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British ISPs Fail To Defeat Digital Economy Act

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the stop-the-music dept.

Music 184

judgecorp writes "ISPs objecting to the British government's Digital Economy Act have lost a court challenge which argued the Act breaches fundamental rights. There's still room to appeal, but it looks like alleged file sharers will be getting warning letters next year."

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Who pays? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889604)

Have the people wanting the measure fund it. Why should the ISP have to be burdened with the costs? All they are is a connection, not an enforcement arm.

Re:Who pays? (5, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889802)

The ISPs won't pay for this. The costs will be passed on to their users as always. And since it's a level playing field, one ISP won't gain an advantage over others.

What is likely to happen however is that important people will find that their kids activities lead to getting such letters and then maybe the older generation, which really doesn't understand the situation, will start to feel the copyright noose they placed around their own necks tighten.

That is likely to lead to change, but not before.

GrpA.

Re:Who pays? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889856)

And why should the customers pay?

The burden should be on the ones hunting, not the rabbits in the field.

Re:Who pays? (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889870)

It's not a matter of should, it's a matter of the sad facts of today's world. It shouldn't be passed onto the public, but it will anyway.

Re:Who pays? (0)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889984)

It shouldn't be passed onto the public

Why not? That's generally how things function? Why does this suddenly justify a deviation from the norm? The simple fact is, its not fair for companies to have to defend themselves against millions of criminals. And in fact, its all but impossible for small to medium sized companies to hope to do anything. Its a socioeconomic issue in which the public at large has generally been complacent if not outright conspirators. Why shouldn't the public, in turn, foot the bill for the problem they directly or indirectly help create?

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889998)

And what problem would that be?

Re:Who pays? (5, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890080)

its not fair for companies to have to defend themselves against millions of criminals.

If a company has to defend itself against *millions* of criminals, then common logic holds that whatever these millions of people are doing it is not, or should not be, a crime.

GrpA

Re:Who pays? (0, Troll)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890096)

In one ignorant wave of the hand you destroyed countless chunks of the world economy, including businesses of all sizes, ranging from one man shops to multi-billion dollar corporations. Any other idiocy you want to share?

Re:Who pays? (3, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890314)

I recall similar arguments when people tried to outlaw slavery. Anyway, it's for the market to decide who counts as a free human!

Any other idiocy you want to share?

Re:Who pays? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891234)

Are you suggesting that hoarding information is morally equivalent to owning a human being?

Re:Who pays? (4, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891282)

No, I'm applying reductio to dismiss GooberToo's absurd argument. If the mere existence of "countless chunks of the world economy, including businesses of all sizes, ranging from one man shops to multi-billion dollar corporations" is moral justification for an underlying principle on which the countless chunks rely... then we can justify slavery.

Of course, hoarding information is not equivalent to owning a whole human being, but it is a constituent part of human ownership. If you control how a human may express himself then you own some part of him. Copyright and patents are, in practice, enforced assertions of control over other people's actions, even while those people are neither causing you harm nor threatening to do so.

Re:Who pays? (0, Troll)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890328)

Just got to love the pro-pirate stupidity. Seriously, does anyone actually think about the stupidity that comes out of their mouth? Seriously, think about what you're saying. Now then, offer up for discussion details on how you plan on fixing the world economy you destroyed. Is it really so obviously the stupidity the pro-pirate argument that your only answer is to troll moderate and censor? On slashdot, the answer is almost universally yes.

At some point in time, you really need to have some answers beyond the lies and propaganda. Isn't now as good a time as any? Oh wait, that bring to light you're full of shit. Very clearly, the pro-pirate propaganda so weak, it stand any critical evaluation. Without fail, it always fails to withstand even modest review. Sad.

Re:Who pays? (5, Interesting)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890434)

By your logic I am also contributing to the destruction of the "world economy" because I don't watch films or TV programmes. I don't deliberately listen to music.

I don't buy such media and I don't "pirate" it.

I have neither interest in nor plans for fixing the segment of the economy injured through my inaction.

So, am I as bad as a "pirate" or does your argument fail at this point?

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890838)

I think you are replying to RIAA spokesman or alike.

Re:Who pays? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890864)

+1 yeah that.

Re:Who pays? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891256)

That's fine. But I buy media (and pirate it), and would actually like the existence of reasonable measures to ensure that enough people do buy to encourage more media to be produced.

Not quite sure why it matters at all to you.

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890876)

Your argument is based on the idea that "hard work" requires recompense. Why should it? Because some arbitrary system you happen to approve of demands it?

Just ask my last boss if I deserved to be paid for the Saturdays that I had to work, or be dismissed. Ask open source programmers, or volunteer organisations. Ask the guy who helped his neighbour out with the landscaping or building of a house.

It's a shame that the world is full of pricks like you. It'd be a much better place without you.

Re:Who pays? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891080)

A big-media spokesman was quoted earlier as saying....

The stranglehold we once held on distribution of music and film meant that we could artificially inflate the apparent worth as well as the cost of our product. That we could push our vision of entertainment to the passive masses who would be offered the choice of 'consume or be bored'.

Now that the masses have their own distribution channel, they are becoming creators rather than passive consumers. We cannot compete, in terms of quality or quantity therefore we seek to have our competition removed from the field and stop this disturbing trend in its early stages - at all costs.

We'll start by promoting the idea that piracy is the root cause of our failing business model. Then we'll gradually erode people's ability to engage in file-sharing of any kind and simultaneously buy new laws which enable us to tax everyone on the planet for their unwillingness to be our customers. Our friends entrenched deeply within the system will ensure that we prevail.

God bless the free market.

Re:Who pays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891290)

Volunteering to help those we value or are close to, or donating our time towards various causes is not the same thing as being forced to work without pay. Your shitty job and willingness to prostrate yourself for the boss is not representative of the average person.

Re:Who pays? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891570)

...Just ask my last boss if I deserved to be paid for the Saturdays that I had to work, or be dismissed.

I understand your point but your boss was saying "Work for free on Saturday OTHERWISE! I'll be forced to find someone else to work for free". Don't be a sucker - abusers have power because their victims relinquish it.

Re:Who pays? (3, Interesting)

rich_hudds (1360617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891502)

It ultimately comes down to whether or not you think that the Government has the right to read all of your communications or not.

If you believe copyright law is a good enough justification for that then you are 'anti-pirate' if you don't you are 'pro-pirate'.

Tell me how you'll enforce copyright once everyone switches to out of country VPNs without effectively snooping on absolutely everything that anyone does and I'll reconsider my 'pro-pirate stupidity'.

Re:Who pays? (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891760)

Oh the irony.

Re:Who pays? (2)

zevans (101778) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891920)

No-one in this thread was pro-pirate. It was about how we might go about policing piracy over the Internet, and who pays for it. So with respect, GooberToo, what the fuck does that have to do with it? And where are YOUR answers?

Re:Who pays? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891364)

If a company has to defend itself against *millions* of criminals, then common logic holds that whatever these millions of people are doing it is not, or should not be, a crime.

Interesting rationale. So if a major supermarket chain has to defend itself against millions of people who would shoplift if they thought they would get away with it, you think they should just abandon security and give everything away?

Re:Who pays? (2)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891748)

Certain behaviour is self regulating up to a certain point. If people can get a service they consider important for a price they deem reasonable they will pay for it, not doing so will make the service disappear and in the case of basic needs like food etc that would be a problem, the majority of the people still gets that basic idea.

But trying to enforce unreasonable prices or unreasonable restrictions upon people will lead to them going to a competitor offering better deals, or if you are the sole supplier, stealing.

The latter is the case we're talking about when dealing with copyright. In fact, if the latter case held true for supermarkets there wouldn't be stealing, there would be revolution.

Re:Who pays? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891560)

You mean like cheating on taxes? Or driving drunk? Or shoplifting? I don't think you've thought that through.

Re:Who pays? (0)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891148)

Aww crap, typo. I meant to say should, I was concentrating on other stuff when I posted that. Sorry about that, people

Re:Who pays? (0)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891278)

And I just realised that I misread my post. There's no typo, now I feel like a complete ass

Re:Who pays? (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891168)

That should be should, not shouldn't. I need to learn to proof-read properly...

Re:Who pays? (2)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891286)

Misread my own comment, mods, please sink this thing

Re:Who pays? (4, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890118)

The burden always lies, both literally and figuratively, with those at the bottom of the food chain.

Re:Who pays? (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891638)

Before the Digital Economy Act, that's exactly how it did work.

Copyright holders have always been able to enforce their copyrights legally in the UK, it's just that it would require sniffing out infringers themselves (easy enough - join a few torrents, get a list of all the IP addresses sharing with you then filter that list so all you're left with is IP addresses in the UK) then subpoenaing the ISPs to get the associated names and addresses.

Obviously there are huge holes - not least of which is that ISPs have historically not kept particularly reliable records linking IP address leases to subscribers - but that's the gist of it.

The DEA shifts much of this burden onto ISPs and at the same time eliminates the complication of having to go through the legal system (with all the checks, balances and rules about actually having evidence that implies) by instigating the "three strikes and you're out" idea.

Re:Who pays? (4, Insightful)

Simmeh (1320813) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889962)

The ISPs won't pay for this. The costs will be passed on to their users as always. And since it's a level playing field, one ISP won't gain an advantage over others.

Incorrect. This only applies to ISPs with over ~400,000 users. More ISPs would of supported this, but there aren't many with a lot of users. This act promotes heavy users to migrate to less popular ISPs.

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891100)

Why do I think there will be a lot of small, specialist ISPs around before too long?

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891126)

HAVE. It's "would have" you stupid god damned idiot.

Re:Who pays? (0)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891846)

Yes. we get it.
you think you're very very smart.
No need to keep trying to convince the world of it.

but unfortunatly the english language has no official standards body.
none.
Some languages do, english does not.

so if you read it and you actually understand what they intended to say then it's english.
No ifs.
no buts.
nor any if's ,but's ,ifs' or buts'

So fuck off you pedantic troll.
You and idiots like you make reading this site painful.

you latch on to some minor grammatical error and like the fat kid with no friends waving his hand in the air going "Oh, teacher, oh oh ask me!" you just can't stay silent and let everyone else get on with enjoying the content of the site.

Re:Who pays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890126)

What is likely to happen however is that important people will find that their kids activities lead to getting such letters and then maybe the older generation,

No, you have it ass-backwards. Those of us who grew up with BBS and IRC are now in control of the family money and are too proud to continue to pay 80 dollars per hour for the castrated, censored ad-vehicle(influenced by Steve Jobs' mobile paradigm) we once knew to be our own badlands.

Shit, who woulda thunk that we'd actually have to start paying attention to our own kids again? Goddammit, I only knocked that bitch up so she'd be stuck with me.

Re:Who pays? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891850)

It is a myth that you need to have infringed copyright to get a threatening letter. Plenty of innocent people get them too. This issue has been thoroughly investigated by Which? and the BBC's Watchdog programme, with the victim's PC being checked by an independent expert and their wifi connection verified to be secure.

The simple fact of the matter is that the investigation methods are flawed and there is little come-back for those making false accusations. That is the problem with this law; anyone can make a screenshot showing a random IP address and generate one of these letters. Since you can find someone's IP address by simply receiving an email from them (it's in the headers) I imagine the first thing that will happen is prominent MPs start getting warning letters over downloading extremely embarrassing material.

Re:Who pays? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891984)

I have a friend who works for a mid-sized ISP in the States. Last year they fired someone in their TOS Violations group because they'd been using a stale database in their IP research for DMCA takedowns and Subpoenas. It was out of synch with the actual database by a matter of 3 or 4 days, the end result being about a half dozen cases where they had given the police or courts the wrong subscriber.
In one case in particular, it was a pedophile. They gave some innocent sucker's name to the cops, and he was tried and convicted on that data alone. Well, woops turns out it was really some other guy in town. My friend was one of the people who had to go in and clean things up, and when he found the real account that had been using the IP it had been disconnected the same day the newspaper published the arrest of the innocent guy. The reason given for disconnect? "Moving out of the country on short notice."

Re:Who pays? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890668)

Why should the ISP have to be burdened with the costs?

Because they're the ones currently benefiting from illegal behaviour,

Re:Who pays? (4, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891054)

In exactly the same way car manufacturers are currently benefiting from illegal behaviour (getaway cars, etc.). Oooo.. Look, the Government pays for the locations that muggers use! They're supporting crime!
Please stop putting forth silly quotes that aren't actually even arguments.
The real story behind this is that Lord 'Mandy' Mandelson (who had twice been fired from the Labour government for misconduct and corruption that he only escaped being locked up for because he was a prominent politician. Both times he was quietly brought back in by the government of the time when the public outcry faded away.
Now Lord Mandy went away for a nice little holiday with a friend of his, that just incidentally happened to be in the entertainment industry. When he came back, he put this act on a fast track, basically avoiding most of the debate that would normally be associated with something this intrusive. There are so many things wrong with it on so many levels, an it'll ramp up the cost of internet provision hugely.
Ok, so I assume you're going to say "Well, it protects the artists".. This would be the artists that did just fine several hundred years ago with a copyright span of just 12 years? Oh, that small limit killed art because nobody would do it with such meagre protection, would they?
Well, it didn't kill art. It made a rich public domain that everyone could engage in legally.
Now, however, it's a case that if you've got loads of money (read: entertainment industry), you can hire a lawyer to say that technically, copyright terms are extendible to just shy of an infinite duration (because it's termed to be 'a limited time'. This of course deprives everyone of the public domain. Which is essentially theft. Except you've just used a lot of money to make sure it's got a stamp on it by a judge, making it legal. So, you have the unethical, immoral behaviour practiced by the entertainment industry to deprive people of what used to be a right, but spending a shed load of money (that your average person couldn't even begin to fight against) to make it legal. Then you put more laws in place to protect what you've forced through against ethics.
This has been shown (several studies) to be socially destructive, yet it's perfectly legal, and they keep on tightening the screws.
If you think that an arbitrary law is always just and should dictate what the world does, rather than saying "what works, and what is just is what the law should be", then you're rapidly going to be supporting the building of a massive dystopia.

Re:Who pays? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891114)

In exactly the same way car manufacturers are currently benefiting from illegal behaviour (getaway cars, etc.).

Yes. Exactly like that. They need to fit immobilisers and alarm systems. Something that offers no direct benefit to the customer but increases costs. If cars are being used for getaways on a large scale, then there would be an onus on manufacturers to pay for measures to prevent that. Registration plates are used primarily for preventing illegal activity and that's a cost to the car manufacturer.

Ok, so I assume you're going to say "Well, it protects the artists"..

Actually I'm more likely to say that this act was a terrible rushed piece of legislation that I wrote to my MP about and urged him to vote against it (which was useless but never mind). But if we do have measures to prevent this it's perfectly reasonable that the ISPs pay for it.

Re:Who pays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891264)

Do they have to fit alarms and immobilisers by law? I was under the impression that consumers all wanted them because they didn't want their cars stolen and wanted to pay lower insurance premiums by virtue of the fact that the cars have them.

Re:Who pays? (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891388)

Do they have to fit alarms and immobilisers by law?

Depends where you live.

Re:Who pays? (2)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891426)

> They need to fit immobilisers and alarm systems. Something that offers no direct benefit to the customer but increases costs.

That does offer benefit to the customer, as it makes it less likely to have his very expensive lump of metal stolen. It is also something the customer pays for, not the manufacturer.

> Registration plates are used primarily for preventing illegal activity and that's a cost to the car manufacturer.

Excuse me? I don't know where you live, but here in Belgium we pay for our own damn license plates.

Re:Who pays? (2)

infolation (840436) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891618)

It currently looks like the litigious solicitors bringing the claims on behalf of the content owners will be funding it, or at least carry the can on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The infamous 'ACS Law' who sent tens of thousands of letters demanding 'settlement' payments of about £500 from people it accused of illegal downloading were accused of breaching the solicitors code of conduct. [guardian.co.uk]

The Judge said that ACS Law was "amateurish and slipshod" and said it had "brought the legal profession into disrepute".

Re:Who pays? (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891926)

What happens in situations where, for example, completely hypothetically, no truth to it AT ALL, but let's just say that someone in the States has a VPS in the U.K. that they only use for torrentflux.

How and to whom are the British going to mail the letter?

British DMCA? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889612)

I admit, I've been living under a rock, but what is this Digital Economy Act?

Re:British DMCA? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889946)

It's something that returns a bunch of results when you type it into a search engine. You should try it.

Re:British DMCA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891136)

I admit, I've been living under a rock, but what is this Digital Economy Act?

Full details available here [lmgtfy.com] .

You're welcome.

Re:British DMCA? (3, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891272)

Rather than wade through several google results and a detailed but verbose article, I'll actually answer your question. After all, others might wish to know as well.

The Digital Economy Act was a piece of legislation rushed through at the end of the last parliament just before the election. It's common to do a sort of tidy-up before an election usually this is with the less controversial bills.

The act requires ISPs to send warning letters to infringers and may be used to force ISPs to disconnect the service for repeat infringers. This is seen as placing too heavy a burdn on the ISPs and somewhat draconian against accused file sharers, especially because they may not actually be guilty of any wrongdoing.

Race to the bottom (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889676)

And as the world flattened, and the West lost its historical advantages over the rest of the world, one hope remained. The Internet. Anglophone, agile, it offered a future where the talent and skills of Europe and America could earn their keep in a world starving for digital products. Sure, export all your industrial capacity to Asia. But they'll be importing their digital services from the West. Win-win.

Except it didn't happen like that. Patents and copyright, originally designed to protect the rights of a few, spread like cancer in the new digital economy. The "rights holders" and their lawyers wielded disproportionate influence over politicians. The newer digital businesses, though larger, didn't focus exclusively on control, lobbying, political influence, and protectionism.

One by one, the startups failed. The cost and risk of doing business was just too high. The Internet, once a lawyer-free zone, became the hunting ground for a new breed of legal parasite that used Google to search its prey. Society itself, which in the 21st century found itself heavily digitised, became captive to the "rights owners" and their lawyers.

One by one the digital businesses forced themselves to become involved in politics. It was only in 2024 in Europe, and a full decade later in the USA that the first pro-digital political parties took control of major power blocks. In the 21st century, there was no left, no right. There was only forwards, and backwards.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889766)

The Hitchhiker's Guide describes the "rights holders" and lawyers of the West as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

Re:Race to the bottom (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889920)

The Hitchhiker's Guide was written by a humouristically sterile fag(and I'm not talkin' cigarette). It's a great bedtime read for the kids, but it merely placates you all every bit as well as the Dilbert strip does.

Slaughter your puppet-state in Parliament. Slaughter the American congress. Be put on an INTERPOL watch-list and look'em in the eye when they catch you jacking off.

Re:Race to the bottom (3, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889774)

Note: I really do believe that copyright is as bad as patents. Yes, I release all my software under the GPLv3, which depends entirely on copyright law, but it's a hack. In the ideal digital world, sharing of culture would not be optional. Areas of industry without copyright-like protection - like fashion - are hugely successful. Copyright is a 15th century concept designed to stop the free sharing of information. Copyright originated as censorship.

To those who will argue, inevitably, that without patent and copyright, people will not produce, kindly either look at history, or the real world. Competing through production is not an option. It takes a Soviet-style destruction of private property to dissuade us to produce. In every study, the more law tries to encourage "innovation" by privatising our culture, the less we produce. This would be obvious to the advocates for such privatisation if they actually produced anything of value, ever, in their own lives.

Culture and ideas and technology and works of art are "private property" only in the warped mindset of an intellectual property lawyer. I challenge that advocate to invent his own alphabet and language, build his own Internet and browser, and come back when his ability to speak nonsense is not entirely dependent on the culture freely shared by others.

Re:Race to the bottom (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889904)

I disagree, not because people will not produce, but because without copyright, there will be nothing to produce that has any inherent value other than food. Everything else can always be made by somebody else cheaper, and to some extent, even food can....

The problem is not that patents and copyright are inherently bad. The problem is that copyright should be 14 years with the option to extend for another 14. After you've created something, you should be able to make money on it for a limited period of time, and then it should go into the public domain while people still care about it enough to preserve it. And patent duration should depend on the field. For slow-moving fields, it might be twenty years. For high-tech fields, it should be more like three. And for individual inventors working independently, the duration should be longer than for patents-for-hire.

If we had no copyrights, there would be no incentive to create movies or TV shows because anyone could get a copy of it and air it for free or post it for free, and then there would be no revenue. Zero. That might be great for theater troupes, but it's crap for anyone trying to do any other sort of acting.

And don't think for one minute that you could make it up with advertising. If anyone can make it available for free, why would anyone watch an ad-laden copy? Why would anyone pay the creator a thing if they don't have to? Ask any shareware author how many people pay them. You'd be surprised. It's remarkably close to nobody.

It would also be pretty rough for musicians, because now they would have to live on revenue from live shows. That's great for acts that bring in a lot of people. It means that the people at the bottom, though—the singer-songwriters and small garage bands of the world—would not be able to use recordings to supplement the pittance that they get from club owners.

So in practice, the lack of copyrights would really screw over an awful lot of good people trying to make an honest living. Basically, you would be reducing every actor, every musician, every computer programmer, every artist to begging for change from people who themselves will likely have no source of income. In effect, the only thing of value will be food, but unfortunately there won't be anyone who can afford to buy it.

Re:Race to the bottom (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889988)

The problem is that copyright should be 14 years with the option to extend for another 14. After you've created something, you should be able to make money on it for a limited period of time, and then it should go into the public domain while people still care about it enough to preserve it. And patent duration should depend on the field. For slow-moving fields, it might be twenty years. For high-tech fields, it should be more like three. And for individual inventors working independently, the duration should be longer than for patents-for-hire.

You are essentially arguing that we should be stifling innovation, just more slowly. That is nonsense and doesn't fly. Copyright is an outdated mechanism. A new one is needed that compensates the creator without allowing the creator control or limitation. In the simplest instance you should be able to "sue for your cut". Even that has it's problems but it's a better compromise than limiting usage of a creation.

Re:Race to the bottom (-1, Flamebait)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890194)

Copyright is an outdated mechanism.

Morons on slashdot constantly make that assertion but never actually say why or how things would work without it. And even worse, the stupidity of such statements completely destroys massive segments of the world economy and brings a halt to innovation in the technology communities.

So please, explain in detail how destroying the world economy and creating massive unemployment is an excellent idea.

The problem is, far too many stupid people say stuff but never stop to actually think what it really means. In this case, beyond meaning you're really stupid, you massive damage the world economy and instantly increase the unemployment, destroying some of the most critical to the economy (small and medium sized businesses).

Even worse, all too often, the people who make you assertion, are so stupid they don't even realize they are arguing the world should move to socialism. After all, you're arguing everyone should work for free. Either that, or you're first in line to pay $1000.00 to see your next movie. Oh, that's right, you won't want to pay anyone for their work - we should all live in socialist communes.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890260)

Capitalism with copyright laws: the only way society could ever work! This is fact because I said so.

Re:Race to the bottom (2)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890290)

Morons on slashdot constantly make that assertion but never actually say why or how things would work without it. And even worse, the stupidity of such statements completely destroys massive segments of the world economy and brings a halt to innovation in the technology communities.

Starting your argument with an ad-hominem attack, and then moving to unfounded claims of disaster don't really convince. You use a faith-based argument, which is predictable since copyright is basically medieval economic voodoo. Create barriers and friction, and magically you will create wealth! Bzzzt... wrong. Remove barriers and friction, and you will, scientifically, create wealth. Except it won't be in the hands of a powerful minority, won't be as visible, and won't make the politicians leap with joy because there won't be cushy jobs afterwards.

The massive bulk of the world economy cares not a crap for copyright, and does very fine. Some of the most innovative segments, such as electronics in China, exist in copyright and patent-free zones. And historically this has always been the case. Swiss pharma grew from French paint companies fleeing oppressive IP. Dutch electronics giant Philips started as a light-bulb KIRFer. The US printing industry grew on pirated texts. And so on, and on.

I just watched episode two of Pioneer One, and part one of Zenith, both movies from Vodo, which does not depend on copyright to control distribution, but instead, file sharing and word of mouth. And I paid, happily, to both production groups, to help them make their next episodes.

Re:Race to the bottom (-1, Troll)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890372)

Rolling eyes is literally impossible. As for the unfounded, sorry, but that's the facts. Its the pro-pirates who want to displace the current economic status quo. Accordingly, its completely on your shoulders to prove conventional wisdom and hundreds of years of economic theory is completely wrong. So glad to know you consider the world economy to be "voodoo." That really showed me. Ouch.

Ugh...and the stupidity of the China comment - they've literally grown (by graft and theft) on the shoulders of everyone who does have a copyright system.

Any other stupidity to offer.

Seriously, its so annoying to have such completely stupid and factually wrong arguments offered up as the pro-pirate debate.

And worse yet, you offered up nothing but stupidity and still didn't even address the issue which was originally raise. Why is it pro-pirates can never offer any real answers but do everything they can to dance around the real issues? Guess propaganda and lies only go so far - but completely fall flat when explored.

To date, never once had a pro-pirate actually answer anything about how destroying the world economy helps everyone. Not once. They typically just provide stupidity, such as yours, which tries to pretend the entire system they are fighting suddenly does exist - as least for the duration of attempting to address the real issues are heart. That's why pirates are thought to be stupid - because they act stupid and are constantly and consistently hypocritical.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890652)

Go read against intellectual monopoly by Boldrin and Levine in its entirety. kthxbye.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890758)

Rolling eyes is literally impossible. As for the unfounded, sorry, but that's the facts.

You've been watching too many anti-piracy trailers and wouldn't know a fact if it bit you hard on the rear.

Its the pro-pirates who want to displace the current economic status quo.

The current status quo is drivel. Idiot "artists" overpaid for mediocre fast food junk books, songs and movies.

Accordingly, its completely on your shoulders to prove conventional wisdom and hundreds of years of economic theory is completely wrong.

Easy: Britney Spears.

So glad to know you consider the world economy to be "voodoo." That really showed me. Ouch.

Ugh...and the stupidity of the China comment - they've literally grown (by graft and theft) on the shoulders of everyone who does have a copyright system.

I wonder how much "Made in China" stuff you're using to broadcast that stupid disrespectful comment.

Any other stupidity to offer.

Seriously, its so annoying to have such completely stupid and factually wrong arguments offered up as the pro-pirate debate.

You're the one who brought up the pro-pirate debate. Your favourite word seems to be stupid. Stupid is as stupid does.

Honestly I've grown bored refuting your gibberish so I've trimmed the comment. Grow up, and learn to argue without being an abusive, obnoxious waste of words, or go back to the kiddy table.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890968)

Wow. You used variations of "stupid" seven times in above text.

Your recurring argument is that they are wrong and stupid because what they say is stupid because they are wrong.

Helpless anger much?

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891754)

I think there is an onus on you to show that the world economy would be destroyed before you go around calling people stupid and that that's what they're advocating.

Why would a reduction in copyright destroy the world economy? Because people suddenly aren't getting paid for their work? I don't think that argument holds water, most artists get paid very little for years of hard work, very few 'make it' and those that do make it off the backs of the ones that almost do. The vast majority aren't involved in the equation at all. They'd all keep doing exactly what they're doing, copying their works arguably helps them. If I like a work and I share it, more people will come to a gig or an exhibit the artists get more because the venue benefits and everyone can sell more merchandise, be it a t-shirt, book or print. The economics only break down for those at the top end.

Another example, I pay for software, mostly because it's made by people like me working hard to do something they love. And because the tools they build solve a real problem for me, they make my working life easier and I want them to continue to improve them. Even though I'm paying for something now, and I'll have to pay again to benefit, I see the cost as an investment in the future development of the product. Software is however a quickly outdated, what good is it in 5 years, let alone 70 or more? Pirating software is easy, but if I did there would be no incentive to create the software in the first place, no incentive to improve it. I know that, I value the software I use and I so buy it.

Software also has a very active open source community, some of them non socialist even. I regularly contribute Apache licensed code, I regularly use Apache licensed code - I write it because I like to write software, it's good practice and I want to contribute something to the community to keep the community active and alive. I write Apache licensed code because I want it to be a benefit to everyone, even if they want to use it in a closed source work later. When you hear people talking about rights to remix they're envisioning this or a very similar model for other works.

You and these lobbying groups go to great lengths to frame all arguments against copyright extension, revision of the copyright rules or a root and branch review of IP laws as pirates, thieves and anarchists bent on bringing down the world economy. They, and I can only assume you're one of them, do it to cover the true theft; the theft of our rights to our culture from us.

You can't own an idea, the public grants you a limited economic monopoly on it, but once it's out there it's part of our culture and that belongs to all of us. It's easy to characterise someone that believes that as stupid or a socialist, but I'm afraid it's just not true. Because that in a sentence is the ideology that underpins our copyright laws and we have every right to question the balance of our our grants to you over our rights to our culture.

Re:Race to the bottom (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891312)

The problem with relying on patronage is that it just doesn't make enough to pay for high budget TV shows. Stargate Universe is around $2,000,000 an episode, and getting someone to invest that kind of money in a show relies on the guarantee of returns from TV advertising and DVD sales. Would anyone invest if the only income was from fans donating? It seems unlikely, so either shows would have to get a lot cheaper (meaning less sci-fi which is always pricey) or not get made.

Technology is improving the situation by reducing the amount it costs to produce new work, but we are not quite there yet with TV. You could argue that $2m/episode shows are not worth it but there plenty of examples where people clearly thought it was.

I also don't agree that the existence of copyright on a TV show is detrimental to everyone else. Being in copyright for extremely long periods of time and preventing the creation of fan work is. TV shows could be copyrighted for as little as 1 year and would still pull in significant revenue, and that is a fair trade IMHO.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890540)

So please, explain in detail how destroying the world economy and creating massive unemployment is an excellent idea.

I must have missed the comment where syousef admitted to being an employee of Goldman Sachs.

Re:Race to the bottom (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890718)

Copyright is an outdated mechanism.

Morons on slashdot constantly make that assertion but never actually say why or how things would work without it.

I see you've read how to make friend and influence people. If you bothered to both READ and COMPREHEND what i had said without throwing around childish abuse, you might have actually come across my assertion that compensating the artist should not be tied to allowing them to control the work. I suggested that the creator should be allowed to sue (or perhaps claim would be a better word) if someone uses their work.

And even worse, the stupidity of such statements completely destroys massive segments of the world economy and brings a halt to innovation in the technology communities.

So please, explain in detail how destroying the world economy and creating massive unemployment is an excellent idea.

That is called a straw man, since I did not assert that we should destroy the economy or any other such drivel.

The problem is, far too many stupid people say stuff but never stop to actually think what it really means. In this case, beyond meaning you're really stupid, you massive damage the world economy and instantly increase the unemployment, destroying some of the most critical to the economy (small and medium sized businesses).

You are simply repeating yourself in arguments, insults and strawmen. Saying it twice instead of once doesn't make it any truer.

Even worse, all too often, the people who make you assertion, are so stupid they don't even realize they are arguing the world should move to socialism.

Well in amongst the insults here is a brand new straw man. I do not support socialism, at least not in the sense that you use the word. I believe that if people aren't compensated there will be less work done and less things created. I also believe that people SHOULD get something extra for their efforts and creations. I disagree that a centuries old system that relied on the right to make copies is the way to do it. Are you done refuting arguments that were never made, or shall we continue?

After all, you're arguing everyone should work for free. Either that, or you're first in line to pay $1000.00 to see your next movie. Oh, that's right, you won't want to pay anyone for their work - we should all live in socialist communes.

Your comprehension skills are very poor. I at no stage said that anyone should work for free or live in a commune. It is you who fails to see that any other system might work and insists that I hold values that I do not and want outcomes that I do not. You should be very careful asserting that others are stupid, as you're not coming across as much of a bright spark: Just an abusive unimaginative troll who needs some classes in comprehension anger management.

tl;dr: Next time get a clue, stop abusing your opponent and actually argue against your opponent instead of pulling silly straw men out of the air and attacking them.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890986)

...completely destroys massive segments of the world economy and brings a halt to innovation in the technology communities.

Whatever happened to compete or die? That's what makes people - and businesses - compete, rather than the stagnation promised by "I own this, and I make money by producing copies of it." Why make something new when you don't need to in order to make a profit.

Re:Race to the bottom (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890066)

You seem to be claiming that copyright is the basis for a successful economy. You also seem to believe that society has an obligation to feed its artists, musicians, computer programmers, and actors. Lastly, and most amusingly, you seem to claim that the copyright system currently reward these groups, rather than, for example, executives, lawyers, marketing directors, and CEOs.

Firstly, economies work (or fail) on the basis of specialization and trade. This is a basic mechanism, like natural and sexual selection are basic mechanisms for evolution. Economies depend on people dividing up larger problems into smaller ones, and trading solutions. You make bread, I'll make beer, we'll trade. Money of course allows abstraction of this trade, and consequent scaling. Copyright plays no roles in this system except to limit its efficiency, and create friction. There is no benefit to society in individuals or groups owning any part of the culture needed. It is in fact the opposite.

Second, and I'm a computer programmer, but nonetheless: society has no obligation to feed any particular sector except those who cannot look after themselves. Artists, musicians, programmers, writers, and those who would fashion bushes into amusing topiary choose their professions, and do not merit special treatment. The Netherlands tried this. It did, and still does, pay registered artists to produce works. The result is wharehouses filled with junk art. The fact here is that not only do creative people merit no special treatment, but they actually only create valuable works when they are hungry and fairly desperate.

Third, there is no evidence that copyright law helps these people you care about, just as patent law doesn't help "inventors". All forms of privatised culture benefit only those with lawyers and muscle. This also should be obvious, either from studying history (who actually lobbied to create these laws, starting in the 15th century), or by deduction (any law is only tested in the courts, and since these are civil laws, contested between parties, which party will always win? Indeed, it's the one with more and better lawyers and more taste for lawsuits).

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890794)

Many creative works have a unique expense profile of being high capital but low margin.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891144)

I agree with you, but "they actually only create valuable works when they are hungry and fairly desperate" seems a bit over the edge. Consider the wealthes gathered by Rembrandt, Vermeer, the Bruegels through their workshops and/or dinasties. And not every writer worth of consideration was famished, neither. I share your views about commissionned art, though.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890374)

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I pay money for media, it's because I decided I wanted to pay money for it. I almost always have a free, usually easier, alternative. The assumption that people would only give money to creators of media if legally required to do so to consume it is unreasonable.

I don't mean to say that the revenue would definitely be enough to cover a major movie budget, but it would not be zero. I am not sure where the balance really belongs here. Perhaps movie budgets are just too big so targeting them as the revenue a movie should make is too much (Hollywood accounting and the fact that studios can afford to make movies that lose money as long as the ones that make money make enough money obscure the actual cost of making a movie / producing an album).

Also, 28 years still sounds way too long for copyright to me. Movies are a special-case, but nowadays they tend to make a large proportion of their revenue in just their opening weekend and they are only theaters for a few months followed by disc releases a few months after that. Of course, if the movie were available for free only a few months later then fewer people would buy the disc, but I suspect the effect would be minor if copyright were to run out, say, 5 years later.

Re:Race to the bottom (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890564)

Also, 28 years still sounds way too long for copyright to me.

It was actually 14+14. But that was in the past where it could take literally years to distribute to all possible customers. Yet copyright terms have been going up rather than down as communications improved.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890610)

It would also be pretty rough for musicians, because now they would have to live on revenue from live shows. That's great for acts that bring in a lot of people. It means that the people at the bottom, though—the singer-songwriters and small garage bands of the world—would not be able to use recordings to supplement the pittance that they get from club owners.

You obviously don't know much about how that part of the music industry works.

Most bands, especially the small ones, do not make any significant profits on recordings. They only make any real money by playing in clubs, and for most of them that's just covering costs. Merchandise (t-shirts etc) also brings money. Recordings are promotion, sold at the concert at reasonable prices (i.e. less than half the typical retail shop price for a major-label artist), hopefully to be lent by the concert goer to friends, to make their music known. And to get more people to their next concert.

Copyrights actually don't do much for small time artists. The ones making money of music copyrights are music labels.

Re:Race to the bottom (3, Insightful)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889934)

Not going to debate a philisophical rhetoric, but fashion has tangible goods. It's not a good analogy. Nor is historical precedence where most artists died in poverty. I fully agree that patents and copyright are severely broken and laws are meant to serve the priveleged, but this kind of "all culture should be free" nonsense is bordering on fantasy land. There has to be a reasonable middle.

Re:Race to the bottom (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889986)

It's not the job of the legal system to feed artists, nor inventors, nor entrepreneurs. We all live or die off our ability to create value for others.

As for "all culture should be free" being nonsense and fantasy, realize that the vast majority of culture is free, and always has been. As I wrote in my previous post, your very ability to argue that owning culture is somehow a good thing depends on the massive free sharing by others of their work.

Reasonable middle grounds are fine. But the problem here is that there is no safe dividing line. It's just as with software patents. There is no objective line to be drawn between "good" and "bad". Once you allow some, no matter how hard you try to limit the scope, any defined line will move inexorably. It's obvious, really. If you accept the (and this really is the fantasy) argument that privatised culture is more valuable than shared culture, you will always accept a little more. If one patent is good, two is better and a million even better. If 14 years' copyright is good, 15 is better, and 100 is even better.

It is rather like smallpox. There's no reasonable middle ground. Eradication, abolition of privatized culture (and technology and ideas) is the only sustainable long term situation, and though it's far from an inevitable outcome, it's one worth fighting for.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890958)

Actually that's exactly the job of the legal system, and that's exactly why you get paid for services rendered and hours worked. It's a staple of our society, but let's put that hyperbole "the laws are paying artists" (sounds bad doesn't it?) aside for a moment.

The simple fact is you dont seem to respect artists' right to profit from their work because you think society as a whole would do better. Is that correct? Fine. You have no basis for that comparision and no way to even measure it, but fine. And again historically, we know that artists have struggled under such conditions. So the evidence is against you. Do you apply this to all professions? No one should profit, all should share everything? It's not an un-heard-of position to hold. But let's be clear, if you dont believe in property at all, then the argument about the finer points here serve little purpose because you'll keep telling us that the elephant is not in the room.

Law is not smallpox. Drawing black and white analogies does not demonstrate that there is no middle ground, it just shows there is just no middle ground in your analogies. If 10 years is good, it does not follow that 100 years is better and we're all gonna die tomorrow of mad cow disease. You're arguing in non-sequiters with assumed premises. Dividing lines doen't need to be "safe" they need to be reasonable, which is something I think you keep missing. It seems like it's not even worth getting into that I think copyright has no use beyond the life of the author/artist. And that 15-30 years is reasonable.

Because, instead, you've moved the argument into the lofty abstract realm of "privatized culture" versus "free cultre" and which is more "valuble". Except here's the problem with that: I don't measure culture the same way you do. Nor does the next slashdotter, we each have our own idea of such an abstract concept. Nor do I believe that the debate has to fall under the terms of which side of the pendulum is more valueble. Society has to eat too. We can't just sit around and think up lofty ideas. There's more at stake here than abstract ideas of the value of culture. And I don't know about you, but I have faith that we can think up reasonable nuanced solutions to complex problems. But we have to keep working at it because extremists (such as IP lawyers and yourself) will keep trying to pull us in one direction or another. This is the responsibility of democracy.

As I said above, I agree that there are very serious problems and we've moved much too far in one direction, but I can't subscribe to your extreme interpretation of "free culture for all." You have a nice dramatic flare with you're writing style, and it's fun to read, but the logic and evidence just isn't there.

I dont want to live in a Libertarian or Communist or Capitalist or Socialist utopia. I want the best ideas from each.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891652)

Don't know about smallpox, but if you're too poor to find a dollar to pay for a song to support an artist you like, you're probably not making much of a contribution to society anyway. Copyright has problems, but overall it's a reasonable way to ensure that those who enjoy the works give a little contribution back to the creators. And those who don't like it, don't have to give anything.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891720)

Holy wide-eyed lunatic, batman!

What exactly are you looking for? The abolition of professional authordom?

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890796)

Note: I really do believe that copyright is as bad as patents.

Copyright doesn't prevent you from doing anything that you'd be able to do if there was no copyright.

You seem to be munging up patent and copyright. Patents rarely encourage production. Actually getting something to market usually gives enough competitive edge to justify the innovation. But we're talking about copyright. Would big budget movies get made at all without copyright? Would we see as many songs if songwriters couldn't support themselves through writing songs?

I agree. The solution is to change the public perception of copyright. Not eliminate it entirely.

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889794)

That was a fun read, you have a nice eloqunce to your words, but you seem to have equated startup and copyright infringer. I'm not sure that's a leap in logic I'm willing to take.

This does seem like it will disproportionally affect torrent users though, unless they are doing some type of deep packet inspection of all TCP/IP traffic and matching it against a databse of signatures, which sounds logistically insane.

If they bring down P2P, they are just going to find it moving offshore to Megaupload clones in China. Interestingly too, this will hit specific media (movies/tv especially) and do little to protect indie stuff or anything of smaller file size (software, books). I guess that could be part of your connection. Big rights holders are being protected while the indies lose out?

Re:Race to the bottom (2)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890008)

The point is not that startups are infringers. The point is that startups don't have lawyers and even the threat of a lawsuit can break them.

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889838)

And as the world flattened, and the West lost its historical advantages over the rest of the world, one hope remained. The Internet. Anglophone, agile, it offered a future where the talent and skills of Europe and America could earn their keep in a world starving for digital products. Sure, export all your industrial capacity to Asia. But they'll be importing their digital services from the West. Win-win.

Except it didn't happen like that. Patents and copyright, originally designed to protect the rights of a few, spread like cancer in the new digital economy. The "rights holders" and their lawyers wielded disproportionate influence over politicians. The newer digital businesses, though larger, didn't focus exclusively on control, lobbying, political influence, and protectionism.

One by one, the startups failed. The cost and risk of doing business was just too high. The Internet, once a lawyer-free zone, became the hunting ground for a new breed of legal parasite that used Google to search its prey. Society itself, which in the 21st century found itself heavily digitised, became captive to the "rights owners" and their lawyers.

One by one the digital businesses forced themselves to become involved in politics. It was only in 2024 in Europe, and a full decade later in the USA that the first pro-digital political parties took control of major power blocks. In the 21st century, there was no left, no right. There was only forwards, and backwards.

I love reading news articles from the future! 2034 for us Americans, eh? Can you tell me who wins the various elections that year? I'd like to place some bets. :-)

Re:Race to the bottom (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890516)

I love reading news articles from the future! 2034 for us Americans, eh? Can you tell me who wins the various elections that year? I'd like to place some bets. :-)

You should totally talk to John Titor then. He 's always looking for spare parts at garage sales all around the country, you can't miss him!

Re:Race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889892)

"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Plan B (1)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889730)

Just send the warning letters to everyone who supports the bill. They won't be so chipper then.

Re:Plan B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35890140)

wrong.. just name EVERY file "DigitalEconomyActProtestxxx" where xxx = a random number of sufficient length to be unique,

illegal != unlawful (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889750)

don't vote, so you've not consented to be governed, issue a 'Notice of Conditional Agreement'

Collapse of British music industry next year! (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#35889862)

My latest psychic prediction.

Coffee Shop (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35889886)

Suppose I walk into a coffee shop, and (in honor of the previous comments) download the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy via a torrent. I committed the crime*, but the coffee shop would get the notice indicating they need to take corrective action. Is this the first step in destroying public WiFi access? (*That is, unless you consider the movie itself to be a crime against the book)

Re:Coffee Shop (1)

cyberfin (1454265) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890580)

They would indeed get the notice. And if that happens they deserve it. Places granting public internet access should make sure that their network is properly configured to guard not only the businesses back but the ones of all other customers too. It's not hard, not even that costly in proportion. Specially if your a *bucks franchise for example.

Re:Coffee Shop (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890816)

(*That is, unless you consider the movie itself to be a crime against the book)

Only as much as the book is a crime against the radio show. Douglas Adams wrote them all, after all.

The only crime would be a "book of the film".

Activate Libel Retort? (2)

paulkoan (769542) | more than 2 years ago | (#35890496)

Britain also horrendous libel laws.

Given that warning letters without significant supporting evidence can be considered damaging to the reputation of an individual, it would seem appropriate that if you are on the receiving end of a warning letter, you should sue the sender for libel.

If this happens enough, then it might results in changes to one of the DEA laws or libel laws, so it would be a win win type deal.

How does this fit with the recent EU ruling (1)

jimwormold (1451913) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891162)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/04/14/1718258/European-Court-of-Justice-To-Outlaw-Net-Filtering# [slashdot.org]

I though this implies that NO ISP can be forced to filter the internet. Surely parts of the DEA require exactly that (IP blocking for example).

Re:How does this fit with the recent EU ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891380)

Grabbing the list of ip addresses off a torrent tracker doesn't require you to filter packets (somehow this is classed as enough evidence to get you a letter sent from isp [3 times and your out with no legitimate evidence]). I'm sure it can also be argued cutting off someone's connection (while still charging them for it? [wtf]) doesn't count as filtering.

Damn it ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35891228)

Seriously, it is their faults. Stick with me here.
It is their faults. Why is it their fault you ask me?
Because they don't tell the people who they NEED: the customers.

These agencies who are promoting DEA, DMCA, ACTA and crap like that are using the general public as a vote on their side, even if they haven't voted.
They are using the ignorance of the general public against ISPs.
Trust me, if you told even half of ISPs customers, every one of that half would be outraged at this bullshit.
But they don't know a damn thing. They are in the dark. And if nothing gets done, one day, the connection price will go up slightly. (with a possible reason depending on how nice the ISP is)

We need to get the general public to know about this stuff. We don't need to flood them with the crap we know, we just need to say "hey, do you know the X industry is trying to use your voice to steal even more money out of you? "
Surely there are some smart people around here who are good at protesting preparation?
Simply make some standard information page, some banners, make a site dedicated for it (yeah, no doubt it will be DDoS'd, report the IPs, solved)
The general public are lemmings, they don't pay attention to this kind of stuff, they take it for granted that things work, they believe in the Honour (Trust) System, that everyone deals fairly with each other and doesn't backstab or cheat others. (more so with companies than other people, re-read that, other people, companies are run by other people, use that in the information page)

Nothing will get done unless the whole country sees what is happening.
It is about damn time we wake them up to the cruel truth.

Win win lose win (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891580)

The ISPs win because they now have an additional revenue stream - they are supposed to pay 25% of the costs of pursuing transgressors, but I imagine it's the ISPs who get to define that cost, and someone else has to give them the other 75%. Filesharers win because it will still be impossible to identify a transgressor from an IP address so they can safely ignore the letters without worrying that a court can actually do anything to them. Parents lose because they get hassled by letters about their children's behaviour. I'm sure Mumsnet will be on the case once the letters really start rolling in, and the provisions in the act will get neutered as part of a red tape clearing exercise.

The good from this.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891790)

The tech improvements to hide yourself from the watchers will start accelerating. The technology war has just begun.
Honestly, this will be interesting to watch.

Hadopi.uk ? (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 2 years ago | (#35891820)

All the points raised in the comments have already been adressed in France with the debates around HADOPI.

The burden will be on the user to prove he is NOT guilty.

IPs seems to far to be picked at random (amongst french IPs on torrent trackers) by a company called TMG; some gross mismatch have been detected, including strangely enough internal IPs... which shows a high level of incompetence.

The cost will be paid by ISPs, they will raise prices (like they did here)

Next step (in france at least) is to have "voluntary" filtering enabled. A log is kept on your ISP-mandated modem/router of your connections so you can "prove" you are not "guilty". Of course if you refuse this filtering to be enabled you are deemed guilty by default

Some other goals are: filtering direct download sites and VPNs; some people, who might actually be tinfoil-lovers, claim they will also ban SSH on "consumer" grade connections and require a "business" grade connection to get SSH working again. This would be disastrous for the economy here as more and more people work from home using VPNs and SSH.. but it seems the government can't put 2 and 2 together. To them internet is a media consumption network with only 1 way data flow.

HADOPI is already having disastrous consequences for french hosting companies because people don't trust having their machines on such a crippled network.

VPN sales in other countries are surging, of course.

So brace yourselves UK if you government is looking to copy HADOPI this is what is in store for you.

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