back to article International copyright talks seek BitTorrent-killer laws

A new international trade agreement could seek to strengthen criminal sanctions against BitTorrent tracker sites that claim not to profit from internet users sharing music, movies and software. Many major tracker sites say advertising revenues and user donations are used to pay server and bandwidth costs. The operators of the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    another victory for rentier capitalism (look it up).


    Probably 95% of the world's mp3s are held by people who WOULD NOT under any circumstance have bought the music on CDs, had the mp3 not been available. The sooner people realise this the better.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Watch out for...

    the angry freetards.

    Theyll be posting any time now.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Time for...

    ... an Encrypted, Tor style Bit-Torrent network/client.

    Any expectation on the RIAA or MPAA to change their business models to be more consumer friendly is a complete waste of time; hence, it is better to resort to a private encrypted system that cannot/doesn't track users.

  4. Steve Kay

    Buckets of fail everywhere

    Stopping the copying of songs, movies and software action list:

    DRM technology - didn't work

    Making special CDs - didn't work

    Suing everyone ever - didn't work

    Arresting people - didn't work

    Making laws - didn't work

    Making extra-territorial laws - didn't work

    Making enormous global laws - TBC (but probably "didn't work")

    Seriously, anti-BT tracker? I don't even use Bit Torrent, but this is lame in the extreme.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Rant attack

    welcome to serfdom 21st century style. Here comes a new dark age fuelled and funded by grotesque fatcat businessmen who would willingly starve the meek, trample the downtrodden, fund the whoremongers/warmongers and call them just.

    They destroy creativity, stifle innovation, strongarm laws through national courts with lobbyists that detract from the quality of life of the normal person and call it justice. Burn them all.

    Conform Obey Consume Die

    i'd get my coat but what's the point?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    In the UK the 3 strikes legislation will not be implemented for a long time as the last thing our 'listening government' need is to push through more laws that'll piss off the average voter.

    As well as the totally impractical nature of getting the system to work e.g. shared access, government making it more and more necessary to have a Broadband connection.

    I mean last weeks Big Idea was to give away free broadband to the underclasses and to close the digital divide, but these are people who will very likely to use file sharing. So one week you get free broadband and the next week you're banned.

    I forget this is NuLabour so they'll push it though and waste millions in doing so.

    Even Paris can see this won't work.

  7. Chris Phillips

    Profit... what cobblers

    This is the same profit that Alan Ellis made from Oink is it? What nonsense. That guy used minimal donations to pay for nothing but hardware and bandwidth, yet Cleveland police reckon he made hundreds of thousands... idiots.

    All goes to show how dangerous it is to let non-tech savvy people control technology governance.

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Advance IntelAIgents Virtual Defence ...... ESPecial CyberIntelAIgent Field Forces

    "It includes a proposal to ditch any requirements under national law that copyright infringers must be seeking to profit in order to be judged criminal." And if a Pirating Entity were to XXXXPress that Motivation is that everything should be Free with Money the Fuel and Oil which Drives the Machine's IntelAIgents Forward ...... into Virtual Reality Territory.

    Stake ur Registered Futures and Derivatives Claims here....


  9. Steve

    @ Watch out for...

    Why waste time with a point or an argument when you've got a handy catchphrase that manages to be a strawman, false dichotomy and an adhominem attack all in one?

    Out of interest, which label do you work for?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BIG F----ing PROBLEM

    This particular change to the law would mean that I (and any number of website operators) could now be arrested/convicted/etc for running a gallery of j-pop idol (insert any other kind of gallery) photographs?


    How I love well thought out laws.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Copyright can kill!

    Well, it won't really kill you, but the trend i am witnessing is one which has the possibility of turning the majority of people into criminals, whether it be for something minor or more, and more concerningly, people who legitimately purchase music but don't pay for the same thing twice (let's face it, even if its in two places, the license should surely cover it not being played in more than one location at the same time?) could become victims. Whilst I understand going for torrent sites, torrent sites are a far stretch from the majority of people they seem to target.

    Also the valuations seem ludicrious and only serve to bankrupt individuals. That's a solid clad guarentee that they'll never even be able to afford to buy music, movies, etc again, whether they had intention to or not. This war on copyright is turning into the same retardation that the War on Drugs has taken, and users and innocent people getting caught up and turned into victims.

    Do these companies honestly thinking suing the general public would really get them higher sales??

  12. Mei Lewis


    Why does Google always get away with links to torrents? They have to be the largest and best torrent tracker there is.

    Just Google "xxx torrent" where 'xxx' is the thing you want to download and they'll give you either indirect links via other trackers or a direct link from their own cache, just in case the original tracker has been closed down.

    They have plenty of money to go after, maybe too much?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I buy nothing...

    ...unless I can download it first to try it out.

    Let's see - every box set of 24, box set of heroes - in fact ALL the CD's & DVD'sI own have been tried before being purchased.

    There is no way I am forking out large sums for crippled advert and 'warning lest you be a pirate' encrusted media without getting to see if it's any good or not.

    I lived without a TV or buying any cd's /dvd's quite happily before I got broadband and started downloading stuff. I am sure I can go back to that way of life.

    I don't know how many other people operate in the same way - but I hope it's a lot.

    PS. I also think they should charge you at the cinema when you exit for the % of the film you managed to sit through (upto say the last 20 minutes or something) rather than take the money up front - maybe then box office figures would be more accurate for gauging public opinion.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to rethink copyright

    Look, if bankrupting people who go anywhere near copyright is needed then it shows that there is a fundamental problem with copyright itself. It's not the huge earner that it's portrayed as, and if criminalizing millions of people is what's needed to protect a minor earner, then we need to rethink.

    Then there's the laws vs treaties thing. To get this through they're trying to bypass the law making process of each country. But that is the cornerstone of a democracy, if you can't get consensus on it then it is not right. The fact you can't get it through the law making process proves it's flawed.

    I reckon it's time to completely discard copyright.

    I was all for people making and selling works, even having an exclusive on their own works for a limited time so they can get a chance to profit. But it is just profit we're talking about, the right to make a profit isn't so great that we need to lock up millions to do it, or bankrupt millions to do it either.

    There comes a point where this is just a game for lawyers that's a net detriment to society as a whole, and I reckon we're already past that point.

    Areas where creative works aren't possible are just as vibrant, they're just less commercial.

    I think ACTA says more about the problems with copyright as it stands than it does about any problem.

  15. Michael

    waste of time !!!!!!

    You don't need the internet to share files !

    Will they ban glastonbury if they get news there may be a lan party there?????

    Mine's the one with the usb hard drives and the wifi dongle in the pocket

  16. oliver Stieber
    Thumb Up

    but torrents don't infinge copyright.

    This all seems fine and no problem to pirate bay since torrents are just pointers to pointers to copyright material and not the copyright material in question.

    If that weren't the case all the search engines could be done for copyright infringement.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    safe but slow

    "Time for an Encrypted, Tor style Bit-Torrent network/client."

    That would be Bit-Torrent over I2P ( - the trouble is, when you add any sort of formidable encryption layer to Bit-Torrent it becomes bit-trickle.


  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ I buy nothing

    Yep same here, and the amount of music I have bought because I have swapped/downloaded music before is far more than I have bought because of just seeing a CD or listening to Music Industry Adverts.

    As for Radio there is very little I have heard that I like, its normally the same old poppy crap,

    The main places I get new music from is going on finding similar artist to what I like then downloading some songs and if I like them I'll buy it.

    The second way is from music used in adverts, some ad-men seem to have a very good taste in music. If the music industry wants to sell more songs they should get advertisers to credit songs in the subtitles in the ads so the populace can find out what the song is without having to go to a website like

  19. Steve Renouf
    Thumb Down

    Pay per view/listen

    Most seem to be missing the fact that what the ASS of AMerica et al are aimimg for is their eutopia of everyone having to pay each time they watch/listen to/use something.

    Anyone for getting back to only going to live performances? - that way, the artists get paid for the actual work they do and the leeches get nothing!

  20. Greg

    I've never understood... they can get $9000 per song without proving that $9000 worth of damage was inflicted. At minimum, one copy was nicked by that user and not shared. At maximum - let's be generous - maybe 100 copies were then swiped by other nefarious civilisation destroyers. Now, if a track costs roughly a dollar, then only $100 per track was caused in damage. Where the hell does $9000 come from? Complete and utter nonsense designed to "make an example" of some poor KaZaA user, who gets made penniless so these bullies can try and scare everyone else into obediently buying what they're told to.

  21. Jamie
    Paris Hilton

    Stop sharing online

    If this did happen, people will find ways to get around it and those that can't will rent and burn or get copies off thier friends, sort of what happened in the 80s'. then what are you going to do, stop renting because doing so will stop people buying the crap you put out.

    Easier way is put the prices down and stop allowing some piss head in a suit state lets put 5 boys together and get them to release a crappy album. Or we could get a young girl to release an album dressed in catholic school clothes so all the pervs will buy her stuff and young girls will want to grow up to be like her.

    Do I actually need to explain the avatar.

  22. sleepy

    copyright holders drive protocol innovation

    The fact of the matter is that many protocols used on the internet are not well suited to the way they are actually used. What we want is not a real connection to what appears to be the Register's servers, but a certified correct copy of the Register's content, from anywhere it happens to be. RIAA and partners have initiated a protocol arms race producing Napster and torrents which has both rendered their litigation powerless, and created the basis for a higher performance more secure internet, with verifiably non-spoofed content and without a single point of failure for given content. Bravo!

  23. ImaGnuber


    Anyone who didn't expect this and previous attempts to control copyright violations is naive in the extreme. Attempts made to this point may have failed and future attempts may also fail but you would be foolish to think such attempts are likely to cease anytime soon.

    Please don't bother replying to this post with justifications for your downloading. Save your energy for whining about the bad law your activities will provoke.

  24. Martin Owens

    Tick tock

    how long before we're ditching mass media anyway? Most of the stuff I see is text because I so bored and annoyed with the films and tv shows being shoved at me at such high prices.

  25. Name
    Paris Hilton

    Rant inc!

    To the "I buy nothing" AC..

    Yep, with you there.. I will (and indeed prefer) to pay a fair price for decent-quality media as long as it's not DRM-encrusted. I suspect that getting hold of a few mp3s works as a word of mouth sales tool for a lot of people, I know I have discovered interesting stuff from being pointed at an mp3- if I like it, it's probably enough to make me buy it, if I don't, I generally don't like it enough to keep it..

    That said (beware, whinge incoming), I recently decided to be all numeejafuturetechnology/digital wotnots, and had a horrible experience. I wanted a particular game for the PC, went to the official site and snagged. a demo. All good, fantastic fun- so I decided that I wanted the whole thing. Remembering that the official site made much of the fact that I could buy it at, I decided to go for some near-immediate gratification. I bought a copy there, at nearly twice the price of the physical media, on the basis that I could probably have it downloaded by the next morning- much quicker than waiting for a delivery via Royal Phail (tm).

    All I can say is ouch. Direct2drive don't "allow" refunds after more than 48 hours. The title was a 6 gig download. The fastest their site was managing was 100k/sec. The "support" site was insistent that people should get at least twice that. Checked out my connection in case of contention- 500+k/sec from various US, UK and euro sites. Tried d2d again, 69k/sec was the fastest this time. Urgh. downloads terminated early, stalled, you name it. Total crapola. The ticket that I submitted to "support" was answered with a single line which could have come from a badly-adjust Markov chain parser, four days later.

    I could have ordered it from, had it in two days for half the price. I could have grabbed a torrent and had it in a few hours for free. If this is the future, then I am adapting all my hardware to run on coal. Digital fulfilment must not be shoddy, to gain consumer trust- especially in these years after the deCSS/Sony Rootkit/DRM/random litigation and other loathesome media pimping company adventures. People are increasingly tiring of vat-grown product and soaring prices. Restrictions on fair use (remember the recent speculative attempts to brand ripping CDs onto your iPods as criminal, folks?) and insulting consumers with the taint of criminality might just be the final nail in the coffin for some folks. Treat me like crap, brand me a criminal and accuse me of stealing your stuff, and I just might do that.

    Oh, gotta go, Soulless Hollywood Remake II opens tonight, and I have tickets!

  26. Spleen

    Re: Oliver Stieber

    I've seen a lot of people say that they can't take down the trackers, because on the same principle they'd have to go after search engines as well. Why do you assume they won't? That once the tracker sites have been taken down, search engines won't be next on the list? Not to be taken down, but to have results modified to remove links to copyrighted material. That effort will have even more lobbying weight behind it than the anti-tracker campaign. Just imagine how much governments worldwide would like to establish a precedent that it can influence the results on a search - it won't be "search for word, get what algorithm finds" it'll be "search for word, get what Gordon Brown allows you to see".

    Google will certainly comply for the sake of a quiet life, as it has with requests by the Chinese government to snitch on dissidents.

    All arguments along the lines of "They can't do X - they'd have to do Y as well!", where Y seems too ludicrous to contemplate, are dangerously blasé. With the war in Iraq, the war on drugs, the Millennium Dome, etc etc it's difficult to imagine a Y that actually couldn't happen.

  27. Sean Aaron

    We don't need their crap

    Don't pay to see movies at release in the theatre and don't buy first release DVDs/CDs; wait for however many months before it goes on sale. You don't need this stuff to live and you sure don't have to pay top money for it.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont get it...

    I agree with the idea of trying befor you buy. As for the rest of this, why do people hate copyright so much? Yes it is badly enforced, but that dose not give you the right to have somthing you have not paid for. As for the idea that "if they priced it right I would pay" firstly that gose against th idea of "well I wasent going to buy it anyway" and secondly the music industry can price how they like. You don't need music. If they want to price it a £100000 a CD then good for them. Noone will buy it, but thats there choice.

    I would like to know how you would feal if someone took somthing you made (A picture, code, music, whatever) and used it with out asking, or paying? What if there responce was "well you should be glad of our attention, and if you want paying, we dont want it"? Youd be pissed off wouldent you?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @safe but slow

    Forget bittorrent what we need is enough users on perfect dark.

  30. yeah, right.


    With copyright terms at 70+ years (or longer, depending how you read the wording of some laws), with "fair use" being roundly ignored, and with the rise of "Son of London Company of Stationers", I wouldn't be surprised in the least if this latest attack on "copy right" passes as well. Hell, they've almost managed to kill off the transfer of works to the public domain already.

    They're trying to repeal all the rights granted by the Statute of Anne of 1710, and so far they're succeeding. Sad part is, we're letting them do it.

  31. Jason Harvey

    I've been buying from the clearance rack for ages

    and since the entertainment industry (laughing stocks?) haven't been putting out much in recent years worth a second glance, I haven't even been swayed to look at the new releases racks in quite a while. Soon enough, gasoline will cost so much that nobody will be able to buy new stuff and even the execs at the RIAA/MPAA/etc and their constituents will be seeing more red in their bottom lines than ever. This will stimulate them to seen out even more pirates and falsely accuse more than just a couple of folks and cause their own top heavy companies to crash and burn like a plane with a drunk pilot. Unfortunately it will take some severe recession/depression in the economy for this scenario to play out and that would just suck all around. It also may be the only way to get the big companies to get their thumb out of their a$$ and actually try to produce quality work again instead of this commodity gutter entertainment that most of the media has turned into.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Well lets hope then...

    ...that they try to sue Google for linking to these darnded Torrent Tracker sites! And the BBC, Sky, ITV, and every other TV operator- and the RIAA/MPAA themselves- for giving BitTorrent so much publicity.

    And what about the legitimate uses of Torrents? Are they going to compensate the Linux distros for their vastly increased bandwidth bills?

    And Google wouldn't comply too quick with some poxy pressure group that's probably worth less than Google itself mouthing off at them to get rid of their search results. Even a government would probably face a helluva problem- after Torrent trackers were gone the next would be links to anything P2P related, then anything MP3 related (only DRM-enabled format results) and probably they'd then try to take off the porn.

    Angelgates as compared to the RIAssA/MPAA he's a bloody saint!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If filesharing gets to the point where you can have an unfriendly knock on the door from your country's equivilant of Stormtroopers or the Ministry of Information (Brazil) then people will just resort to other means of filesharing, like the Cubans do with USB flash drives:

    which is a form of "Sneakernet" that I'm sure many have participated in with floppy discs before they got internet access:

  34. Aaron
    Paris Hilton


    another failure waiting to happen, it wont stop copying, it wont stop file sharing and it will make new criminals over night (plus make a mockery of national legal systems as its bypassing their legal process).

    If bittorrent magically (as thats what it would take) vanished over night it wouldn't stop sharing for a second. Even if ALL p2p protocols and applications vanished over night, people would still share their files with private FTP's, websites and other such methods that exists before the dawn of p2p. Hell kill the internet all together and people will still share their files (they will just burn them to CD/DVD and send them to each other). File sharing isn't going away and the sooner the RIAA realizes this the better.

    As for the try before you buy thing I agree with this. I pirate all the games that I play, the ones I like I go and buy the originals for (mainly for the online play) the ones I don't like I delete. This saves me having to have to get refunds off crappy games (plus saves the stores having used stock). TV I download when it comes out, my household has a full sky package I could get the programs when they they are on tv, but if they are on sooner else where im not waiting im watching them as soon as I can get them. Movies well good ones I goto the cinema for ones I really like I buy.

    All of this I don't share and upload anything to other user's (people might call me a leech, but then I don't use torrents anyway). But Im selective I try my media and if I like it I pay for it, and in respect for TV I want it as soon as its out not in 6 months time after Ive heard all about it from someone over ventrilo etc. This is how I choose to use and obtain media and its how I will carry on law's/trade agreements be damned.

    Paris because id like to try her before I buy ;)

  35. Jim D

    maybe it's about time...

    I haven't downloaded any copyrighted materials, yet. I use bittorrent to get .isos of new Linux releases, and so far, that's about all.

    But I can't play my legally purchased DVD's on my laptop, evidently because I don't use an "approved" operating system. I find this to be quite annoying.

    Recently, my daughter, who has fewer personal inhibitions regarding downloading of copyrighted materials than I showed me how the same materials that I paid good money for and which did not play on my equipment and OS could be obtained at no cost and would work just fine.

    I'm not certain how "fair use" would apply, but it would seem to me that if I can't use media I purchased on my equipment, I should be entitled to download functional versions at no cost and with no violation of any law.

    Taken a step further, why the heck should I pay for defective, i.e., DRM crippled, media in the first place.

    As I stated earlier, I haven't gone there yet, and so far all audio CD's I've purchased work fine on whatever equipment I choose to play it on, so that's not an issue for me. But I can certainly sympathize with and support anyone who downloads materials when he is unable to purchase functional versions of it legally.

  36. Svein Skogen

    This simply proves time has come ...

    ... to tell people to avoid products made by organized crime. I'm not saying "don't purchase", I'm saying "don't purchase, or download". Simply ignore the products. Tell anybody you catch using the products they are an immoral lowlife. If the music-distribution-industry forces through this, it proves that ANYONE listening to their product is an imoral lowlife.


  37. Anonymous Coward

    plan to torpedo consumer rights in democratic countries

    That is what the subtitle should have been.

    Looking closer at these issues this is very US run exercise - bullying democratic countries such as Sweden. Some years ago the US was trying to bully Sweden to change its public freedom of information legislation because the Church of Scientology disliked the fact that when they went to court in Sweden the actual court evidence became publicly available material. Nowdays the US lobby groups really dislike the idea that Sweden has consumer legislation which for example gives consumers the right to be in control of music which they have bought (the UK consumer does not find support in the UK law to rip the content of their own legally bought CD:s to mp3). This also means that traditionally it has been supported by Swedish law to circumvent DRM for personal use of music which you have bougth legally (e.g. if you bought it you have the right to play it - the seller has no saying in what technology you use for that purpose). It has also been supported to make copies of legally bought music (such as CD) and rip it for your personal use on your own MP3 player etc (even if it was on a copy-protected CD).

    The US administration has lobbied for years to force Sweden to change both its several hundred years freedom of public information acts and also its consumer rigth legislation. It is ironic that it would be Sweden which is one of the mainly targeted countries with these issues considering that Sweden is the biggest producer, creator and exporter of MUSIC per capita in the world - even when looking at music production in general Sweden is among the ten top music exporting countries in the world. So it is 'funny' that the artists and creators themselves are flourishing under the Swedish system...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Part of the torrent I downloaded earlier


    Now then. Was that part of

    1) Legal free software using torrenting as a cost-effective way to distribute FLOSS?

    2) A screenie of the episode of my favourite show I missed last week, which was *free to air* (ie. no fee was payable to watch it)

    3) a copy of a film or album which I could have bought at a local store but didn't.

    Answer: Nobody can tell *just* from watching the stream. plus (1) and (2) don't cause financial loss to anyone (indeed (1) saves them money!)

    Mines the one with the patch cables hanging out the pocket ...

  39. Miami Mike

    quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

    Copyright laws make it possible for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I hold about eight copyrights on various technical manuals, I print them and sell them. If you want to know what I know about the subject, you have to pay me.

    I see no difference (other than I don't charge anywhere near as much) between what I do and paying tuition at a university - if you want to know what they know about the subject, you have to pay them.

    The existence of copyright protection is what makes it possible for me to get paid. If there were NO money in doing this, I wouldn't bother, and I would keep whatever I know to myself - just like the secretive guilds in the middle ages did.

    People have asked me why I do not publish my books on electronic media (web, DVD, etc.), pointing out the great savings I could realize by not putting ink on paper. The reason I do NOT do that and WILL NOT do that is simple - once that book is digital, it is GONE, and I'll never make a cent on it again, ever. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    Sure, you could copy my book on a photocopier, but that takes rather more time and effort than three clicks on a mouse.

    My books sell well, evidently people think I have something to say worth paying for - and that is flattering. I am NOT going to give away the store because if I do, I won't have any incentive to write more books other than to stroke my ego, and guess what - you can't eat ego, nor does it pay the bills.

    Before you gloat about getting something free, look at the larger picture. If no one can get paid anything for creative work, then an awful lot of creative work is not going to get done, and we will all be the poorer for it.

    As far as "music" is concerned, I think an awful lot of what passes for music these days is cynical marketing and exploitation - and it is not worth buying. So I don't, but that is my opinion, people's tastes vary. My favorite composers have been dead for centuries, and their work is now in the public domain.

    The RIAA has got to be the dumbest, most anti-consumer, corporate-owned-droid collection of morons the world has ever seen. Yes, there needs to be some way to recompense artists and writers, but if you ever want to see the WRONG ways to do it, RIAA has that down pat.

    Anybody got some better ideas? How would YOU provide payment to the people who entertain you and educate you? You can't say their material is worthless, so how will you get them paid? (RIAA input not solicited here . . . )

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    this'll slip through the government...

    the next time we have some sort of "Terrorist attack" seem as how that's always the best time to put in these nasty laws that people don't like. Since them Sheeple are all watching the nooze and not their government.

  41. Steven Raith

    Forget bittorrent what we need is enough users on perfect dark.

    I fail to see what a classic 64 bit first person shooter has to do with file sharing.

    And as an excuse to post that atrocious piece of sarcasm, I will add to the voices noting that the RIAA et all need to look at thier distribution models very closely and see where they are failing, rather than taking the easy way out and attempting to criminalise people.

    The internet has, whether they like it or not, introduced a whole new "try before you buy" idea, and whether it's legal is irrelevant - they have to sit and pay attention to survive [and continue to make money for coke parties etc].

    that is all :-)

    Steven R

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ I dont get it

    "dose not give you the right to have somthing you have not paid for."

    I am using air right now without paying, does that piss you off?

    "I would like to know how you would feal if someone took somthing you made (A picture, code, music, whatever) and used it with out asking, or paying?"

    That has happened to me, often, but I realise you can't possibly charge for something that nobody wants to pay for.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @I dont get it...

    It no so much the hating of copyrights. It's the abuse committed by the likes of Disney (20+whatever years extension to copyright) to protect profits from a mouse.

    This sort of abuse of our laws and lobbying does not help the public, it does not promote artists to create new works (as it was originally intended) but it enables large corporations to line their pockets and as a result the people suffer with new draconian laws that better serve the few in power (want a new one? Just pay the right people).

    The people pushing for these kind of laws are not doing it for the artists or people creating new things, they just doing it to ensure in the future they can continue to make money off of the artists backs.</rant>

    All people are equal. Some are just more equal than others. -- to paraphrase Orwell.

  44. Ardkin


    To all the anti-copyright people - get off your fat arses and go through the process of creating something. Make some cash out of it and then tell me you're against copyright laws.

    If you lack any perceivable talent then just stop whinging and buy the CD - they're cheap as chips and no-one will ever stop you making backups to your heart's content.

  45. Brock Linahan

    A bit tangential and theoretical...

    This is really related to the issue of simple P2P file sharing, but couldn't someone release a virus that sets a particular, common folder to be shared if someone has one of a list of file-sharing apps installed. Then, if some one gets caught sharing files they just claim they were affected by that virus?

    Or someone just anonymously spread a version of said apps where the default configuration is the shared folder, and everyone just say they must have installed that version?

  46. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    A better way

    Perhaps the RIAA (or whatever they are called) would get better publicity if instead of the fine of $9000 per song mentioned earlier went to the the artists who created the song in the first place instead of RIAA coffers.

  47. ImaGnuber

    @Ardkin & Miami Mike

    Well said, both of you.

    To the anti-copyright nimrods - if you don't MAKE YOUR LIVING from your own copyrighted materials then STFU.

  48. T

    @quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

    " The reason I do NOT do that and WILL NOT do that is simple - once that book is digital, it is GONE, and I'll never make a cent on it again, ever. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? "

    This is not exactly correct. It all depends... on the quality of your work and on the size and interest of the market! I can give you the example of Bruce Eckel's books... I bought some of them after I have downloaded (and read) them for free and legally; I have also bought other books after I have read them (not so legally). Obviously there are books which I have tried to read I haven't bought.

    I think Stephen King did the best test when he released one of his books online, chapter by chapter and did something like US$750,000... without any of it going to the publisher and other middle-persons!

    IMHO, copy right should give the right to be only one receiving credit and compensation for the commercial exploration of your work! These days many authors don't get it because their work is considered "work for hire"!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Miami Mike, What if

    "The existence of copyright protection is what makes it possible for me to get paid. If there were NO money in doing this, I wouldn't bother, and I would keep whatever I know to myself - just like the secretive guilds in the middle ages did."

    Yet funny enough people who want profit find a way to make it. e.g. games companies suffered from piracy, they started putting the game online and selling subscriptions (WoW etc.).

    At some point the damage these extreme laws, no not laws, treaties, do is too great. Look at the US economy, a huge trade deficit, even in IT. It wanted to be a 'copyright' economy but has made itself uncompetitive in the process. Who is going to buy copyright material if they can no longer afford the roof over their heads?

    Something has to be done, we can't just create ever more extreme IP laws face ever more restrictions, and pay ever more for the nth copy of the same product until we can't compete in the world anymore.

  50. Rab S

    @Miami Mike and others.

    I would strongly recomend that you go to the baen free libary and read the prime palaver... anactdotal evidence it maybe...but at least its backed up some kind of figures, rather than untested statements...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Time to get hosted at...

    SEALAND BABY! Welcome to 2020 and the birth of datahavens.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Just 'cause you're paranoid ...

    Having only scanned through the article and comments (it is late and I have been drinking) it occurred to me that what we have here is something to make "almost everyone" a criminal.

    I'm not to strong on the finer points regarding misdemeanours and felonies but over the water doesn't being a criminal remove your right to vote?


    AC? Well, they might be out to get /me/

  53. Fuzzy

    There are no absolutes

    I find many of the posters quite rigid in their thinking. unfortunately or fortunately the world is not black and white. If you create something that adds value to someone or something then yes you are entitled to be compensated for it. What many of these people fail to realise is that there will AlWAYS be an element in the community that will attempt to obtain these things for free If you have created something and do not expect an element of theft you are an idiot.

    What they also fail to realise is that, as history has shown us, this element will always find a way around whatever barriers are put in place to stop them and the neverending cycle continues. The establishment whines again and louder new laws are passed, the fringe element invent new ways of circumventing them

    What I and many others here are sick of is being confined to such archaic business models and practices considering the age we live in Will the establishment finally learn this, probably, but by then it will be too late. There are some out there such as Radiohead and NIN that are taking matters into their own hands and exploring new avenues. Whether these new models are the right ones time will tell. But the one thing I do know is that they should be applauded for their initiative, taking these first steps that the establishment are obviously too afraid to take

  54. Anonymous Coward

    When I was a wee kiddie at school in the 70's...

    ...we used to swap cassette tapes of home recorded music. Someone would buy the latest album, tape it, share it and perhaps even return the LP to the store for 'something else as I already have this one, got it for birthday, etc...."

    Sky never fell in

    No one died

    Media execs still got rich and fat

    There are loads of music stars about, still.

    The recording industry should just treat P2P as 'wastage' or 'shrinkage', stock that is lost.

    If their products were BETTER and the prices LOWER they might, just MIGHT, sell more of thier shit to traditional consumers.

    Mine's the one with the box of C120's and the RCA jacks in the pockets.

  55. Joe M

    @Steve and @I don't get it


    Bravo Steve. Give the bum a serve!


    "I don't get it"

    I was going to give you a big serve as well but on re-reading your post I came to the conclusion that your views are honestly held and deserve some respect.

    But you are mistaken.

    "As for the rest of this, why do people hate copyright so much?"

    People don't hate copyright. They just don't think about it. The reason, which should be obvious to the fools who run the "intellectual property" circus, is that it is an artificial, made up idea, which has no basis in the real world.

    Millions of ordinary people the world over, who would never dream of walking out of a shop with a stolen CD, don't feel that they are doing anything wrong by downloading copied content. I did a small poll of my family, friends and some of my children's friends. All but one felt comfortable with swapping or downloading copyrighted material. So only about 1 in 30 in my little circle is on-side with the “protectors”. Which explains why they are losing this war (a war, by the way, which they wage on their own customers).

    Any micro economist worth her salt will tell you that people make complex and often mysterious decisions about spending money on something. If they see real value for themselves they will spend!

    Take my case. I have recently discovered a website which has hundreds of old, public domain movies. It's like a treasure trove to me. Alas, I soon discovered that I have most of the movies I like, already neatly stacked on my shelves, courtesy of the many retro-compilation DVDs which I have already bought.

    When I thought about it, I decided that I will continue to buy the physical DVDs because for the five to ten bucks that each one costs me, I get great value. I don't use up my precious bandwidth, I don't run the risk of bad burns and I don't spend my valuable time. And the distributors get to make a handsome profit. (a DVD costs much less than $1 to produce and deliver in volume, because I pay for the postage.) Everyone benefits and I don't even have to sit through the “you are a potential thief” screens at the beginning of each movie, which is what all modern movie distributors greet their “valued” customers with!

  56. Joe M

    @quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

    You, my friend, are dead wrong!!!

    If your work is any good, you will be paid by people who value it for itself. Not because it is copyright but because they want you to continue to produce it. Your ultimate audience may only make up 0.01% of the Internet but if you can get to that number of people you've got it made.

    People will pay content creators for many reasons, even when they can get the content for free. They pay to show appreciation, to encourage the creator to continue, to contribute to the creative process, to feel they are part of it or because they feel a sense of indebtedness for getting something they value. The cynical view that people will never pay for anything which they can get for free totally ignores the basic human impulse to be fair and generous.

    I have spent significant amounts on software, music and other content which was basically given away for free and made payment optional. I have just downloaded the full text of a beautiful book on quantum mathematics in PDF format, including breathtaking illustrations, yet I can hardly wait for the hardcover book to appear sometimes in July, and I even tried to pre-order it. I could sure use the $80-100 which it will cost me but, I would buy it even if it was double or triple that amount.

    All artists, writers and other intellectual workers need to earn money (I certainly do), and in my idea of a truly great world they would earn far more than the spivs who live off them. But for truly creative people, earning money is a secondary consideration. I think that we are all bedazzled by the glittering freaks who inhabit the heights of artistic celebrity, with their mega dollars and amoral shenanigans. We forget the millions of creative people whose greatest reward is the acclaim of their audience and who earn a pittance from their efforts (which is not right either). What we need is a platform which pays artists for their creative effort and gives them a means of contacting their audience.

    The single most evil thing about “intellectual property rights” and copyright in particular is that it pretends to quantify human creativity in terms of dollars and cents and completely ignores the creative impulse itself. The copyright peddlers want us to believe that if there were no megabucks in it no one will ever write another book, paint another picture or sing a tune again. Their vision of the world enriches them and impoverishes us.

    The Internet is an almost unbelievable gift to the truly creative who want to reach out and do what all artists and writers have done throughout the ages: touch their audience.

  57. Quirkafleeg

    Re: maybe it's about time…

    “I haven't downloaded any copyrighted materials, yet. I use bittorrent to get .isos of new Linux releases, and so far, that's about all.”

    One of those two sentences is false. I leave it to the reader to determine which one it is…

  58. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    There is a terrible confusion

    In most people's mind, copyright is about the artist getting a fair return for his works. Almost all of the above comments are in agreement on that.

    And Disney, Sony, RIAA and co. are operating heavily on this notion, it is their justification.

    Except that, when Lawsuits & Co. goes for a new, more restrictive and uglier anti-consumer law they label "anti-piracy", it is not in order to pay the artist more, it is to keep their own coffers well-filled and their powder stashes bulging.

    The real issue with copyright law is that copyright is transferable to a non-physical entity (ie. a company). It is companies that are screwing up copyright law, not pirates.

    Make the copyright the sole property of an individual or group of individuals, and make it non-transferable, limited to 25 years or the death of the individual - whichever comes first.

    Of course, I realize that the RIAA is a group of individuals, but since they have never produced anything and only bought off the rights of actual artists, they do not count.

    Disney is also a group of individuals and that group actually makes things, but the group that really makes the films is the actual people who make it, not Disney.

    So let us bring copyright back to where it is supposed to be : the property of the artist who creates, not of a corporation that profits from the creation.

    Do that, and the very next day RIAA and co. will dissolve into nothing, and their despicable, freedom-limiting DRM and lawsuits will as well.

    Right, time to wake up !

  59. D

    @Ima Gnuber

    I've not bought software for over five years and have a 200GB mp3 collection that I've not paid for along with hundreds of movies and books. However, since you told me to STFU I've seen the error of my ways and deleted it all. Not.

    It may be wrong it may be immoral it may be supporting terrorists and kiddy fiddlers but I don't give a crap and the reality is that the majority of people don't give a crap either. The RIAA and MPAA have been trying for years to stop pirating and it's simply not working and it never will work. Even if they managed to achieve thet technically impossible and destroy file sharing on the internet, then people will just go back to the bloke with the shop full of dodgy DVDs that I used to buy off.

    Until publishers get their heads around this reality they will continue to flog a dead business model all the way into oblivion. They could have a lot of money off me, by just charging a few pennies for a song and a couple of quid for a movie, but instead, they try to take the piss and charge silly money and as a result get nothing.

  60. Fuion

    (Registered Future)

    I say hooray for those who would support further education, as "a little commitment" is a small price that the willing are happy to provide.

    And where are the *BSD icons ?

    -Mine is a link because of the above.

  61. Steve Roper

    A couple of points on copyright...

    1) Copyright is an artificial concept that has been abused to allow people to make money for no work. To clarify this: Current copyright law protects a work for life of the author + 70 years. Now, if an author creates a work when they are 20, they live until 90, that means this work is in copyright for 140 years after its creation. If the work sells well, that means the author never has to do another day's work in his life. Nor do his kids, his grandkids, or his great-grandkids - none of them will ever have to do any honest work, simply because their grandaddy wrote a book or a song 50 years ago. That's parasitic greed and laziness at its finest.

    Now if the concept of copyright law was equally applied to all fields of human labour, then if I build you a computer, you have to pay me for it. So does EVERYONE else who ever uses that computer, for the rest of my life, my kids' lives, their kid's lives, and their kids' lives. 70 years hence, if you begin using that computer, you must pay my children for the computer I made 70 years ago. If as the author of that computer, I choose to sell my work on a pay-per-use model, you and everyone else who uses that computer must pay me, my kids and their kids EVERY TIME YOU USE IT. But that wouldn't be acceptable to you copyright-lovers, is it? No, I didn't think so. So guess what? The word HYPOCRITE applies here.

    2) There is no such thing as original work. Every creator draws upon the work of others to create their own, without paying those others for it. Miami Mike, above, who talks about selling his technical manuals: Assuming these are computer manuals, have you paid Dennis Ritchie for his work on C, which is used in every computer OS? Have you paid Alan Turing for his work on algorithms, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla for their work on electricity, or Michael Faraday for his discovery of electricity? No. You just used their work in your own, without paying for it. Likewise musicians, who hear other people's music, use a melody or chord progression from someone else's work in their own, even subconsciously - with neither acknowlegement or payment.

    Now, with these points in mind, I believe a fair recompense for any creator is exactly the same as it is for everyone else; you get paid only for the time and effort you spend in creating it. If it takes you 3 months to write a book, you are entitled to 3 months pay in the writers'/literary wage bracket. No more, no less. After that, the work goes into the public domain. If you want more money, do more bloody work like the rest of us!

    Call me a communist freetard if you will, but the capitalist system has clearly shown it results in greed-driven police states exactly as the old communist autocracies did. So what's the difference? Well, I'd much rather live in a society where everyone gets an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, instead of all this artificial bullshit enabling FREETARD "creators" to profit for decades for a few months' work!

    And yes, I AM a creator, yes I have published artistic works in my life, yes they have been "pirated", yes I still profited from them, and yes I still create artistic works. No, I don't make a living out of it. But I create art for the love of art as it should be. That's REAL art, the expression of an emotion or an idea, the creation of beauty. Not profit. That's not art. That's just opportunistic exploitation of emotion controlled by an artificial intellectual concept.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Roper

    "...I still create artistic. No, I don't make a living out of it. But I create art for the love of art as it should be. That's REAL art..."

    Does it make you feel better about yourself to think that all of us who make a living from our art must be false/fakes/sell-outs/un-real?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all about the money

    Consider this problem, counterfeiting is measured as 0.03% of imported IP goods by value whenever it's been measured (e.g. by random sampling of imports by US customs, & by extrapolating the value of seizures etc.).

    The cost of customs checks at borders and ports far far outweighs the value of seized goods (by something like a 2 orders of magnitude). We waste far more tax money chasing pennies in infringing goods than we earn from the blocking of counterfeits.

    The response by customs is to claim that counterfeit goods risk lives (i.e. trying to add a non economic element to justify their budget), but that just confirms that the economic element alone can't justify the expense of the enforcement.

    Likewise with copyright, when copyright was a civil matter, the minor infringement wasn't chased because you could only get costs plus 3x damages. It wasn't profitable to chase tiny infringement. The market took care of separating the major from the minor infringement. That ensured that we always had a net gain from enforcing copyright. Now that criminalization of copyright has occurred, and insane fines introduced, we've lost that 'market' control. Minor or beneficial infringement is enforced, lots of tax payers money is wasted chasing the most petty of things.

    I reckon the solution is to bring it back to a purely civil enforcement, let the market separate the important from the unimportant infringement. If it's not worth YOU spending money to protect YOUR PROFITS then why is it worth the tax payer spending money to protect your profits. The gain to society is really only some fraction of the gain to you, so if you won't spend $1000 to recover $3000+costs then why should society pay it instead.

    I hear people saying how they're creators and contribute in 'cultural ways' etc. but it's all about the money, they can create all they like, culture is free, make no mistake it's all about the money. It's "I can do this, I want as much money for it as I can get". No different from any other product or service.

    But we have to buy goods and services with money and tax money wasted protecting creators rights is money not available in peoples pockets to pay for food and housing and petrol.

  64. Joe M

    @Steve Roper

    I have argued several versions of your first point many times and invariably I get howled down for daring to compare intellectual work with what mere peasants, like shoemakers in my usual example or computer technicians in yours, do for a living.

    Your second point is even more important. Just how insidious this whole farce can get is readily demonstrated by the following scandalous outrage perpetrated by the estate of the late James Joyce as reported here,

    and here,

    If this isn't suppressing the artistic spirit in the name of commercial gain then what is?

  65. Andraž Levstik

    Reflection upon itself

    @I dont get it...

    "I would like to know how you would feal if someone took somthing you made (A picture, code, music, whatever) and used it with out asking, or paying? What if there responce was "well you should be glad of our attention, and if you want paying, we dont want it"? Youd be pissed off wouldent you?"

    asking... well I'd atleast like to be notified...

    as for paying no... I don't care for that... I have a normal job that brings me sufficient funds... Make

    money out of copyright should be a secondary occupation not a primary one. Get

    yourself some real education and a real job. I help out in the Free Software world

    so everything I create is available to anyone for free. I also write poetry which I also

    give out freely. I'm also planing a book that I will also give out freely along with a

    payed for version for anyone that wants to support it. I have downloaded many

    a thing and 99% of that I delete... the 1% that is suitable for keeping I go out and buy.

    And yes I'd be glad for their attention... The only thing I require is that the work is attributed to me

    that is all.

    @quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

    "I see no difference (other than I don't charge anywhere near as much) between what I do and paying tuition at a university - if you want to know what they know about the subject, you have to pay them."

    world+dog doesn't need to pay tuition at a university so your point is invalidated. Also ever heard of this brilliant invention called the internet. It has a LOT of information available thus reducing the need to actually go to a university other than for a piece of toilet paper you receive at the end(and for which you are ultimately paying the tuition for not for anything else).

    @Steven Raith

    Learn to use a search engine.

    Here's my modest proposal for those that strive for a creativity based life:

    a) make copyrights last 5 years

    So that people actually need to do something instead of staring at the ceiling...

    b) make patents last 5 years

    So that innovation actually progresses not stagnates

  66. ImaGnuber

    Some respect for 'D'

    "have a 200GB mp3 collection that I've not paid for"

    "It may be wrong it may be immoral it may be supporting terrorists and kiddy fiddlers but I don't give a crap and the reality is that the majority of people don't give a crap either."

    "They could have a lot of money off me, by just charging a few pennies for a song"

    I can give a certain amount of respect to someone who has enough self-respect to simply admit that they are a thief and that they don't care.

    Unfortunately you indicated that, apparently, you feel you are entitled to steal anything that costs more than you think it should - which is, to me, an odd position and smacks more than a little of whining self-justification and weakens my inclination to give the respect mentioned above (if that is a misinterpretation then I apologise).

    At least you didn't pretend that your shoplifting (and that's what it amounts to) wasn't some courageous* attempt to right some 'significant' social wrong.

    *Always makes me laugh as there is little to no risk involved. If any real risk appeared all but a very few of these courageous revolutionaries would wet their pants and vanish overnight.

  67. Kevin Whitefoot

    I agree with Svein Skogen...

    but I'm a little more diplomatic in my choice of words.

    Unfortunately most of those I have harangued on this subject just look at me as if I've just stepped off the last flight from Mars.

    Most people can't get their heads around the idea that not only is it possible to download illegal copies of CDs but that there is plenty of music out there of equal quality that really is free (see for an example).

  68. ImaGnuber

    @Andraž Levstik

    "as for paying no... I don't care for that... I have a normal job that brings me sufficient funds... Make money out of copyright should be a secondary occupation not a primary one."

    So basically you're a hobbyist. Isn't that cute.

  69. Christy A

    Alternative options would have more luck

    If they want to stop people downloading illegally, they need to offer real alternatives.

    I don't want a CD. I will not buy a CD. I don't have a CD player, I have mp3 players. A CD is of use to me for precisely the amount of time it takes to rip the mp3s. Why would I want piles of CDs cluttering up my home? Offer the mp3s for sale legally, at a decent price, and I will buy them. Offer nothing but CDs and I will find another way to get what I want.

    Similar for TV shows. I am not going to wait until UK broadcast, by which time some muppet from the US will have told me who is a Cylon, who dies, etc. Offer me a way to buy the episodes of my favourite shows, legally and at a decent price (not twice what they pay in the US - I'm looking at you, iTunes) and I'll pay it. But I'm not going to wait months for shows just for the warm fuzzy feeling of being a good girl. Again - I will find another way.

    They need to make it easier to get things legally than to get them illegally. The trouble is, they're going in the wrong direction, trying to restrict downloading - when if they'd just offer alternatives half the battle would be won.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    @ all 'thief!' comments

    Downloading, copying etc etc IS NOT F*CKING THEFT.

    THEFT deprives the previous owner of something. COPYING leaves the original in place.

    If you build your own Ford Mondeo out of raw steel, have you 'stolen a car' from Ford? No, you haven't.

    See also: "Debate framing" (go and have a look on Wikipedia)

  71. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ all 'thief!' comments

    I think Ford might have words with you if you decided to make a copy of one of their cars. Unless you made it out of cake. But even then.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "So basically you're a hobbyist. Isn't that cute."

    Are you suggesting that there is a difference between "hobbyists" (as being lesser?) and "professionals" (as being better?) when it comes to "artists"?

    If you look at distinctions between art and craft for example - the difference may be that craft is something you can educate yourself in and thus then do as a "professional" (for a "living"). On the other hand historically "art" requires something which is not equal to craft but may require (at least some) craft skills as a foundation for expression. Historically artists have often been competent in some craft(s) but not all skilled craftsment have been assessed by others as being artists (no matter what they think about their own ability themselves).

    So while being a craftsman is being a "professional" - being an "artist" is not. By definition learning and practicing a craft means copying by application of skill best practices and products of others, with or without personal touch. Not by definition necessarily "art"...

    If you look at many of those that we recognize as great artist through the western history you will find that many did not "became" artists until after their death. A lot of artists that were recognised and could make a living did so by combining their "artistery" with some craft or profession - and thus went beyond the "craft" where they practiced. In other words they got a salary for "designing" a house, "conducting" an orchestra, "painting" a room, "writing" a piece specifically for a happening (after which it was expected to be copied by others)... etc etc.

    So you assume yourself being a "professional"... That may very well be cute....

  73. ImaGnuber

    Re: @ all 'thief!' comments

    "If you build your own Ford Mondeo out of raw steel, have you 'stolen a car' from Ford? No, you haven't."

    As Sarah has pointed out, Ford might have words with you.

    However if you wish to ignore that then I would like to ask you you how you reproduce the music you like - do you use musical instruments, your voice, your talent? To get it closer to your Ford argument - do you build your copy out of raw sound?

    When you can say that this is the way you 'copy' music (rather than just a few clicks of the mouse) then, and only then, will your argument make any meaningfull sense.

    I won't hold my breath.

  74. Andrew Norton

    @ sarah bee

    Never heard of the kit-car market?

    Neither of those are made by Jeep (a part of chrysler) or any other company. They look just like a WW2 willies but they're not. The one at the back is made from 70's ford escort parts, the front with suzuki bits. I used to go with my friend to car shows with the back one. One old army guy was amazed 'they made one with left hand drive' until he touched the body, and found it to be plastic.

    I blieev the front one will be at the Woodvale rally as usual this year (at RAF woodvale) and probably other car shows around the north west.

  75. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ sarah bee

    Yeah, fair point, I guess, Andrew. It was a lousy analogy to start with, though. As are most analogies when it comes to this set of subjects.

    I knew someone who had a Caterham kit car, looked like Brum. Someone else built it. The gearstick came off in his hand. Oops.

    Carry on!

  76. ImaGnuber

    @AC RE:"So basically..."

    "Are you suggesting that there is a difference between "hobbyists" (as being lesser?) and "professionals" (as being better?) when it comes to "artists"?"

    Not at all. I am a professional and I know some 'hobbyists' who are far better than many professionals I have had the misfortune to come in contact with.

    Andraž may be exceptionally good at what he does -however when someone who does not have a serious stake in the debate regarding 'payment for protected work' makes remarks those remarks are nothing more than theories unconnected to the real world. That is a mistake made by 'cute' hobbyists.

    And if you are going to lecture me again, please refrain from merely stating the obvious.

    Jeezus I'm in a bitchy mood today.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: RE: I dont get it...

    "It no so much the hating of copyrights. It's the abuse committed by the likes of Disney (20+whatever years extension to copyright) to protect profits from a mouse."

    I don't get what this has to do with downloading copyrighted music. I hate McD's, but I wouldn’t go in there and steal from them (and no, im not making a parallel with copyright theft). I just don't go there. There are plenty of Indy labels (real Indy labels, not the fake ones owned by the multi nationals). If you want music, help them grow. Braking copyright under this argument dose not stop the big music companies. It just makes you feel justified.

    If you are making a genuine stand against the way copyright works, then good on you. You don’t need to break the law to change it. My real problem is that people are using some perceived injustice to justify breaking the law.

  78. Andrew Norton

    good old brum

    Saw it up close a few times. It's built by Rex Garrod, whom people might recognise from Robot Wars (cassius, etc) - top guy.Always had a blast when I was down around Ipswitch.

    I know all about the analogies, however. I've been working on a book on this subject for 3 years, and working in general in this field for 10. Don't think there's one I haven't heard now (or for that matter, used at one time or another).

    The only thing this whole area is analogous to, is itself. Thats what makes it so hard for people to understand.

    Meanwhile, back on topic. If people want to help prevent these sorts of laws, the one thing they could do is join their local Pirate Party - A list of over 30 national parties are on

  79. Shakje


    Could say that you produce it out of raw sound if you assorted the bits into a perfect copy, in that way bt could be described as an instrument since it's making things out of raw sound :-) Sound doesn't have to be analogue. You seem to think that whether music is a copy or not is down to effort put in. In that case mass-producing CDs isn't valid music, and so is being sold under false pretences.

  80. Codge
    Paris Hilton

    Copyright Schmopyright...

    I am a plumber / ex computer engineer.

    When I fit a bathroom for a customer, I give them a quote, they accept it, I do the work, they pay me. They have free use of the bathroom. In perpetuity.

    I do not expect them to pay me a fee every time they flush the toilet, take a bath, or wash in the basin. Or if a friend comes to stay. Or they sell the house to somebody else.

    Why should IP be treated any different?

    You write a song, go on tour. Record sales should be a bonus.

    I recently heard an album torrented by a friend. I liked it, copied it, and then went and spent over 50 squid on two tickets for a gig, a t shirt, and some badges for my daughter. I will not be buying the CD.

    I'm sure the band made a LOT more out of this than they would have from a single CD sale.

    Paris. Because she get's more out of live action than recordings.

  81. Aodhhan

    Whining Millionaires

    THe Greatful Dead allowed anyone to copy their music or make their own tapes at their concerts and circulate. They still made millions. They became so popular, people still purchased their albums, but also bought a boat load of merchandise. Has to be a million dollars worth of Dead Head stickers still on old cars.

    I also get a kick at how liberal Hollywood and many musicians are except for the fact of copyright. If they weren't already making millions they would probably get more sympathy. However, I think the majority of people still purchase most of their goods instead of breaking copyright laws. With the exception of perhaps the 12-24 year old demographic. Yet Miley Cirus is still making a killing; some 18 million last year.

    Point is... nobody wants to hear millionaires griping, whining and beoxching unless they are watching baseball. Get over it.

  82. ImaGnuber


    The CD is a container holding someone's work (the artist's and the production company). The CD containing that work is offered for sale. You may purchase that product with money - money represents work you have done. You are exchanging your money/work/effort for the work offered in the container (CD). By offering the work in CDs the artist/production company is allowing a wider audience the opportunity to exchange effort in the same way that a live audience might exchange effort with the artist/production company - though the CD method offers it at a (usually, comparatively) reduced rate. If you don't think the effort represented by the CD/recording is worth what is being asked then don't offer a representation of your work in exchange (in other words - don't buy it).

    Clicking a mouse and ripping off someone's work is not a sufficient exchange of effort.

    And Note: Thinking that the artist/production company is asking too much in exchange is not sufficient justification for theft... nor is complaining that the production company is not giving enough to the artist - it doesn't matter how often you hear those excuses used.

    (I suppose a download rip-off could, at a stretch, also be viewed as the equivalent to sneaking into a performance without paying. And no doubt there would probably be some people who would think they were clever for doing that too.)

  83. Joe M


    "The CD is a container holding someone's work (the artist's and the production company)."

    Your whole argument about copyright is based on this premise. But not only is it false, it is a demonstratively stupid idea

    A CD sold on the market does NOT hold the artist's work. It is a reproduction of his or her work. The original master may be said to be the work and it is the thing which takes effort to make. From then on technology takes over and it has nothing to do with artistic effort.

    In fact this whole issue only exists because technology has enabled the capture and reproduction of artistic works - not just music but painting, writing and real soon now, sculpture as well, thanks to the emerging 3D printing technologies. As it stands it takes the same effort for an artist to make a single CD as a hundred million CDs. Before the advent of these technologies an artist who wanted ten audiences to hear her work would have had to to sing it ten times. Of course she would be paid ten times to do so, which is the correct thing to do. (What painters did in those days is even more interesting.)

    As for the production/distribution company: you are of course correct. Their capital investment and expended work is represented by each CD they sell and they have a valid claim for payment. So I have no objection to paying them the 90c per CD which represents their costs plus about 200% profit. That should see them grow rich and fat because most other retail industries only dream of returns like that. Of course if I find an alternative production/distribution channel they are likely to go the way of the buggy-whip makers. The market giveth and the market taketh away.

    The irony in all of this is that technology, which enabled this idiocy to arise in the first place has now enabled the public to take back the “public domain”. The governments of the world, egged on by vested interests, can pass all the laws they want and they can bash down as many doors as they want and they can fine or imprison as many people as they want. The jig is up. Artists will once again be paid per performance. Those amongst them who are smart will distribute their works via available channels and make that 200% themselves and grow rich and fat – and good luck to them. And their descendants for the 70 years after they die will just have to live off the interest!

    By the way, I deeply resent the way “thief”, “pirate” and other derogatory terms are waved around in this discussion, by you no less than others. There are indeed thieves and pirates in this field but a careful examination of the history of this topic will quickly reveal which side of the counter they are on.

  84. ImaGnuber

    @Joe M

    "A CD sold on the market does NOT hold the artist's work. It is a reproduction of his or her work."

    You might want to have a look at aesthetic/philosophical discussions which have been going on for several decades.

    "What painters did in those days is even more interesting."

    They often produced multiple copies, or paid others to do it (usually employees/apprentices) and got paid for each 'copy'. Printmaking is another method of multiplying the profit/making the artist's work more accessible to more people. Any moderately good history will mention these and other methods.

    "So I have no objection to paying them the 90c per CD which represents their costs plus about 200% profit."

    I assume you have taken into account the costs/payments due the performer and the staff and the production/manufacturing facilities etc? I'll take your word on that and should assume this is just your way of objecting to what you perceive to be 'excessive' profits? I hope this isn't the usual half-assed whining justification for theft as in 'I think they make too much money so I'll teach them a lesson'?

    "Artists will once again be paid per performance. Those amongst them who are smart will distribute their works via available channels and make that 200% themselves and grow rich and fat – and good luck to them."

    I somehow doubt that 'and good luck to them' was meant ironically though that would be the more accurate interpretation.

    "And their descendants for the 70 years after they die will just have to live off the interest!"

    Oh dear, he objects to the money someone else might receive. I wonder if you would refuse it if a significant amount came your way? Give it away to feed the less fortunate perhaps? I'm sure you would, Joe.

    Object as much as you want to the terms 'thieves' and 'pirates'. Someone who steals is a thief no matter how they justify it to themselves and 'pirate' has long been an accepted term for someone who, yes, pirates recordings etc.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but your objections seem to be to the amounts of money someone else is making - yes? Well, you don't have to pay those amounts do you? Oh wait - you can refuse to pay and still get what you want - by stealing! Wow! What a solution! Isn't there a term to describe that? Something about having your cake and... oh, what was it, Joe? Joe?

    Oh and I would appreciate it if you would send me your name and address so that I can be certain of never hiring you for anything - you might object to something I do (like making more money than you think I should) and use it as a justification for stealing from me - you devilish little revolutionary, you.

  85. Steve Roper

    @ AC Re @Steve Roper

    "Does it make you feel better about yourself to think that all of us who make a living from our art must be false/fakes/sell-outs/un-real?"

    Considering I never actually said that, or even implied it... nice strawman. So yes. It makes me feel all warm inside. Especially when I have the guts to put my real name to what I say and you don't.

  86. Joe M

    @ImaGnuber - Oh dear, oh dear

    There is little point in responding to your entirely fatuous scribble except that you have put words in my mouth and twisted the meaning of my post.

    “I somehow doubt that 'and good luck to them' was meant ironically though that would be the more accurate interpretation.”

    No. It was not meant ironically and only a twisted mind could have implied it to be so. It was meant as a wish and a complement. I have a deep regard, affection and respect for creative people, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to deal with many of them daily in my life. I wish them the best, always.

    “I'll take your word on that and should assume this is just your way of objecting to what you perceive to be 'excessive' profits? I hope this isn't the usual half-assed whining justification for theft as in 'I think they make too much money so I'll teach them a lesson'?”

    Wrong again. I have absolutely no objection to anyone making any amount of money in any way as long as it is legal. It is preferable that it should also be ethical, but hey, this is the real world and I accept that people will always try to find a wrinkle and work it to their advantage. And, no I'm not a socialist and I don't object to windfall profits either.

    The 90c is what a CD is worth to me and I was pointing out that by paying this amount I am not actually depriving anyone of what is due to them. If they want to sell the product at $30 and people buy it at that price, good luck to them as well!

    “Oh dear, he objects to the money someone else might receive.”

    You are a real dope my friend! Can't you read anything without putting a cynical twist on it? I don't object to, I applaud the fact that creativity will benefit not just artists, but also their descendants. All without Disney twisting legislative arms on behalf of Mickey Mouse.

    “I wonder if you would refuse it if a significant amount came your way? Give it away to feed the less fortunate perhaps? I'm sure you would, Joe.”

    This and your further comments are below contempt and show you up to be a silly, cynical, grubby little man (or is it woman?) whose primary concern in life appears to be money and little else. I will be generous enough to wish you well in your financial endeavors, but please in future don't pollute the intellectual space with your puerile name-calling and innuendo.

  87. D
    Paris Hilton

    @Ima Gnuber

    If you want to keep calling it theft, don't expect to be taken seriously. Theft is the act of illegally depriving somebody of their property and no matter how desperately you want breaches of copyright to qualify for the the label with it's more dramatic connotations, they don't. It's just a rather pathetic ploy used by the recording industry for what is a trivial breach of laws that only a tiny minority have any respect for.

    And then you set up a straw man argument with

    "Unfortunately you indicated that, apparently, you feel you are entitled to steal anything that costs more than you think it should"

    Which was a sad but predictable.

    All that it lacks is the accusation of supporting terrorists or drug dealers or whatever other group of social pariahs the recording industry likes to associate with music pirates. That's because most people know that the recording industry is simply a parasite that takes from the music industry and adds nothing of real value.

    It's a shame that you said you appreciated my honesty and then went on to make such a dishonest argument yourself thereby disgracing yourself.

    Paris, because even she could probably spot the flaws in your argument.

  88. D

    My six year old daughter started singing a song from the charts

    whilst we we driving along in the car. Normally I would have just thought "that's cute", however after reading ImaGnobbers comments I immediately called the police to have her arrested for what was clearly a breach of copyright. She told me that everyone at school was singing it, but I told her to save it for the judge, theft is theft and there's no excuse.

  89. Joe M

    Thank you D...

    I was just trying to get over being grumpy about poor old Ima when I read your post. It restored my sense of humor in one go.

  90. ImaGnuber

    @Joe M & D et al

    Yes, cynicism is an expression of distrust of someone's motives... I was, whether correct or not, impolite. Suffice to say that we differ and probably always will... unless you come to your senses, of course :-)

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some ranting and raving to do elsewhere.

  91. Anonymous Coward

    off hand rant about copyrights

    my wife is a singer and had been offered a "nice" deal with one of the mid sized record labels. i say "nice"deal in most ironic way possible especially after running the contracts(several drafts) through several diffirient lawyers for translation from legalise double talk to plain english majority uses. after all that the filtered version cames down to this:

    1. artists get no royalities accept what we feel like

    2. you have no rights to your intelectual property once you sign

    3. we hold the copyrights for as long as we want even if you are the originator.

    4. money? what money you think you are getting?

    5. we are free to take any of your creations and use them at will.

    6. your job for us? in condensation you pay us to work for us

    7.union dues for the artists are not covered.(this appeares very well hidden btw)

    8. you are kidding right? you want to get paid?!(this last one is so spread out through the contracts that is next to impossible to even find unless you have three lawyers and a group of paralegals and a class of lawyers to be and they almost missed it too)

    what really got to me was the unfair structure of how they tried taking my mrs hard earned and worked on songs for no money and have her even pay for it herself. btw we also tried some smaller more independent studios and imagine my suprise that the contracts were also very similar in their filtered down versions

    after about 2 years of bashing our collective heads toghether and a lot of research into copyrights by my friends in legal extortion industry we came to conclusion that most part of the copyright laws is just bunch of what you stepped in after fido does its bussines and what lawyers/politicians leave behind when they open their mouths.

    about 80% percent of the copyright law in usa is so outdated that the entertainment industry gestapo of thoght RIAA/mpaa practicaly made a bussines model out of it in order to rape and pillage the minds and hard work of people they are in theory supposed to protect.

    sadly as long as these specters of doomed thought (riaa/mpaa) exist we as consumers will be getting the shaft as often as possible and artists with original thoughts and new things will be neutered on sight to keep old and tried remade repackaged crap to be continually made. and this is enough ranting on part for now.

    now for some possible sollutions

    1.copyright laws MUST be revised from ground up and updated to reflect the state of current and possible future technologies

    2.RIAA/MPAA or anything similar must be dismanteled and never be allowed to be remade, reformed renamed or rebuild in anything similar in the future. laws regarding copyrights must also be revised to reflect the current and possible future technologies as they come to be

    4. common sense should be used when doing all of the above

  92. Anonymous Coward


    "Andraž may be exceptionally good at what he does -however when someone who does not have a serious stake in the debate regarding 'payment for protected work' makes remarks those remarks are nothing more than theories unconnected to the real world. That is a mistake made by 'cute' hobbyists"

    You are missing several points completely. Everyone who are the potential customers of copyrighed material have a very real and serious stake in the debate. Not only those that happen to be creators of copyrighed material. Wether or not someone is a "professional" creator or is completely irrelevant to the issue of getting paid for their activities I assume you are not suggesting that copyright should only be granted to "professionals" and not to "amateurs"?.

    You are treating the issue in complete insulation from 'customers' of copyrighted material. I apologize if I state the obvious here but all contracts and responsibilities are TWO-WAY. Especially when they are state sponsored through legislation in a democratic society.

  93. Anonymous Coward

    Pirates and profits

    I used to download lots of movies, via USENET, as I wasn't able to attend my local cinema. Loss to Hollywood $0 as I would not be donating cash via the cinema to them. The ones that were decent motivated me to buy the DVD.

    I also downloaded lots of TV shows, unavailable in the UK, via USENET. Loss to TV companies $0 as I couldn't buy it in the shops. Sometimes they even became available and so were purchased.

    I have also downloaded a lot of CDs which never got burned to any disc as they were rubbish, loss to record Companies $0 as I wouldn't have paid the cost in the shops for a non-returnable purchase. I used to be able to return LPs saying I didn't like them and get them exchanged for something else, but that avenue has been closed now, as shops seem to assume that I've ripped the CD.

    I have several thousand vinyl LPs, hundreds of CDs and dozens of DVDs. Profit to Hollywood / Record Companies etc. many, many thousands of $

    I'm quite happy to buy when I see value, even paying over the odds to buy LPs on the day of release or import CDs with different tracks, for example. I will pay for a 'proper' copy of a CD even after getting a copy for free, but I'll keep the copy to play in the car.

    So, I am both a Pirate / Thief and a consumer? Loss is $0, but I'm to be branded a 'freetard'? Companies have made a lot of money from me and would have made more had they provided me with a means to get content cheaply and quickly - pay double the dollar cost in £ and several months later for DVDs? Why?

    Reality is much more complicated than a simple "all downloaders are pirates / thieves".

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