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Proposed UK law would force ISP sanctions against file sharers

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Nov 2009 22:51 User comments (17)

Proposed UK law would force ISP sanctions against file sharers UK lawmakers officially announced the Digital Economy Bill intended to address issues identified by the Digital Britain Report. As expected it makes communications regulators at Ofcom responsible for curbing unauthorized P2P file sharing.
Initially it doesn't go quite as far as entertainment industry representatives would like, and only requires that ISPs forward warning letters about alleged illegal file sharing activity from content owners to their customers.

However, if Ofcom doesn't find that unauthorized downloads have dropped by 70% at some so far unspecified point in the future the Secretary of State would be authorized to ask Parliament for the authority to force ISPs to punish accused file sharers.

This action could include bandwidth caps, daily download limits, and of course the most controversial measure of all - kicking customers off the internet based on nothing but allegations.

ISPs have publicly criticized the idea of putting them in the middle of the fight against P2P-based copyright infringement for a number of reasons ranging from the cost of enforcement to the apparent lack of concern for consumer rights.

Last month TalkTalk's Andrew Heaney said, "The lack of presumption of innocence and the absence of judicial process combined with the prevalence of wi-fi hacking will result in innocent people being disconnected."

BT's John Petter voiced a similar concern, saying, "We believe abuse of copyright is wrong. However, we have real concerns about the government’s plans and the lack of legal protections for accused individuals. We believe that technical measures are not the way forward and that a system of court fines for repeat infringers is preferable."

Simply from a customer relations point of view it seems unreasonable to force a business to actively participate in sanctioning their customers on the basis of an unproven allegation. Wi-Fi theft and the difficulty in determining who was assigned an IP address at any given time make it certain that some number will be wrongly accused and guilty of no infringement.

Even some lawmakers have spoken out about this approach, which they say doesn't address the real problem. That problem, they say, is rights holders' poor reaction to new technology.

In fact the one problem everyone can agree the recording industry actually faces, a continued slide in CD sales, wouldn't be addressed in any way by kicking people off the internet. Especially considering file sharers have been consistently shown to purchase more music than the average consumer.

Cutting customers off from your primary marketplace is hardly a way to get them to give you more money.

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17 user comments

120.11.2009 23:20
llongtheD
Inactive

Yet another example of your tax dollars hard at work protecting the rich corporate conglomerates.

221.11.2009 0:53
jony218
Inactive

Why don't they just ban the internet, that's the only way they will ever stop illegal downloads.
As soon they devise a new method to counter piracy, the pirates introduce a countermeasure. It's a never ending battle.
Once the genie is out of the bottle it can not be put back. The era of outrageous profits on CD's is long gone.
Years ago people use to record music off the radio into cassettes for free, it was the beginning of piracy. Now the technology is more sophisticated but operates on the same principle.

321.11.2009 5:26
manrod
Inactive

Seriously, this country is going to hell in a hand basket. I can't be bothered to elaborate now but anyone living in the U.K will be able to state how bad everything is here.

421.11.2009 6:40

Quote:
Why don't they just ban the internet, that's the only way they will ever stop illegal downloads.

even if they could ban the internet( which that wouldnt have a hope in hell of doing) people would still find illegal ways of obtaining music like borrowing it from the library and copying it,borrowing the cds/dvds from friends and copying them.As for the ISP i dont think its any of there business what you use the internet for.you pay money for a connection not a babysitter.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Nov 2009 @ 6:42

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521.11.2009 7:52

Originally posted by llongtheD:
Yet another example of your tax dollars hard at work protecting the rich corporate conglomerates.
Tax !Pounds!

under virgin media we already have bandwidth caps, if we download 3500MB (that is less than 1 DVD's worth of data) bandwidth is cut by 75%

also what bugs me is the drop in cd sales is put down solely to piracy,
nobody makes mention of the increased number of specialized radio stations, increased number of music video TV channels,increased number of digital download sales and record execs stealing from their artists and customers.

The music industry is making more money now than they have ever done and what do they spend it on ? Lawyers politicians and drugs
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Nov 2009 @ 8:02

621.11.2009 8:05

It's ridiculous here, if i could move to the states i would.

721.11.2009 8:21

Originally posted by mitchst:
It's ridiculous here, if i could move to the states i would.
What makes you think they have your interests at heart either ~ http://forums.afterdawn.com/t.cfm/f-33/s...strikes-811898/
Whatever the US says (on various topics i mean), the UK blindly follows.., we're seemingly joined at the hip in too many aspects
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Nov 2009 @ 8:29



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821.11.2009 8:57

Quote:
Originally posted by mitchst:
It's ridiculous here, if i could move to the states i would.
What makes you think they have your interests at heart either ~ http://forums.afterdawn.com/t.cfm/f-33/s...strikes-811898/
Whatever the US says (on various topics i mean), the UK blindly follows.., we're seemingly joined at the hip in too many aspects
It's not just this, it's the whole Nanny state thing, which grows truer by the day. I've been to the states a few times, admittedly on holiday, but the way of life just seems so much better. No chance of moving though, silly green cards :P.

921.11.2009 14:45

mitchst, you've seen America as a tourist and through movies & television. Reality is more complicated. America is run by corporations and special interests at this time.

The legal mechanism is in place to change that for the better. Therefore there is always that hope. The American public is presently very apathetic and more interested in sports, soap opera's and reality tv. There is a vocal but very small minority of Americans who want change. It is not enough.

Unless their number grows substantially, the "tax dollars are hard at work" to make the internet a private backyard of various special interests. I am hoping for a revolution. The American Constitution, a magnificent document, could allow it but it takes the people.

1021.11.2009 14:51
scum101
Inactive

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.


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1121.11.2009 16:26

Originally posted by mitchst:
It's not just this, it's the whole Nanny state thing, which grows truer by the day.
Wake up.

This has got nothing to do with a supposed British "nanny state" and everything to do with all of our 'western' Government(s) acting on behalf of the biggest (private) international corporations.

It is the private sector media & retail companies that want to turn the net into one big shopping mall where everything is monetised.

If they can misdirect & gull the ill-informed into imagining this is all about encroaching Government then so much the better for them.

Our political parties (that is the ones that stand any chance of actually gaining any serious power) & Goverments stopped being (by any recognisable & accurate definition) 'left' or 'right' long ago.
They are now slightly different shades of the same corporate business party.

Nanny state?
LMAO
Toothless collective of yes-men dictated to by the corporations, more like.

1222.11.2009 23:12

They should just launch the nukes and kill every living thing...that's the only way that they can stop piracy.

1323.11.2009 2:02

The ISPs really need to say to the movie/music studios.

Sure we will block copyright files from our network, this will mean ALL our customers won't have any access to ANY of your copyright files/websites straight away.

And they would back down straight away as the net is the only thing probably keeping their companies alive at the moment.

1424.11.2009 17:53

European Commission: No 3 Strikes Without Judicial Oversight

Quote:
The European Commission has issued a warning to the Spanish government that any plan to disconnect file-sharers from the Internet without involving a judge would create conflict with the EU. This statement could also throw the three-strikes plans of the UK government and the Irish ISP Eircom into serious doubt.




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Network ~ DD-WRT ~ 2node WDS-WPA2/AES ~ Buffalo WHR-G54S. 3node WPA2/AES ~ WRT54GS v6 (inc. WEP BSSID), WRT54G v2, WRT54G2 v1. *** Forum Rules ***

1524.11.2009 18:45

Originally posted by KillerBug:
They should just launch the nukes and kill every living thing...that's the only way that they can stop piracy.
Not even the Nukes Can bring down the web, if every human just disappeared one day the net would still run on its own for more than 1000 years+

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1626.11.2009 4:05

Originally posted by creaky:
European Commission: No 3 Strikes Without Judicial Oversight
Quote:
The European Commission has issued a warning to the Spanish government that any plan to disconnect file-sharers from the Internet without involving a judge would create conflict with the EU. This statement could also throw the three-strikes plans of the UK government and the Irish ISP Eircom into serious doubt.

Exactly as it completely removes official channels of law.

The studios are only doing this so they can do what ever they want without having to go through the courts.

Well if the law can remove a royal family then the studios will have to have a major rethink.

1727.11.2009 21:37

Essentially this proposal if implemented would circumvent to due process of law, where there is a presumption of innocence. There are already existing laws in the UK that cover the area of "copyright theft, etc" but these laws are untested in the UK in the area of digital downloads. This would seem to indicate to these laws are potentially unsafe and the authorities clearly do not want to set a precedent if they lost a case, or if it went as far as the house of laws and was amended.Therefore rather than test said law or any future derivations of, its much easier to simply presume guilt and without any legal process.
This proposal is a legal minefield, that if implemented, will have to implemented not by the existing government, but my a new political administration after next years general election. This is a standard UK political tactic to leave the incumbants with at least one inherited political nightmare.
Remedies for any sanctions made under this proposal could be sought under human rights, disability rights and age related rights legistlation, which in the UK are almost totally unenforcable to the majority of the population.
It seems strange that we are attempting to bring freedom and democracy to sections of the third world and yet deny those same basic rights to our own citizens. But that is any of many inherent contradictions of our political systems.

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