you 12, or a fascist? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 years ago | (#32911062)

"Copyright infringement is a federal offense, and as a criminal act it is a common enemy of society that all entities share a responsibility in mitigating."

Actually, society would be much better if someone killed all the sheeple, but failing that educating the general public beyond the 7th grade level [wikipedia.org] would go a long way to stop people from making phenomenally moronic statements like the one you made.

Re:Rights Holder (4, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | about 4 years ago | (#32911026)

Um no. It is up to the state to protect and enforce the rights of its citizens. Otherwise we'd had a society where only the rights of the strong is worth anything.

Re:Rights Holder (2, Insightful)

leenks (906881) | about 4 years ago | (#32911054)

Isn't that what we have?

Re:Rights Holder (1)

onceuponatime (821046) | about 4 years ago | (#32911114)

Makes sure that all you brits submit a request to the new Freedom bill to reduce copyright length of time, introduced by the previous government, to a much reduced figure, perhaps the same figure it was 50 years ago.

well great .. no really... (5, Insightful)

powerspike (729889) | about 4 years ago | (#32910422)

Great,
If i'm going to paying a mothly fee for pirated music, i'll be sure to download my allocation's worth every month, after i've then paid for it then haven't i?

Re:well great .. no really... (1)

2Y9D57 (988210) | about 4 years ago | (#32910456)

What allocation? You may as well fill your boots. Run your intertube red hot 24/7.

Re:well great .. no really... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910492)

Like you're not already pirating as much as you can already.

This just gives nerds one more absurd justification for their massive scale copyright infringing downloading. Add it to the list:

- I wouldn't have bought it anyway
- I did buy it all after
- This music sucks anyway
- Outdated business model
- Overpaid artists
- Overpaid middlemen
- It's "unfair" that I can't get whatever I want for free
- DRM sucks
- Oops I didn't secure my wireless again
- You never catch me with my super encrypted p2p system
- I've already paid for it anyway

Re:well great .. no really... (1)

deniable (76198) | about 4 years ago | (#32910618)

I didn't inhale.

Re:well great .. no really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910660)

I came here to have fun and download mp3s, and I'm all out of fun!

Re:well great .. no really... (2, Insightful)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 4 years ago | (#32910832)

I'd just like to add one justification that does work:
- I've already bought it but don't feel like infecting my computer with some company's malware, by actually installing it from cd. And DRM is more likely to infect my computer than warez nowadays thanks to Sony BMG and others.

Re:well great .. no really... (5, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32911000)

I'm currently paying for music in the following ways (probably more):
- Legally downloaded music
- Donations to great internet radio
- Last.FM all- you-can-eat subscription
- Concert and festival tickets
- Monthly fees for radio (comes with cable)
- Tax on my blank CDs and MP3 player
- And newest proposal: tax the internet

There are countless ways they want our money for music made by others... But somehow I am still a criminal who owns them a gazillion for downloading some music??? When will this madness end?

Re:well great .. no really... (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#32911094)

Not to mention listening to adds, the proceeds of which are partly used to pay license fees for radio stations.

No, it doesnt concern an actual cash-flow, but given how annoying adds mostly are (and that they themselves add zero value to the listener most of the time), i would consider that paying for the music

Re:well great .. no really... (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32911134)

That's exactly why I donate to ad-free community-supported radio like Soma.fm.

No further prosecution? (3, Insightful)

some_guy_88 (1306769) | about 4 years ago | (#32910432)

If this would mean that no further prosecution of end users would be allowed then this may not be such a bad idea. The levy would be passed on to consumers making our connections slightly more expensive but I'd pay more money to not be hassled about file sharing.

Re:No further prosecution? (5, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 years ago | (#32910562)

Really? Only slightly more expensive?

Think more along the lines of, well, each file going through any file sharing method, probably includes at least one song, so that'll be a US dollar [or like amount]. Now multiply the number of files flowing through the ISP to all it's subscribers each month times $1 = monthly levy.

This number is unlikely to be acceptable to the ISP's subscribers.

A smaller number, like say, $10 or $15/month/subscriber [roughly what subscription music services charge] is a no-go, because that is for renting the music for a month. File downloads don't expire, so it's only fair that they are charged as purchases instead.

Of course, no need to track which specific songs are downloaded, or even if the file is a music file [or contains music], as ALL the money stops at the labels, rather than say, even paying the couple percent royalties to artists for the music.

Re:No further prosecution? (3, Insightful)

swilver (617741) | about 4 years ago | (#32910578)

I'm not in favor of giving some organization, that does not represent ALL rightsholders, money for counting bits going through my connection. If they however can sort the bits into nice buckets so I can clearly see who they belong to, than it might work. I'd prefer an organization like this on my monthly bill:

1) total amount of bits downloaded
2) number of copyrighted bits downloaded
3) number of copyrighted bits downloaded without permission of the rightsholder
4) number of copyrighted bits downloaded without permission of the rightsholder represented by this organisation

Plot them in a nice graph, with green, yellow, orange and red bars, so I know which flavor I downloaded the most. /sarcasm

Re:No further prosecution? (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | about 4 years ago | (#32910888)

Indeed. And if all holders are represented, that should be a nice bonus for open source authors. If we're applying blanket transfer taxes, then it would be reasonable that all producers got compensated and incentivized. Hey, maybe even us commenters could get our cut.

so I know which flavor I downloaded the most.

If you're an average internet dweller, from what I've read it's probably the pink pr0n bar. Which of course means that any 'fair' distribution of royalties will never be implemented; it'd become one huge porn-financing scheme.

Re:No further prosecution? (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 years ago | (#32911044)

Dear god, now I'm suddenly in favor of this proposal.

Pr0n tax ftw!

Of course there would have to be public polls to vote for the best content, which should get the most compensation.

Or it could become part of the political parties' program. Democrats could promote child porn for their christian voters, and democrats... bestialism for the hippies? There's still so much to investigate... I suggest a ministry of pr0n to be created right now.

Re:No further prosecution? (2, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#32910590)

yep, its mostly the same as some nations have had on the sale of things like blank cassette tapes and CD-Rs for decades.

now if the media companies want it both ways, any sane judge should tell them to get lost.

Re:No further prosecution? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32910866)

Indeed. I'm sure Metallica would love to hear that I downloaded their entire back catalogue from TPB for an extra £2 per month on my broadband bill!

Plus, my ISP will love me seeding everything I have, and downloading absolutely everything I can all day, every day. It won't hit their profits at all...

Re:No further prosecution? (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 4 years ago | (#32911164)

Hey! there may be a market opportunity there! "Our internet connection costs more, but comes with the *paid right* to download anything you want!" Sure it will be a hassle for the ISP, but that's what one pays for, right? Interesting idea...

Re:No further prosecution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32911182)

If i start paying a 'tax' based on what other people pirate.... Theres no longer any real incentive at all not to pirate everything i ever never wanted....

I'm gonna setup the worlds largest torrent site and seed every single file myself. forever.

Re:No further prosecution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32911216)

I object to any proposal that amounts to the general public paying to subsidize the filth and immorality promoted by the music industry. If customers want to buy their filth, that's free speech. Having the public subsidize gangster rap and other forms of immorality which aren't selling is absolutely out of the question.

Conflicting Ideas (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 4 years ago | (#32910452)

Which would be fine in principle if the PRS were the only game in town, but they're not.

So you'd have the PRS collecting their piracy levy from users (via the ISPs) and the BPI suing the same users (and ISPs if they can wangle it) for the same piracy, while doubtless also collecting a levy on blank media just in case someone puts some pirated stuff on it. Presumably if you then posted that media to someone the PRS would want to collect a levy from the Royal Mail for sending pirated stuff via the post.

Re:Conflicting Ideas (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910534)

Actually wouldn't the easy way to do this be to aggregate the torrent/filesharing traffic (what's not encrypted) and use the headers to figure out which songs are being downloaded. Each ISP provides a list of these to the government, who is responsible for recieving the taxes, and then redistributing them to the proper licensing firm (after taking their cut of course.). In the end people never pay for music anymore because they're being taxed to download it whether or not they did. Licensing firms are only getting money for songs they actually maintain the licensing for, and us regular consumers get all the free music downloads we want, yay! :D Let's see how long their stupid model lasts if they do that.

Hint: All it'll take is people starting to download the 'wrong' songs off p2p and the whole kebash will crumble down on them. It might take a few years, but this practice would most likely accelerate it. (Since why waste time listening to the radio/tv/whatever when it's cheaper to just download them all anyway? :D

Re:Conflicting Ideas (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910678)

Actually wouldn't the easy way to do this be to aggregate the torrent/filesharing traffic (what's not encrypted) and use the headers to figure out which songs are being downloaded.

That might work for what ever is on the top-1000 list this week, but even if the file contained decent headers, how could they possibly sort out whom to pay for a "pirated" copy of "Sonata in D"? Of course the mafia's point will be that it is ours anyway, pay us, and we may forward the money to someone, some day... And I bet if I compose, perfofrm, record, and release my own "Sonata in D", I will never get any money from the mafia!

Re:Conflicting Ideas (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910800)

Don't forget the RIAA would want a share for all the American music pirated, and the MPAA for movies and TV. And the Canadian and Australian counterparts, as we all speak the same language and so pirate each other's content. Then the book publishers as well will be demanding.

The levies may be a big pie, but it must be split many ways.

In theory the independants would also be morally entited to a share, but I can't imagine them getting any... there are entire industries built around making sure anyone without the money and connections to play the game isn't included.

Re:Conflicting Ideas (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#32911064)

Yup, what we need is a self appointed super-umbrella organisation which will take it upon itself to speak for the self appointed normal-umbrella organisations.

Since I came up with the idea, I'm obviously the best person to run it. I'll collect the super-tax from ISPs - and mp3 player, CD/DVD, USB stick and hard drive manufacturers, hell, from headphone manufacturers. Don't worry, I'll be super-reliable, and pass all of the revenue on to the normal-umbrella groups, less a reasonable deduction for my expenses, say 25% or so.

Sound fair enough? I mean, if it works for the PRS, BPI and all the other TLA and ETLA shakedown mobs, why wouldn't it work for me?

Re:Conflicting Ideas (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#32911126)

super-umbrella organisation

Instant resident-evil flashback, Umbrella-corporation, what could go wrong?

Hmmm... (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 4 years ago | (#32910454)

That makes about as much proportional sense as a crazy local militia demanding the national army hand over all their tanks and missiles, because "we paid for some of those with our taxes".

However extravagant the audio media monopolies are represented - they're economically dwarfed by the telecom organizations. Their argument to shift the burden of, well pretty much whatever they can imagine, over to the bank accounts of the entire telecom industry is just absurd on its face, and isn't the kind of fight even a larger media ownership group could win.

It's one thing to ask for the moon, in order to settle for something else - but this seems a game they could get hurt for playing.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910610)

However extravagant the audio media monopolies are represented - they're economically dwarfed by the telecom organizations.

That may be true but these rights management organisations have existed much longer. They are also government-backed to a certain degree in many countries, e.g. special laws that allow them to operate in a quasi-monopoly. They are granted rights beyond what mere companies get. This all results from the fact that they are almost pure lobby organisations with VERY good ties to politicians.

Telco companies may be bigger but they are not as well connected because their main "product" isn't lobbyism. I am not suprised that these rights management abominations get away with everything they ask for in our corrupt political systems.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about 4 years ago | (#32910752)

However extravagant the audio media monopolies are represented - they're economically dwarfed by the telecom organizations.

Telco companies may be bigger but they are not as well connected because their main "product" isn't lobbyism. I am not suprised that these rights management abominations get away with everything they ask for in our corrupt political systems.

On the other side, usually the telcos are national companies: guess who the UK government is most likely to give preference in hearing their plea? To British Telecom (UK) or to Sony BMG (Japan)?

Re:Hmmm... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32911042)

On the other side, usually the telcos are national companies: guess who the UK government is most likely to give preference in hearing their plea? To British Telecom (UK) or to Sony BMG (Japan)?

Oh but it's not "Sony BMG (Japan)" it's "Your Local National Rights Management Organisation". For example in Germany there are the GEMA (music), the VG Wort (print) and other leeches who pretend to represent "small, local, poor creatives".

They force laws down our throats that make us pay a fee on music players, computers, printers, scanners, blank CDs/DVDs, smartphones ... anything that might possibly be used to duplicate copyrighted works. They have been getting away with this shit for decades and the IT industry (hardware, ISPs, etc.) was unable to do anything about it.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910732)

this seems a game they could get hurt for playing.

Hopefully.

Just another theft (4, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 4 years ago | (#32910464)

My money is already stolen if I record the sound of my own band on my own CD. I don't need another theft if I want to let someone hear my songs on the net. Off course, the stolen money should go to the rights holder, but as a rights holder to my own songs, I never saw even a cent from it. And my songs have been played in public and broadcasted.

Re:Just another theft (2, Informative)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | about 4 years ago | (#32910628)

My money is already stolen if I record the sound of my own band on my own CD. I don't need another theft if I want to let someone hear my songs on the net. Off course, the stolen money should go to the rights holder, but as a rights holder to my own songs, I never saw even a cent from it. And my songs have been played in public and broadcasted.

I feel for you. I own an internet radio station and totally support what people release under the Creative Commons license. http://www.creativecommons.org/ [creativecommons.org] I refuse to pay the PPS fees and have had many arguements even with my own music just like yourself so please do not worry about it too much. My advice when it comes around to copyright issues for your own music; is take a leaf out of my book. Mail the master copy or the CD of your work to yourself along with a letter to yourself by Royal Mail signed for Special Delivery £5.95. When it arrives never open it, keep the signed for ticket and just store it, if you ever up in court over trivial issues, you must present the envelope along with the signed for ticket for forensic evaluation and that it has never been opened and only the judge can open in in a legal capacity. Who wins the case? You do! Good Luck!

Re:Just another theft (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32910798)

This won't work for one very good reason. The postal service is not obliged to ensure that your package or envelope is sealed at time of posting.

"Very clever, Mr NSN. Now, prove to the court that the envelope was sealed at the time of posting and that you didn't just mail yourself a Special Delivery package unsealed, in which you later placed the work you claim to hold copyright to."

UK Copyright Service site with more info on "Poor Man's Copyright" [copyrightservice.co.uk]

Re:Just another theft (1)

Spad (470073) | about 4 years ago | (#32910896)

Place special delivery sticker over envelope flap at time of posting.

Re:Just another theft (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32910958)

Ever steamed open an envelope?

Are you going to pay for a forensic scientist to take samples of the glue used to seal the envelope, and hold the sticker in place, to prove that it's not just Pritt-stick'd down after unsealing it?

You don't have to show a video of the bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32911152)

You don't have to show a video of the bullet coming out of the gun and penetrating the dead person to prove that you killed them.

Re:You don't have to show a video of the bullet (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32911184)

No. But in Civil court, "reasonable doubt" is significantly reduced to more of "It's quite feesible that this occured."

A decent lawyer will point out that the envelope could have been sealed later, and the whole thing will fall apart. We're not talking about a murder investigation with hundreds of man-hours in investigation. This is a hypothetical civil case between a lone music creator and another (possibly larger) entity using it without paying for a license. For the £xx it would cost to submit the work to the Copyright registration service, it seems like a lot of risk if things go badly.

Re:Just another theft (1)

squizzar (1031726) | about 4 years ago | (#32910914)

Get them to stick the special delivery label over the seal?

Not really charging ISPs (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 4 years ago | (#32910472)

This levy wouldn't actually make ISPs pay for this stuff; they'd either pass the cost onto the consumer indiscriminately, or work harder at filtering out pirate traffic. Choosing the former option when the latter would be possible would result in consumers deciding to choose other providers where possible, so there is significant incentive to filter pirate traffic.

Re:Not really charging ISPs (2, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 4 years ago | (#32910608)

Except that choosing the later would also make people move to other providers that don't try so hard or who have known loopholes. Either way, whoever makes the first move is going to lose out.

Re:Not really charging ISPs (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 4 years ago | (#32910824)

Choosing the former option when the latter would be possible would result in consumers deciding to choose other providers where possible, so there is significant incentive to filter pirate traffic.

False dichotomy, there are other solutions.

Here's one as an example: the BIG ISP provides connection to an end-user not as a "consumer" but in a "retail/business-to-business" mode - like. every "Internet wizard of the family" will act as "the tiny ISP network admin". The result? An explosion of tiny-ISP-es to track/collect the royalty from. Under this conditions, either:
a. the government puts lots of red-tape to who can become an ISP (to limit the ISP numbers and make the tracking manageable). If the people are determined to do it anyway, then the gov will have to increase the number of bureaucrats to process the applications - which means putting the "copyright nazi organisations" on collision course with the government (instead with the ISP); or
b. choose to let the explosion of tiny-ISP happen and the result is no better than today.

Distribution (1)

cacba (1831766) | about 4 years ago | (#32910488)

How will that money get distributed? Seems like it just necessitates dealing with the organizations that receive the levy.

Perhaps while they're at it (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#32910494)

Perhaps while they're at it they could pay for online fraud, substandard goods sold on the internet and child protection. Lets extend that so that transport companies, taxis, car sales have to pay a surcharge to cover people who are travelling to commit a crime.

Re:Perhaps while they're at it (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32910778)

Which means two things are guaranteed:

1) Costs will be passed on to the consumer, ensuring that the companies themselves are not affected.
2) The incidence of infringement of the laws these levies are intended to cover will increase, as th general population feel they have paid for a service which they should now make use of, and the costs these levies are intended to cover will increase exponentially.

Best of luck to them. I say 12 months down the line, they're out of business as nobody is buying music anymore. Why buy it a second time when I've already bought it once with my levy payment?

Re:Perhaps while they're at it (1)

Xelios (822510) | about 4 years ago | (#32910972)

And of course, since the government owns the roads they'd be liable for any loss of property through theft where the thief used a public road to escape the scene of the crime. Maybe the manufacturer of the getaway car the thief used could also chip in, it's only fair after all.

Of course (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#32910496)

Naturally, the fees will be turned over to the artists whose works are copied and rather than considering the copiers thieves, they will be paid in full.

HA HA HA...I crack me up!

Re:Of course (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | about 4 years ago | (#32910816)

I see you are familiar with the work of the PRS..

OK but only so long as you pay us ISPs too (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910504)

I run an UK ISP called UKFSN and my response is that if they are willing to pay me the same proportion of the gross turnover arising from their activities I will be willing to consider their proposal.

GM? (3, Interesting)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 4 years ago | (#32910508)

I heard that GM got so big that they ceased to be an auto company and evolved into a finance company (and shortly after went bankrupt). SCO ceased to become a technology company and changed into a lawsuit company (then folded). Now Music is moving from selling records, to suing customers to becoming a tax collectors? The death throws of Big Music are clear and present. If I owned shares in these companies I'd be selling up while they're still something.

Difficult to implement (3, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | about 4 years ago | (#32910526)

A difficult law to implement. How are they going to know how much pirated content travels by one ISP's lines? Even the ISP itself has no idea. Are they going to suppose that all bittorrent traffic is pirated content? What is the percentage of pornographic content? I assume that they don't represent the pornographic content providers, specially foreign ones. What about encrypted content? If they implement such a law I assume that the level of encrypted content will rise. There is no reason why all pirated content is not encrypted, except that it's at the moment not needed.

In the end they probably just want to get a fixed levy an all ISPs. And all blank CDs, DVDs, hard disks, memory cards, diskettes, memo pads, pens, photo cameras, and people with good memory.

Re:Difficult to implement (1)

Tei (520358) | about 4 years ago | (#32910636)

"In the end they probably just want to get a fixed levy an all ISPs. And all blank CDs, DVDs, hard disks, memory cards, diskettes, memo pads, pens, photo cameras, and people with good memory"

thats how it work, here in spain.

these people have "hacked" the system (our social system) to get a profit withouth work.

Re:Difficult to implement (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 years ago | (#32911084)

That's why some people in Spain buy all those products (except ISP) out of the country.

Re:Difficult to implement (2, Insightful)

dugeen (1224138) | about 4 years ago | (#32910840)

"How are they going to know how much pirated content travels by one ISP's lines?" - they'll just make up a figure and double it, like they usually do. On the one hand, it's good to see that at least one group of workers are accorded by capitalism a continuing share in the profits generated by their labour. On the other hand, I don't understand why our economic system has chosen this particular group of self-righteous tossers for special privileges.

Re:Difficult to implement (1)

burkmat (1016684) | about 4 years ago | (#32910948)

Actually, I hope they do implement this dumbass idea, and do it in such a moronic fashion that ISPs suddenly stand to gain a lot from encrypting traffic. Maybe it's the push needed to make encrypted connections standard.

Of course the Goverment would realize this and I get the impression they don't really approve of when people talk without them listening in...

This is equivalent to (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#32910530)

Passing a 'levy' on phone companies regarding number of calls used to facilitate illegal activities.

Whether a data transfer constitutes piracy or not is just a guess.

So even if you don't download, you're fined (2, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 4 years ago | (#32910538)

Might as well increase road tax if there are more people speeding.

Re:So even if you don't download, you're fined (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 4 years ago | (#32910568)

Off course. And because I say that I am an organisation helping traffic security, you should hand it to me.

Re:So even if you don't download, you're fined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910910)

There is no such thing as a Road Tax - it is Vehicle Excise Duty. Are you that stupid that you don't know the difference between a vehicle and a road? But then again perhaps you just a typical braindead motorised wanker (BMW geddit!)

Similar to Canada (1)

ausrob (864993) | about 4 years ago | (#32910542)

This is very (hauntingly) similar to the duty imposed on the sale of writable media in Canada several years back. This didn't stop the music industry bandwagon from attempting to cash in on a Canadian DCMA and various other tactics.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

kubitus (927806) | about 4 years ago | (#32910556)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - of course they will not assume that you steal when you rightfully load or transfer content.

AMAZING IDEA! (3, Interesting)

Buttink (1449239) | about 4 years ago | (#32910558)

I make awesome song A. I then host "leaked" song A torrent on popular trackers. Copy all IPs. Sue users. Sue ISPs. Get pirating tax. profit.

Music/Movie industry - get with the times. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910596)

I think the real issue as always is people are sick of getting ripped of for crappy movies and music. So they don't want to pay.

Also the FACTS that people bring up all the time is true.. most of the time it's eaiser to just copy a song/movie than obtain from the proper re-sellers.

I always laugh at the record companies trying to make people feel bad for 'downloading' but the average 20 year old who has little money and works at a basic job has no worries when a movie artist or song writer gets $10 million for acting in 1 movie or an artist making a spammy song or two -- a 'normal' person will never even make 10 million in their whole lives, and they work harder!!

So the REAL solution is for the music/movie industry to update thier whole model (which many people have said on slashdot).. so by just doing a few things such as; make downloading from THEM eaiser so people don't bother 'pirating'. Stop being greedy with prices, just sell music for 10c a song for general music, and 20c a song for new stuff, even 60c a song for the charts. But people expect a video music clip give them that option too.

In the end they can't do anything at all. Any nerd out there knows this, most people will just transfer files on their own private way, encrypted etc. If you try and kill torrants then pay pirate sites will boom... it goes on and on.

OK (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910606)

As soon as phone companies start paying royalties for drug shipments done over the phone.

Put a crime tax on prepaid cells, then (1)

Odetta2012 (1847608) | about 4 years ago | (#32910804)

Tax prepaid cell phones since they are only used by criminals. Pre-emptively tax Visa gift cards, too. Put a prepaid levy on calling cards since only criminals use them. And put a huge tax on ISPs that tolerate Tor, because those people obviously are hiding something. It's 2010, and we don't have to hide anything from those who hate us for our freedom.

Pay for Pirating Customers (1)

deniable (76198) | about 4 years ago | (#32910624)

Who pirated whose customers? (Yeah, I RTFS, but it's still an odd headline.)

No damage, so why intervene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910664)

Why is it that the music as well as the film industry is at the same time anouncing its imminent demise as well as posting increasing profits year after year? See the figures for Sony Entertainment Group on wiki for instance. Better than ever. Only EMI is in trouble, but that has different causes. Downloading has been proven in scientific studies to drive growing revenues from concerts and box office returns. Now this levy is a bad idea. They will force the ISPs to police their own customers, which is not a good idea. Either that or it will drive up cost for internet users that don't actually download copyrighted material. The internet is the driving force behind economic, social and political change. We need people to use it, so the economy can recover as fast as possible. We do not need new barriers that will prevent people from going online. When is the industry getting its act together? When will they finally stop prosecuting their best customers? I'm not holding my breath.

Actually it's not that bad an idea.. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | about 4 years ago | (#32910680)

Assuming that fee is paid, and obviously I pay a portion of it on my broadband bill does that not mean that any material I download is in effect legal as I have licensed it with said fee.

So I can download Shrek 4 Bluray rip legally for a £2pm increase on my broadband bill.

I'd essentially get as much music / films etc as I want for a £2pm subscription

The trick of course is if X is the price of a retail copy and 4X is the fee per month then I logical need to download at least 5X worth of music etc per month to make it "worth while"

They mean, a group representing big business (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910722)

I work with digital sales accounts.

Every time you download a track from Itunes most of your money goes to, the government as tax (in the UK), the retailer (Itunes in this case), the distributor, and the label. The artist gets maybe 5% of what you pay.

Unbelievable but that's how it is.

Don't let these liars and crooks fool you into thinking otherwise.

Re:They mean, a group representing big business (3, Insightful)

tehcyder (746570) | about 4 years ago | (#32910918)

Every time you download a track from Itunes most of your money goes to, the government as tax (in the UK), the retailer (Itunes in this case), the distributor, and the label. The artist gets maybe 5% of what you pay.

Unbelievable but that's how it is.

Why is it unbelievable? The artist has signed up to a deal where they have to do no additional work and still get royalties.
If you don't want the whole iTunes/retailer/distributor/label deal just do it yourself, no-one's stopping you.

Re:They mean, a group representing big business (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 4 years ago | (#32910942)

no usually what happens is the artist gets a lump sum and then royalties on top for each sale. the lump sum buys their rights for cents on the dollar in the hope their work will make it big.

on their own there's a high certainty of failure for a new starter.

Re:They mean, a group representing big business (3, Informative)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 4 years ago | (#32911032)

no usually what happens is the artist gets a lump sum and then royalties on top for each sale. the lump sum buys their rights for cents on the dollar in the hope their work will make it big.

on their own there's a high certainty of failure for a new starter.

No. What happens is the artist gets a large "lump sum", but that sum is actually an open "loan" in the small print of the contract, and the label can just keep making shit up to add to the "loan". The artist gets a small amount of royalties while most of the income goes to the label. However, the artist has to pay back the loan out of their royalties (small print!). So basically, the label passes the checkout twice: they get most of the profit from sales, AND they recoup the lump sum loan from artists. Only if the artist sells a LOT of records do they start earning a little real money, and even at that time the label is still making more money than the artists.

Re:They mean, a group representing big business (2, Interesting)

Lando (9348) | about 4 years ago | (#32911228)

I'd have to call BS on this. I don't for a second believe that the artist gets 5% or frankly anywhere near that. I believe the another article on slashdot within the last few days indicated that artists get 23 dollars out of every 1000 and that is for traditional cd's. As I understand it from other articles I have read, artists usually make far less on digital media than on traditional media. So if your going to claim that artists are receiving 5% of the gross price of a track from itunes your going to have to list some references before I'll put much stock in what you're saying. Even if we discount the fact that your posting as an AC.

So, if they succeed with this... (4, Interesting)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | about 4 years ago | (#32910762)

...then presumably, it will be legal for me to download their clients' work, as I will already be paying for it.

Re:So, if they succeed with this... (1)

bonch (38532) | about 4 years ago | (#32910790)

No, the ISPs will be paying for it.

Re:So, if they succeed with this... (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | about 4 years ago | (#32911128)

No, you will be paying for it and downloading it will be illegal.

Do this (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#32910788)

I am for this and when this new law is introduced so will another one. Were EVERY single artist will be locked up for life for the countless drug offences they are bound to commit on average.

Every performer in England will serve life for Mick Jaggers drug abuse. That is fair isn't it? If I have to pay for someone else downloading, why don't they got to do time for someone elses snorting?

But I know the real reason behind this proposal. The lawyer introduced, hoping that the people will have wasted their bullets on the entertainers before they can get busy on the lawyers.

Gee (1)

bonch (38532) | about 4 years ago | (#32910796)

Gee, I wonder how Slashdotters will respond to this idea? I'm sure it will be full of compassion and understanding toward the plight of these artists trying to get paid for their work. I look forward to an open-minded, emotion-free discussion full of fairness and brevity that represents all sides of the debate equally.

I'm off to feed my flying pig.

Desperate is as desperate does (1)

VORNAN-20 (318139) | about 4 years ago | (#32910822)

These guys are out of good ideas, they are trying to get something (anything) to stick so they can sue someone, anyone. I know nothing about UK law so I don't know if this will stick but it looks as if they are at their wit's end, not a difficult task by the looks of it.

with logic like that, (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 4 years ago | (#32910878)

UK will shortly see a tax on everybody to be paid to everybody for the stealing that the gov. does.

Just doing their job (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | about 4 years ago | (#32910904)

Look, we all know this is a ridiculously unfair idea - and PRS has history of promoting ridiculously unfair ideas (e.g. taking a car mechanic to court because having the radio on in their premises constitutes a "public performance").

But, it's their job to push for a world that's skewed towards the people they represent. It's the rest of the world's job to push back.

The best reaction is to say "well, you would want that", then say no.

Great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910946)

I love paying for crap i don't listen to!

Meanwhile, i'll be sitting here listening to awesome artists online who do make the music for the sake of making music, and donating to all of them that i can.

Faggots must die! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32910998)

I know this comment is off-topic but I really need to get this off my chest. Faggots must die!

After Hundreds of years... (1)

nicodoggie (1228876) | about 4 years ago | (#32911010)

... the queen of England is still going after Blackbeard...

It's simply not the ISP's business ... (3, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | about 4 years ago | (#32911230)

It's simply not the ISP's business to care what people use their connections for, in the same way it's not up to the Post Office to care what people post!

It's also just bare-faced cheek for the record companies, et al, to lobby for legislation that makes some other industry pay to shore up their failing business paradigm!

The ISP's should tell 'em to take a running jump!

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