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The Media Censorship The Internet

UK "Creative Industries" Call For File-Sharers Ban 211

Posted by timothy
from the smoking-an-unprecedented-joint dept.
siloko writes "An alliance of so-called 'Creative Industries,' including the UK Film Council, have signed a joint statement asking the UK government to force ISPs into banning users caught sharing illegally. In an 'unprecedented joint statement,' the alliance predicted a 'lawless free-for-all' unless the government ensured the 'safe and secure delivery of legal content.' The previous tactic of pursuing individual file-sharers in the courts appear to have been abandoned. 'Instead, [the government] should provide enabling legislation, for the specific measures to be identified and implemented in an Industry Code of Practice,' it recommends. One wonders how they remain 'creative' in their vocation when they keep on trotting out the same old story backed up by imaginary statistics (they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure). The BBC also has a blog entry dissecting their statement."
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UK "Creative Industries" Call For File-Sharers Ban

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  • Um (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpooForBrains (771537) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:51AM (#27921173)

    Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal [torrentfreak.com]?

    • Re:Um (Score:4, Interesting)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:58AM (#27921277)
      "No restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities ... save when public security is threatened..." - Out-Law.com [out-law.com]

      Yes, it certainly seems so. I don't expect it to make much difference, though, as you'd need to take the case to the ECHR to get a disconnection overturned. Who can be bothered with that?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That doesn't mean much. In the United States a directive (such as "medical marijuana is illegal") forces all the states to fall into line, but in the EU the concept of "States Rights" is still alive and well. Individual member states may ignore EU directives if they desire.

        That's why the French Legislature pushed for a three-strike law in direct defiance of the central EU government, and now it appears the UK is heading down the same path. What's the EU going to do? Send a strongly-worded letter? ;-)

        • Re:Um (Score:5, Interesting)

          by flyneye (84093) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:25AM (#27921667) Homepage

          I'm sorry but "states rights" makes it sound as though the power flows from the fed to the states to the people. In fact, it is the opposite.
                    This is why Arizona, for example, doesn't do daylight savings. Most states whore off their "states rights" in exchange for federal $. Unless they meet federal guidelines they get no money for programs. Medical marijuana is legal where legalized. The fed is just trying to posture and assert illegal authority. Unless someone points out more often that "the king wears no clothes" our posterity will grow up thinking that the federal government is our master and not our servant. Remember the feds only jobs are to run a post office, protect the borders, keep interstate commerce fair and nothing else to speak of. Anything the fed does now is largly ILLEGAL.
                  Revolt at will.

          • Re:Um (Score:5, Interesting)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:34AM (#27921823) Journal

            >>>I'm sorry but "states rights" makes it sound as though the power flows from the fed to the states

            No it doesn't. States rights, a term that dates back to the 1780s, implies that the States hold the power as a natural consequence of their existence, and that the central government is merely their puppet which they created. Read the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

            This principle applies in the E.U. as well. France, the UK, Germany, et cetera existed first... the EU is their creation and therefore secondary.

          • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

            by Cajun Hell (725246)

            Medical marijuana is legal where legalized. The fed is just trying to posture and assert illegal authority.

            Posture?! Federal agents arrested marijuana growers in California. Those federal agents were not, in turn, arrested by California cops or ever charged in a California court with kidnapping.

            They got away with it. Posturing is saying you're going to do something illegal. When you actually do it, and it is accepted by all your rivals, and there are no negative consequences to you, it isn't called "p

        • Exactly. They can push the legislation through, and enforce it within the UK, but if a defendant is prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights and the disconnection is found to be unlawful, it will severely affect the extent to which the law can be applied within the UK.

          ECHR precident is binding upon all lower courts within the EU. IAALS.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          What's the EU going to do? Send a strongly-worded letter? ;-)

          Overturn [eurocare.org] the [guardian.co.uk] ruling [huliq.com]

          • "The Court has issued their opinion.
            "Now let's see them enforce it."

            If France or Sweden chooses to ignore the EU Court's ruling, and continue to enforce those laws you linked, what can the EU government do about it?

        • by popeye44 (929152)
          Well, coming from a quasi-legal marijuana state. The feds under Obama have mostly stopped prosecution. With a card I can go 4 blocks from my work and buy from a dispensary. "prescription in the front filled in the back" I'm not 100% sure I'm comfortable with MJ being legal for all but it certainly it frees up law enforcement to crack down on Crank/Speed which is a huge issue here.
          • Re:Um (Score:4, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @12:08PM (#27923233) Journal

            IMHO it should *all* be legal, so long as you limit its use to your own house. If I'm sitting here watching Simpsons, what does it matter if I shoot-up? I'm not harming anyone but myself, therefore it is NONE of the government's business.

            Now if I leave my home, then yes, I should be arrested. If I'm behind the wheel of a car, then it's DUI.

    • by click2005 (921437)

      The European Parliament ruled that the 3 strikes policy was illegal. If the person is caught and found guilty by a court then it should be ok.

      • by noundi (1044080)
        Well the action was to be taken from the ISPs side, so we're back on square one. They don't want a court verdict to be necessary.
    • Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal [torrentfreak.com]?

      Yes, probably why they are trying to motivate the UK gov to resist (as if it needed any more motivation).

      "according to an expert an the specialised area that is European politics, this amendment could be significant and might spike the guns of the pro-copyright "flog 'em and hang 'em' brigade" (now led by French President, Nicholas Sarkozy)."
      http://web20.telecomtv.com/pages/?newsid=43004&id=e9381817-0593-417a-8639-c4c53e2a2a10 [telecomtv.com]

      spike the guns, indeed.

    • Didn't the European Parliament just rule that this sort of thing was illegal?

      Employees, governments, laws, and ethical awareness comes and goes, but the corporations just keep growing and lobbying.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:52AM (#27921201) Journal
    The only creativity in this situation seems to be that involved in pulling numbers and "legal" justifications out of one's ass.

    Also, is the phrase "the government should provide enabling legislation, for specific measures to be identified and implemented..." equal parts vague and sinister, or what?
    • by DrLang21 (900992) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:18AM (#27921575)

      they claim 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content but provide no evidence for this figure

      That's pretty creative.

  • Encryption. Now, kindly STFU, "creative industries"
    • Ban on unwaranted encryption.

      Two can play this game and nothing good will come out of it for anyone.

      • by noundi (1044080)
        Changing protocols is a far quicker procedure than banning, as proven. Thus the mouse has an advantage in this cat and mouse game.
        • Ban is not just passive filtering (whitelisting btw, cat is quite dangerous when it is ordered to stop being friend and takes advantage of all its options) Ban could also mean fines or worse. French three strikes, anyone?

          Not to mention that protocol change is annoyance that severely hurts networks, end user experience and may end up making p2p useless for anyone except hardcore. There is limit of annoyance after which ordinary user just gives up.

          • by noundi (1044080)

            ... end user experience and may end up making p2p useless for anyone except hardcore.

            This reminds me of the IRC era before Napster. There was plenty of sharing to go around, and this was using far thinner internet tubes than today. Back then this was considered pretty hardcore, and even today it requires far more knowledge than uTorrent + TPB. However my comparison is not entirely fair. The internet generation holds far more general computer knowledge than the pre internet generation. Unless the hassle is extreme (which I doubt will be necessary) I'm sure that the internet generations equi

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The only sure way to end this is with a bullet to the head of RIAA. I guarantee his replacement will back-off from the policy of sending 5000 dollar "pay else or else" extortionate letters and dragging citizens into court, if only because he's scared he might get shot too. Nothing works better to keep the leaders under control than an unruly populace willing to protect their basic rights (like a trial by jury).

        "What matter a few deaths in the course of a century? From time to time the Tree of Liberty mus

      • by damburger (981828)
        If you think protecting someones business model is worth pissing on the privacy of citizens you need to get your head out of your arse. Nobody is owed a living that costs my freedom. That is the end of it.
    • Re:One word.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:17AM (#27921543)
      Encryption.

      Not a panacea, unfortunately. Suppose I connect to a torrent, and begin downloading. My communication with the tracker site is done via SSL. My communications with all peers are also encrypted. Nobody can tell what I'm doing, right?

      Well, er... not quite. Anybody can connect to the same torrent, and they can connect to peers as well. Then all they have to do is nslookup the IP numbers, identify the ISP, and then with the ISP's cooperation they can get my personal details.

      You could use systems like Freenet to get deniability in this matter, but that's still pretty slow. And you might not be happy about the high statistical likelihood that your computer will be serving cp.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Inda (580031)
        Then encrypt the IP numbers!

        I can't believe no one has thought of that before!

        (yeah, yeah, I'll hand my card into reception on the way out)
  • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:54AM (#27921229)

    ... you should not make the law stricter, you should change the law.

    • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:16AM (#27921539)

      That isn't how they think.

      You have to understand, that just like at the end of the Cold War, Western elites (I won't bother distinguishing between judges, politicians and businessmen in this matter because of the almost total blurring between the leaders of state, judiciary and corporation) consider us at the End of History. Our present form of government is perfect now, and for a thousand years hence.

      When you believe have a perfect state, it logically follows that everything should be in the state, for the state, and of the state. Any element that goes against the wishes of the state must be wrong and evil, for the state is perfect and good.

      I believe the people in power today, more so than in previous generations, are so convinced of the suitability of present laws and institutions they will resist all substantial changes with any force required. They are the last men, who say they have discovered happiness. Their destruction is a prerequisite for any further advancement of the human species.

      • by mangu (126918)

        at the end of the Cold War, Western elites consider us at the End of History. Our present form of government is perfect now, and for a thousand years hence.

        When you believe have a perfect state, it logically follows that everything should be in the state, for the state, and of the state. Any element that goes against the wishes of the state must be wrong and evil, for the state is perfect and good.

        This is the theme of Anthony Boucher's [wikipedia.org] novelette "Barrier". In that story, a time traveler went to the future t

        • That's one idea I agree with. I don't think it should be a "law" but since we no longer speak using German-style tenses (masculine, feminine, neuter), I think eliminating the last vestiges of that ancient pre-1100 A.D. language is logical. No more "goose" "geese" or "swim" "swam" "swum". The government school monopoly should start teaching kids to say "gooses" and "swimmed".

          Most kids already speak like that, so it would be ridiculously easy to encourage them to continue along those lines. The parents m

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          This of course, represents exactly what our government wants:

          They seek a dictatorship, we seek freedom. People will always be at ends with the government that they are a part of if they are intelligent people.

      • As conspiracy theory, i would rate this "D, put some effort, but is utterly unconvincing"

        It is same as it always was: Power. They know pretty much everything is shitty, they don't care. Current situation is worth preserving because it is the one with them in power.

        Not different from any other historical situation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by damburger (981828)

          Conspiracy theory? Conspiracy implies secrecy, and I implied no such thing.

          The difference with the current situation is that you are wrong - they honestly have no clue as to how shitty the situation is. Most politicians (especially in the UK) live in a completely different universe from us. They've been training to be politicians all their lives, and know nothing else - not work, not wider society, not technology - nothing but politics. Their entire worldview is formed by focus groups, comprising largely o

    • Like speeding. If the engineers come to you and say, "This straight-as-a-ruler highway is safe for 85 miles an hour," and the people drive 80-85 miles an hour, then maybe you should listen to the people and the engineers, instead of stubbornly slapping a 65mph limit that everybody ignores and is unenforceable.

      Damn stupid politicians. Why hire engineers and other experts if you're not going to listen to them?

      • Damn stupid politicians. Why hire engineers and other experts if you're not going to listen to them?

        To stimulate the economy! </snark>

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Like speeding. If the engineers come to you and say, "This straight-as-a-ruler highway is safe for 85 miles an hour," and the people drive 80-85 miles an hour, then maybe you should listen to the people and the engineers, instead of stubbornly slapping a 65mph limit that everybody ignores and is unenforceable.

        Damn stupid politicians. Why hire engineers and other experts if you're not going to listen to them?

        Clearly, the highway engineers mean the road surface won't get damaged, and the vehicles aren't going to slip off the road.

        But the engineers and politicians are aware of other considerations when setting the speed limit:
        - Whether pedestrians or cyclists will use the road
        - Any concealed junctions or other hazards
        - Lots of slow moving traffic (e.g. nearby quarry)
        - Quality of life for nearby residents (primarily noise and air pollution, but also slower roads make nicer, safer neighbourhoods)
        - Safety of those w

        • by GauteL (29207)

          "But the engineers and politicians are aware of other considerations when setting the speed limit"

          Yes. Also knee jerk reactions, "concerned parents" and "opinion" (without evidence).

          In many cases a lot of your arguments are completely irrelevant. On motorways for instance, there is no cyclists, pedestrians or concealed junctions, and if there is, they are likely to cause deaths regardless of whether people drive at 70 mph or 90 mph.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          >>>Clearly, the highway engineers mean the road surface won't get damaged, and the vehicles aren't going to slip off the road.

          You shouldn't make assumptions. When highway engineers designate a safe speed, they are using the 70th percentile. i.e. You could go up to the design limit of 120 miles an hour and still be safe, but it's standard procedure to multiply 120 * 0.70 == 85 as their recommended speed. (We do the exact same thing in electrical engineering - it's a safety buffer between the ab

          • by xaxa (988988)

            >>>Clearly, the highway engineers mean the road surface won't get damaged, and the vehicles aren't going to slip off the road.

            You shouldn't make assumptions. When highway engineers designate a safe speed, they are using the 70th percentile. i.e. You could go up to the design limit of 120 miles an hour and still be safe, but it's standard procedure to multiply 120 * 0.70 == 85 as their recommended speed.

            Doesn't that mean most (well, 70%) of vehicles could go up to 120mph? That still doesn't mean all vehicles are safe at 85mph or even 65mph. If we wanted the same vehicles that are safe at 65mph to travel at 85mph, the road would have to be designed for 150mph (or whatever) rather than 120mph.

            Furthermore, when you're driving through empty Wyoming or Montana, where there's literally *nothing* for you to hit, it makes no sense to limit the speed to 65. Does it?

            I don't know, it's almost 10 years since I visited Wyoming and here in Britain there's really nowhere I can think of that's similar (we don't really have big empty little-used roads). Are animals a possible danger?
            Germa

    • by jambox (1015589)
      As per cannabis prohibition?? Or motorway speed limits?
    • I agree this is the only sane approach in the short term. For example, males traditionally murder one another right & left, hence duals being legal in Europe for centuries. But society itself eventually evolved to where it didn't require this outlet.

      The war on drugs today has made that situation far far worse by losing control. You can imagine some "war on murder" 300 years ago likewise creating rampant use of hitmen. Duals however kept the problem among men and gave the murder victim an opt-out. I

  • by mc1138 (718275) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:55AM (#27921239) Homepage
    Is file sharing. Rather than waste time trying to fight this, find ways to work with it. Look at what Apple did with their music store, even in the days of "piracy" they're still doing quite well for themselves. Digital distribution is here to stay, rather than go after people downloading illegally, give them a reason and easy means to acquire your product. I know lots of people that pirate, and when they find something they like, they buy it. Funny how that works like that...
    • by mangu (126918) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:13AM (#27921481)

      In the 19th century the invention of the automobile was delayed by restrictive legislation [wikipedia.org] in Britain. File sharing may well be the future if the internet, I agree with you in that, but a legislation that tries to freeze the past could delay considerably the progress.

      • by mc1138 (718275)
        The problem here is that it's global, and information spreads that much quicker. With more people using applications like Tor, it will be harder to track the legitimate pirates anyway, leaving the first time pirates, or the young kids not knowing what they're doing to get caught by this. There was a time when legislation could have stopped something like this, but that time is past and if anyone will get hurt by this it will be the companies/politicians that try to stand in its way.
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:50AM (#27922095)

      I know lots of people that pirate, and when they find something they like, they buy it.

      And I know plenty of people, and many sub-people, who pirate with no intention of ever buying it. They collect digital files of music they don't like, books they can't read, even pictures they don't understand, all for purposes of uploading them to thousands of strangers for the odd reason that it makes their dick grow to be such a big "contributor" to the "community"

      • I know lots of people that pirate, and when they find something they like, they buy it.

        And I know plenty of people, and many sub-people, who pirate with no intention of ever buying it.

        Perhaps Goldilocks [wikipedia.org] would know best with her anecdotes about both types of people.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Blue Stone (582566)

        >They collect digital files of music they don't like, books they can't read, even pictures they don't understand, all for purposes of uploading them to thousands of strangers for the odd reason that it makes their dick grow to be such a big "contributor" to the "community"

        There's nothing some people won't stoop to. Even, according to you - altruism!

        Bah ... humanity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arkhan_jg (618674)

        So basically they're using their internet connection to improve the availability of public domain material, for the benefit of the their fellow man? That sounds very laudable, and greatly in line with the intent of the public domain, freely shared for all to use.

        OK, so it's not material back in the public domain yet. But since the copyright industry has decided they're going to unilaterally rewrite the length of their copyright term after the works were created (and get legislators to go along with it by br

  • £112 bn lost? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crookdotter (1297179) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:57AM (#27921259)
    They claim that 800,000 jobs are threatened, with the loss of £112 bn in jobs and sales?

    Money doesn't just disappear like that. If a file-sharer doesn't buy media and downloads it instead, they have more money to go see a movie, or have a nice meal at a restaurant - whatever. The money is still used in the economy, just not in same industry as media.

    To suggest that filesharers are causing an 8% drop in GDP is idiotic, as well as the 50% of all traffic is illegal. And they want to ban illegal filesharers? Ok, lets ban half the population of the UK from surfing the net, or more!

    Let's see how your sales drop after that pal.
    • Money doesn't just disappear like that.

      Yes, it can. Multiplier effect.

      Not saying that it's true in this case, mind you, but it's certainly a possible claim.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:16AM (#27921531)

        The multiplier effect would still occur in the alternative products and services people purchase with the money they don't spend on music / movies.

        Really, this is more of a Broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org]. The idea that people not spending money on the music industry is costing society is flawed, because people are free to spend that money in other markets which thereby benefit.

        The 'broken window' in this case is the music industry - they claim that breaking the window (forcing people to buy CDs) is good for society because it keeps a window repairsman (music executive) in a job.

        In fact, society is less efficient because it has incurred a cost in a non-productive asset that could have otherwise been spent on something else, possibly something that adds to society's productive capacity thereby increasing maximum GDP.

        A music executive in no way contributes to society's productive capacity, so money spent on the music executive is a purely consumption expenditure and is not beneficial to society in terms of GDP at large at all.

        In summary, if these idiots truly cared about the productive capacity of society (which is what GDP measures), then they should fire themselves and all the media / music executives, because they divert resources away from spending which would increase productive capacity. Until such time as they do that, they should feel free to eat a bag of hell.

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:28AM (#27921721) Journal

        If you're going to convince me you need a better explanation than "multiplier effect". The grandparent poster's argument makes a lot of sense to me. If I'm not spending $1000 a year on CDs, then I'm spending that $1000 on something else like a new computer or new bigscreen TV or buying stock for my IRA. So it's basically a displacement of jobs from one group (music suits) to another group. There's no loss overall.

        Using the classic whipmaker example, yes they lost their jobs when cars took-over from horses, but a bunch of other unemployed guys got jobs making steering wheels. There was no net loss overall. It was just a shift.

        The problem is that the music suits at MCA, RCA, et cetera don't want the shift to happen. They don't want me to transfer my $1000 a year expenditure on CDs to some other article like videogames. They are Luddites trying to sabotage a technology shift.

    • Re:112 bn lost? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:13AM (#27921489)

      To suggest that filesharers are causing an 8% drop in GDP is idiotic, as well as the 50% of all traffic is illegal. And they want to ban illegal filesharers? Ok, lets ban half the population of the UK from surfing the net, or more!

      Their argument is self-defeating. If 50% of people are really file-sharing, and they want all those people banned from using the Internet... well, just imagine what would happen to the economy if 50% of Internet-users were forced to stop using the Internet. These are people who are supporting numerous businesses with their web browsing (e.g. ads), purchasing products online, running their own businesses using the Internet, etc. Imagine the number of lost sales, the number of jobs lost, the number of small-business bankruptcies... (Not to mention other economic disruptions: e.g. people less productive at work because they can't web-browse at home; the creation of a black-market for net access.)

      The UK GDP would take a far greater hit from 50% of their net-using population being forced off the net than it does from the same 50% illegally sharing some content.

      • by Ztream (584474)

        They aren't saying that 50% of *people* in the UK are sharing illegally, though.. they are saying that 50% of *traffic* is illegal, presumably counting by data volume. That 50% could be caused by a minority of people.

        Not that I support them, but we shouldn't misrepresent their made up statistics.

      • Also, file sharing really improves our standard of living. Instead of spending money on an overpriced product, we are now able to use this money on something else. In terms of pure economics, this is a huge productivity boost!
    • by damburger (981828)
      Maybe it does cause an 8% drop in GDP. So does slavery being illegal. By not being forced to work 20 hours a day in a factory you are depriving trainer companies of valuable income. THIEF!
    • by jambox (1015589)
      I should think the implicit argument (they don't want to come out and say it) is that they're trying to protect the people who work in shops (like Zavvi), replication, logistics and so on that depend on the *physical* distribution of music. So really they're saying that they won't shift to a predominantly online distribution model, the actual copyright violation are pretty secondary.
  • An alliance of car thieves are calling for legislation to force people to leave their keys in their car.

    While I agree that it's important to keep up with such stories, can't we just wrap up all twenty or so of these in a 'This Week (or Today) in Intellectual Property'. For the sake of poster's time, I'd suggest an auto submit with the twenty or so most popular comments.

  • Damn it to hell! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:04AM (#27921357) Journal

    The banning of people from ISPs without due process of law (i.e. a hearing in the courts) is the antithesis of a democratic Republic. It is a nullification of human rights philosophy. It is the return of a class system where Monarchs and Nobility rule by default in the United Kingdom.

    Bravo conservatives! If you succeed, you will have wrestled control away from the people. It took 200 years but you finally succeeded in turning the people back into mere commoners, to be declared "guilty" with a mere flick of a noble parliamentarian's effeminate wrist. No jury by your peers. No defense of liberty.

  • by PhxBlue (562201) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:04AM (#27921359) Homepage Journal

    In an 'unprecedented joint statement,' the alliance predicted a 'lawless free-for-all' unless the government ensured the 'safe and secure delivery of legal content.'

    Isn't the Internet a "lawless free-for-all" anyway? On one hand, you have commerce sites like Amazon and Newegg, news sites like the New York Times et al, government sites, and so on. On the other, though, you have plenty of sites out there -- and plenty of people -- who are basically outlaws. But for all that, the Internet works. If this "alliance of creative industries" doesn't want to play ball, they should yank out their LAN cables [slashdot.org] and go home.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spatial (1235392)
      Part of their problem is that they haven't even got the LAN cable plugged in yet. What do they even do online?

      These are huge companies. They could offer better speeds and better quality than torrent sites and still maintain a low enough price to be enticing. They can afford mainstream advertising to bring in lots of customers. They can offer more features and better ease of use than a torrent site.

      They could use the BT protocol to save on bandwidth costs. Offer both one-off-payment single movie d
      • by TnkMkr (666446)

        Netflix - Watch movies online (does still need internet while watching, but I'm sure it will evolve) Monthly subscription
        ITunes - Music, podcasts, and T.V. shows, download, watch when you want, buy to own

        There you go, you never need to pirate again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by internerdj (1319281)
        The content providers aren't pushing towards giving you what you want, they are pushing for a more or less continual revenue stream for, well forever. They want you to pay them every time you experience their content or have a copy. If they could, they would probably just be satisfied with you paying them a(income-adjusted) revolving payment till you die content or not. Until someone can come up with a competing organization for the **AAs, then they will be setting the rules for intellectual property by
  • Over the past decade or so, I've watched companies freak out over source code becoming more and more available to the recipients of software. First it was Java and how "easy" it was to decompile. Then it was HTML/Javascript and how easy it was for someone to steal unobfuscated code. Nowadays, practically every bit of compiled code is easy to reverse.

    Invariably, this caused managers to attempt to buy into bizarre technical solutions to "protect" their investments. Which was ridiculous. The correct hammer to use was a legal one. If someone stole your code and tried to hide it (which isn't easy to do successfully, as the GPL violators can testify), the correct hammer is a legal one. It's much easier to legally go after someone dumb enough to steal code rather than running around like chicken little trying to protect something that's inherently unprotectable.

    Fast forward to today, where the core concern is content and the theft thereof. Again, the industry tried the technological hammer (DRM) and predictably failed. Now they're trying the legal hammer. Which is only partially a correct tool to use. Yes, feel free to root out the pirate organizations. But for the vast majority of the users, the real solution is proper paid access to the content.

    I remember when MP3s first came into existence. I said then, "The music companies should sell their music online. That would prevent people from illegally distributing MP3s." As expected, the music industry was not going to go that direction. What happened? Well, the market found what it wanted: Napster. And the music industry lost BIG TIME. A service like Napster with fees for song downloads could have been huge. But instead, the industry allowed the public to get a taste of the "free" mentality.

    Even so, it's still possible to reverse the effects. (To some degree.) The correct solution is to continue embracing digital distribution. Offer a fair product at a fair price and people will pay for it. For the vast majority of users, their time is worth more than tooling around trying to find the content they're interested in. But as long as companies make it worth more to run through virus-laden torrent sites than to download off of their websites or iTunes, then consumers will go for the virus-laden torrent sites.

    Welcome to the new competition media industry. For the first time ever, you have to compete. And guess what? You're competing against yourselves. ;-)

    • by johannesg (664142)

      The correct solution is to continue embracing digital distribution. Offer a fair product at a fair price and people will pay for it.

      Isn't the problem, at least in part, that the current scheme allows bundling of maybe two decent songs and a whole bunch of filler crap on CD's, while digital distribution allows cherry-picking? In order to keep up their revenues, it would be necessary to produce far more quality content. And that's hard to do...

    • by malkavian (9512)

      The problem is the legal tool, in many ways.
      By using a lot of money, they're effectively robbing the general public of the Public Domain.
      Much of what we're not allowed to use for free today would have been fine in our grandparent's days, and due to some recent rulings in the US about the definition of 'Limited Term', the content industry has effectively stolen our culture, and now agrees only to sell it back to us in perpetuity.
      Unsurprisingly, as the media industry is more and more reneging on its own side

  • They want the government to sign into law an 'enabling' act, designed to curtail free speech and free association, in response to a vague threat which they've refused to provide evidence for the scope of?

    Some people are just asking for Nazi comparisons.

  • four words. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:12AM (#27921471)
    Innocent until proven guilty.
    • by Inda (580031)
      That's a nice phrase to keep everyone feeling warm inside.

      In truth, we do not lock up the innocent. To do so in the civilised wolrd is unthinkable.

      So, while awaiting trial in a cell (on remand, as we call it here), you are not innocent.
    • by Kabuthunk (972557)

      Oh, if only I had your optimism. Unfortunately, despite that statement, I fully and thoroughly believe that it works the exact opposite. If you're 'defending' yourself, you might as well have the words "guilty, but trying to get out on a technicality" branded onto your forehead.

      At least that's how I've seen seeing lawsuits work lately... but I tend to be pessimistic.

  • Wankers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This story started the day being reported sympathetically by the bbc and others. Thankfully they have since updated their stance to include the views of ISPs, the people who would have to implement this measure (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8046028.stm). They rightly point out that such a move is impossible and disproportionate, "Ispa members have consistently explained that significant technological advances would be required if these measures are to reach a standard where they would be admissible

  • how does the market work for tangible, physical products ? it's based on the assumption that after i buy something, the manufacturer loses all control over the good. i can resell, rent, loan, give it away, etc.

    now why doesn't this work for music and video ? because they want _control _ ? well, FUCK control. think on profits, damn it !!!

    work like that: ANYONE can resell ANY music or movie they wan't, as long as they buy it beforehand.

    set up a music wholeseller. this service will only work with online stores

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm not buying anything which requires phoning home to a central authority. Thanks, though. P.S. You can legally purchase and resell pretty much anything... unless prevented by DRM. It's called First Sale law. Learn it, live it, love it... and if you do, then you'll have to hate all forms of DRM, including dipshit stuff like CSS, and nefarious schemes like Steam.

  • That's it, instead of competing against free illegal copies of dubious quality with a superior, consistent, higher quality product, distributed as cheaply, try to strong arm an tangentially related industry into propping up your obsolete business model.

    I'm sure that'll work out of ya, just look at the horse & cart industry.

  • They are artists, creative people. They should be in the forefront of the development of human culture. Then they base their business model on certain technological limitations. That is bad in the first place, but then, when the limitations are overcome, they try to force the limitations back, just so they won't have to adapt to a new reality. That's not very artistic. With that kind of attitude, I'm not sure I want their stuff, for free or not. Then again, I hope very few actual artists think in this way.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:39AM (#27921921) Homepage

    Nobles, Romans, Geeks, lend me your ears. This is not going away. They will not stop, no matter how many times they are proven wrong. No matter how many times they are slapped down by the courts. They will keep coming at us, and they will never stop. They have a lot of money, and they think they have it all to lose. The only solution is to disappear.

    Start working on your darknet, today. The only way out is to become invisible.

    There are others, and I think this one shows promise:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P [wikipedia.org]

    I am not advocating copyright infringement. I don't think you should use a darknet to break the law. But you absolutely should do what you can to make your Internet behavior inscrutable. It is none of their business, but they will keep monitoring you, and finding new things you are doing to outlaw, until they own you, or you disappear.

    This, copyright infringement, is only one tiny piece. It is not the only field in which you are being watched, and it is far from the most dangerous one. The only way to protect free speech and free association is to make your speech and association impossible to observe.

    Now go, and actively engage in the hard work of being free.

  • Enabling Act? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:47AM (#27922041)

    Any time there is a call for:

    enabling legislation,

    it always seems to turn out like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933 [wikipedia.org]

  • It is not the creative industries that say that, because this would mean the artists. But this comes from the dying (and as we know for a good reason) distribution industries.
    The very people that want the creatives to get as little as possible from the sales cake. 1-4% with music, and they still have to pay the expenses, like the studio, from it.

    I wonder how this process of article and summary writer selection works here on Slashdot? Do they choose the one with the least knowledge of the topic in an epic co

  • How is this not boil down to corporate interests annexing the Internet for their own locked-down uses away from average citizens' private use?

    It will come to only protected content being allowed to travel the Internet. Further, the individual real people will be denied the ability to protect their content because they can't be trusted not to wrap illegal content with private protection.

  • If you were to see a list of the members of this "alliance of so-called 'Creative Industries'" you would find almost no creative people at all.

    They should have called it the "Alliance of Greedy Bastards" or "Alliance of People Whose Only Way to Make a Living is By the Sweat of Someone Creative's Brow".

    "Alliance of Buggy-Whip Manufacturers" might suffice, too.

  • How can an organization call itself the "Creative Industries" when they can't even come up with 21st century business models ...
  • As far as I can tell, the people who call themselves "the creative industries" are mostly recycling folk tunes and Shakespearean stories, and that's on a good day. True creativity happens in other fields, like, oh, computers, engineering, and science.

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