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For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the on-high-alert dept.

Piracy 143

New submitter Tmackiller writes with an excerpt from VG247.com: The British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy, scrapping fuller punishment plans after branding them unworkable. Starting in 2015, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken. The scheme, named the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), is the result of years of talks between ISPs, British politicians and the movie and music industries. The UK's biggest providers – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky – have all signed up to VCAP, and smaller ISPs are expected to follow suit. VCAP replaces planned anti-piracy measures that included cutting users' internet connections and creating a database of file-sharers. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection." He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice." Officials will still work to close and stem funding to file-sharing sites, but the news appears to mean that the British authorities have abandoned legal enforcement of online media piracy. Figures recently published by Ofcom said that nearly a quarter of all UK downloads were of pirated content." Tmackiller wants to know "Will this result in more private lawsuits against file sharers by the companies involved?"

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"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (-1)

shortscruffydave (638529) | about 4 months ago | (#47506907)

I hope so - somebody needs to stop freetards running amok with other people's hard work

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506965)

I hope so - somebody needs to stop freetards running amok with other people's hard work

sue me.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#47506979)

Agreed.
No more blackmail settlements, no more blanket anonymous lawsuits, no more copyright trolls.
Somebody needs to stop those freetard publishers running amok with other people's hard work.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507021)

Given a choice, do you tell your daughter to carry condoms? Or to not be a whore?

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (4, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47507203)

The correct answer is, both.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47507449)

Oh, Stacey's GOING to be a whore.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507567)

Well, this thread is off to a great start. I expect great things here, dont disappoint me.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508369)

I tell her to carry condoms. At least there's a chance she'll heed that one.

Hormones are more powerful than anything you can do as a parent. Deal with it.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47509297)

Deal with it [tumblr.com] .

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 4 months ago | (#47507053)

somebody needs to stop freetards running amok

That just made me laugh! Freetards...Classic!

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507269)

Oh dear. Who let The Register leak onto Slashdot?

Someone get a mop, we need to clean this puddle of piss up.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47507127)

The history of antipiracy lawsuits, especially in the US, would seem to suggest that they do bugger all to reduce piracy, at an enormous cost to the IP owner and the taxpayer. When the patient's dying on the table and your best witchdoctor isn't helping, maybe it's time to switch to a better kind of medicine.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508241)

Bad analogy, since a lot of people have to resort to witchdoctors(differs from country to country, some call them shamans, witches, holistic healers, new ageism, etc) after their insurance no longer covers their treatments. And you know what? Sometimes they work.

Also, the ones advising for lawsuit are the lawyers, the only ones to profit.
I think that anyone who takes a lawyers advice for business and management instead of only legal issues is an idiot. But that's just me.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508361)

Huh? We're not talking about artists suing studios.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits...?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508733)

Agreed. The people who think it's just that they get government-enforced monopolies over ideas and procedures that infringe upon private property and free speech rights are quite the entitled bunch. Why, they even think the enforcement should all be handled by the government, and that everyone should listen to their accusations even when they don't have a shred of real evidence!

Illigal or not? (4, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47506955)

The article starts off saying that they have been decriminalised, but then the government is still calling them illegal and apparently more people might be sued over this "decriminalised" behaviour. So what exactly is the stare of the legality of pirating in Britain?

Re:Illigal or not? (2)

Grantbridge (1377621) | about 4 months ago | (#47506973)

It's never been criminal. But breaching copyright could get you sued by the copyright owner. The new system of warning letters is replacing a proposed "3 strikes" system where you would lose your internet access after 3 warnings, but with no accountability for being accusing of copyright infringement this was a stupid system.

The new one is simply sending warning letters to let people know they have been reported as infringing copyright, and so might want to be careful to avoid being sued in the future.

Re:Illigal or not? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | about 4 months ago | (#47507193)

It's never been criminal.

Are you a lawyer in the UK? The Crown Prosecution Service say that [cps.gov.uk] deliberate infringement may be criminal.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 [legislation.gov.uk] also lists criminal penalties such as those copied below. It might be worth getting competent legal advice given jail time is a pretty significant punishment.

(2A)A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public—
    (a)in the course of a business, or
    (b)otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,
commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing copyright in that work.

(4A)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (2A) is liable—
    (a)on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding £50,000, or both;
    (b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Grantbridge (1377621) | about 4 months ago | (#47507251)

OK, I was referring to downloading a film. If you upload and seed a film the day before release, you could get prosecuted under 2A(b).

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 4 months ago | (#47507771)

Even after release, because it means less viewers in movie theaters and less DVDs sold later on...

Re:Illigal or not? (3, Insightful)

biodata (1981610) | about 4 months ago | (#47507923)

I think this would be difficult to prove. All experience in the music industry seems to indicate the opposite, that people who listen to music shared by their peers are MORE likely to buy it later than those who don't.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 4 months ago | (#47508763)

I think this would be difficult to prove.

Since when do they have to prove anything? You're guilty unless proven innocent. As far as I know, they don't even have to prove that a single sale was 'lost' in order to be able to sue you.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#47507847)

"The new one is simply sending warning letters to let people know they have been reported as infringing copyright, and so might want to be careful to avoid being sued in the future."

They should offer a seedbox in Tonga in the same document.
At least they would see _some_ money.

Re:Illigal or not? (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47507045)

It means it's still illegal, but the government has no interest in enforcing that law. It's going back to just a civil matter, between the copyright holders and the copyright infringers.

Re:Illigal or not? (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#47507577)

It means it's still illegal, but the government has no interest in enforcing that law. It's going back to just a civil matter, between the copyright holders and the copyright infringers.

Nitpic: It does not mean they have no interest in enforcing the law, it means that the government realises that the law is un enforceable however much they'd like to enforce it. In future you will get four warnings and then, by the sound of it, you can pirate download all you want as far as the govt. is concerned. They'll probably still be going after large scale distributors and facilitators. This also means that UK courts will in future be choked beyond capacity with civil suits against copyright infringers. So this is a (kind of) victory for the pirate 'community', it is a victory for the public at large because of the precedents cutting off internet connections etc. would have set but bad news for anybody who needs the legal system for other kinds of lawsuits.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 4 months ago | (#47507743)

Maybe the warnings issued could be used by the IP holders in civil court. Perhaps there should be a fast track IP infringement court.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47507919)

If I was in the position of a copyright-dependent industry body right now, I'd be looking into ways to apply ISPs into doing some of the enforcing. There should be some common ground to work on: Pirates suck up a ridiculous amount of bandwidth.

Re:Illigal or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508137)

Pirates suck up a ridiculous amount of bandwidth.

Everybody's using less than the Netflix junkies.

Re:Illigal or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508311)

Pirates suck up a ridiculous amount of bandwidth.

Yeah, and we pay for it just like the next person. If your ISP is oversubscribed then you should take it up with them and not with those people who try to use all of what they pay for.

WIPO (1)

Demena (966987) | about 4 months ago | (#47507839)

Do not treaties require the UK to be active in this?

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47507087)

It doesn't make a blind bit of difference to the criminalisation of IP infringement, it just makes the first step towards closer government interventions.

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipenforc... [ipo.gov.uk]

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47507109)

Interestingly a cursory reading of the relevant law suggests that it's only supplying IP-infringing goods that is a criminal offense in the UK; being a recipient is at most a civil offense.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 months ago | (#47507143)

Being sued in Britain is less of a worry than the US though. They would have to actually prove damages rather than just prove infringement. Unless they somehow manage to argue that a person is responsible for any and all copies and descendents of the original, this will be a fairly modest amount.

If someone ended up having to pay £200 or so for illegally distributing a £10 movie to 20 people I'm not going to have a lot of sympathy for them.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47507171)

Of course you have to actually show up in court on the relevant days, having filed the appropriate motions and paid the appropriate fees, to make the case that "no, I'm not responsible for any and all copies and descendents of the original". Otherwise the people suing you win by default. And then maybe at the end you can recover your fees again, and if you are very very lucky, the cost of your time.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508421)

That's what a lawyer is for. So it's his time and his time costs your money, which is far easier to get back.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507155)

It's still a tort, aka civil violation. It means you can't be arrested for it, and that someone has to proactively go after you (as a plaintiff), not just make a complaint and let the state prosecution do the work. It also means that the plaintiff can seek compensatory and punitive damages, but they can't put you in jail.

Re:Illigal or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509627)

Minor nitpick - in UK law there is only a 'plaintiff' in criminal proceedings. In a civil proceeding it's 'claimant'.

Re:Illigal or not? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47508719)

Soon they will be called Undocumented Owners. Then they get immunity. Problem solved.

4 warnings per? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506975)

Is this 4 warnings per ISP, per year?

It seems to me that there should be a cycle date, because users may go through different ISP's at some point, or have new friends/roommates/parents that don't give a royal **** about filesharing.

Personally I nag my parents every time I visit because I've seen all the pirated stuff they have. If it was ever available to buy or VOD, then I make the same kind of Frustrated Marge "hgrnnnmmm" noise, when the "Homer's" in my family pirate things.

Re:4 warnings per? (4, Funny)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 months ago | (#47507033)

They send you a letter with 4 warnings inside.

Re:4 warnings per? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47507353)

A per year quota that uses your details as the only unique information? Your address, isp can change but the count stays with you as the person who signed up with that isp and ip as found.

Re:4 warnings per? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507687)

If it was ever available to buy..

So in other words, you almost never do it, because the copyright holders almost never actually sell the playable files.

Copyright infringement is going to be publicly blessed, generally seen as ethical (even more ethical than buying discs), and socially acceptable, as long as there's DRM. That's especially true in counties like US where we have stuff like DMCA (not sure if UK has one of those) that makes it illegal to use the stuff that you bought, but even without the you're-not-allowed-to-use-what-you-buy laws, the DRM is still enough of an annoyance.

I have a funny feeling you're hearing the "hgrnnnmmm"" noise as often as you're making it. Please stop buying DRMed stuff or using any sort of VOD which requires a proprietary player. You peoples' unethical behavior is why the industry still hasn't reformed. You're the problem, and fixing your behavior is the solution. Stop paying them, so we can move back toward the how things were in the old days, where pirating was a bad thing instead of a good thing.

What people ought to do, is criminalize supporting the DRMed media industry. Maybe four strikes and then you lose access to DRMed-media stores, or something like that. And DRM customers should also be constantly risking class action suites from the public, since these people are financially supporting things that work directly against the interets of society.

So the idea is that.... (1)

thieh (3654731) | about 4 months ago | (#47507015)

If people are illegally sharing stuff, then get 4 pieces of paper, print stuff with ink, and mail it to them? Why bother wasting the ink, paper and postage to send the letters if no further actions are to be taken?

Re:So the idea is that.... (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 4 months ago | (#47507059)

RTFS? It says that in the summary. The goal here is to alert people who don't know their internet connection is being used for piracy and who aren't OK with freeloading, parents being the given example.

Re:So the idea is that.... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47507213)

Because parents in 2014 are cavemen who don't know how technology works.

A simple phone call would be better. You get confirmation that the warning has been received and understood, you don't waste paper and you don't waste energy moving that piece of paper around.

Re:So the idea is that.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507435)

You're a parent. Which are you more likely to listen to?
1) A robo-letter addressed and stamped by the government
2) A robo-call that requires listening for more than half a second once you realize it's a robot

If you're worried about waste and efficiency, then you go down the rabbit hole of
3) They should just send an email
4) They should just send nothing
5) They should just repeal those stupid laws and let crowdfunding fill the void.

Re:So the idea is that.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507465)

Yeah right. Like anyone would listen to some twit on the phone waffling on about copyright.

They'd just get told to f*** off and the phone would be slammed down after about 5 seconds. Same as happens to all the other scammers.

Nobody with a brain ever listens to any sort of phone spiel any more.

Re:So the idea is that.... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508455)

Show me one parent who gives a shit about copyright. If a letter comes with contents to the ring of "you might be sued for billions and billions", at least it will turn the older generation against the overreaching copyright too...

Re:So the idea is that.... (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47507061)

Because they can turn around in a few years when this is normalised behaviour and say "Hey, isn't it ridiculous that we know who all these inveterate pirates are, but we aren't doing anything? Maybe we should pass a simple law that fines them a few hundred quid, that's not much of a problem, is it?"

Re:So the idea is that.... (2)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 4 months ago | (#47508881)

excellent point. selective enforcement of laws is a dangerous policy.

Re:So the idea is that.... (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#47507071)

Because your government overlords are willing to be mistaken, out of line, morally repugnant, and regularly wasteful.

What they are ultimately incapable of is remaining benign, since this "issue" is important to some voter or campaign contributor.

Something must be done.

Re:So the idea is that.... (2)

RoninRodent (3689685) | about 4 months ago | (#47508133)

Because the warnings will be stored in a database. A few years down the line they can then try stealthing something into law and at that point they have a nice big database full of confirmed pirates to monitor closely until they catch them and wallop them with huge fines. Remember we have the pr0n filters now and even folks who opt-out still go through the filter but it doesn't block the connection. It isn't a great leap to hook that up to a list of known pirates and flag up each time one of them goes to a torrent site, sports streaming site or something similar. Why block sites when you can have an automatically generated list of everything a pirate downloads? VCAP is just groundwork.

Re:So the idea is that.... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 4 months ago | (#47508603)

If people are illegally sharing stuff, then get 4 pieces of paper, print stuff with ink, and mail it to them? Why bother wasting the ink, paper and postage to send the letters if no further actions are to be taken?

Yeah, they should save the paper, ink, and postage costs and distribute the letters through Bittorrent instead.

Translation (3, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 4 months ago | (#47507027)

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection." He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice."

We could not get file sharers drawn and quartered, so we are going to spin the decision that we fought kicking and screaming to our advantage and make us look better than we really are.

Warnings are discoverable ... (4, Insightful)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 4 months ago | (#47507069)

... in litigation.

In court, a person could not use the, "Gee ... I didn't know," defense.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47507135)

I would hope that the recording industry worldwide has learned from the example of the MAFIAA, where judges started throwing out their massive fishing-expedition style lawsuits against hundreds of John Does based on the flimsiest of proof. The courts in the United States have made it clear that it is not their job to help the MAFIAA make a profit, and I would hope that judges in the UK rule the same way.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47507225)

Yes the 4 letters show a history of infringement and the isp's can show bandwidth use too. Its the legal cover for the hard part of traditional cases for free via a stored database of letters sent.
Some nice political cover and colour of law. They only want to educate you with warnings.
Its the lawyers that take the final step to seek an identity. The gov and providers can walk away from any long term logging questions. Months of stored logs are just for the 4 letter compliance.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47507433)

Well, it's not for free. The industry is paying ISPs £750,000 one off + £75,000 per year. The ISPs have to pay £250,000 towards it and £25,000 per year.

I'd be amazed if they even ever see a return on that investment. As someone else pointed out in the UK you don't get the absurd escalation of penalty costs in court that you do in the US, you actually have to prove damages and only get actual damages. Even if they do litigate that amount they'll gain from doing so would be so small it wouldn't cover the cost of staff time in collating the information to be sent to the lawyers, even if the lawyers fees themselves were covered.

I really don't think this will achieve anything other than getting a few kids told off by their parents.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47507815)

Thats a lot of cash to just spend on letters and a database. The letters get tracking and logging started within a legal gov framework. Someone seems to see a long term plan with the letters and logging funding. The chilling effect of just knowing your in a database and all your net use is been reviewed? Interconnected local databases? A digital version of the classic anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) at a 'community-based level?
That could see a vast network of watching, logging, reporting and costly face to face meetings with some 'injunction' that flows to a criminal offence if breached.
A lot of free support from tax payers for a new more very local ACTA :)

Except... (2)

Demena (966987) | about 4 months ago | (#47507917)

When you use a torrent you are also sending data blocks. So even if you leach you are still "supplying" while you are downloading. This make the situation civilly more precarious and becomes criminal too.

Re:Except... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47507935)

No, only when there is a profit motive in supplying does it become a criminal case. If you're supplying without charging it's still very much a civil case.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47509119)

I hope this results in two things:

1. More people use a VPN to block ISP monitoring.

2. Someone sues over the accusation that they infringed copyright.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 4 months ago | (#47508005)

So they are going to pay extra to have proof that the letter was delivered, and to whom? What a giant waste of our money.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508261)

They'll also have to prove that the person the letter was addressed to was doing the sharing personally.

Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508461)

Maybe then the "sorry, I don't read spam" defense?

Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (4, Insightful)

Baki (72515) | about 4 months ago | (#47507141)

I hope and think that the brainwashing of the younger "freeloading" generation will fail.
It is truely disgusting to see the attempts to brainwash the people to protect vested economic interests.
The collateral damage to prevent sharing of bitstreams is just too high.
We cannot prevent this, neither with laws nor with brainwashing. Sharing is just too easy and natural.

We'll have to adapt our economic model to the new reality instead, the "new normal".

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47507229)

File sharing is in fact so natural that my house cat just sent a copy of a Steven Demetre Georgiou album to the neighbour's cat.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (3, Funny)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47507307)

File sharing is so natural that I think my cat is trying to develop a new transfer protocol involving shed cat hair. At least, I assume that's why he rolls around on my pillow and covers it in cat hair.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507413)

Unless I'm mistaken, your cat was flea sharing.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509239)

Is it a netcat?

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507475)

Hey! Your cat is meowing in a way that is way too similar to my cat's meowing! Naturally my cat has a huge problem with this.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507451)

Reminds me of how an entire race became brainwashed that a diamond ring is a requirement to get married. Thanks, DeBeers.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508491)

Personally, I'd consider a token ring much cooler.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (1)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 4 months ago | (#47508871)

Reminds me of how an entire race became brainwashed that you must get married in order to have a meaningful relationship.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 4 months ago | (#47507649)

Sharing is more than easy and natural, it's good. Sharing is so important to civilzations that early ones developed writing systems to facilitate it, and later ones have been improving it ever since. Reading and writing used to be only for the nobility, for the practical reason that educating everyone was more expense than was thought worthwhile, though this was also correctly seen as an excuse not to educate the masses. Words were terribly subversive, best if the people can't read them. The pen is not mightier than the sword if no one can read. Democracies changed that, deciding that 100% literacy was a desirable and nearly obtainable goal.

Now here we are today, and what are our supposedly democratic governments doing? Siding with those who think they have a right to lock away knowledge, those who think the worthy desire to compensate artists justifies all kinds of monstrosities and public expense, and that fair compensation can only be done through Holy Copyright.

Sharing should be encouraged. By everyone.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508919)

I agree, and I think things like crowd funding are moving in to pick up the slack. I may be an unusual case, but I've been pirating virtually everything (books, music, tv, movies, games, apps, photos) for twenty years now. I pay money for things that I like, but actively avoid giving any money to the RIAA/MPAA or similar agencies. That generally means that people who are already huge and rich generally don't get anything (unless they offer something I want in non-traditional avenues) but the independent artists who do need the money get it. Going from there, the net result is that there is more art in the world.

The only downside is that, like with nearly every system in life, the assholes win (ie, the people who pirate but don't put anything back into the system). However, even that is not totally bad, because any society that has ample free time and resources will create art. It just wouldn't be as much or as high quality as one that can support dedicated artists.

Re:Changing attitudes, i.e. brainwashing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508465)

We teach our kids in preschool that they should share, and then we punish them for it.

Talk 'bout mixed messages...

Ahaaarghhhh Jim lad! The UK be the place of dreams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507255)

Nuff said.

Hold on to control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507261)

Don't ever relinquish control over ANYTHING. You need to keep control over everything including your Internet. Be inventive.

As British as at it gets (1)

sandbagger (654585) | about 4 months ago | (#47507265)

How much did this cost?

Kinda ok, kinda not (2)

countach (534280) | about 4 months ago | (#47507507)

On the one hand, its nice that this regime is measured and not over the top. On the other hand, if I hadn't pirated anything, because my flatmates/kids/friends/neighbours had done something I didn't know about, I'd still be pissed off receiving that letter. I don't think the good people of the UK should be completely satisfied with this situation. There should be a way to push back and say, no I didn't do it, take your stinking letter back.

Re:Kinda ok, kinda not (1)

magpie (3270) | about 4 months ago | (#47509369)

They will be sending the letter to the person who's name appears on the bill. If your that person and didn't do it, the point is for you to have words with the person doing it or have the name changed on the bill to thiers. Basically it's saying "Hey your name is being associated with dodgy activity, you might want to stop this, but over to you about what you do."

Look at *why* people are pirating (3, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 4 months ago | (#47507527)

It's because there's no convenient way (other than pirating) to get the media you want to watch/listen to, when you want to watch/listen to it. If the media companies would make *everything* available under a subscription model (like Netflix), there would be no need to go to Pirate Bay to get it. I suspect much of what is pirated is watched once. Figure $60/yr for a VPN, or $20/mo for Netflix (which, sadly, doesn't have a tenth what's available by torrent), and the media companies could do pretty well...if they would only do it.

Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507627)

Netflix drops shows all the time, and different regions are even worse. E.g. The UK has no anime shows, just a whopping 7 TV movies. I was watching Trailer Park Boys, came back the next day, gone. My kids complain whatever they're getting the same problem. Get into a show, start watching, lose it at some point. So what's the alternative?

Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (2)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 4 months ago | (#47507835)

Exactly. I offer Netflix only as a legitimate source of "all you can watch for $20/mo". The fact that they carry only a very limited selection of movies (not even the old B&W ones from the 40s) leads me to consider using other, less legitimate means, to obtain the films I want to watch. I'd be happy to watch them on Netflix (considering that I'm paying for it), but, for whatever reason, they choose not to offer them. And we're not talking about current films, either. There's really only one alternative: $60/yr for a Hide-My-Ass VPN and torrents.

Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (1)

ruir (2709173) | about 4 months ago | (#47507945)

Amen to that. I am buying Apple apps because they are convenient, far more apps then I have bought all my life. If Apple/the film industry wanted to put music and films at reasonable prices, with the infra-structure they have already in place, they would take the market by storm. There is a lost opportunity here.

Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508587)

That's just the tip of the ice cube.

Imagine you're living in a country where movies are dubbed. Dubbed BADLY, I should probably add. I would PAY to get movies that run on public TV if I could only watch them without the atrocious dubbing!

And don't think that buying the DVD would solve that problem. Because of course you can ONLY get the dubbed version, while importing any media is of course outlawed. I tried to ask some politicians around here why it's ok for companies to manufacture abroad and import them for zilch while it's not ok for me to buy DVDs abroad. So far no sensible answer...

Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508945)

This will NEVER EVER happen, at least unless there's some sort of government copyright bureau that holds power over the rights to all media. There are just too many thorny issues that humans cannot resolve amongst themselves.

The US started this 2 years ago (1)

rjejr (921275) | about 4 months ago | (#47507589)

This sounds a lot like the "copyright alert system" that ISPs and the MPAA and RIA started 2 years ago. You get an email form your ISP when you illegally download copies of Game of Thrones on bittorrent. Or so I've been told.

Re:The US started this 2 years ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507683)

Don't even mention that BS..

Somebody in our Network decided to download GoT, and we got the letter.

Our lawyer came directly to me (the IT manager of a small company).

Called the ISP (name withheld on purpose), and they couldn't give me anymore details for me to hunt down what was going on, my logs firewall logs had already rolled over, so the ISP was useless to my investigation, and all I got was: reset the wifi password from them.

My response to the laywer, ISP told us to reset wifi password, done, and there is no evidence that it actually happened other than some A-hole that works for a media company claiming it happened.

Great waste of time.......

Re:The US started this 2 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509017)

Must be broken, since they implemented that, I've been torrenting terabytes of content, and nary a letter.

P.S. Fuck you, Comcast.

The right choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507669)

"It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice."

I'm so glad they are trying to help pirates make the right choices.
BTW, which right choices are we talking about here?

Oh ya, you want those pirates to pay you more money!
Virgin needs more money right? OK, got it.

By Neruos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508149)

You can't slow or stop Piracy, period, fact.

Re:By Neruos (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508639)

Of course you can! It's even easy.

For-sale content of course cannot compete on price with free stuff. That's a given. But there are two areas where you can very easily compete with it: Convenience and quality.

Of course, if you're like the content industry and artificially lower both for the sake of "fighting piracy", you only shoot your own foot.

"Will this result in more private lawsuits" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508243)

>"Will this result in more private lawsuits against file sharers by the companies involved?"

Good luck proving that an IP address == a person.

Re:"Will this result in more private lawsuits" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47508663)

Dear Sir/Madam,

We found out that from your IP address someone downloaded our stuff. You may now either admit guilt and pay $inconvenient_sum or spend the next 10ish years in court in a legal battle against a company with more funds than dear God himself over $ridiculous_sum. You'll probably win the suit, but for sure it will cost you more than $inconvenient_sum, and you can bet your ass that if you dared to try getting it back from us, we'll drag it out 'til the red guy from the basement complains about heating problems or you're finally totally broke.

It is of course entirely your choice.

File sharing is active anti-semitism, no less! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508447)

In order to reverse the tide of torrent and P2P, we have to educate people that movie and music piracy is an active form of anti-semitism. Only the most brazen few would continue, if they knew!

Hollywood movie studios are all owned by jewish investors and the overwhelming majority of directors and even the actors are ethnic jewish people. Music labels are owned by jewish investors (even though jewish people do not participate much in performing popular music, preferring classical music instead). Jewish people put their money on the line, seeking commerical success in the entertainment media market, but the goyim are stealing their produce without compensation and are damn proud about that. (Not to mention online bookscan-sharing sites, as most of the world's literature, be it scientific or romantic, is also authored by jewish people.)

Thus, torrenting is essentially an online form of Crystal Nacht where the goyim are smashing in the jewish shop's glass and take whatever they want, without compensation and the authorities will turn a blind eye. This "success" only encourages even more of the already rampant online anti-semitism. Soon there will be pogroms and endlo:sung again.

If you are not happy about being part of this disaster in progress, investigate your conscience and cease torrenting! Force your governments to respect and uphold the jewish people's right. It is not about the validity of US laws worldwide, but about respecting the rights of jewish people worldwide. Many jewish people choose to live in the USA, because the land of free enterprise allows them to fullfill inspirations. Yet, the world laughs in the face of USA and the jewish people, while enjoying the uncountable many fruits of jewish creativity, from science to tech, from art to entertainment, without ever contributing a dime. Now we have a full generation of online young people growing up, who think this situation is the norm.

same with dubious porno (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509023)

The same techniques are being applied to prevent dubious pornography, that is honey pots! followed by .... one can only imagine!

So... (2)

Agares (1890982) | about 4 months ago | (#47509277)

What happens if I share completely legal software? How are they supposed to tell if what I am sharing is in fact legal to share freely? I am constantly playing around with VMs and what not and love playing with various systems. So what happens to nerds like me who just happen to use a lot of bandwidth just tinkering? I think this is ridiculous on so many levels. Besides just because torrents are being used doesn't mean you are doing something illegal. A lot of free software is shared via torrents. Well I am just preaching to the choir here you all know what I am getting at. Either way what you do with your connection to the internet is no one else's business.
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