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UK Anti-Piracy Law Survives Court Challenge

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-setting-up-a-more-dramatic-fall dept.

Piracy 47

Grumbleduke writes "The UK's controversial Digital Economy Act survived its second court challenge today. Two ISPs had appealed last year's ruling that the measures included did not breach EU law and, for the most part, the Court of Appeal agreed, ruling in favor of the Government and the 10 unions and industry groups supporting the law in court. The decision was welcomed by the industry groups, but criticized by the UK's Pirate Party, whose leader pointed to the lack of evidence that the law would have any positive effects. A UK copyright specialist noted that the ISPs may still appeal the decision to the UK's Supreme Court, seeking a reference to the Courts of Justice of the European Union, and wondered if the law could now attract the same attention from the Internet as SOPA and ACTA. The law is still some way from being implemented, and the first notifications are not expected to be sent to alleged file-sharers before 2013, and the next steps could also be open to a legal challenge."

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Constant Vigilance... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270521)

SOPA/PIPA were defeated.

So the next option for the MafiAA is to buy similar laws in a few other countries, then argue the US needs to pass SOPA/PIPA anyways to "harmonize with international law."

Re:Constant Vigilance... (2)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271051)

What I'm wondering is: how do such small fry corporations in the grand scheme of things wield such vast lobbying power in comparison with other industries?

Re:Constant Vigilance... (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271287)

It's because they're the media. "Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel."

Which is also why they're starting to lose. Ask yourself, do you get most of your news today from cable TV or from the internet?

Re:Constant Vigilance... (4, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271397)

They don't really have vast power. What they have is unchallenged power.

Ford can't just do things. If they started writing a law specifically to benefit Ford (and screw everyone else) the next day every Democrat would oppose it because the UAW/environmentalists said so, and every non-Michigan Republican would join in because businesses in their district were being screwed.

Hollywood's unions are on their side re: piracy, which means the AFL is on their side, which means all the other unions have solidarity with the Hollywood studios. The business community doesn't care about fair use, because restricting fair use doesn't screw them. Therefore Hollywood gets to be the only people in the room when decisions like SOPA are made, which gives the ability to write the damn treaty.

To an extent the internet and geek activism can stop this. When we are organized we are unstoppable. We are everywhere, and we can influence all those people who jumped on the SOPA bandwagon when it was easy, and then jumped off when we noticed what they were doing.

The problem is convincing geeks to all give money to the same organization, on a consistent basis, even after said groups issues a press release they don't like.

Re:Constant Vigilance... (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272675)

Well, the business community should care, as IPR is part of what makes western cost levels prohibitively high. From a macroeconomic perspective monopoly rights are equatable with taxation (having exactly the same effect as, for example, VAT) and should really be counted as part of the total tax level in an economy.

That, of course, means that any 'gained jobs' that the monopoly rights proponents claim to get are taken from someone else. And that any jobs lost in those industries are gained elsewhere as consumer discretionary income is directed to other services. Which means that other unions should certainly consider any support, as it's their members that lose their jobs as more money is directed to Hollywood.

Re:Constant Vigilance... (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274087)

The problem is convincing geeks to all give money to the same organization, on a consistent basis, even after said groups issues a press release they don't like.

Speaking of which, you all may be interested in this link [eff.org] and specifically the box that says "I want to donate this amount monthly."

Re:Constant Vigilance... (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271437)

Huh? In what universe do you live in where Disney, Sony, Vivendi, Viacom, Time Warner, GE and Comcast are "small fry"? It's apparently not this one.

Re:Constant Vigilance... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271459)

Forgot to mention News Corp as well.

Re:Constant Vigilance... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39272689)

Because these laws are about controlling the Internet. As China has learnt, being behind only the USA and perhaps 8 years from having the largest economy on the planet, the most effective way to rule this spinning ball of rock is to hold a technocratic iron grip over your people.

The reward to RIAA/MPAA/blah is secondary. The potential for corporation-government to control the flow of information to the people is fantastic.

SOPA/PIPA were defeated (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274837)

No, neither were. Perhaps by name i guess, but not by intent, and will return in more subversive ways.

Though its not all bad... (5, Interesting)

LiroXIV (2362610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270539)

The European Court of Justice also recently declared that soccer match schedules can't be copyrighted because they're not creative enough, completely going against British case law which suggests that the amount of effort and labour is the factor to something can be copyrighted or not. Of course, the U.S. already rejected that idea. But does this matter? Yes. Because even under this regime, your site won't get wiped off the face of the earth for daring to mention who's playing games this Saturday.

That's it? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270615)

This was the best the pirate party could come up with? From the article, "No one has proved that the Act will help the creative industries financially, that is just lobbyists' spin." He couldn't point out the damage it might cause? The chilling effect it could have? The annoyances it would cause the average citizen? Or short of that, he didn't try at least tried to demonstrate the financial benefits to publishers of piracy? If that's the best they can come up with, no wonder they lost the case.

Re:That's it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270719)

You realize that TFA was from a member of the content industry right? Yes the BBC is one of them too. The same BBC that never once interviewed a PP member during the last election. Did you expect the PP guy to tell them the quote to use? Did you notice they weren't even part of the case? Also, please provide proof of all this damage & annoyance unless you want to come across as a ranting idiot.

Re:That's it? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270813)

You realize that TFA was from a member of the content industry right?

If you had actually read through the links, you would have found that quote right here [pirateparty.org.uk] , on the Pirate Party's home page. Nice rant, though.

Re:That's it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39271027)

Thank you for making my point. The BBC just used a random comment but you seem to blame the PP for that.

Re:That's it? (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271241)

A random quote? It's their own press release.

Re:That's it? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272927)

Not sure which BBC you were reading, but the Pirate Party got a disproportionate amount of coverage on the BBC news site that I read. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a higher ratio of words written on the BBC news site to votes than any other political party.

Re:That's it? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39273035)

The same BBC that never once interviewed a PP member during the last election.

That'd be because there was precisely one candidate. PPUK are a tiny party. The amount of coverage they've gotten from the likes of the BBC and various non-Murdoch newspapers is massively disproportionate to their size. Let's celebrate the fact that the BBC even know who Loz is and actually turn to the PPUK for comment on matters like the Digital Economy Act, rather than moan about the lack of 24/7 coverage of the Pirate Party world-wide.

Re:That's it? (4, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273265)

Having tried a lot of different approaches to writing press releases, we've found that what works best for us in the UK is to issue short press releases like this one within moments of news breaking, and to make one short point, that is sensible, moderate, and very difficult to argue with.

This particular release might not go down so well with the slashdot crowd, but it achieved our objective of getting on to the front page of the BBC news site ( see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17270817 [bbc.co.uk] ) with a strong, well argued message that doesn't paint us as alarmist, aggressive, or irrational. We did go on to say "Threats to chuck entire households off the web will be bad for the economy, bad for society - and for us as a creative nation too.", (just as you suggest) but we're always at the mercy of editors who, as I think this proves, often cut out most of what we actually say.

At this early stage in the Party's development, getting press coverage is tough, especially because we're don't fit the preconceptions the press have of loony people with eye patches. This particular story gave us a big headache, the verdict was actually on a fairly small portion of the act that referred to ISP costs, and the question of parts of the Act that should have been notified to the European Commission under the Technical Standards Directive and weren't possibly rendering them unenforceable. The full verdict was likely to be several hundred paragraphs of dense legalese, and crucially, there is usually a delay of several hours between the press reporting the yes/no verdict and any of the court's reasoning being available for us to read.

We've found that waiting for the reasoning means we can put out strong, detailed press releases with point-by-point demolitions of our opponents messages... that don't get picked up on by the press. Simlarly, rants full of venom and references to chilling effects don't go down very well either, partly because the UK doesn't have the same constitutional devotion to free speech that the US does, and therefore 'chilling effect? so what' is usually the public's attitude, but mostly because nobody quotes them except for the Register.

Ideally, I'd love to come up with something like HeadOfLegal's analysis (see http://www.headoflegal.com/2012/03/06/bt-talktalk-v-business-secretary/ [headoflegal.com] ) and get it quoted, but realistically, no mainstream journalist is going to read, digest, summarise and quote something like that in the few minutes they have to get the story online. Print journalism is a different matter, as the deadlines are longer, but we've found that if the BBC website quotes us, then we get interview requests where we can go into more detail.

On this particular story, an appeal on a small part of the bill, followups were actually not that likely if the verdict went against the ISPs. There isn't really much in the verdict that's actually interesting to the general public to be honest. We knew that the press coverage would therefore be vague (hence the understandable impression you got that 'we lost the case' because the damage to the public wasn't highlighted, when it was actually two piracy-neutral ISPs that lost a cost-splitting debate over an obscure point of EC procedure), and that on past form the quotes from the copyright lobbyists would be emotional rants with little basis in reality. If you look at the BBC story from the point of view of a neutral observer, we got a much bigger quote than the pro-copyright lobby did, and we come across as more rational and less scare-mongering. For a bunch of unpaid amateurs taking on the might of the copyright lobby, I think we actually did pretty well this time.

most pirates were from UK anyways (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270915)

Royal Navy rejects, back in the day

Re:most pirates were from UK anyways (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273335)

With this information, Pirates of the Caribbean would have been a much different movie:

"Ellow! Oym Cap'n Jyeck Sparra, epples 'n' peers! Moi new fiiiist mayt, Meeeeeeeery Poppuns! Uhhh, oi mean Keeeeeeera Noytlee, wonders if she moyt be a-comundeeeeeeerin' yer Jersey Moat, me ol' choyna!"

Re:most pirates were from UK anyways (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273451)

Actually the Navy were often Pirate rejects ...

Cptn Henry Morgan (as in the rum) ...was a Pirate, but later became Sir Henry Morgan, and Lt Governor of Jamaica ....

The solution to all of this is... (4, Insightful)

SlithyMagister (822218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270921)

Never EVER again buy any CD, DVD, Blu-Ray or ANY OTHER crap that these industries try to sell you.
Go to movies if you must -- when you're done, remember them.
Attend music concerts -- the artists get more money from live performances, so you're helping support them. Buying media does the artist very little good -- pennies per item, or so I'm told.
If they come on TV record 'em on your PVR if you like.
Listen to music on the radio, and enjoy its fleeting beauty
Download whatever you please, after all, your advertising dollars, your theatre tickets and your concert tickets paid the FULL COST OF PRODUCTION.
All the rest of the drek merely goes to line the pockets of the rich greedy leeches that use the performers as pawns in their quest to mine your pockets.

So take it away from them. Don't buy the crap.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271213)

Download whatever you please, after all, your advertising dollars, your theatre tickets and your concert tickets paid the FULL COST OF PRODUCTION.

Buh? No.

Buying media does the artist very little good -- pennies per item, or so I'm told.

Okay, but if you're going to download, at least send the artists some money. You said you're choosing not to give them money, because their slice of the pie is too small. So send them a check for the whole pie.

Of course, if you're just downloading because it's free, and this is all just rationalization, then carry on and ignore what I said.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271355)

and this is all just rationalization

Meaning what? Is rationalizing (explaining or attempting to justify, the latter of which is a subjective matter) something pure evil or something? I see a lot of people mentioning "rationalization" when speaking of copyright infringement, but I've never understood it. If you're in an argument with someone, how can you even avoid rationalization?

Re:The solution to all of this is... (2)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271403)

The term "rationalization" here means they're deciding to take something because they want it, but they're saying some alternate explanation to make it sound like it's noble to download whatever they want without paying.

I'm not saying not to download things. But if someone's reason for downloading rather than buying is because the musician isn't getting paid enough, then it seems to me like they should give money directly to the musician to compensate. Otherwise, it sounds like a "rationalization", rather than the actual reason they're downloading.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39272633)

But if someone's reason for downloading rather than buying is because the musician isn't getting paid enough, then it seems to me like they should give money directly to the musician to compensate.

This is still based on the flawed notion that downloading is something for which the musician needs to be 'compensated'. It isn't. Downloading does not take anything from the musician or harm them in any way. If the musician doesn't know I downloaded the song, the world appears to them exactly the same as it would appear if I didn't download the song. I do not owe the musician money for making an action that has no effect on them.

There is something the musician needs to be compensated for, and that is their own labor as offered on a free market. Composing or playing a song is where the labor is involved, and so it makes economic sense to pay them for that. Their labor is not involved in someone else making and storing a copy of the data after that data already exists. Paying them for that makes no economic sense. The musician creates extra value with their labor when they compose or play the song, but no extra value when the song is downloaded. That extra value is created entirely by the labor of the downloader and those providing the various network services used to download the song. Moreover, the fact that this second quantity of labor is very small is incidental; it is merely an advantage of technology, and cannot magically cause the musician to have created value that the musician did not in fact create.

Consider the analogy of a plumber. We pay the plumber to fix the kitchen sink, but we don't pay him every time we run water out of the tap, because his labor isn't involved there, and running the water has no effect on him. The plumber's labor creates value by fixing the sink, but not by running the water. Even though the amount of labor required to turn on the tap is very small, this is merely an advantage of technology and cannot magically create any new debt towards the plumber. We recognize it is economically and morally ridiculous that the plumber should demand payment every time we run water from the tap, that he should set his price for running the water, and that the government should enforce his demands.

It is equally ridiculous when this is applied to data instead of tap water, but for whatever reason, we (in general) don't recognize that yet. We are convinced that an MP3 file has a magical connection to a musician that can somehow create new debt towards the musician without the musician doing any additional work or even otherwise being aware that anyone is copying the file.

Note that the common argument that 'downloading the song for free affects the musician by erasing an opportunity for them to sell it' is invalid, because it presupposes the opportunity to sell, a concept itself based on the debt created by copying the song, which morally speaking is fictional debt. It is like saying that 'running the water without paying the plumber removes an opportunity for the plumber to sell it'. Water is not the thing the plumber had the right to demand payment for in the first place, and likewise, copiable information is not the thing the musician had the right to demand payment for in the first place.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272757)

This is still based on the flawed notion that downloading is something for which the musician needs to be 'compensated'. It isn't.

No, it's based on the notion expressed in the post I was replying to. They said not to buy, because the money didn't go to the artists. Your idea is nice, but not relevant to the point at hand.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272975)

But if someone's reason for downloading rather than buying is because the musician isn't getting paid enough, then it seems to me like they should give money directly to the musician to compensate.

That is exactly what the parent is suggesting. Go to their concerts and buy their merchandise because they get more money that way. Try to cut out the parasites in the middle.

And yes, I do feel entitled to enjoy that work for free. We contributed to it (because it wasn't created in a vacuum, it leached from the public domain for inspiration, ideas, language and so on) and we already paid for it (advertising, TV license). In fact I have to spend money avoid it at times.

That parent post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39273151)

That parent post was talking about why the post he was responding to said:

"Of course, if you're just downloading because it's free, and this is all just rationalization"

asking the rather appropriate question: why is rationalisation wrong?

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272327)

Okay, but if you're going to download, at least send the artists some money.

Is this even possible ?

I expect this evil industry requires contracts that move all money through official channels so they can distribute the proceeds "fairly".

Sure I will send the artist some money (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272749)

The moment those artists stop preaching and performing for dictators for million dollar payments. The moment those artists stop using tax shelters the moment their subsidized careers start to generate a profit.

In Holland a recent cost cutting measure was to increase the vat from 6% to 19% for "art" (tickets). The art industry thought they could use the publics sympathy to protest this... the public protested alright... but NOT in favor of the art industry. Artists have lost a lot of sympathy with the common man.

I used to be a baker until the world changed and people started shopping in super markets and super markets use bakers products as a loss leader making it near impossible to compete especially with banks unwilling to grant a loan that won't be payed back until years and years later with only the tiniest margins.

Do I get special laws to protect me? No? Then SCREW the fucking artists.

Re:Sure I will send the artist some money (2)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272799)

The moment those artists stop preaching and performing for dictators for million dollar payments. The moment those artists stop using tax shelters the moment their subsidized careers start to generate a profit.

Do these things apply to the creators of every song you've ever downloaded? Do you go out of your way to find some ethical lapse for every artist you like, and if you can't find one, you pull out your wallet or stop listening?

Or perhaps you download rather than buying not because every musician in the world is an asshole, but because you want music for free?

Do I get special laws to protect me? No? Then SCREW the fucking artists.

This come across as more rationalizing. "These guys are assholes, so I don't want to give them money." That's easy to say about every musician ever, but it's probably not true of all of them. Do you actually make an attempt to figure out who the assholes are, or do you use these blanket statements to justify downloading whatever you want without paying?

There's definitely people I don't want to support. I won't give any money to Billy Sheehan, for example, because I know the money will go to Scientology. I get not wanting to support assholes. But it doesn't really seem like that's your goal here.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39271273)

but if you do this, the recording industry will use the loss of sales as proof that piracy hurts them it's lose-lose.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (2)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271925)

What you say is what concerns them so.

The business model they have milked for years is dry.

Technology changed things. Their business model is dead, just like our privacy.

Grouse as we might, there is no stopping the likes of business entities such as TransUnion, TRW, Equifax, ChoicePoint, and others from acquiring and sharing our personal information. We may even claim "copyright" over our life, as we are the author of it, but its not going to stop them.

Once ANYTHING digitizible is released, it IS public!

It costs nothing to make exact digital copies.

The people insisting on copyright protection are going to be just about as successful as me trying to keep my affairs out of the hands of credit bureaus, insurance, and medical databases. The best I am going to be able to do is they won't share right in front of me - they'll do anything they want behind my back.

Times have changed, fellas.

They are shooting themselves in the foot, as they are restricting music "owned" by the label inaccessible behind a "paywall", promoting public ignorance of their performers. What they are doing now is the exact opposite of the older ( 60's ) paradigm of giving AM radio deejays copies of their record and bribing/paying/hoping they would play it on the air.

Like the rest of us - adapt.

The idea that you can put anything out there - and expect to retain control of it is dead.

Read this discussion on Slashdot and they will tell you what they will pay for. Digitized music did not make the list.

Re:The solution to all of this is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39274363)

Good advice. Personally, I would avoid going to the cinema or a concert where the media you are entertained with is copyright protected at all (filling my mind with information others "own" is a waste of my time).

However, my approach is sure to sound too extreme to those of you who are attached to their favourite shows/music.

My advice: always pay as little as possible for your media. Never feel guilty about "cheating" a media distributor out of $10 or so. Better would be to: Give it to a friend or relative, save it, donate it to charity or a favourite artist, spend it on alcohol, throw it away, et cetera.

It's not difficult nor particularly dangerous to pirate media. Do lots of reading before-hand and start small; soon you'll find yourself wondering how you ever coped without it.

Of course, if you fundamentally believe that copyright is a good idea but that it needs a serious overhaul then this approach might seem unethical but perhaps a modified version can work for you, e.g.:
- Pay full price for all new (less than 10 years old) media, but pirate everything else.
- Pay full price for all media which you were not subjected to before turning 16 but pirate anything which is part of your childhood.
In general though, I hold little love for those of you who knowingly and intentionally fund laws which attack my perceived rights.

foooooook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270979)

fooooooooook!

ya know cause I'm engrish

Offtopic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39271037)

Offtopic but it has to be said. Those Snorg tees ads running now on Slashdot with that model Ashley... Holy smokes I can't concentrate on anything work-related 'cuz of those f-ing ads.

Re:Offtopic (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271353)

there are ads on slashdot?!?

Electoral System vs. people's interest (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39271173)

Well. Isn't that a coincidence?

USA - SOPA/PIPA, ACTA, TPP, NDAA, PCIP, etc. - NO proportional representation

Canada - ACTA, TPP, C11, C30, PCIPA, etc. - NO proportional representation

UK - DEA - NO proportional representation

Australia - AUSFTA - NO proportional representation

Re:Electoral System vs. people's interest (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273467)

Australia - has PR ... For electing Senators ...

Duh!! (1)

redkcir (1431605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39271783)

This was pretty much a rigged game to begin with. Fox watching the hens as it were.

I can see it now.. (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272303)

As soon as people cant get to the "TPB" there will be a lot of "Well I don't need that 120Mbit connection anymore, take me down to 10Mbit" or "Stuff this, i'm moving ISP" (I realise the same end result, but Joe Average won't until they have moved.)

There will be a big backlash, aimed equally at the idiots in government and the record labels and the ISPs will just be screaming about their butt hurt that no one can be bothered getting the Virgin Media 120MBit/s solution (Not that you get that speed you understand, but the "conditions" are in the small print).

If 70% of the traffic is copyrighted infringing material (Figure i heard somewhere) and is stopped, the super high capacity home connections become pointless if you can't download your treasure.

I also predict the more savvy people will just do as I do and use a off shore proxy.

Hit them with their own bat (3, Insightful)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39272973)

"The Act will mean ISPs will have to send warning letters to alleged illegal file downloaders, as well as potentially cutting users off." (emphasis mine)

My wondering is this. It's been stated many many times that a major problem with this is the lack of proof - ie, the 'alleged' illegal filesharers. If you could find out the (home) IP address of the heads of the BPI (British equivalent of RIAA) and then send notification to BT that you have detected that IP address illegally downloading a copy of your book/movie/song/poem (no proof required) then potentially BT will have to send warnings to them. If enough people do this, then by these rules BT would have to disconnect the user (the heads of the BPI's home internet connection) from the internet.

Sure, it's not going to stop the problem, but it will at least annoy them with the blatant abuse of power that they are wanting over the telecommunications industry.

Re:Hit them with their own bat (3, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273487)

I'd love to be able to tell you exactly why that would (or wouldn't work), but I can't because of the very unusual way the Digital Economy Act is supposed to work. The bill was passed in the dying hours of the last government, without proper debate. There was no time for it to be properly drafted and for the quirks and loopholes to even be thought about, let alone debated, debugged, and finalised. All of that essential the detail was sidestepped by a promise that it would all be in "the code", a document written by Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries).

Ofcom have been put in a very difficult position by this, suddenly they have been bound by parliament to step well outside their role as regulators and become unelected legislators. To their credit, they have sidestepped the temptation to power-grab, that have consulted widely, they have told the government they need more time, and they have even taken on board a lot of Pirate Party feedback that warns of absurd situations like the one you suggest. What they haven't yet done is actually finish writing "the code", so nobody really knows precisely how the DEAct will actually do what it is supposed to do, at this stage, which makes it quite difficult to fight. The ISP costs split which sparked off this appeal we're (theroetically) discussing in this story is one of the few bits that's actually in the bill, which is why it's getting all the attention.

Interestingly, it's possible that Ofcom will turn round to the government and say 'You're trying to implement collective punishments here, and that's not just wrong, or even very wrong, it's actually so spectacularly wrong that it's specifically mentioned as a no-no in the Geneva Convention on War Crimes, which means we can't actually write you a code that would stand up to the and degree of judicial scrutiny.'

Re:Hit them with their own bat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39275417)

"You're trying to implement collective punishments here, and that's not just wrong, or even very wrong, it's actually so spectacularly wrong that it's specifically mentioned as a no-no in the Geneva Convention on War Crimes"

The UK Government doesn't give a fsck about collective punishment e.g it supports the medieval blockade of Iran, the intent of which is to starve the Iranians until they produce a government favorable to BP, sorry the UK/US governments.

Re:Hit them with their own bat (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39279077)

You're assuming that random internet users and the heads of the BPI are treated equally under the law.

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