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United Kingdom Crime Government Piracy

Two Birmingham Men Are Arrested By UK's New Intellectual Property Crime Unit 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-law-&-order-show-already-in-pre-production dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "The Guardian reports that the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has arrested two men from Birmingham and have seized 'suspected counterfeit DVD box sets worth around £40,000, including titles such as Game of Thrones, CSI and Vampire Diaries.' The claim is that the men were buying foreign counterfeit copies and selling them online as genuine. London police commissioner Adriad Leppard offers commentary indicative of the thinking behind these efforts, saying, 'Intellectual property crime is already costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year and placing thousands of jobs under threat, and left unchecked and free to feed on new technology could destroy some of our most creative and productive industries.' The article offers £51 billion as an estimate for the cost of illegal downloading to the music, film, and software industry, a figure they say will triple by 2015." Meanwhile, Netflix is paying attention to piracy via torrent sites as well. The difference is that they're using that data to decide what shows they should buy.
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Two Birmingham Men Are Arrested By UK's New Intellectual Property Crime Unit

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  • i don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noh8rz10 (2716597)

    i don't get it. can somebody provide insights into why this is a big deal and is on slashdot? criminals break law, get arrested. what is the sizzle here?

    • by RogueyWon (735973)

      I have no idea. Stories like this have been a stock feature in local papers here in the UK ever since home video recorders came onto the market, usually centered on raids on car boot sales or dodgy market stalls. Maybe it's the "selling online" thing? Though dodgy DVDs being sold as genuine online is hardly a new thing either and has always been something you've known you have to look out for on Ebay and the like.

      Maybe it's because it's in the Guardian? There's a certain type of person who takes everything

      • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

        I suspect because they're the first arrests made by a new unit dedicated to IP related crimes. They were literally their first arrests as a unit.

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          Is it somehow controversial that this division made the arrest? I think the crime itself seems cut and dried bootlegging. Is this unit controversial?

        • Maybe its to do with the cost of policing this?
          http://www.prospects.ac.uk/police_officer_salary.htm [prospects.ac.uk]

          Salaries vary between forces but the typical starting salary for police constables in England and Wales is £22,680 on commencing service and £25,317 on completion of the initial training period. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the typical starting salary is £23,259, rising to £25,962 after the intial training period.
          Range of typical salaries after sever

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      i don't get it. can somebody provide insights into why this is a big deal and is on slashdot? criminals break law, get arrested. what is the sizzle here?

      The sizzle here is that this is a sane application of IP law. We don't hear of such things much these days.

      • "The sizzle here is that this is a sane application of IP law."

        No, it isn't. It would be a sane application of fraud law, since they were selling counterfeit goods.

    • why this is a big deal and is on slashdot?

      You must be nude here.

      Here's why this story is on Slashdot:

      • 1) A Slashdot reader thought it was News for Nerds and posted the story.
      • 2) Some other Slashdot readers voted it up under the Submissions sections
      • 3) Some other Slashdot readers, like yourself, didn't read the Submissions section and didn't vote it down.
      • 4) A Slashdot editor looked at the votes and read the article . . . and then decided to post it.
      • 5) Putin wins.

      That, is how a story gets posted on Slashdot.

      It's the best of News for Nerds,

      • > You must be nude here.

        Hey if people want to read /. in their birthday suit more power to them but sometimes there really is T.M.I (too much information) as your fetish for others to be nude here :)

    • Someone who has journalism (possibly even 'Tech' journalism) experience is trying to run /., perhaps? Or maybe a lack thereof?

      Let's review earlier /. submissions: http://games.slashdot.org/story/99/10/15/1012230/john-carmack-answers

      Compare that one to the current post, and note the differences. First, /. is generating new content in that post...they are interviewing, even if by email, one of the higher tech people in the industry; what more, they are asking the right questions, because the person asking the

      • Let's review earlier /. submissions: http://games.slashdot.org/story/99/10/15/1012230/john-carmack-answers [slashdot.org]

        Compare that one to the current post, and note the differences. First, /. is generating new content in that post...they are interviewing, even if by email, one of the higher tech people in the industry; what more, they are asking the right questions, because the person asking them lives in the tech world...the interview is quicker, and perhaps juicier because of that.

        /. is not generating new content in that post. All those questions were from readers. Those Q&A sessions are still being held in the same way.

    • Well, I don't think that copyright infringement should be a crime; let it be a civil matter so that if copyright holders care, they can go to court, and if they don't care so much as to spend their own money on enforcement, the bill is not passed to taxpayers. A purely civil copyright system worked fine for a long time, as it did for trademarks, and still does afaik for patents.

      (That said, if they were defrauding customers who thought they were getting legitimate copies, that might justify the involvement o

  • Who do I have to pay to get corporate police?
    • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @06:31AM (#44854947) Journal

      Police can be bought at any of these fine websites:

      http://www.conservatives.com/ [conservatives.com]
      http://www.labour.org.uk/ [labour.org.uk]
      http://www.libdems.org.uk/ [libdems.org.uk]

      Committed a crime against humanity and could use some support? Are you a mass murderer willing to pay for some publicity whore of a soulless cunt to shake your hand while telling the world of your indefatigability? Are you sickened by discrimination against people who want to kill jews in a hail of shrapnel on a crowded bus?

      Yes to any of the above? You need George Galloway. Mr Galloway has over 10 years experience of representing his interests in elected office. Remember our catchy jingle! "If the cheque clears and you're not a Jew, there's no end of things George can do for you!"

      http://www.votegeorgegalloway.com/ [votegeorgegalloway.com]

      • He dissed Jo Coburn on BBC2's Daily Proleantics last week. That's absolutely not on.

        If I'd been there I'd have punched the muzzy-loving thistle-arsec cunt.

        • I don't think he loves Muslims. He's just a self-serving man who seems to have a pathological need to always take the opposing view of any positions the UK and US governments hold. There's a wealth of weirdness there, with his hard-on for Islam being married with his support for gay rights and his automatic and unyielding support for any regime run by arabs and/or Muslims. He's an apologist for butchers - so long as they're arabs or Muslims - even when these odious regimes are persecuting muslims and the ma

          • Correction: Mr Galloway is actually now spending some time in Parliament. Nice of him to do his day job when he's no swanning around the world.

  • 51 billion?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    an unauthorized/unlicensed download does not equal a lost sale. is it that hard a concept to comprehend?

    • by compro01 (777531)

      is it that hard a concept to comprehend?

      It is a terribly hard thing to make a man understand a concept when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Yup, that number is just unbelievably stupid - it's basically equal to the entire world entertainment industry, so they are claiming without piracy they's make 2x the revenue. Yeah, right, dream on...

      But on the other hand, this article overall was NOT about "unauthorized downloading", it was about pirates arrested for SELLING COUNTERFEIT DVDs, which is so obviously not a debatable copyright issue it's getting pretty absurd. Do these two mostly unrelated issues have to be conflated EVERY TIME by the media

    • an unauthorized/unlicensed download does not equal a lost sale. is it that hard a concept to comprehend?

      Really? So if you were a creator of TV show, would you like the profits come to you through the official distribution channels, or would you like that profit to go into third party hands, without you getting a dime?

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Actually, it does equal a lost sale.

      Copyright gives the ability to control the copying and distribution of a protected work. If someone downloads a copy, they have taken the distribution step (well, the person who offered it for download anyways) and performed it without the sale that copyright provides. Therefore, if someone distributes a copyrighted work, they have effect a transfer without the sale. Once the transfer is done, the sale is lost.

      Now, you can argue all you want that someone would never have

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @02:51AM (#44854351)

    "It not only damages the UK economy, but substandard goods and services can pose real threats to consumers too."

    if it's actually "substandard" then it means it's not a copy of the original because there is no original to copy. meaning they were selling the latest seasons of the shows which aren't on sale yet. if you want the latest season of game of thrones, you are going to have to wait until 2014.

    the industry needs to learn that when there is a demand, someone will fill it. if you aren't filling that demand, someone else will.

    • by RogueyWon (735973)

      Yes, if the industry really wanted to cut down on piracy for movies/TV shows and games, there are two very simple steps it could take, neither of which would involve paying for new laws and both of which would likely be more effective than legislation, particularly in terms of getting at that particular subcategory of piracy where a torrented version actually does equate into a lost sale.

      1) For movies and TV shows, cut the gap between cinema release/TV air date and the media going on sale in a "to own" form

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      if it's actually "substandard" then it means it's not a copy of the original because there is no original to copy. meaning they were selling the latest seasons of the shows which aren't on sale yet.

      Well, no, it just means it was substandard. The DVD itself can be poorly written, and might not play properly. Box sets might be missing items.
      There was no indication in the article that they were selling the very latest episodes.

      if you want the latest season of game of thrones, you are going to have to wait until 2014.

      the industry needs to learn that when there is a demand, someone will fill it. if you aren't filling that demand, someone else will.

      Do you mean, when there is a demand for cheaper product? There was no indication that these DVDs weren't available anywhere else. But most likely they were cheaper than the product that is available in the store.

  • Easiest job ever, search online through shopping review sites and ebay feedback for 'fake' etc, Buy item. Arrest if selling a lot of fakes.

  • I tried to look up the size of the UK music, movie and software industries for comparison. Music wasn't too hard, but I'm getting wildly conflicting results for the movie industry in my googling. It's hard to work out - most of their income comes from overseas distribution, and as with any movie production the official net income is worthless due to dodgy accounting. That's before considering the government subsidies and tax breaks the industry gets to 'promote british culture.'

  • by Solandri (704621) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @03:53AM (#44854553)
    This is precisely what copyright laws are supposed to prevent - the bootlegger making money by illegally selling multiple copies of someone else's content.

    The problem with Copyright is the *AA has been trying to use these laws to penalize the filesharer (who makes a single copy for themselves) as if they were full-blown bootleggers. The "making available" argument is bunk because if you take the number of illegal copies made via filesharing, and divide by the number of people doing the sharing, the math says there's one illegal copy made per offender. Ergo each offender is responsible for one illegal copy. Totally different from the bootlegger case where the single bootlegger is making thousands of copies available (the buyers are not guilty of anything because they paid for what they thought was a legal copy).

    That's why copyright fines are so high - to discourage bootleggers who are trying to sell thousands of copies for profit. Not to bankrupt for life someone trying to make a single illegal copy for himself. The law really needs to distinguish between these cases.
  • I would like to be the devil's advocate. In TFA, the IP cop says

    Intellectual property crime is already costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year and placing thousands of jobs under threat, and left unchecked and free to feed on new technology could destroy some of our most creative and productive industries

    Violating IP is now a crime instead of an offense in the UK? I note that we always consider the lost money stream and jobs at companies holding IP, but not at the actors that violate it. After all the two men selling counterfeit DVD created two jobs (their own), and generated revenue. Of course that revenue cannot be taxed, but the IP holder is big enought that I assume it used some fiscal tricks to avoid paying taxes too. In the end we talks a

  • Woah, big numbers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 15, 2013 @04:09AM (#44854619)

    Did you know that piracy increases lifespan by 5.7 years on average, boosts the national GDP by 3.2% (4.1% adjusted for inflation), and increases overall subjective happiness by no less than 18.5%?
    Writing random numbers is so easy. I don't know where they pulled that "£51 billion" crap out of, but they're welcome to shove it back in there.

    • by Spad (470073)

      According to the best stats I can find, the "Creative Industries" are responsible for ~8% of a £1.5Tn GDP, so about £120Bn.

      So basically, the Creative Industries in the UK are apparently losing ~45% of their output to piracy and within the next two years that could be 120%.

      There we have it, by 2015 no creative industry in the UK will be making a profit or be otherwise contributing to our economy, so enjoy them while they're still there.

  • does someone really BUY the dvd boxset of the vampire diaries? Now I do watch the series mostly out of habit now, but buying it? I mean seriously?
  • 'Intellectual property crime is already costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year and placing thousands of jobs under threat, and left unchecked and free to feed on new technology could destroy some of our most creative and productive industries.'

    Technically speaking, as some of the people selling these DVDs at car boot sales etc. use that as their main or only source of income, enforcement puts thousands of jobs under threat. It all comes down to a value judgement of whose job you thin

  • Whilst it's true that there are crazy comments here on this story, it's also true the the copyright laws are counter-intuitive in places. My favourite is borrowing DVDs from the library. Public libraries buy DVDs at the same price as we do (i.e. they don't pay the rental price because they're not renting and therefore making money). I often watch TV shows by waiting until they appear in the library and then borrowing the disks. If I do this, it's not "theft" as defined by the MPAA, even though they may have
  • The article offers £51 billion as an estimate for the cost of illegal downloading to the music, film, and software industry, a figure they say will triple by 2015."

    I think that is wrong... pretty sure the number they were looking for was £51,000,000 trillion billion bazillion... and it will certainly more than triple... with crappy draconian new laws and whatnot, it will be more like 10x.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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