UK could follow French copyright plan: Get legal or get off!

Britain could follow France in cutting Internet access to users who repeatedly download music or films illegally. In France, warning messages are sent to those who frequently download music or films illegally. If the messages are ignored, users can have their accounts suspended or closed altogether.

The U.K. government had given British ISPs a year to come up with a voluntary plan but that time has now expired leading many to conclude that government regulation will need to be issued to address the problem. The impetus from this access comes the the music industry that saw a further 10% decline in sales during 2007.

A report in the Times newspaper suggested that ISPs would be forced to act against users accused of accessing copyrighted material without permission. An alternative system would be based on filtering, which could block illegal files from being downloaded.

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It would be the end of ISP's if they enforced this fully. They may try and make examples of a few, but even that would hit there user base hard as they all swap to a more liberal ISP.

They only provide a service it is up to us how we use it and the police to enforce it. E.g. Ford have no responsibility to people speeding using there cars, nor do the people who build/maintain the roads that they can speed on.

From what iv read ISP's already hold all this information which they need to give up if asked by the police, the only change I think should happen is the ISP should stop holding this information and leave it all to the police.

Oh and until a major record company actually makes a loss instead of a profit - why should we care?
I mean, surely they are moaning because they only made $512 billion of profit this year - WTF?!

They should be concentrating on getting those who make money out of downloading copyrighted material, like the dodgy geezers who sell dvds in pubs for £3 a go...!!

I dont see how banning or prosecuting people who donwload material to listen to or watch at home is going to make an impact on the losses of the industry.. just because they wont be able to download it, doesnt mean they will go out and buy it.. some people just do it because they can!

Where does it say it doesn't affect privacy of communications? Where is the judge order to let them do it?


*sarcasm mode on*
I believe that someone monitoring your connection is perfectly compatible with a free world...
*sarcasm mode off*

seriously tho. we shouldnt be getting ****ed off with this.
isnt their some thingin the Terms and conditions or what ever your ISP refers to their usage agremement about downloading copyright protected files?

I wouldn't think France would be the one to set this in motion but glad to see this catching on.

As usual, the only ones whining are those guilty of piracy or those who can't grasp the fact that piracy is stealing and illegal.

Hopefully this starts sending the message.

Little more to it than that.

Firstly, the government shouldn't be helping an old business model to continue without change. Did they help the grocers, butchers, etc stay in business by ruling that supermarkets aren't allowed to exist? Have they ruled that internet shopping is banned so the supermarkets/high street shops can exist without change? No, they had to evolve with the times the same way the games industry has. The music industry should do the same - there are plenty of possibilities, most of which I have seen have come from the "zomg evilz" pirates themselves. The fact is they know any other system won't fill their pockets half as much, even though half is still a heck of a lot of money.

Then come the technical and privacy issues. What is suggested is equivalent to if the Royal Mail opened every single piece of mail to ensure that you weren't doing anything illegal - I don't think many would be happy about that, but because this is the internet and music companies it is ok?

If such a detection system is technically possible, why hasn't it already been implemented to detect child porn? Probably because that doesn't fill someones pockets. Shows what is more important in this World.

If such a detection system is possible and feasable, who will be paying for it? I severely doubt the music industry, government or ISPs will be. Who does that leave?

Whether you pirate or not, it is a deeply flawed proposal on so many levels.

(C_Guy said @ #17)
As usual, the only ones whining are those guilty of piracy or those who can't grasp the fact that piracy is stealing and illegal.

Or those not so obviously short-sighted as you are. Are you willing to stamp out piracy at *any* cost? Chilling your naivety is.

(Fourjays said @ #17.1)
Little more to it than that.


If such a detection system is technically possible, why hasn't it already been implemented to detect child porn? Probably because that doesn't fill someones pockets. Shows what is more important in this World.

I couldnt agree with you more...!!!...If this amount of effort was put into fighting child porn, or other sick stuff seen on the net, there would be far less of that crap!

I wish they would just get on with it... Then after a year they can see the sales are still going down and finally work out that it isnt downloading thats hurting the industry.

Hum what if I use Video Market Place on my X360, it's legal and all but with repeated downloading would the government suspect something and ban me? How would I prove them wrong if it was a genuine mistake from them?

I don't see the big problem with this. It makes sense, don't download or we'll kick you off. Even in Canada and the US some ISPs have sent warnings to people to stop downloading pirated material.

Because to download "illegal" files is just a minor fault, so this law can be applied to other action such terrorism, and terrorism is everything but the government voice.

I do agree with CelticWisper ... and also i disagree with the enormous fines asked by the RIAA ... since downloading a song != buying an entire cd .... assuming you have 24 songs which might mean a cd they are all different hence no need to buy the entire cd ... moreover .... piracy does take into effect (and that is why companies are ****ed about) the selling of counterfeit materials which means that other people (than the company itself) makes money on the software developed by the company ... it has nothing to do with the individual that downloads the music, game/program for study,self interest or trial(usage) ...

even if you could argue by yes stealing is stealing, the argument is flawed since the 2 acts are different and not the same. using your head != go to a store at gun point/kill someone to take the cd or better yet a song.

piracy got a bad name/reputation simply because other people sell the programs, thus making a profit ... BUT if u were to use it yourself then i don't see why bother stopping piracy ... nevertheless even governmental imposed sanctions or whatever cannot stop the inevitable simply because it does not work the way they think it does .... and it follows this:


YOU as a customer are paying for a service .. meaning internet (or dry cleaning) .... assuming they stop/track/cut your connection because you download (in other words take the cleaned clothes from you because you found money in your pocket after washing) .... The government has no power because the country is run by the people that work, students that learn and pay for a service, if the customer will stop buying that service the company/government will be in big **** ... ... so therefore i said it ... whatever they do in the uk ... which i would assume will come the canada .... cannot be so drastic ... enough is enough with the identity on the hands of government lunatics .... but there is a limit ...

REVOLT

I think everyone is missing a huge part of the article here. The British ISPs did not "voluntarily" come up with a plan because it is not their issue, and therefore should not be dedicating their resources and funding for it. The RIAA has continuously put the responsibility of implementing its programs to crackdown on illegal music in the hands of everyone but themselves. The companies that make up the RIAA need to come up with solutions that rely on their funding and resources. Please, stop trying to further complicate the role of ISPs...and where does it end?

I think that the subscription based download models are the future. I have no problem paying $15/mo for unlimited downloads from Zune Pass. But I wish I could burn CDs with it. It also ****es me off when a particular album I want is pay-for only. That is when I fire up the p2p.

(Shadrack said @ #7)
I think that the subscription based download models are the future. I have no problem paying $15/mo for unlimited downloads from Zune Pass. But I wish I could burn CDs with it. It also ****es me off when a particular album I want is pay-for only. That is when I fire up the p2p.

It's a step in the right direction but DRM is the problem. You pretty much nailed it when you said "I wish I could burn CDs with it." The fact that you can't is a problem. Sure we have Fair-Use Enforcement tools like PlayFair, HYMN, QTFairUse, FairUse4WM, and others, but not everyone knows how to use them and they shouldn't be necessary in the first place.

Until DRM is wiped out I'm going to stick to physical CDs that conform to the Red Book standard. None of this "Enhanced" CD bullsh*t. Plain-vanilla CDDA discs can be ripped, copied, backed up, transcoded, and otherwise manipulated to my heart's content and they'll never try to connect to the Internet to get a "license" before I can use what I paid for.

To the record industries who say "But CDs are in the past!" or "We're losing money!" or "You pirate," I say "Too goddamn bad. Your profits aren't my problem."

To those who say "Think of the artists!" I say "First of all, they're musicians. Grow a sense of specificity. Secondly, and this is the important bit...LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU IRREDEEMABLE BOTTOM-FEEDERS. Maybe YOU should think of your artists before you fleece them, paying them pennies on the dollar for CDs sold."

I will sing and dance in the streets when the first major record label (major, as in Sony, Universal, Warner, etc.) declares bankruptcy.

On second thought, maybe I better only dance. Wouldn't want to get hit with public-performance fees for singing in the streets.

its still kind of ironic that people think downloading music is ok....i mean we dont steal the cd off the shelf now do we...but i still download music tho, albeit ive been using itunes to purchase songs a lot more now that i have an ipod touch

(Netrack said @ #5)
its still kind of ironic that people think downloading music is ok....i mean we dont steal the cd off the shelf now do we...but i still download music tho, albeit ive been using itunes to purchase songs a lot more now that i have an ipod touch

Because downloading isn't stealing.

Let me put that another way: Copyright infringement isn't larceny. We have separate sets of laws to deal with each. If they were one and the same, we would handle them under the same set of laws.

Copyright infringement is the act of duplicating something without the owner's permission. Larceny is the taking away of a thing without the owner's permission.

Copying doesn't deprive anyone of anything immediate and tangible. Larceny does. The common argument is that "copying deprives of a potential sale." That is logically flawed, however, in a number of ways. It assumes that the thing will definitely be sold if it is not copied, it assumes that the thing will definitely not be sold if it is copied, and it assumes that the person copying definitely will not buy an official copy. Furthermore, it fails to take into account the effects of increased market exposure to the copied material, heightened interest in similar products (which are likely carried by the same merchant or owned by the same licensor), and heightened interest (fandom, if you will) in the creator of the copied product.

The point is that the effects of copyright infringement on a given industry at a given time are questionable and variable. Look at major record labels versus the case of bands like Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails.

On the other hand, the effects of larceny (theft) are definite and unquestionably negative for all sellers.

I'm not necessarily saying that rampant piracy left and right is universally a good thing (though I love seeing huge record companies hurt), but it is folly to treat it in the same fashion as theft of material goods.

(CelticWhisper said @ #5.1)

Because downloading isn't stealing.

Let me put that another way: Copyright infringement isn't larceny. We have separate sets of laws to deal with each. If they were one and the same, we would handle them under the same set of laws.

Copyright infringement is the act of duplicating something without the owner's permission. Larceny is the taking away of a thing without the owner's permission.

Copying doesn't deprive anyone of anything immediate and tangible. Larceny does. The common argument is that "copying deprives of a potential sale." That is logically flawed, however, in a number of ways. It assumes that the thing will definitely be sold if it is not copied, it assumes that the thing will definitely not be sold if it is copied, and it assumes that the person copying definitely will not buy an official copy. Furthermore, it fails to take into account the effects of increased market exposure to the copied material, heightened interest in similar products (which are likely carried by the same merchant or owned by the same licensor), and heightened interest (fandom, if you will) in the creator of the copied product.

The point is that the effects of copyright infringement on a given industry at a given time are questionable and variable. Look at major record labels versus the case of bands like Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails.

On the other hand, the effects of larceny (theft) are definite and unquestionably negative for all sellers.

I'm not necessarily saying that rampant piracy left and right is universally a good thing (though I love seeing huge record companies hurt), but it is folly to treat it in the same fashion as theft of material goods.

So fantastically well explained and to the point. If only record companies could understand this, rather than the utter bull-headedness that we're seeing now.

(Valiant said @ #5.2)
Piracy is theft

thats why we have the...

Federation Against Copyright Theft

http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/

A. That's a name. I can run a concentration camp and call it "Happy Flower Land" and it's still a concentration camp.

EDIT: Crap, did I just Godwin this thread? Oops.

B. Did you read beyond the first line I posted? I'll repeat myself: Copyright infringement is not larceny. There are separate laws dealing with each of them, in separate courts. Now the UK may treat things differently but last I checked they still distinguished between criminal and civil law, and between copyright infringement (duplication) and larceny (taking of a material good).

(Valiant said @ #5.2)
Piracy is theft

thats why we have the...

Federation Against Copyright Theft

http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/

Federations can call themselves what they wish. In the UK, copyright infringement is not 'theft'. The legal definition in the UK is the taking of property with the intention to permanently deprive, and of course unlicensed playback is not a permanent or even temporary deprivation.

Equating, as warnings on DVDs seek to do, infringement of an intellectual property with theft quite misses the point of criminal legislation, and ignores the fact that civil remedies are more than sufficient to deal with such infringements by way of damages or injunctions.

(Valiant said @ #5.2)
Piracy is theft

thats why we have the...

Federation Against Copyright Theft

http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/

FACT is a commercial organisation, yes you DID read that right, it makes MONEY or PROFIT for the PRIVATE SHAREHOLDERS, and I *BET* they pirate or do dodgy stuff

encrpytion wouldn't stop this as you would still need the titles of the files else you'd not know what you were downloading. So the copyright could be worked out just from the titles and then your isp contract terminated for stealing copyrighted works.

Yes, it would but then would ould want to ban home users sending encrypted traffic.

Impossible, every time you log in to a site securely isn't that using encryption? You'd have to do away with doing any business at all online, and I don't think the businesses would care much for that idea.

(Valiant said @ #4.2)
encrpytion wouldn't stop this as you would still need the titles of the files else you'd not know what you were downloading. So the copyright could be worked out just from the titles and then your isp contract terminated for stealing copyrighted works.

Not necessarily. I can take Metallica's (for example, and let's be honest, they deserve it) entire discography and archive it into a .tar file titled "Quarterly Figures Backup.tar" After that, I can use GnuPG to encrypt it (using something insane like 256-bit AES or 4096-bit ElGamal) and pipe the output to "Quarterly Figures Backup.gpg" File extension doesn't actually matter as GPG ignores it.

Send that over the internet and the ISPs think it's some business' earnings reports or something being sent to a backup site or regional manager. They can't be sure what it is because it's encrypted, and if communication is kept discreet enough there's no hard evidence that it's anything illicit. They wouldn't take the risk of blocking it (or trying to break the crypto, which is computationally infeasible for all good cryptosystems anyway) because if it really IS a company's quarterly earnings report, that company's going to be mighty peeved and will quite likely slam them with a lawsuit.

Alternatively, just use SFTP over SSH2 and the only thing an ISP ever sees are session-initiation commands and a handshake to setup the client-server connection. Beyond that, all filenames and other data are encrypted with AES-256.

Failing all that, just encrypt to a file on disk and send the disk via sneakernet. I forget who said it (maybe Schneier?), but "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of hard drives traveling down the interstate."

(CelticWhisper said @ #4.4)
Not necessarily. I can take Metallica's (for example, and let's be honest, they deserve it) entire discography and archive it into a .tar file titled "Quarterly Figures Backup.tar" After that, I can use GnuPG to encrypt it (using something insane like 256-bit AES or 4096-bit ElGamal) and pipe the output to "Quarterly Figures Backup.gpg" File extension doesn't actually matter as GPG ignores it.

And how would anyone be able to find it, you couldn't release it after that because then people will think that it's a business thing. I know what you're saying, but it's pointless anyway.

(Tha Bloo Monkee said @ #4.5)

And how would anyone be able to find it, you couldn't release it after that because then people will think that it's a business thing. I know what you're saying, but it's pointless anyway.

That's the tradeoff: It does basically force a slower rate of trading. However, consider a BBS, IRC channel or Usenet group that tracks the latest releases. It's private to mitigate the risk of industry infiltration, but it has a decent user base. It posts the names of the torrents or other files to look for and people go and download those.

After a while, as word spreads, people get used to looking for innocuously-named torrents with lots of seeds. Maybe anyone can download them but you have to work to find the key for the cryptosystem, which is maintained by the BBS users.

One thing is for sure, and it's a flaw that's been pointed out by many before me: BitTorrent is great for mass distribution but absolutely rubbish for security. The key is reducing the scale of distribution while increasing social involvement. I'm not saying the scene should go back to the way it was in the late '80s and early '90s, where you had FTP credit quotas and had to "know someone who knew someone" to get in, though such a system would be pretty much invincible combined with modern anonymity and cryptography tools. I am, though, suggesting a happy middle-ground like Direct Connect hubs and semiprivate FTPs where you at least have to be part of a community and have built up some trust and a good reputation. The weak point is the same as many private trackers have: barriers to entry. There have to be at least a few "easy" networks to get into so people have a starting point to prove their trustworthiness (so we don't have a situation analogous to the utterly stupid ratio requirements private trackers often impose), and industry moles will be weeded out there while trustworthy sharers get established and can move on.

Point is, with a stronger trust element and good technical security measures, the dying industry doesn't stand a chance. The only reason they seem to be doing well now (if you can even say that) is that BitTorrent is an easy target for its lack of anonymity and security. Even then, some clients like Azureus and Transmission are slowly fixing that by encrypting transfers and only accepting connections from anonymous IPs.

(Tha Bloo Monkee said @ #4.5)

And how would anyone be able to find it, you couldn't release it after that because then people will think that it's a business thing. I know what you're saying, but it's pointless anyway.


Huh?
Not if you say "this file is really season x of y" in the description.

Unworkable. Non-news story. They can't do what they're proposing with dodgy pRon, so how they gonna do it with music and films?

This is a "Green paper", which means it's very early stages and will end up in the bin.


It's allright, RIAA icon says it all. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be having this "copyright plan" at all.

Music isn't the only thing out there that is copyright infringement. Even good old-fashioned warez (Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc) is covered by the BSA, who are active in hunting down offenders.

I think that the point should be that ISPs should not be placed in the position of being the monitoring agent, but it would be OK for them to cut off or deny service to heavy/repeat offenders that are reported to them.

(markjensen said @ #2.1)
Music isn't the only thing out there that is copyright infringement. Even good old-fashioned warez (Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc) is covered by the BSA, who are active in hunting down offenders.

I think that the point should be that ISPs should not be placed in the position of being the monitoring agent, but it would be OK for them to cut off or deny service to heavy/repeat offenders that are reported to them.

Yeah BUT it's gonna be in a 'creative' bill, it could be possible that ISP's overlook software with the huge looming media barons filling their sights.

(markjensen said @ #2.1)
Music isn't the only thing out there that is copyright infringement. Even good old-fashioned warez (Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc) is covered by the BSA, who are active in hunting down offenders.

Ever had the BSA attack dogs sicced on you? It isn't funny in the slightest: they work from anonymous (or refuse to disclose the responsible party) tip-offs, invoke all kinds of crap to demand almost instant access and auditing of ALL software on ALL machines in a company. This includes all freeware, shareware [that might have gone past the tryout date, how many Winzip users are on their 1000th+ day?], donationware, nagware, spyware, as well as commercial products. You also have to audit all CD / DVDs, proving, with VAT receipts where most inconvenient, that you've bought the thing. Declaring some software as property of an employee only turns their attention to the employee's home as well. Whilst all this auditing is happening they can shut you down if they feel like it with no compensation. You're guilty until you can prove innocence in absolute contrast to rule of law. But, hey, we crack down on those filthy pirates don't we? (A clue: no).

A company I worked for had BSA sicced on them by an ex-employee. We were completely legit (this was pre-P2P, so wasn't so hard) but we were shut down for a week. Almost killed the company (small, low capital, etc.). History does not relate what happened to that ex-employee when he was tracked down, but how angry would you be?

The article currently is using the RIAA logo which isn't directly related to the story. I'll look for a better image in our database.