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UK ISPs To Face Piracy Deadline

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the opening-envelopes dept.

Privacy 287

superbrose notes that despite lots of legal difficulties regarding Internet privacy, the UK government is going ahead with plans to punish ISPs for allowing their customers to download illegal music and films. The claim is that there is "rampant piracy" in Britain with more than 6 million broadband users downloading files illegally every year. "The government will on Friday tell internet service providers they will be hit with legal sanctions from April next year unless they take concrete steps to curb illegal downloads of music and films. Britain would be one of the first countries in the world to impose such sanctions. Service providers say what the government wants them to do would be like asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted."

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If you live in the UK. (5, Interesting)

chriseyre2000 (603088) | more than 5 years ago | (#22516924)

Let your MP know what a bad idea this is: http://www.writetothem.com/ [writetothem.com]

Re:If you live in the UK. (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#22516986)

Don't forget to include a couple of MP3s to sweeten the deal

6 MILLION! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517126)

Would that be 10% of the WHOLE population (including oldies, sickies and kiddies)? Sounds like it's time to change the law, not enforce it harder.

Re:6 MILLION! (-1, Troll)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517698)

Would that be 10% of the WHOLE population (including oldies, sickies and kiddies)? Sounds like it's time to change the law, not enforce it harder.
There is no way theft, no matter how it is done, should be legalised.

Re:6 MILLION! (3, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517884)

The point is that that there are only about 2 million broadband subscribers in the UK http://www.liquidzope.com/abc/2/4currentusage/currentstatebbd/view [liquidzope.com] , so 6 million using it for illegal downloads effectively means everybody with broadband access (excluding libraries, etc, where you can't usually plug your iPod in to take the download away with you). So the government is saying that all broadband users are using it for illegal downloads; clearly the answer is to make broadband illegal!

Re:6 MILLION! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517908)

You mean like taxes? And how is a copy equivalent to theft exactly?

Re:6 MILLION! (2, Insightful)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517994)

it's not theft. governments, studios, etc. should get over that. nothing is going to stop people from using/creating pirated content.

Re:6 MILLION! (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518056)

1. It's not theft. It's not even "basically the same thing". There are tons of people who believe that "intellectual property" is a laughable notion that somehow got twisted into law.

2. Any law that is violated by a sufficiently large percentage of it's population is an unjust law. Governments are supposed to be representative of the people. They have power because we as a whole agreed to let them have some power to enforce ideas that society as a whole sees as worthy of enforcing. If a law reaches a certain point where the majority of the country doesn't support it (say, Prohibition as an example), then it should be repealed.

Re:6 MILLION! (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518254)

Any law that is violated by a sufficiently large percentage of it's population is an unjust law. They have power because we as a whole agreed to let them have some power to enforce ideas that society as a whole sees as worthy of enforcing. If a law reaches a certain point where the majority of the country doesn't support it (say, Prohibition as an example), then it should be repealed.

I don't even think it should require a "majority". If a statistically significant number of people are routinely flaunting the law then we should probably examine that law and find out whether or not it's just.

I won't argue in favor of limitless copyright infringement (even the Founding Fathers recognized the value of limited IP protection and included it in the Constitution), but off the top of my head I could mention marijuana prohibition as a policy that should probably be examined.

Re:6 MILLION! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518290)

Should've said copyright infringement to avoid starting the whole debate about what to call it.

Re:6 MILLION! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517804)

The claim is that there is "rampant piracy" in Britain with more than 6 million broadband users downloading files illegally every year.

6 million?? This sounds like a job for . . . da - da da da . . . Hitler!!

Re:6 MILLION! (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518126)

Wow, I think this is the first time I've ever seen a discussion about p2p Godwin'ed.....

Re:6 MILLION! (1, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518098)

It's no great surprise that a fair percentage of the population break laws when they think they can get away with it and there's no obvious and immediate victim. People like free-stuff. People will jump through any number of hoops in order to justify why they're "not really" doing wrong. None of that is news and none of it is any reason to change the law.

It's said that 50% of drivers break urban speed limits. 20% to 65% of employees admit to various degrees of theft at work. Sounds like it's time to change those laws too?

Re:If you live in the UK. (1)

Hellcom (1041714) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517192)

I've got invasion of privacy by abuse of copyright, impracticality, burden on businesses. Any more suggestions for lines of argument or sources I could reference?

Petition (4, Informative)

IAmAI (961807) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517488)

You can also sign this petition: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/openinternet/ [pm.gov.uk]

Re:Petition (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517752)

Every single on of those that I've signed has reached critical mass, causing me to receive a piece of government propaganda telling me why I'm wrong.

For example:

Me: "I don't want an ID card. Police states are not good"
Reply: "Dear terrorist, having an ID card is good. It will keep you safe"

I'm not going to sign this one because I already know what the reply will be.

Re:Petition (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518082)

Reply: "Dear terrorist, having an ID card is good. It will keep you safe"

I didn't know that the goal of having ID cards was to keep the terrorists safe ...

Re:Petition (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518204)

Safely locked up for thought crime is a kind of safe...

Re:If you live in the UK. (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517616)

I can write to them, but since my MP is a member of the New Labour Regime, I'm far from convinced he is able to read.

Re:If you live in the UK. (3, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517734)

It seems that your country and mine are in some sort of contest to see who can write the stupidest, citizen-hostile, corporate-friendly laws. And here I thought my (and I use the word "my" lightly here) country was the only one that was bought and paid for by the corporations.

You never know... (5, Funny)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#22516938)

Service providers say what the government wants them to do would be like asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted.

Don't give them any ideas...

Re:You never know... (1)

PoliTech (998983) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517272)

Next up, UK requires that automobile manufactures equip all autos with a buggy whip in their boot, in case the auto runs out of petrol and might then be pulled by horse.

Re:You never know... (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517322)

I prefer all my whips to be fully quality assured and debugged before using them to abuse my equestrian fellows. Anything else is just a waste of tax payer's money.

Re:You never know... (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517702)

I prefer all my whips to be fully quality assured and debugged before using them to abuse...
Funny, that's what my dominatrix said.

More than 6 million I'm sure (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#22516966)

The claim is that there is "rampant piracy" in Britain with more than 6 million broadband users downloading files illegally every year.

It's surely more than that. What is the total amount of people in the UK between 15 and 25, for example? Every person I know in the EU in that age bracket downloads most of the media they consume rather than buying authorized copies. P2P is mainstream. If users could only group together for political power like some are starting to do in Sweden, the course of democracy might be able to break copyright law.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517138)

Every person I know in the EU in that age bracket downloads most of the media they consume rather than buying authorized copies.

Surely you don't believe they do so for any other reason than the price is zero. Some may, but I imagine the majority think more about the price than any righteous belief that "information wants to be free."

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517960)

Price is likely hardly an issue for the demographic that's most likely to download copyrighted material. The simple reason is that of convenience, nothing more. It is simply easiest to obtain such content by getting a .torrent file, throwing it into your BitTorrent client of choice, and in a few minutes or hours (depending on the media, connection speed, etc.), you're consuming the content.

If the industry wants to sell more, they should make it more convenient. I'm not talking about using iTunes from your living room or other proprietary means that require huge amounts of personal information to be entered before purchasing media. What ever happened to the anonymity of buying the CD you like with cash at the local record store? I'm sure there's a way it can be done online without some faceless corporation knowing all about your favourite music, the bands you listen to, the stuff you buy. Most importantly, scrap DRM. Having useless protection schemes that are just annoying to anyone, regardless of what they're trying to do, are going to turn away potential honest buyers faster than any sort of "free" alternative is going to take them away. The more the industry tightens their grip and tries to attain control over everything, the more the sales are going to slip through their fingers.

ISPs are not at fault, and I think this legislation is ridiculous. The industry has decided it can't go after everyone who is downloading copyrighted content individually, so they're going to go after the fewer "middlemen", for no other reason than because of greed and the desire for control.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518278)

Surely you don't believe they do so for any other reason than the price is zero

I don't know aout him, but I surely believe there are lots more and far better reasons than "the price is zero". I won't enumerate them here because the post would rightfully be modded "redundant". Surely you have seen at least some of the reasons? You're not new here, after all, Mr. UID 54737.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (5, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517156)

If users could only group together for political power like some are starting to do in Sweden, the course of democracy might be able to break copyright law.
This won't happen, in any country, unless and until government sanctions against file sharing become prevalent enough to affect the majority of Internet users living there. Unfortunately, as long as it only affects one person in a million, no one except those interested in the subject itself will care.

On the other hand, this British law, if enacted, might become the fire that will trigger that reaction. Just wait and see the growth in the amount of people pissed by false positives, or just pissed, for things to start to change.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517392)

Not only that, but, the UK has a total population of about 60 million people. So 10% of the population is engaging in piracy. Within the age bracket you mention, that's probably pretty much everybody. I have a feeling this is going to turn out like Prohibition did. Despite the fact that it gets banned, everybody still does it, the authorities are powerless to stop it, and in the end, the authorities who puts those laws in place get moved aside by those who want those laws repealed.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517472)

We're too used to getting shit on in the UK and now everyone's placid, when the smoking ban was introduced there was hardly any protest, but in iceland they openly flout the ban.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (3, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518036)

That's what we said about the US marijuana laws back in the 1970s, when it seemed everybody was smoking it and those who didn't didn't care if you were (including the police but excepting the politicians).

Now they have everyone convinced it's addictive (it's habit forming but not addictive), causes cancer (it doesn't, and in fact prevents cancer) and leads to harder drugs (it doesn't; the laws against it do).

Instead of it being legal, now most employers drug-test everyone. There are now people addicted to crack who switched from marijuana when their employer started random drug testing; pot stays in your system a lot longer than cocaine.

Rather than P2P being legalized, expect some nanny-state, anti-freedom, pro-corporation, anti-people asshat like Reagan to come down like a load of bricks on P2P who convinces everybody that P2P leads to cancer, terrorism, and global warming.

Indies give their MP3s away. Share those, ignore the MAFIAA bands. Don't share their music, don't buy their downloads, don't buy their CDs, don't go to their concerts. They are the problem, and if you contribute in any way, whether monetarily or by sharing their music, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Just say "no."

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518044)

But prohibition never went away, even though it never worked. In fact, it spread to other countries via "free trade" agreements, and continues to fund a vast worldwide criminal industry to this very day.

I think the analogy with prohibition is sound, though, and ultimately schemes to keep piracy off the net will lead to two things if they succeed: (1) no online anonymity or privacy, since you must track what people are doing if you are to enforce anti-piracy laws, and (2) a move back to sneakernet for duplication and distribution. The people who currently make vast profits from prohibition, i.e. drug dealers, will step into the gap left by strict online enforcement. When piracy was all online, only a few criminals were making money from it (e.g. Pirate Bay). Strict online enforcement will put it back on the streets.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518134)

"I have a feeling this is going to turn out like Prohibition did. Despite the fact that it gets banned, everybody still does it, the authorities are powerless to stop it, and in the end, the authorities who puts those laws in place get moved aside by those who want those laws repealed." The prohibitionists got forced out of office? I've got to start reading the newspaper. I could have sworn that just last week Legalization was political suicide.

Re:More than 6 million I'm sure (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518210)

I have a feeling this is going to turn out like Prohibition did. Despite the fact that it gets banned, everybody still does it, the authorities are powerless to stop it, and in the end, the authorities who puts those laws in place get moved aside by those who want those laws repealed.

I think this will be more likely once the baby boomer population has moved on, and government is inherited by people who've spent more time growing up and living in an information-centric world rather than a paper one. Right now, especially in the UK I'd imagine, there is an over-representation of people in their 60's voting and running a lot of things in society. Many of them have probably learnt only what they needed to to get by as far as electronic media is concerned, and that's the basis they'll use for deciding if something is good or bad.

I Suddenly Feel Religious... (5, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517016)

The ISPs died for my sins.

Re:I Suddenly Feel Religious... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517262)

Careful. We don't want people to start arguing over which ISP it was that got killed and what its specific policies were.

Re:I Suddenly Feel Religious... (5, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517332)

If they acted like that, they might get a reprieve.

what I mean is, if all ISPs in the UK staged a strike by cutting Internet access everywhere for two or three days and claim that would be the only possible way to ensure their customers aren't pirating anything, I am sure that the outrage would force another look at the law. And if they did this 2 different times, like once on Thursday Friday and Saturday, it could cause direct deposit information and payroll services to be interrupted. If they did this on again a week later on lets say Monday and Tuesday, there would be so much upset and confusion that those who think they wasn't effected will be.

Re:I Suddenly Feel Religious... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518136)

.... And the only reason I'm singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant." And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both ******* and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

Alice's Restaurant Massacree [wikipedia.org] by Arlo Guthrie [wikipedia.org]

Unenforceable? (5, Interesting)

rHBa (976986) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517376)

I've been wondering about this since the story broke last week, presumably someone will have to keep a definitive blacklist of banned users, otherwise you could just go to another ISP and sign up for another connection.

This makes me wonder, will the address/telephone line be blacklisted or the individual user whose name the line was in?

If the former, then it would suck if you just moved into a place that had been blacklisted. If the latter, what's to stop someone else in the household from signing up for another connection?

I can imagine many student houses with 4 or more people living there, assuming it takes a few months to get noticed and sent you first warning, another couple to get your second and another couple of months to get cut off, you could then sign up again under another name and go for another round...

Re:I Suddenly Feel Religious... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518230)

The ISPs died for my sins.

If you're a mammon worshiper, then your religion in fact does say sharing is a sin. Mine says not sharing is.
And now for something completely different...
CRASH RATTLE! BANG CRUNCH CRASH!
"I think she's dead"
"No I'm not"
CRASH RATTLE! BANG CRUNCH CRASH!
"That was the death of ISP, Queen of Scotts. And now your radio will explode."
BOOM
"Well what's on the telly then?"
"Looks like a penguin to me."

The solution is obvious (5, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517040)

Block downloading of all music, films, and other content that might be illegal.

Yes, this is essentially a shutdown of the WWW in the UK. So? It's what the Gov wants, right?

Re:The solution is obvious (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517188)

It't not what the government wants, it's what the **AA wants.

This is one of those things that will come to a head very quickly and when the egg lands, it won't be on the faces of users or ISPs. It will be on the faces of those who enacted the law.

The trouble, as we all know, is that there is no way to determine what is illegal and what is not. There will be far too many false positives, and far too many obviously innocent people will be caught by filters and such. It will go as far as MPs will let it go. Perhaps there is a manner in which people in the UK can force MPs to download LEGAL files to show them how easy it is to be caught, and perhaps demonstrate in real life how difficult it is to find the illegal stuff by asking them to PAY for additional filtering equipment/systems for businesses, schools, hospitals etc.

There are lots of people that want to help filter out illegal content, unfortunately, they also want to get paid.

Once you get buy-in on the government paying the costs for such systems, turn to appendix F and show them how these systems will be worked around in something like 24 hours of implementation.

Or perhaps you can all chip in and buy them a whack-a-mole game for the parliamentary house restaurant?

Re:The solution is obvious (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517200)

I say we proactively block all traffic from the UK to the internets if they do that, theres no point in having internets at all in that case.

Re:The solution is obvious (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517310)

Honestly, everything that we see on the internet is copyrighted. Everything. It's not the ISP's responsibility to make sure that the content that's being downloaded doesn't have a copyright, because everything has one when it's created. It's the responsibility of the person doing the distributing to make sure that they aren't distributing goods illegally. This is insanity and it needs to end.

Re:The solution is obvious (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518284)

No, but it will be the ISPs' responsibility to make sure that content being downloaded doesn't have a record label's copyright. :-(

Our silly, stupid government.

Re:The solution is obvious (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517408)

Dunno about the government but the MPAA-types sure would love that. It must be nice being able to pressure*cough*bribe*cough* people into making laws to help your antiquated business plans stay afloat.

Re:The solution is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22518094)

Another labour funding scandal in the making?

Re:The solution is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22518188)

You know, there also exist illegal copies on CD. So you have to forbid all CDs as well!

Re:The solution is obvious (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518202)

Yep, this shit from our government is disgusting.

The other prime offender in this, I'm afraid, is the BBC. Just this evening I've been hearing from some asshole 'business correspondent' on Radio 5 Live who was interviewing a representitive of ISPs. He said something like "what's the problem here - these guys (the record labels) tell you who's breaking the law, and you chuck them off the internet." With idiocy like that going unchallenged on the mainstream media, no wonder the record industry and government get away with this.

The BBC need to clue up.

When Governments grow Bureaucratic (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517120)

When governments grow bureaucratic and so full of their own processes that they become forgetful of their own purpose and the reality of the situation of everyday life,they will surely fall and fall hard.
Translation; they're gonna figure out they've stepped on their own teat when the cost of phone service,let alone internet becomes so prohibitive that even the "Royals" bitch.

Re:When Governments grow Bureaucratic (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517508)

Yeah I know - where will we all get our movies and music from if we can't download them illegally online!? The government must do something to end this madness!

Apart from the fact that it's an impossible task and doomed to fail anyway, at least their heart is in the right place. Kind of. The internet provides an extremely easy way of breaking copyright with little risk of repercussion. I agree that the law system in America has become so fucked up that a lot of issues such as **AA against the world have gone insane, and the copyright and patent laws in America could do with a bit of revisiting too.. but that doesn't meant that breaking copyright in the meantime is legal and they should just sit idly by and watch it happen *shrug*

Re:When Governments grow Bureaucratic (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517744)

The ISP has no responsibility whatsoever to ensure that copyright infringement isn't happening on their tubes. You might as well say that car manufacturers have the responsibility to make sure that cocaine's not being smuggled in them. Everything on the internet has some copyright, and to expect the ISP's to distinguish between something you're licensed to receive and something you're not is ridiculous. If they try to put some automatic filters on their servers, they'll get a lot of false positives, which isn't fair to the law abiding citizens.

That leaves us with a situation where the distributor should be getting smacked with a lawsuit for infringing on copyright, and I honestly believe that they should be. However, they should also get due process in the courts, and the RIAA and MPAA have been trying to make sure that doesn't happen. They file ex parte motions that, if they're not illegal, they should be. They railroad people and, by the time someone gets a chance to fight back, there's often nothing they can do.

Finally, when an infringer is brought to justice, there's a ridiculous punishment of thousands of dollars per song. The RIAA doesn't even have to prove that someone downloaded the song from that person, just that someone *could* have, and they win money. This is like a teenage who owns a paintball gun getting slapped with a fine for shooting out windows because he has a gun that could have shot out the windows and most of the people who own paintball guns shoot out windows. In addition, while the windows cost $50 to replace at any hardware store, the kid's being slapped with a $20,000 fine.

So, should the content producers be able to protect their copyright? Yes. Should people infringe on that copyright? No. Do the content producers deserve any sympathy whatsoever? No. There's widespread abuse going on from both sides of this argument, and getting the ISPs involved is just going to hurt innocent people without doing significant damage to the problem.

Escalation right around the corner... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517132)

From TFA:

Service providers say what the government wants them to do would be like asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted.


It's going to get even worse. Imagine asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted, after half of the mail writers get tired of these draconian measures and start sending their messages in code.

What if P2P users start encrypting their traffic? The difficulties involved would be significant, but not insurmountable. Are the ISPs supposed to treat every user transmitting & receiving encrypted data as a criminal?

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517274)

What if P2P users start encrypting their traffic?
Then you make private encryption a criminal offense, easy.
Big brother is watching you... you don't have anything to hide, do you?

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517568)

I know you're joking/exaggerating, but it's worth pointing out that making encryption illegal would b impossible. It would, for instance, make it illegal to do any kind of secure online commerce or banking. It would basically destroy any company that relies on the Internet.

There are so many legitimate types of encrypted traffic (SSL, SSH, VPN, etc.) that they can't outlaw it. P2P programs can certainly go beyond mere encryption and specifically obfuscate the type of traffic, making it appear as another class (e.g. https) or even use steganography to hide the data in otherwise legitimate-looking data streams.

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517746)

Nope I have nothing to hide, not my Bank Account information when I check my balance online, nor my SSN when I file my taxes online (sorry I don't know the British equivalent, NIH number?) Nope nothing to hide at all.

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517292)

"Are the ISPs supposed to treat every user transmitting & receiving encrypted data as a criminal?" Pretty much the desired end result. It's much easier to assume everyone is participating in theft then track down and prosecute actual perps. If, as a early poster claims, everyone is illegally sharing/downloading content having ISP's be the heavy makes sense.

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (5, Interesting)

garyok (218493) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518008)

What if P2P users start encrypting their traffic? The difficulties involved would be significant, but not insurmountable. Are the ISPs supposed to treat every user transmitting & receiving encrypted data as a criminal?
No, but the UK government might with the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act (and Heaven help you if you're muslim and you start encrypting your traffic). What worries the ISPs is without that file-sharing then there's no real reason to have a sweet 20Mb/s connection and we might as well all downgrade to a bargain-basement 512kb/s connection as all we're going to be able to download is our emails and a few safe content-free BPI-approved websites. The ISPs are caught between a rock and a hard place - if they let filesharing happen they get fined and, if they don't, then they lose lucrative customers.

What bothers me is that, at the moment, there's no legal way for me to download the content I want in the UK. I suppose I'm atypical in that I'd be happy to pay for TV I watch through iTunes (or a similar service), as long as it becomes available at the same time it's originally broadcast in the US. What cheeses me off is having to wait months before it's available in the UK, then only available to a particular broadcaster I can't receive (Sky), and then it's only after it's picked up by a terrestrial broadcaster and their season ends that it's released to DVD and I can pick it up and watch it according to my schedule. This is usually a year after it's originally broadcast! Sorry, but I'm not too hot on delayed gratification for the sake of someone else's out-dated business model.

Good news is that the Beeb are catching on and starting to stick their latest programmes on iTunes, like Ashes to Ashes, but I don't just want their stuff. Who only watches one TV channel?

The crux of the argument is that an industry is using legislation to a) protect their out-dated and increasingly irrelevant business model, and b) keep artists under their thumb so they can use them up and then discard them when the cash cow dries up. These BPI and BFI people are talentless vampires, sucking the life out of creative geniuses - don't protect them, eliminate them. And reward the content creators! Now they've got their pay deals sorted, for the love of FSM buy the content off the interweb or on DVD if you like it. If you've already downloaded it on the sly, think of it as pro-active timeshifting.

Re:Escalation right around the corner... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518142)

New idea:

Send MP3s by snail mail?

So let it be (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517136)

6 million people is about 10% of the total population. Maybe if such a large portion of its citizens want to do something it shouldn't be illegal. If the government were obeying the will of the people this shouldn't even be an issue.

Re:So let it be (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517172)

Maybe if such a large portion of its citizens want to do something it shouldn't be illegal.

I don't know about in England, but in the US that's considered a poor argument in favor of mob rule.

While I don't agree with the bent the UK government is taking, abolishing copyright in favor of mob greed isn't the right tactic.

Re:So let it be (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517676)

Mob rule? Its a minority of people, not a majority. Of course in the US we wouldn't want to trample the minority either just because the majority agrees.

Re:So let it be (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517748)

Nobody is suggesting abolishing copyright but trying to make 6 million people criminals is also wrong. Maybe they should consider something new.
Perhaps a special broadband connection that cost more but allowed these kinds of activities. I bet a lot of people would be prepared to pay extra (maybe even double the current cost of broadband) if it allowed them to download music etc. At £15 per month thats a billion pounds a year.

Re:So let it be (2, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517850)

I don't know about in England, but in the US that's considered a poor argument in favor of mob rule.
You're right that just because "everyone is doing it" doesn't mean something should be legal. However it does mean we should take a moment to re-analyze why the law exists, and whether the law is achieving its aim.

For instance, driving speed limits are routinely broken, yet this doesn't mean we should abolish speed limits. The purpose they serve (increasing safety) may outweigh the consensus opinion. (Nevermind for a moment that a strong argument for raising speed limits could also be made.)

What's different about copyright, however, is that a large portion of the rhetoric for keeping the law revolves around "rights"--it is an implicitly moral argument. The fact that a large percentage of the population is ignoring the law suggests that (for better or worse), they do not feel the law has moral high-ground (as compared to theft for example; most people wouldn't steal a physical good even if they knew they wouldn't get caught, because they consider it immoral). In such cases it is worthwhile to reconsider the law: if the consensus is that this law isn't morally required, why do we have it?

The main reason for having copyright is, ostensibly, to promote the creation and dissemination of intellectual works. Thus the law is meant to increase the amount and value of intellectual works. However it is again clear from the behavior of individuals that they are extracting more value from the works by freely sharing them than by adhering to the restrictions of copyright law. So we must again ask if this consensus behavior is in fact telling us that copyright law, in its current form, is not properly maximizing the value, to society, of intellectual works.

My point here is only that the "mob rule" logic is germane to the copyright debate because copyright law is supposedly meant to increase value for this very mob. The opinions of common people on this topic are therefore relevant to the debate (whereas some laws should probably be insulated from the whims of the populace). Again, I agree that there are cases where the mob opinion would ultimately be detrimental to society (people can act selfishly to their ultimate detriment)--but it's by no means clear that this is true in the case of copyright law.

Re:So let it be (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517964)

What you call mob greed in civilized countries is considered to be the reason why we live in a society.

This viewpoint and it's history in the USA is not suprising however, as anyone who has ever taken a look at the origins and establishment of the USA must have noticed it's upper class roots, the control this upper class exercises and the repecussions of the aforementioned to democratic values.

Re:So let it be (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517560)

That's the downside to democracy. The minority always get screwed. And sometimes the minority can be a pretty damned large group.

Until 51% of the population decide to unanimously enact change then said change is unlikely. Not impossible, mind you. But unlikely.

Re:So let it be (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517722)

6 million people is about 10% of the total population. Maybe if such a large portion of its citizens want to do something it shouldn't be illegal. If the government were obeying the will of the people this shouldn't even be an issue.
Quite correct, unfortunately the 0.001% that's running the country is in fact criminal, so there's not much we can do about it -- except leave. Seriously, this is but one further step, out of many already taken, towards totalitarianism.

The sun has set on the British Empire, and night is falling on the UK. It's coming. If you have a brain and care about your freedom, make preparations to leave -- while you still can. Britain is not a free country, and it is only going to get worse.

Re:So let it be (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22518128)

But where shall we go?

Re:So let it be (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517766)

6 million people is about 10% of the total population. Maybe if such a large portion of its citizens want to do something it shouldn't be illegal. If the government were obeying the will of the people this shouldn't even be an issue.
What a completely ridiculous comment. Going on that, shoplifting would be made legal and so would assault and all speed limits would be removed.

Boy, you're dumb.

Re:So let it be (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517808)

I contacted my MP (Oliver Letwin) when this story first broke on BBC news's website. I detailed the technical reasons why such a thing would be near imposible and asked that very same question.

He's got a month to reply to me, shadow chancellor or not his first job is to his constituants, he he doesn't bother responding to me, actually hold a surgery I'm never going to vote for the guy. If I get a standard response which clearly shows he hasn't read my message I'm sure the other 350 constiuants who work in the software house with me will be interested in his answer, I'm weary of conservative MP's who don't respond.

Re:So let it be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517948)

Yes, but 80% of that 6 million is probably under voting age... that means you're going to (ideally) have 9.6 million pissed off parents when their kids get the net connection cut off.

Politicians aren't going to respond to pressure from kids, but they might respond to that. However, once the parents have to switch ISPs once, they're more likely to limit what the kids are allowed to do anyway... after beating them.

Fascism of the State can best be stopped by "Fascism" in the home.

Re:So let it be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517982)

About 30% of Brits would like to smoke in the pub, but Big Brother does not care.

Government response (3, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517152)

Service providers say what the government wants them to do would be like asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted.


In response, a government minister said, "What a great idea! We'll need to get going on that, too!"

Net Neutrality in the USA!!! (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517210)

Keep in mind folks that the Net Neutrality that was allowed to expire several years ago here in the US have ISP's common carrier status. For those who oppose Net Neutrality, ISPs will be required to police the content crossing their pipes to avoid legal liability.

How Far Will It Go? (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517528)

Stuff like this makes me wonder just how much invasion/erosion of privacy will be tolerated in the UK before people rise up and flood into the streets in protest. Of course, I wonder how far the same thing will go in the US before a similar reaction too! But it seems that our friends in the UK are farther along this particular curve than the US.

Re:How Far Will It Go? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518294)

Stuff like this makes me wonder just how much invasion/erosion of privacy will be tolerated in the UK before people rise up and flood into the streets in protest.
We can't. Effectively, we need police permission to protest nowadays. And because they enforce that under anti-terrorist legislation, they can be pretty heavy handed about enforcing it. Not third-world type heavy-handed (yet), but heavy enough.

Extraordinary lack of procedural clarity (5, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517540)

It is extraordinary how little clarity there is about procedures. The industry tells your ISP they suspect illegal behaviour. What is the standard of proof? What's the process for deciding if the evidence is convincing? How is it to be challenged? Disclosed?

Then your ISP writes to you. You say the allegations are false and libellous. What happens next? Do you get to cross examine the industry spokesperson who made the allegations?

Then three strikes, they disconnect you. You sue them. Who is liable? Them? The industry body?

Its not so much iniquitous as unworkable in its present form. You basically cannot do this without all the expense of the courts, which is what they're trying to avoid.

Easy answer to this (5, Insightful)

Borealis (84417) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517598)

The easiest way to combat this is to then monitor the traffic of politicians and their families first. Obviously any piracy problem is most serious when practiced by a member of the parliament or their families, so careful monitoring of all communications from politicians is obviously a priority. After that, monitor traffic from anybody employed by the recording industry and their families. Then the families of the owners of all major industries. After that, ensure that no members of the police force are secretly pirating. If you get through that list without a repeal of the directive then you can monitor the rest of the populace, but I suspect that'll be a short lived initiative.

colo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517608)

ne1 know good russian based fast'n cheap virtual machines allowing p2p and proxy services.

All UK ISPs should shut down for a day! (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517656)

Just a single day! I think they'll get the message that they shouldn't try pushing stupid laws on them after that.

Re:All UK ISPs should shut down for a day! (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518088)

Great, hit all the people who don't download illegal stuff why don't you?

Re:All UK ISPs should shut down for a day! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518272)

It would do more than that. It would affect almost every aspect of commerce!

The point is that if they think they can put stupid laws in place and then start with their "sanctions" and crap, why not have the ISPs "sanction" the country for a day to show where this sort of nonsense could go?

The people and businesses need to push back when they are being pushed around... and who knows, it could potentially save the need for yet another revolution against the British Empire... I mean really! How many violent revolutions have they had to deal with over the last few hundred years?! They're a bunch of assholes and their ideals of control simply don't sit well with people. They need to know their limits.

Perfect analogy for the old timers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517728)

in government who apparently know squat about 21st century technology.

Service providers say what the government wants them to do would be like asking the Royal Mail to monitor the contents of every envelope posted.


I wish politicians learned about the subject of their laws before they started throwing laws everywhere based on which corporate powers paid them what, regardless of the interests of the people who put them in power.

And will it not be harder and harder... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517740)

...for the ISP:s to determine if a download is legal or illegal as time progresses?

Considering that there are legal download and streaming alternatives now. And there will be more in the future...

Who is going to decide?

Easy solution for the ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517756)

Let time expire, in the 11th hour take the UK offline. See how long those beholden to the media companys remain in power. In fact given how addicted to the internet people are I doubt they would have long to live, much less remain in office.

When will they learn (5, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517758)

To every lawmaker on the planet:

OUR COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE IS GREATER THAN YOUR OWN! We have got hordes of geeks working on ways to circumvent every single way you have ever conceived to censor what we do.
What happened with iTunes DRM? It got owned by qtfairuse.
What happened when you blocked bittorrent? We started encrypting it.
What happened when you blocked the port that bittorrent runs on? We started running it on a different port.
What happened when you throttled NNTP connections? We started using lots and lots of simultaneous connections, each of them throttled, but collectively adding up to our original speed.
What happened when you started blocking NNTP all together? We started running it over port 80 and disguising it as legitimate SSL traffic.
What happened when you started listening to our phone calls? We started using encrypted VOIP.

Every single time there has EVER been ANY attempt at stopping people from doing what they want it has only caused them to grow stronger. Don't challenge us to develop stronger encryption, because we will. Its like spraying a weed with weed killer, eventually you're just going to create stronger weeds.

What you are trying to do in the UK will absolutely fail. History has shown this. Non tech-savvy users will be alienated for a while, until we create yet ANOTHER work around for your idiotic bureaucratic attempt at pleasing your own appetite for money and power.

I cannot repeat enough that this WILL fail.

The community welcomes your attempt at censoring us. It will only present us with yet another challenge and cause the gap between our skills and your own to grow.

There are only two ways I can see this going (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517768)

Solution 1: A solution is implemented which pays lip service to the requirement - something like ISPs poisoning the entries their DNS servers provide on demand of the BPI - or if they're really paranoid, null-routing the IP addresses. This is the kind of thing the ISPs would go for, isn't too onerous and doesn't actually do anything to solve the "problem".

Solution 2: The Great Firewall of Britain. This is what I see the Government doing if the ISPs don't. I doubt it'll be terribly effective because the government will outsource providing appropriate technology to a consultant like EDS (a company that specialises in taking money off UK government departments in exchange for half-baked systems which don't really work properly) and once the technology is ready, ISPs will be obliged to deploy it.

Turn off the government's Internet access (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517780)

Tell them suspicious activity related to file sharing was detected on their network and, in accordance with the new law, they've had their access terminated. Oh, and of course, no refunds...

1984 Marathon, at with Big Brother, all night. Every night!

Welcome to censorship (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517796)

So much for lack of censorship and freedoms.

The media giants have too much power, they just can't face decline. There's a massive amount of music, films and media out there, the demand and supply doesn't always match. I for example don't want much that Hollywood churns out, I don't like a lot of popular media. So am I to be prosecuted because I don't purchase rubbish commercial music and use p2p?

Re:Welcome to censorship (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517944)

The media giants have too much power, they just can't face decline.

There isn't a decline, per se, so much as people see they can get it for free. Many people enjoy the "crap" they churn out, they just don't want to give up their money in exchange for it.

So am I to be prosecuted because I don't purchase rubbish commercial music and use p2p?

Wait so P2P consists of "good, non-commercial music?" Or do you just use p2p to get the "rubbish commercial music?"

This plan is poor, but you should rework your statement because it can easily mean something you might not want others to think it does.

We need V!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517886)

Remember, remember, the fifth of November.
Governments need to be afraid of it's people.
Start running around with a mask that has a shit eating grin on it mkay?

the ISPs should simply pay the fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517916)

...and pass the cost on to the consumer. So what if Brits spend half their earnings on internet access, right? All the tech savvy folks will just leave the country...bing, bam, boom....market economics works around the problem.

Typical UK government Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22517932)

This is a classic case of the UK government loosing sight of reality. The ISPs are the "highways" of the Internet, If someone speeds does the government or highways agency have to get a fine, no the end user or driver gets the fine. The Highway agency is not responsible for users speeding or driving badly. If the road is poor they have to fix it, if its a dangerous section they have to do something about it but they are not held responsible unless they are found negligent for whatever reason. It is a similar situation with the Internet. I guess a more accurate analogy is the postal service, The royal mail is not responsible for providing a service where I could post pirate DVDs or movies to other people. With the costs that some ISP's charge for data it is probably actually cheaper to pay for the cost of media than the traffic charges. I think its times like this where the completely technically inept government attempt to or do pass policies which are either not enforceable or loose sight of the end goal of the bill is/was. Is the key objective of this policy really to reduce piracy or to try and enforce a bigger picture of big brother watching what users are doing on the internet? What benefits does this really provide the copyright holders? The answer is probably that they can hold someone with deeper pockets liable for fines rather than the end user who probably earns a great deal less than the business and is therefore not a great legal target at "recouping losses".
As someone that works in the Internet space it seems ridiculous for the ISP to be enforcing even more silly government policy without having any ability to recoup the costs of implementing the technology or the systems to manage the technology. Someone in this whole situation will be making a huge amount of money and some will be loosing even more.

Sigh (1)

g0rAngA (1131007) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517936)

Oh dear, Oh dear, oh dear...
Need I say more?

I was previously of the opinion that European countries made (generally) good decisions about MAFIAA-related things.
There goes that theory.

Imagine it were... (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 5 years ago | (#22517984)

Lets suppose it were something else. People are buying cigarettes for minors in supermarkets. So the government says, the anti smoking league should be able to monitor people buying cigarettes by observation. Then they give a name to the supermarkets. These then deny service to these people. Refuse for instance to accept their credit cards.

Or speeding. We get anti speeding bodies to notify their insurers that they have been observed breaking the speed limit, who then have to terminate their insurance. No court, no ticket, no magistrate, no legally established penalty. No speed camera necessary.

Can you seriously imagine this scenario? The answer is, if people break the law, arrest and prosecute. You cannot just allow self appointed bodies to make unsupported allegations and then have other organisations decide to refuse service, or worse, be obliged to refuse service, on this basis.

Its procedural insanity. And probably will be found contrary to the European Human Rights Act, which, in another part of the wood, another part of the Government signed up to while no-one was looking....

Fuck this. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518214)

Fuck the whole shebang. Legalize "piracy". Have everyone distribute everything à gogo. Have only Government paying for the production of downloadable art, through something like the BBC or the CBC, financed through taxes. No more private profiteers. Scrap private producers.

Voilà, problem solved.

The outcome of this will be... (4, Insightful)

QJimbo (779370) | more than 5 years ago | (#22518292)

1. Piracy will still exist, just obfuscated and encrypted more.

2. ISPs will be more expensive, as Internet service providers will have to relay the costs of scanning all the packets onto their customers.

So basically, this has failed before it has even begun as far as I'm concerned. As per usual for this government, it doesn't benefit the population in any way.
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