back to article Mandy declares 'three strikes' war on illegal file sharers

Lord Mandelson has reiterated the government’s plans to clamp down on illegal P2P file sharers by declaring a “three-pronged approach” to tackle online piracy in the UK. The biz secretary confirmed today that proposals on unlawful file sharing, outlined in the government’s Digital Britain consultation paper in June, would form …


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  1. Matt 21

    Wrong way round?

    "Mandy also said this morning that consumers needed to be educated about the “value of intellectual property rights” to change public perceptions about downloadable content."

    I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think.

    The tail does not wag the dog (or perhaps that should be "the flees do not tell the dog what to do").

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Better hurry....

    ...won't be in a job in years time....

    Bye Bye...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up



    VPN, Tor, Forums, Rapidshare/Megaupload, Private FTP, IRC, YouTube rippers, CloneCD/DVD, IRC, Hacking next door's WEP... and of course the one we don't talk about... ;)

    Yup... stop people using P2P/Torrents and the piracy problem just goes away doesn't it, Mandy?

    Pillock. The only way you will stop the average Joe from downloading/copying for free is by making the purchase of these things affordable and desirable... And you can make a start, as the supposed Business Secretary, by stopping the "Britain Tax" where $1 = £1 when we buy stuff...

    I hope you got the full 3 course meal with extra wine and cheese off Geffen you dark lord muppet.

  4. Tom Chiverton 1

    Fair enough

    Fine. Time to encrypt *everything* that leaves your network then, file sharer or not.

    Turn up the settings on your SMTP relays, BitTorrent clients (gee, these are used for *legal things* ya know...) and use HTTPS versions of web sites where available.

    What the hell do they expect to happen ?

  5. A. H. O. Thabeth

    Consumers needed to be educated...

    "Mandy also said this morning that consumers needed to be educated about the “value of intellectual property rights” to change public perceptions about downloadable content."

    Do the media companies need to be educated about the “value of intellectual property rights"?

    Person A downloads a video or piece of music.

    How much has the media company lost?

    The full price of the retail item or the average retail price or the most discounted retail price or the rental price?

    Would person A ever have bought or rented the item?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Stupid Labour party meet Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark meet stupid labour party. Also say hello to torrentbox.

    Still the question is do the copyright police just need to see an IP Address on a tracker list (which is easy to fake) or do they actually need to be able to connect and prove that they can download content from you?

    If it's the second option then peerguardian 2 is your friend if it's the first then their evidence is meaningless. ~.~

    However I don't pirate games or films or popular music or popular tv programs so it's of little interest to me.

    Still perfect dark all the way baby.

  7. shadowphiar

    process to ensure that the correct infringer is penalised

    "there would be an independent, clear and easy appeals process to ensure that the correct infringer is penalised"

    We already have one of those, it's called A COURT OF LAW.

  8. Daniel Voyce


    Bit optimistic aren't they? They wont be here in 2010 so just another thing good ol' Mr Cameron can decry and gain a few more votes :)

  9. Robin

    Whats in a Name

    "speaking at the government’s C&binet conference"

    What's a 'binet'? Or a 'C' for that matter?

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    Where do they get these plonkers?

    "He called on new business models that would effectively push down prices, making them more attractive to customers who might otherwise download files for free."

    Oh this made me laugh out loud!

    The music/movie business doesn't want to know.

    That's part of the problem.

    Sorry must go, I have a torrent or two on the go....oh damn, what a give-away!

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Pat 11

    Lame Ducks

    They need a slogan. Many tried "If I can come back, we can come back," but that doesn't ring true. How about "No we can't"

    Surely this will never become law, it would mean that Lisa could get her education stymied by Bart's wrongdoing. They can't promote internet access as a basic human need on one hand and then threaten to take it away on the other. Meanwhile priates will hijack neighbours' wifi and encrypt everything. Actually, that last bit sounds good.

  13. Juillen 1

    Third strike..

    Maybe the next time he's caught out acting contrary to the rules and forced to resign it'll be the last time, and we can be rid of him at long last.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Mandelson is a nasty piece of work, but...

    ...Don't expect an incoming Conservative administration to roll any of this back. All governments around the world, regardless of political colours, want total control of the interwebs and they WILL get it. Measures like these represent another small, incremental step along that path. In the end, they will not rest until they can monitor every single citizen's net useage - things like Deep Packet Inspection are just outward symptoms of the long-term strategy of western governments in particular: to hide behind rhetoric of 'fighting pirates, terrorists and pornographers' whilst knowing full well that every new technology and law they deploy against these (very useful) bogeymen can also be turned on the population as a whole.

    Which is handy - right, Mandy?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Didn't Sandvine fall on it's arse when the U.S. gave it a go?

  16. Gordon Matson

    But surely the same counter argument applies?

    Until convicted of a crime, as opposed to suspected any sanctions or punishments can't be legal? Or did Mandy change the law when I wasn't looking?

  17. PirateSlayer


    "I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think."

    I think the misunderstanding is yours. What you appear to be advocating is anarchy...something the government isn't there to provide. Just because a large percentage of the population are theiving cretins doesn't mean that the government can just cave into their criminal activity. They have to protect people like games developers, music artists, film studios etc who work hard (and funnily enough deserve to be paid for their work).

    How ironic that you should refer to the government as the parasites.

  18. Gordon is not a Moron
    Black Helicopters

    Well at least Mandy was correct about one thing...

    downloading being unlawful and not illegal as the BPI, FACT, Lilly Allen et al would have us believe.

    Still, trying to implement a law that even the French thought was corupt, lacked judical over sight and wouldn't stand up in ECHR (well at least the first couple of times around), shows stupidity above and beyond the call.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Three pronged assault?

    “[...]education, enforcement and new business models to discourage unlawful downloading.”

    Yeah, like the entertainment industry will be interested in "new business models" once it's got the first two (or just the second one would be fine, from their point of view) enshrined in law.

    Want to stop illegal downloading? Need a new business model to help combat illegal downloading? Here's how you do it (at least for people like me, who mainly download TV shows and the occasional movie):

    1) End staggered release dates, there's no need for it in the modern world.

    2) End the great region-locking scam.

    3) Allow non-US viewers to watch US TV shows online, like you do with the US public, instead of blocking us because we're not in the right country.

    There, that's how it's done, and therefore that's exactly what's NOT going to happen. Government want to make it a crime, just so they're justified in taking more DNA for their little database.

    AC, obviously......

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why three strikes?

    How about for the first violation of law they get a $10K penalty per copy like it should be? If there is a second offense then whack the fool with another $10K per and a minimum one year in prison. For a third offense nail the fool for $10K per and send them to prison for ten years. They'll eventually get a clue about law and punishment for their crimes. Three strikes is meant for chronic criminals so start with the basic punishment and scale it up for the criminally challenged.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 in 20

    1 in 20 downloaded lawfully.

    2 in 20 would probably only buy it anyway, even if you couldn't get it _unlawfully_.

    I wish they would stop going on as if every single downloaded track is an individual lost purchase!

  22. IndianaJ

    Just words

    I think developers working with the interwebs may be one step ahead of you Mandy.

  23. Nick G

    Possibly illegal anyway?

    Hmm - What's their stand on Collective Punishment then?

    Why should I be punished for what my wife does on her computer or vice-versa?

    Last time I looked the families of convicted burglars aren't jailed or fined as well as those who actually committed the crime...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Little Problem...

    Although I see nothing wrong with tossing self-indulgent thieves off the Internet, there's this thing about 'proof'...oh, and 'due process'.

  25. TheSQLGuy

    So who's responsible if...

    So who's responsible if you use a wifi hotspot or a free wifi connection in a cafe and you go and download illegally?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    What a pile of ....

    you may as well try to find a fart in a jacuzzi.....

    the only thing this is going to do is to push the piracy business underground. no longer will it be just fire up a crappy little app that will download warez from peer to peer networks...

    its all going to go SSL with 256bit encription. there are many ways the so called pirates will carry on sharing files and media it will never be stopped be stopped... digital media will always be copied and distributed.

    the only thing that is going to happen is that a few chav kids will get the mother/farther in trouble... and again... the serious pirate is just going to laugh.

    maybe if software was on sale at a reasonable price then people will be more likely to pay for it. there is no way I would pay the full price for adobe photoshop. if it was say £50 with additional costs for support, then i may be tempted... but £800, maybe if i needed it for my busness, but just for tatting around with a few images from my camera....

    maybe if console games were availabe on a try before you buy.... lets say, 5 days after purchase, return to the manufacturer for a refund if the game is totaly shite.... maybe then the qauality of games would improve... i have to say 90% of games for the wii need to go into a landfill...

    the gubberment need to tackle the issues of the consumer and look at why they pirate stuff.... yes, some will just grab what they can coz its free.... but i doubt it is very difrent from when i was younger, when only one person bought the latest dire strats album and you taped a copy for all your mates....

    the end of the day... i buy a album, i want to listen to it in my car, i want to listen to it on my mp3 player, i want to listen to it on my HiFi, i want to listen to it on my pc.... i dont want to have to buy a copy for each device.... ..

    mines the one with the pocket full of blank DVD's

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Why would they use such a stupid name? Because it's a stupid idea.

    Just try pronouncing C&binet.

    "Can & bin it" I say.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utterly irrelevant

    In the time it takes the Bill to be approved by Parliament, become enacted, jump whatever hurdles arise in the meantime, acquire a stupid namer and logo, work out how it's actually going to work, hammer out the finer details, argue with the ISPs a bit, then actually start working, Mandy and his mob will be out of power, courtesy of the electorate.

    Now, does anyone know what the Tories have to say about filesharing?

  29. Wesley Williams

    Single biggest threat...

    The single biggest issue in any such proposals are the requirement that private companies will be policing our internet connections at the behest of other private companies and punishing individuals based on their own evidence with no involvement of the police or the British Judicial System.

    The example quoted by the chief executive of EMI Music is a million miles away from what is being proposed here. An ISP is not the equivalent of the police and should not have the same powers to infringe on an individuals civil liberties. Especially when it is at the behest of a private company!

    Making or allowing ISPs to police their customers internet connections will lead to more than just allegations of copyright distribution. Remember that, because if Mandelson gets his way, you may very well get a letter from your ISP saying someone using your IP address downloaded child porn. You'd then go straight to jail. You wouldn't pass go and certainly wouldn't see the inside of a police interview room or a court of law.

    Forget about illegal distribution of copyright material, consider the wider rammifications. Mandelson must be stopped.

    Innocent until proven guilty by the police or a court of law!

  30. Annihilator


    For the love of all things holy, go after the DISTRIBUTERS!!! If a bloke starts handing out free copies on DVDR of, say, the latest Star Trek film, who are you going to go after? The people taking the copies or the person who's started handing them out? I know what logic tells me.

    I accept that the line has become fuzzy as technically YOU are creating a copy just by downloading, and quite likely providing a copy to others (in the case of P2P), but seriously, common sense says get the person at the root of the problem.

    As comments above suggest though, encrypt everything. However it won't stop Warner Bros doing a honey trap or something, or even just joining an existing tracker and grabbing the peer/seed lists.

  31. Charles Smith
    Thumb Down

    ISP Tax

    The ISP's should clearly identify the additional costs arising if these proposals are enacted and highlight them on any customer invoice as separate invoice line entitled "The Mandleson Tax".

    This will be poorly conceived legislation that penalises the innocent with extra overheads costs. To cap it all the public will have to pay VAT on those extra costs.

  32. A. H. O. Thabeth

    Two letters. Sounds simple enough.

    Let us imagine this

    Person A uses ISP1. Person A downloads "stuff" and gets a letter.

    Person A switches to ISP2. Person A downloads "stuff" and gets another letter.

    Is this the second letter for Person A?

    Or this

    Person A uses ISP1. Person A downloads "stuff" and gets two letters.

    Person A switches to ISP2.

    Would ISP1 have to tell ISP2 that Person A had been sent two letters?

    Or this

    Person A uses ISP1. Person A downloads "stuff" and gets two letters.

    Person A switches to ISP2. A month passes.

    Person A switches to ISP1. Do the "two letters" still apply? What about after six months, or a year or two years...

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Who elected this fule?

    Oh that's right - no-one. No wonder he doesn't represent my interests.

  34. Andy Fletcher


    Yet again we get to see how completely computer illiterate our politicians and lawmakers are. File sharing and downloading aren't the same thing. As far as I'm aware, they'd have trouble taking action against someone who's simply downloading something SOMEONE ELSE made available. You're only doing something wrong when you're the uploader - not the other way around. Sheesh.

  35. Derek Keeping

    Voters? What are they.

    @Matt 21, just remember no-one voted for him. He was appointed.

  36. jonathan 3

    Where there's a will..

    Very curious how they are going to spy on what people do without infringing human rights/ court orders.

    Or am I missing something?

    How are they going to force ISP's to be "honest" in the ban's cut-offs (could we see everyone changing to certain isp's that aren't as strict?

    How are people going to be cut-off i.e. mac, IP, physical address, linked to person. Can I just move house, swop the router/nic, change the broadband to the wife's name?

    I really don't think anyone has anything to worry about. This is just the government spending our tax money on another pointless exercise, wy not waste it on a new IT system for the NHS. Could intergrate the whole country...oh wait....

  37. Richie O-Matic

    oh well

    Looks like people will have to go back to the good old days of funding organised crime by buying their Pirate DVDs and CDs down the local market..

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Calling All Filesharers - DEFCON 5

    These Morons have absolutely no idea just exactly what the internet is capable of, if the spooks are bricking it over encryption and darknets then your local plod is going to be clueless (as usual).

    I don't think Geffen's puppet realises what he is walking into, sadly we can't vote the idiot out as he is in the House of Lords but we can get rid of the rest of his cronies.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Hopelessly deluded

    70% drop in file sharing within a year?

    Yeah and I expect I'll be able to find a real live unicorn within a year if I start looking now.

    Go on Mandy, do us a favour and find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow while you're at it, our country sure could use some after Bagman Brown has been handing out gold like half priced dog food. You dolt.

    Maybe 70% of file sharers are idiots but most of them know what's going on in the real world better than our politicians do. Heck, like it or not those people *are* the real world. But no lets just pander to the industry lobby groups instead.

    For each person this massive erection manages to persuade not to pirate media, 2 people are likely to pursue the activity just that little bit more vigorously.

    You funeral.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This will only get a) thick people b) the technically challenged, everyone else will carry as normal using the myriad of encryption or non p2p sources.

    They should be allowed to fine people up to the RRP of whatever they get caught with, along with a fixed admin fee of say £50, and a ban for repeat offenders. Proof should consist of forensic examination of the offenders pc, or an admission of guilt Ip addresses don't count, and if they can't prove who did it, then no-one gets convicted. At least if they did that then they would only get the really stupid.

  41. hexx

    change in business model

    i think it's time studios realize that's it's 2009 and it's time to change the model they've used for few decades. who is it they're protecting? artists or their own revenues?

  42. Rabbers

    "Consumers need to be educated"

    I think that's a fair point.

    I take it as read that thieves will always be thieves and will acquire pirate content with flagrant disregard with respect to the law. There are however people that think that they are gaining content "for free" and do not actually know that what they are doing is illegal.

    Given that there should be a clamp down on illegal downloads, it also follows that the ill informed are armed with enough knowledge to choose not to break the law.

    The point made about heavy and unfair pricing in the UK is a fair one, however an organised boycott of all such products is legal whereas enjoying them free of charge is illegal. Imagine how much damage would be done to a market leading company if an entire industry upon which they depend didn't buy their software until they were the same price as in the US.

    Also note that using such market-leading software illegally, still entrenches it as a defacto standard, damaging fair competition where other cheaper solutions really should prevail. So using such software illegally is not as damaging to a market-leading company as not using it at all, go figure.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Still the question is do the copyright police just need to see an IP Address on a tracker list (which is easy to fake) or do they actually need to be able to connect and prove that they can download content from you?"

    Most items I try and download are not complete, so are just a random collection of useless data. Also often the file isn't what it says it is. Either way, just because there is a list showing a filename and your IP address, can't actually show that you have downloaded the file.

  44. Fred 1

    Three Strikes - not a bad idea actually

    Could somebody please remind me how many times the right dishonorable gentleman has been booted from office in disgrace?

    We've tried holy water and a stake through the heart, I think decapitation is next on the list.

    Just remember kids -

    Home Fucking is killing Prostitution

  45. transientcylon


    Echoing other comments, do they really think this will stop the people that illegally download? Someone is always out there working on a work around. This is why DRM always fails miserably. They still haven't learned that lesson have they? Even governments can't compete with a world of bored teenagers with nothing better to do.

  46. Chris Green
    Big Brother

    Politicians should all be composted to save waste

    Most of their ideas/actions are appeasements and the vast majority do nothing but shift emphasis to somewhere else, but in the process, cost taxpayers/voters, money.

    Personally, I have no problem rewarding artists for good work.

    However, it annoys me that the hangers on demand a bigger cut of my money.

    It also annoys me that politicians think that a new law solves everything.

    Mind you, I've bought a few albums that have annoyed me as well, you know, the ones where there is only one good track. Thankfully, I get a better look-in nowadays, before I pay.

    Could that be that reason the sales of 'intellectual property' have diminished, because that 'property' is more easily rejected as not worth buying.

  47. Jason Yau
    Big Brother


    would be a good time to install that free Ghostsurf Platinum trial I have.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abandoned material

    So does this mean that it will be relatively safe to download material for whom there is no identifiable owner still in existence (OK, I know that copyright is always 'owned' by somebody, even if companies go bust and people die)

    If the copyright rests with a little old widow who has forgotten that her husband once owned media company XYZ Ltd, I'm sure she, as the copyright owner, will not be interested in identifying the infringer, or spending her remaining nestegg sending 'Cease and Decist' letters.

    Of course, this may mean the rise of MPIA-UK or RIA-UK industry bodies (or does FACT do this).

  49. Anonymous Coward

    What a Klunge

    That's all.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pity Mandy didn't get the 3-strikes treatment...

    What the hell has happened to this country when an amoral political predator like Mandelson - who most of us think should be in gaol, not the House of Lords - gets to lecture the rest of us on what's moral and acceptable???

    More than any other factor in the current political scene, I think Mandy's undemocratic and inexplicable re-return to power shows how far this country is sinking into banana-republic status.

    What exactly does this man 'have' on our political leaders?

  51. Shane 8


    You are attempting to download File1.rar part 1 of 10.....lets see them figure that as illegal when they dont know what it is!

    Epix Fail, GG.

  52. Stef 2

    Who do you serve?

    Reciting industry claims as fact just spotlights what an utter c*ck-sucker you are, Mandy.

    And I don't mean that in a homophobic way!

    Some of my best friends (of Dorothy), etc.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    IMO Mandy seems to need educating with regards to the morality of allowing certain folk to be paid for years, many times over, for the same piece of work, while the rest of us get paid the once and have to work again for more income. Sort out the law in this area and a lot of problems are likely to disappear.

  54. copsewood
    Big Brother

    self serving politicians

    Mandy obviously values his being able to rub shoulders with celeb dinosaurs and getting favours from old media editors more highly than the European Convention of Human Rights section 8, which guarantees privacy of home life and private communications:

  55. Christian Berger

    Hmm.... Freifunk?

    There is always the possibility of free wireless networking with meshed routers. It's really simple. You just get one of the supported routers (for example the D-Link DIR-300) and flash a special firmware to it.

  56. The BigYin

    Government scum

    Let me understand this. MPs can falsely claim tens of thousands of pounds on expenses, blatantly commit tax evasion, bring their party and the entire government into disrepute and get away it.

    But if a prole downloads a few songs you can get chucked off the net?

    Is it just me or do our most imperious leaders have their priorities tit about arse?

    And isn't the 'netd eclared an essential service? Do they cut the gas and leccy off at the house of a rapist because he uses leccy to watch porno?

    MPs, no clue, no honour, no morals. Every man-jack of them.

  57. Frederick Karno

    who is this guy again ???

    is this the unelected Lord who was disgraced as an MP ....

    nice watch btw wonder who gave him that...... !!!!

  58. Stef 2

    @ TheSQLGuy

    It will be the householder's job to ensure WiFi security - because everybody understands the WPA2 encryption protocol, right?

  59. Anonymous Coward

    What a moron you are Mandelson

    Mandelson should realise that the days of consequence free electorate bashing are also coming to an end.

  60. Serif

    And if you're daft enough to get caught?

    What's to stop you simply going to the next ISP touting for business? Are they proposing yet another national database of people who can't have an Internet connection. What about if you simply get your partner / lodger / cat to join up with next ISP in list? What if it's the family Internet connection, do you plan to punish the children by not letting them do their homework / spouse by not being able to work from home? I suspect these are all things which will be ignored until it's someone else's problem.

  61. Kwac
    Thumb Down

    "I'm crap"

    "I'm extremely well paid but I'm totally incompetent at my job of selling the musical products of other people.

    "I demand that everybody helps me by putting the genie that is that internet thing back in the bottle so I can improve my life-style by trousering the reduced expenses of selling music online".

    "All my friends in Hollywood agree with me, so I must be right."

  62. Skizz

    Worth and value

    "consumers needed to be educated about the “value of intellectual property rights”"

    It may have value to the IP holder, but it's only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. From the figures the IP holders often produce, it seems there's a whole lot of worthless rubbish out there. If they want people to buy their stuff, they need to improve the quality, make it something people want to pay for.

    I wonder what the ratio of illegal downloads versus legitimate purchases between quality products and the rubbish ones (LoTR vs PoTC3 for example).


  63. bertie bassett

    Easy Fight Back

    Run 2 torrent clients, one for the good stuff with encrypton and one we'll call Mandy. Set Mandy to point to a 'mandy' directory which you then stuff full of open source files e.g. linux distros, or just text files containing 'mandy is a pillock' repeatedly. Rename these files to latest britneyspearssong.mp3 or similar and make em available. When plod/mandy/isp or what have you comes knocking to turn you off, take em to court on the basis they can't prove you've shared anything.

    Laugh like a hyena

    Is is time for a Mandy icon?

  64. Anonymous Coward

    And if I am ever unjustly accused of filesharing ...

    ... then I sue for libel on the FIRST strike.

  65. irish donkey

    Open for change but with low expectations

    The current mantra of the IP Industry??? (movies and music let's just call it what it is) is to charge as much money as you think the market can stand.

    And if you didn't like it you could ***k off somewhere else

    Well everybody did ***k off somewhere else and found the Holy Grail. Free music and movies for all.

    So is this another attempt to shore u their ailing market. Probably but I am slightly heartened to see mention of new business models to discourage filesharing. Whether this will translate into tangible changes to the end user experience remains to be seen. And it is changes to the end user experience that will determine who will win this race

    And remember nobody Voted for that *ucker Mandy, so he doesn't represent us.

    If you don't Vote you can't complain. So VOTE for change, and then complain

  66. Andy Livingstone

    Hasn't he got 2 against him already?

    People in glass houses?

    Next time will surely be his last.

    Only fair.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear ...

    The guy is a total muppet.

  68. Anonymous Coward


    Shiver me timbers and prepare to walk the plank ya rapscallion mandy....

  69. Dom S

    Mandy = Moron

    Mandelson needs to stop listening to the devil on his shoulder (ie the entertainment industry lobbyists) and wake up.

    filesharing will happen, filesharing will continue to happen.

    this moronic, frankly illegal method of kicking people off goes against basic human rights. does the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" not mean anything any more?!

    "I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think."

    BANG ON! what happened to the democracy?!?!?!

  70. Mectron

    just another country

    now owned the the MPAA/RIAA.

    The 3 strikes law is the only law where you get punish on ASSUMPTION with not proof of any kind and no chance to defend yourself.

    i wonder how much the MPAA/RIAA paid to buy the UK? (or France)

    The MPAA/RIAA as gone to far, they must be DESTROYED as soon as possible and by any mean.

  71. GhilleDhu

    Jobs for tonight

    Install TOR, practice a bit more safe surfing and bobs your uncle. Not that I bother downloading illegal stuff these days as you can get decent quality non DRM music, but it pays to be careful. Ohh and switch off the wifi while I'm at it.

    Engage Dark Ages yet again in the UK, just as soon as we start getting vaguely decent regular connections they go and stuff it up again. Reckon I'm going to enjoy using iPlayer as much as possible, not to watch it of course just merely to ensure that there is plenty background data flying around for them to sift through.

  72. Ed Blackshaw

    The Campersandbinet Conference, eh?

    rolls off the tongue. Why not stick a couple of at symbols in there too, or more likely some dollar marks?

  73. Anonymous Coward

    Two Words

    Dumb Ass

  74. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I'll just pop round the HofC

    and download a load of stuff and see how long before they're cutoff.

    Mind you it would take a while to get them disconnected from Cloud Cuckoo land!

  75. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Politicians needed to be educated...

    Millions of people file share therefore millions of voters file share. The arrogant greedy Politicians need to learn we vote them in and we pay for them. They work for us and when millions of us *decide* the kind of society *we want to live in* then it is us, not the Politicians who choose what kind of society we want.

    Yet now they want to label all file sharers as criminals! ... That is as good as labeling millions of voters as criminals.

    The music and film industry adds up to be just one small part of society. But even then I want to see the music and film industry survive but why the hell do they get to inflict a Totalitarian Police State on us all, just to support their out dated business model!!!

  76. UncleBob
    Paris Hilton

    What's this then?

    " a move to delight the entertainment industry and anger ISPs." The Entertainment Industry needs to pull their greedy heads out of their arses. They're all shouty at how they are getting screwed out of revenue, yet epically fail to introduce prices to entice punters to actually pay for what is being shared.

    Yes, it's a whole lot easier to share music than it was when we had to copy vinyl to cassette tapes (and they didn't like that either), but they haven't really been proactive about the issue either. Perhaps it was a big surprise that this would happen?

    Maybe if a song cost £0.10p and a movie £1.00 the illegal sharing would go down, but I doubt it will ever stop entirely. The Entertainment Industry needs to try something rather than whinge.

    Paris because she's free and easy.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    Can't Catch Me!!!

    I do all my downloads in a £20/month server I lease in France, and then just download to my home machine using FTP - no BitTorrent or P2P traffic on my line as far as my ISP is concerned :)

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From Mandy's own lips

    "The best long-term solution has to be a market in which those who love music and film, for example, can find a deal that makes acting unlawfully an unnecessary risk,"

    So he's prepared to call for the removal of all DRM such as region coding on movies?

  79. Anonymous Coward

    The only crooks on the interweb we have to worry about..

    Worry about are the ones in Power... you know like Mandelson, how many times has this crook been allowed back into government?

    *\. Hail the Revolution.

  80. steogede

    Re: Um...

    >> by stopping the "Britain Tax" where $1 = £1 when we buy stuff...

    Shush!!! At this rate, the 1:1 ratio will be working in our favour before Christmas - i.e. it'll will be better than the actual exchange rate.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Why three strikes?

    For a third offense nail the fool for $10K per and send them to prison for ten years.

    Hey get real, that's more than I would get for rape or armed robbery in the UK.

  82. Anonymous Coward

    Mandy is helping local business - The local Gangsta...

    Digital copying is here, and the genie of "free" music out the bottle, let's not pretend it can be put back in the bottle. The software to copy a CD or DVD, or rip it to MP3 is so easy to use people are not going to go back to the old ways. Even my mother knows what a MP3 is and how to copy a CD for using in the car.

    Close one method and people will find another. It could be high tech (encrypted traffic so you can't see the content) or lo tech ( buying your music at a local carboot sale, getting a months albums on one dvd for a quid) but it's hard to make people see music and DVD's must be paid for when most papers give them away each weekend.

    Digital copying is no different to home taping in many ways, it won't stop, as people share music with freinds. I doubt for one minute that sales would go up if copying stopped, I can't remember the last CD I bought, as most of the people I listen to are dead and not making anything else (other than the usual Xmas cash in that are best of albums). Of the few albums I get lent get returned uncopied as I'll listen to it once or twice then not care. Heck most people know someone in the pub who can get them dodgy cd's or the latest films or DVD's, they'll just get more trade if this happens.

    The entire entertainment industry needs to come up with viable pricing, not just keep churning out repetative greatest hits, or manufactured pop bands or "exclusive directors latest cut as he needs a cash boost" editions and charging as much as they can get away with. No wonder Jo Public pirates things when the industry is trying to extract top dollar for re-cycled idea's.

    Still Mandy is supporting local business as the local pirate boot sellers will do well out of it.

  83. Jimmy 1

    Two strikes and counting...

    Twice forced to resign from ministerial office because of alleged dodgy dealings we now have our unelected (and probably unelectable) business supremo laying down the law about the unethical nature of file sharing copyright material. Pardon me, Pete, if I puke in your soup to cover up the stench of hypocrisy.

  84. Anonymous Coward

    More ill planned New Labour legislation

    Lord Mandelson said, "I was shocked to learn that only one in 20 music tracks in the UK is downloaded legally." I was shocked to find that somebody pushing through such ill thought out legislation has been so ignorant of the situation that he hopes to deal with.

    Surely the point of new laws is to deal with new crimes. In the case of illegal filesharing it is a case of too little, too late.

    The aim of this proposed law is to frighten people into changing behavior they have followed for a number of years. There is little chance that it can be enforced fairly against the millions of filesharers that it is intended to apply to. There are a number of technological means to circumvent it and a high risk that it will be applied against people inappropriately.

    Apart from starting phoney wars, New Labour's legacy is likely to be the raft of bad laws that they have created. (I'm beginning to hope that New Labour go the way of New Coke...)

  85. CraigRoberts

    @Fred 1

    We need to try something... The bastard's politically immortal now what with being a "Lord"

    Never needs to be elected again (wasn't this time)... There's nothing stopping the fucker from switching sides to the Tories or the Lib's after the next election and staying in the damn cabinet...

    Decapitation is definitely my favourite option!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad, no, it's good, because...

    ... big business is more important than consu^Wcomra^Wpeopl^Wcitizens. So, mandy turns the communications watchdog in the communications police at the behest of ``rights holders'', a nice euphemism for multi-milliard companies that bought those rights from the people who actually did the creative work, and have grown very fat on overhead on the proceeds. Splendid, carry on.

    I say that the creative industry needs to reconsider its business models and figure out how to make money out of things people actually want to pay for instead of trying to change the wants and needs of the customer. Suing your own customers wholesale means you've lost it.

    Worse, the 'biz knows this very well even if they don't want to admit it. They've been rehashing and rewarming old hits with ``contemporary sauce'' on them for a decade or two and have known this is ultimately bad for business for a decade. No sympathy for them.

    I also say we need an overhaul of copyright (and the patent system, while at it), because it hasn't facilitated anything but marketeering onslaught in half a century or so. Perhaps not as radically as the pirate parties would have it, but something that comes close to doing what it says on the tin would be nice. But that would mean the government would be doing something useful instead of gathering lobbyist favours, and we can't have that, can we?

  87. DS 1


    Its very simple, if you believe forcing this issue home will make me, the consumer - go back to buying walled in products, run by evil monopolies, and regain the control and market of what was lost, you are wrong.

    If you treat me badly, I won't buy your products at all, period. And infringing my rights, privacy, and meddling in my freedoms makes me very very angry.

    As for this Labour scum, I never voted for them, they have been scum forever, and will be forever, and these past 13 years they have destroyed everything, every institution, every culture and fabric of society. Their mix of arcane 1984 and enforced 'multiculturalism' are hated, and detested, and most cannot wait to be rid of them.

    We really must start to learn that no matter if they are all unfit, we don;t need to give them more than 4 years so they can commit such unending damage and destruction.

  88. Anonymous Coward

    I wish the numpty the best of luck...

    ...cos I can't see that anything that they propose will have any affect on my offshore seedbox or the 256bit AES connection I use when I'm downloading completed torrents.

  89. Ross 7

    Big fish

    To be honest, I don't see the rights holders paying to send letters to each and every dodgy downloader. They'll just hit all of the big fish that download crazy amounts of stuff. All El Gov is doing is moving the actual coal face work to the people that want it to be done. A bit like you and I campaigning for zebra crossing to be put in and the Council handing you a bucket of paint and a roller and telling you to get on with it.

    The difficult bit is what is actually illegal? I hardly P2P anything - the odd ep of tele now and again. This weekend I d/l'd eps 1 and 2 of Dollhouse S2. However, that was after checking for an iPlayer type app. I pay to get SciFi UK via Sky, so I don;t see it as dodgy in the slightest. If I had recorded them onto VHS, DVD, HDD it would have been fair use. The fact someone else did it for me and I watched them later should still come under fair use, but I bet the copyright holders would argue otherwise.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Green

    Ye. The "I just do it to try music" dosen't wash any more. Spotify et al put pay to that. Or are you now going to claim that ALL of the music you buy is new or on lables that don't have agrements with one of these services?

  91. Tom Oliva 1

    Same Old, Same Old Labour Ordure Ordure

    Nothing new here , move along

    mind you, if they combine it with a bit of this expect trouble:

  92. Anonymous Coward

    Oberholzer‐Gee & Strumpf, 2007

    One of the largest empirical (i.e based on real downloading and sales statistics) studies on illegal downloading and filesharing:

    "We match an extensive sample of downloads to U.S. sales data for a large number of albums. To establish causality, we instrument for downloads using data on international school holidays. Downloads have an effect on sales that is statistically indistinguishable from zero. Our estimates are inconsistent with claims that file sharing is the primary reason for the decline in music sales during our study period."

    DOI: 10.1086/511995 , for anyone wanting to read the whole article.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ the "Just use ssl" crowd

    It seems a lot of you don't understand bit torrent (and yes i know a couple of you didn't specifically mention bt, but a lot of people did and a lot of people implied it), you can encrypt your connection all you want, but it's not going to make any difference if you're connected to a tracker than announces your ip for all to see. The only way to torrent something and not get seen on the tracker is through a tunnel/vpn unless you're good at spoofing.

    It's like advertising something illegal in the yellow pages but taking the precaution to close the curtains.

    Worst case scenario: people will go back to the days of trust-based sharing.

  94. Grease Monkey Silver badge


    "I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think"

    Sorry Matt, but I think it is you who does not understand how a parliamentary democracy works. You vote for your local MP. The winning MP then gets to sit and do what s/he wants in the house for the term of their membership. There is nothing to say they have to stick to their pre-election promises. There is nothing to say that you get to tell them what to do. They can even switch parties if they so choose. You as a constituent have no control over this. The local party could deselect them, but they wouldn't lose their seat. All you can do to control them is vote for somebody else at the next election.

    There isn't even anything to stop the prime monster appointing to his cabinet people who are not elected members. Mandy being a case in point.

    This may not coincide with your view of how democracy should work, but it is how our democracy works, and indeed how most other democracies work too. Democracy is only an illusion of popular control.

    In terms of the article it appears that Mandy is confusing "sharing" and "downloading" rather too often for my liking.

    Downloading is getting something for which you didn't pay. It's not actually stealing. At best there is the argument that you deprived the publisher and IP owner of income, but this would only be the case if you would otherwise have bought the album/movie/software/whatever. After all it's not actually a crime to buy fake designer goods at your local market.

    Sharing on the other hand is providing the content to others, which is a different thing altogether. However I do think this differs from manufacturing or selling counterfeit goods in one important respect; the sharer does not make any money from sharing.

    The problem here is that one thing British law has had going for it for a very long time is that it evolves to meet new situations. The courts make fresh interpretations of law in light of changes in the way the world works. How it should work is that when the completely new situations arise parliament then pass new legislation which will then be interpreted by the courts. Because we deal in common law what we have is one big law and any new legislation has to be intepreted in the light of the existing law. This matter of law being interpreted by the courts is a useful foil to parliament passing ridiculous laws.

    In this case what Mandy seems to be trying to do is cut the legal system out of it altogether. The proposed system as explained seems to work by the rights owners passing complaints to the ISP and the ISP acting upon them. So that the rights owners are judge and jury and the ISP is cast in the role of executioner. There is absolutely no way that such a system complies with our laws. The best that could be said of it is that your contract with the ISP could make this legal, however I can see no way that the government could legal force such contract terms on the ISP. If an ISP refuses to impose such conditions upon it's users I can't see that Mandy would be able to do anything about it.

    Mandy has a lot in common with Burlesque-oni (apart from the bit about young ladies, natch) he seems to think that he has the right to create and implement his own laws without the involvement of parliament or the legal system.

    Yes the law needs to be changed to deal with this situation, but this isn't the way to do it. If somebody is sharing files then the rights owner should have the right to take them to court. The law should be changed to impose a formal structure upon what punishment can be meted out to the sharer and what restitution can be rewarded to the rights holder. It should not be changed to impose a system which cuts the law courts out of the loop. It is not up to the rights holders, the ISPs or, indeed, the government to decide who is in the right or wrong and what the punishment and compensation should be. That is the job of the law courts.

  95. N2


    So what happens when illegal file sharer uses neighbours open wireless network or spends 5 minutes breaking their BT home flub?

  96. Anonymous Coward

    what about streams

    When I want to watch the latest film I just use google and type "watch (moviename) online" I then then watch a stream of the show. Do have a question though, could this still be considered infringement as I dont keep a copy. It plays onscreen and then is gone, no copy for me.... hmmm. Maybe streaming media is the way to go! And for music you cant beat Spotify :) Oh and thats legal..

  97. Robert Hill

    Great message, shame about the messenger

    First, @jonathan 3: Unless you have a chain of off-shore IP-redirects (think somewhere with few legal qualms), they can set up their OWN machines to see who is downloading what and how frequently, and follow the IP address chain to your ISP. Your ISP has your name, billing details, etc.. You can try jumping around wirelessly, but honestly they don't care about the few that will try to penetrate hotspots or even their neighbor's access point.

    There will always be ways to make yourself anonymous - it's just that most people DON'T, because the easy ways are easy to defeat, and the hard ways are, well, harder. So the intent of the law is not to make it impossible, it's simply to change the cost/benefit analysis for the average downloader.

    Now, I actually agree with the intent of the law, but it's too bad Lord M. has so little personal credence left. He is a terrible messenger for a well-intentioned bill - and one that intellectual content industries need. And like it or not, the UK and US NEED intellectual content industries, because we don't do f£(%-all better than anyone else in the world. We can't make anything cheaper than China, we can't do rote programming cheaper than India (and even some advanced programming is best done there), and the UK is only agriculturally advantaged in a few areas. In short, we have precious little else to offer the world besides our intellectual content, so we had better start protecting it OR ELSE our children can get ready to start working for a Chinese corporation and living in corporate barracks and getting paid Chinese wages - in Slough or Birmingham. (OK, some of them will anyway, but hopefully we can change the percentages...)

    It is simple as that really. Protect what we are good at, or get ready to not have anything that anyone else wants to buy and become their vassals.

  98. Gavin Nash

    A simple solution!

    Pricing of albums, films and games is too high! Charge people less for digital content that is downloaded and piracy will wain! It's not rocket science! The UK is always stitched up with pricing compared to other countries as well so we download more dodgy copies!

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One word.


  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Common sense...

    I do not take people to court for X stealing Y's item...

    I would never ever, stand up in court without the copyright holder present...

    Not that it matters, SSL, Darknets... I'm actually kind of enjoying the concept of it ;)

  101. Gerrit Hoekstra


    This guy has no real grip on technology even though he is the so-called business secretary / czar / man of a hundred titles / thingie. Expect to see a litany of ridiculous new laws in a country near you that punish the innocent and cost taxpayers and ISP subscribers dearly to implement and stifle business and creativity, while the 'victims' in the entertainment industry await their profit increment.

    There is a misguided assumption that people will buy the tawdry tripe offered by said victims after a ticking off. The vastly inflated guesstimates of lost revenue of our dear victims in the entertainment industry never seem to account for the simple fact that people file-share because it does not hurt their pocket, and not because the product is actually any good and worth paying for.

    Now for the techy bit: How do they actually KNOW that only 1 in 20 copies of a track are legit? How will you measure a hoped-for decrease of 70% file sharing within a year? Can you account for the legal file sharers, such as Linux distro's? Who will count up to three? Can he count up to three?

  102. chainsaw


    What a crock.....

  103. Anonymous Coward

    i feel a can of worms opening....

    People have never really had a reason to hack a neighbours wifi before. Now they will.

    Yes, I know that's already a crime. But how do you track the culprit? And prove it wasn't you.

    What a complete fuckwit he is. Also from a public perception point of view its not a vote winner is it? I'd be asking why they are looking at protecting big fat cat business rather than helping the vast majority of small med businesses struggling at the mo. (And Stopping IT outsourcing while he's at it).

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Missed this part.

    A hotspot you ask who's responsibility.

    Well you would assume the owner, etc, maybe you could have a few good arguments for this. But if they are responsible for that, then we have to start talking about the ISPs, and as we know, that is never going to happen... so I don't see why the little café owner around the corner should have to deal with it if the ISP doesn't

    Having your WIFI clearly open, well they deserve it, specially these days. But it's so inherently "unsecure" that we will never get to be 100% proven guilty.... are we supposed to drop how guilty we consider someone before we shut them up?

    Until we see them being more open about the fact that we buy it once for multiple uses, the better. Same for TV, if I can get it on TV legally, I don't see how downloading it can be illegal... and how is someone watching my IP, seeing me getting whatever it was off the BBC last night, ever going to consider if that was legally downloaded or not...

    btw. You're all guilty no matter what, so shut up and get yourself to prison.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Rowsby

    Just because you are connected to a tracker, doesn't mean you downloaded, shared anything at all... and if they start prosecuting on that basis, then there will be more to worry about in our country.

    But I agree, I liked FTP sharing back in the days... but then our connections sucked a bit... but now... would be so much more enjoyable.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I'm a software developer and release software open-source, as such I'm not worried about piracy.

    Perhaps I should make a recording of me saying hello and copy it a few thousand times. Name it something like LatestJimCareyFilm.avi and put it up on bittorrent.

    Then, when the MPAA download it from me to try and take me to court they've actually just infringed my copyright by taking that film! :)

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheaper for our economy...

    Hasn't it been shown that the majority of all these films, music, and games (etc) are from abroad?

    So if we start buying what we get instead, a lot more of our money will go out of the country...

    Not that you can say, "eff off we don't care" in front of people. but maybe not try so hard...

    (Not that this works, as we will spend our money instead on Chinese produced merchandise).

  108. Anonymous Coward

    To all the people who are optimistically saying "don't worry, they'll be gone soon"

    The People's "Dave", and his lovely wife Rupert Murdoch will show you exactly how you roll when pandering to big business and corrupt media interests. He'll be busy screwing the filesharers and destroying public service broadcasting double quick.

    I just hope you like Michael Jackson seances, endless repeats of The Simpsons, and paying telephone number prices for heavily crippled digital media.

    As annoying as the current lot are, things can only get better.. ahem.

  109. Mathew White


    Do we think that they meant to have c@binate but got distracted by the whale song. (All thought that would read as 'Cat Been Ate" nom nom)

    Lucky this is just all noise, so the dark lord can sound as pro rights holders as he wants without any care for implementing such a system as they (Labour) arn't going to be around to do so.

  110. clint11

    Three Srtikes

    Up yours Mandy Meddlesome, start looking for another job you will not be in your present one for much longer.

  111. Jase 3

    Can we have a three strike rules for politicians too?

    "The pay-off for tough penalties against persistent file-sharers would be a more relaxed copyright regime" - Lord Mandelson

    So let me get this right. If we support your 3 strikes rule for downloading illegally you will support relaxing copyright, which will then mean you are basically turning a blind eye to downloading illegally?

    Also following on from that in the BBC article on this (not sure if this is attributable to Mandy though)

    "It would mean that, for example, someone who has bought a CD would be able to copy it to their iPod or share it with family members without acting unlawfully. "

    Thus perpetuating the myth that ripping a CD you own is somehow evil and taking money away from those poor record company execs...

    The frustration from a music consumer such as myself is how little cash actually goes to the content producers themselves (i.e. the artists/songwriters and producers).

    I hardly ever bother buying from mainstream providers now, I prefer to buy direct from artists or from more clued up record companies like Warp. If more people do this (or cut back on luxuries due to the recession!) it means less cash to mainstream providers and that can only be attributable to piracy, right?

    Why do I see this as somebody kissing up to the industry he hopes will give him a job once he is booted out at the next election?

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Rowsby

    However the tracker announcements can be faked (add a few hundred random addresses) so that's a rubbish method. The only way you can prove anything is if they can join a tracker, and then connect to an ip address, and then download the desired file from the target ip address.

    @Robert Hill

    I often wonder why English speaking media is so popular as it's so bad for the most part, however the obvious answer is there are a lot of English speakers and because of that we produce a lot of cultural tatt some of it is bound to be liked somewhere. While at the same time the English speaking world is culturally lazy and has little interest in things outside of the the English speaking world. I think we'll find as the East rises the value of English speaking culture shall also be eroded. We've had our glory days and slow inevitable decline is under way.

    In general, for a long time media sales were rising despite claims that piracy was rife and costing them a fortune, as the economy slowed, and finally collapsed it was inevitable that money spent on music/film/cinema/restaurants etc would collapse.

    Now this is also compounded by the massive cost of these things in the UK, my American mates think $10 for a CD Album is a rip off, they'd shoot somebody if they charged them £15!

    In Japan and Korea you get a hell of a lot more media with a single too (often a dvd of the music video and depending on the version you get making of footage, etc)

    Region encoding is just price fixing, as is staggered release dates (for nations that don't need a translation done.)

    All in all 3 strikes is unjust unless there are suitable checks and balances in place, a proper peer reviewed method of gathering evidence, a proper way to file that evidence with the proper legal bodies who will review and confirm that it was correctly performed, and a proper course of action and notification as well as right to appeal any actions along with legal aide and support.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could be good - for lawyers

    The media business says someone in your household was downloading files with the result that the whole household gets disconnected without any legal process and hey presto your new right (proposed by the self-same Labour government) to the Internet is removed.

    How long until we can bury this lot in a suitable pit of quicklime?

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    anonymous to my ISP

    Yesterday i bought a pay as you go 3g mobile wifi device (a mifi).

    Yep, payg, not registered or contracted, just pay 17 quid for 5 gb of data.

    Ok its not cheap enough that am going to be downloading huge films, but i will continue to keep up with TV on US schedules for HBO stuff and South Park.

    Alternative business models... i will stop downloading tv programs when the BBC make something decent instead of "Larkrise to Candleford"... now that was a license fee waste!

    Mandy please F**k Off.

  115. brimful

    Fantastic Idea

    Mandy wants to stamp out illegal file sharing. Well if we all start ssl'ing and https'ing then the problem is well and truely stamped out as no one will ever know how much of the internet is being downloaded illegally. If I can't see it then it doesn't exist :D

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @One word

    Some acronyms


    Preferably over SSL

  117. David Hicks

    @Simon Rowsby

    I agree - there are a lot of people that seem to think that SSL (actually TLS now) is a magic bullet to this.

    It isn't, not without some major re-architecting of P2P infrastructure. There exists the possibility of creating a system in which you talk directly only to people you know and bounce or hop through them to people they know and so on. This can be achieved by certificate signing amongst friends, and there is a need for a user-friendly way of doing this. It would also slow things down considerably but eventually be mitigated by increasing speeds.

    In this way you could still exchange data with total strangers (what's good about P2P) but with every link along the way being trusted, and nobody knowing the source or destination of any data, nor anyone outside the circle knowing the content. And unlike freenet you could make sure you only participate in transfers of things you don't have an ethical objection to.

    I had this idea all by myself, but as with all of these things I was lazy, the time for the idea was clearly just right and other people also thought of it and wrote it - check out "OneSwarm".

    Not that I necessarily advocate piracy, but I sure as hull advocate keeping your activities secret from the government.

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I literally laughed out loud!

  119. Ian Nichol

    Name Change

    Is he going to change his name to M&ndelson now?

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    One Question...

    Does three strikes and you're out also apply to Government Ministers who abuse their position?

  121. Anonymous Coward

    Will not work

    First off even plod thinks it's a bad idea and opposes it.

    Secondly. Peoples attitudes will not change and they will jsut switch to direct downloads that cannot be traced like Rapidshare and/or use encrypted VPN's.

  122. James 55

    " was hoping to reduce illegal file sharing in Blighty by 70 per cent within a year"

    Good luck with that. People will carry on what they have been doing for decades...

    "Mate, is this XFactor winner123?? Can I borrow it?"

    "Sure, I got it off fat matt last week"

    Borrow means rip...

  123. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    That's me in big trouble then

    I download and upload acres of copyrighted music and software.

    All the music is under Creative Commons licence, and all the software is GPL, but it is of course all copyrighted.

    I have NEVER downloaded RIAA stuff - why would I? It's nowhere near the quality and originality of what is legally freely available.

  124. Waster


    Whats the bet that when Mandy gets kicked out of office, within a few months we suddenly find him popping up as the Chairman or Sony, Geffen, EMI or somebody similar.....

    Of course such a thing would be pure coincidence....

  125. paulc
    Thumb Down

    re wrong way round?

    "By Matt 21

    I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think.

    The tail does not wag the dog (or perhaps that should be "the flees do not tell the dog what to do")."

    me thinks they see us as the fleas and themselves as the dog...

  126. Puck

    Freetards go fuck yourselves

    If you won't pay for creative content then you deserve to listen to nothing but Muzak and watch nothing except ITV reruns for the rest of your life. Thieving cheapskate swine. Fuck you.

  127. Jon999

    he he, my p2p client is

    getting warmed up for some serious downloading until 2011 in that case ;)

  128. Tom Paine

    Roll on IPv6

    Mmmm, mandatory IPSec part of the protocol... network users given literally millions of unique, globally routed IP addresses (a /64 being a standard allocation)... No tiresome NAT to faff about with, so every client is (or can be) a server, just as the gods of IP originally intended...

  129. Tom Paine

    @Gordon Matson

    @Gordon Matson Posted Wednesday 28th October 2009 13:47 GMT

    > Until convicted of a crime, as opposed to suspected any

    > sanctions or punishments can't be legal? Or did Mandy

    > change the law when I wasn't looking?


    What, so companies can't sack people unless they've broken the law? I can't send my kid to bed with no porridge for breakfast if he didn't play nice with his sister? The England selectors can't drop players who are out of form?

  130. David 45

    What is he?

    Well.....we ALL know what he is (!) but is he a duly elected representative of the people? I believe not and, as such, is he entitled to come up with "Mandy's Law"? It does seem, literally, that he is a law unto himself. What ever happened to "due process" and "innocent until proven to be guilty" ? Also, I find it incredibly suspicious that Mandy has only got this religion after having had close contact (on holiday, was it?) with a big-wig in the entertainment (I use the word loosely) biz. Just who lined his pockets to come up with this tirade against file-sharing, which, on its own, is NOT illegal.

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@Simon Rowsby

    Bit torrent and other old style p2p are pretty much done for. However sftp and encrypted irc file transfers are just dandy, also there are already p2p tools that are anonymous

    Read and learn

    So there are old DDL methods and new p2p methods that make both watching trackers and dpi useless.

  132. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It only takes one person to get hold of XYZ on disc/USB stick and suddenly they can distribute it to their group of friends without going near the internet by physically giving them a disc/USB stick with ZYX on, who can then distribute it to their groups of other friends...

    A 2.5" 500gb drive can easily hold 100 DVDR image files, or nearly 700 avi films (regular 700mb size), and it's pocketsize...

  133. Robert Hill

    @AC - not media...

    I said that the US and UK have to protect INTELLECTUAL CAPTIAL, which happens to include media. It also includes patentable inventions, trademarks, copywrites, trade secrets, innovative business processes, architect's plans, sequencing patterns for improved wheat geonomes, new financial derivative products - er, scratch that last one...but I think you get the idea. Music and media are only two of those intellectual products, BUT they are to some extent a litmus test on copywrite. If you can put music on torrent legally, then by small extension the rest of intellctual property loses protection, and therefore it becomes much less valuable and useful to the countries that invent it.

    Having said that, I still also believe that if rampant copying isn't stopped, the quality of media will simply fall to reflect the market's profitability. Forget who claims what is lost in sales - 95% of internet traffic is filesharing or downloading!!! That alone is enough to show the scale of the problem...and if you think what we watch and listen to NOW is shite, wait until media simply isn't profitable.

    Case in point - go to the middle of Iowa, or the middle of Alaska, Holmfirth in Yorkshire, or upstate New York near the Finger Lakes. Listen to or watch a local news broadcast - then watch the BBC's broadcast. You would be well struck by the qualiative differences in quality of production, and in writing. Well, that's what we will slowly be headed for...for proof, go listen to a sample of MySpace distributed bands and tell me the music industry is terrified. It isn't, because the vast majority sound like turds - bad production, bad technique, little music training, and no mentorship. And that's by and large what we will get stuck with, which I suppose is great as long as you like listening to Drum and Bass anyway, 7 x 24...

    Pesonally, I'm learning Blender, but I don't have any illusions that I am the next Speilberg...nor that anyone would want to buy what I produce. But (like the bands above) it's fun to do, as long as I can at least BUY something much better to watch myself...

  134. Arnie

    They wanna take everything I hold dear

    first the extreme pr0n, then the weed and now this. Our government must hate us!

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As always...

    a few grandmothers will be blamed for the visiting grandchildren playing with the Internet. The real bandwidth hogs of the P2P crowd are already nearly invisible and the likes of this bureaucrat won't ever catch on.

    The only law that seems to catch up to the unelected is the one of unintended consequences. As many here have guessed, there may be one of those for the secretary soon enough.

    Still, I'll be the anon. coward just this once.

  136. kosmos

    I love the smell of Freetards in the morning....

    Ahhh the outrage, the stupidity, the downright python-esque qualities that seem to be bandied around in these discussions; both fretful and simultaneously highly amusing.

    Ultimately the problem as argued by freetards is one of price, but far be it for me to break it to all and sundry, but no retail outlet in the world can compete against 'Free'. So let us drop the facade, for the argument is as wearisome as the soap box/high-horse combination that you seem to be employing.

    I concur that artists require financial support if they are to continue to produce quality works that warrant the 10mb or so of disk space their music will be un-lovingly compressed to prior to digital distribution. It is noteworthy that a multitude of alleged 'content providers' have rather parasitically claimed a large portion of the margin for themselves have failed to endear themselves to the consumer by attempting to extort money for products and services that are of lower standard than those that precede.

    I grow tiresome of hearing the arguments from content providers that they must be paid/compensated for all the tracks and then expect to be re-compensated again, and again and again for each differation (yes I enjoy the creative process as well) of use. Your customers wish to buy a product and use it as they see fit and if they purchased said product they damn well deserve to use it as they see fit.

    In summation I have to say to the freetards, try supporting that which you enjoy to ensure that more of it happens. It really is that simple, lest the creative world be filled with 6yr old you-tubers attempting to sing to old Beyonce tracks, it will happen for there are no options for media corporations at present. This is not your failure as a consumer but rather their failure to anticipate a market that they could and should have licensed but instead attempted to sue out of existence.

    In summation to the media corporations I suggest humble pie, apologise for the past years of bankrupting families with ill-conceived lawsuits that in no way endear the public to your cause. How about not suing services out of existence and instead, negotiating reasonable license fee's for content with on-line services that are specialising in delivering your content. You don't need to re-invent the wheel, you don’t need to wheel clamp the distribution channels with DRM but you do need to turn a profit and as you shut down and criminalise services and shackle them with undue license and technological restrictions ( anyone?) so you limit your options, coverage and standing. With so much already illegal what digital distribution channels have you got left that aren't?

    Stop adopting a single company approach. Your corporations are in this trouble together, Your customers shouldn’t have to go to different services to get different content catalogues by different publishers. The fractured distribution methods are half the problem. Why is the onus on the consumer to do the work of tracking down the disparate services creating accounts on each of them and purchasing content that likely will be supplied in a range of incompatible formats with a range of various obscene restrictions. This situation is unacceptable when the alternative is extremely easy and offers the entire global catalogue for the exchange of a search engine query. Your paying customers deserve better than this.

    The time of the little metallic musical disc is over. There is one choice reach a consensus that benefits all parties or fall. Criminalising working families further for the sake of protectionism is hardly fair game.

  137. Andy 97

    Innicent until proven guilty

    It's just a small point I know.....

    But in this country isn't the burden of proof on the persecutor?

    Seems a bit of an erosion of civil liberties to me.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I don't see how will this work. How can the government force ISPs to devote their time checking their customer's data and sending out letters? All for the purpose of losing customers.

    This benefits the music industry only (putting aside bad publicity as grandma gets kicked off for apparently downloading Slipknot CDs) and badly affects the ISPs who lose out big time.

  139. Roger Heathcote 1

    150 Bucks gets you...

    Not fast but better than getting cut off!

  140. copsewood
    Big Brother

    future of music/film

    When the penny fully drops on copyright owners that they will never again be able to control non-commercial distribution, then they will be able to look for commercial beneficiaries and go after them directly. You pay for music when you visit a shop or restaurant that plays it indirectly as a small take on your bill and that is how it should be. The same could reasonable apply when you use the Net, once the content industries stop pissing us off by trying to order back the tide. But copyright owners either have to agree fully to legalise non-commercial distribution in order to get a fair take from commercial beneficiaries, i.e. your ISP or politicians have to be made to force this upon them.

    Until then those who have an interest in their own human rights must demand that the constitutional privacy rights of the many trump the relatively limited copyrights of the few.

  141. Tom 106

    Politicians and MInisters need educating

    Have they never heard a computers "CACHE"?

    Is it to become unlawful to retain any files etc, from my cache, after all the "website, assumed copyright holder" has allowed those files to entered into my pc's cache!

    Will action be taken against me for downloading the latest windows7.iso from Digital River, even though there is no intention of purchasing a license from Microsoft?

    In these times, one can avoid downloading of files from P2P and torrents by simply going to the copyright holders website and downloading a trial version. Then simply hunting down a serial key/generator to activate the trial programme.

    I find the Digital Britain proposals and Mandelsons intention is to restrict access to the internet, unless a user is accessing authorised and authenticated content websites. For instance, UK access to sites such as the Pirate Bay could will be blocked.

    It's an embarrassing to read that more emphasis is being placed upon the prevention of illegal file sharing, rather than focusing on how to prevent the Cyber Criminals who attack British businesses, and carry out phishing scams intent on stealing our money and identities.

  142. Anonymous Coward

    Easy Life?

    It's funny, I manage to write and perform music, AND hold down a job.

    I write music because I love writing music, and I'm not at all bothered about getting paid for it. My friends all wonder why I'm not chasing a record deal. I simply don't need one, plus Satan's cock doesn't look that tasty!

    People need to stop confusing the ideas of "Art" and "Product". They are NOT the same.

  143. Jesthar


    Thank you, exactly what I wanted to express but put a heck of a lot better!

    It always amuses me that the media industry don't seem to have grasped the concept that if they charge what is perceived as a FAIR price for their wares, more people will buy them. Yes, they're likely going to have to take a short term fall in revenue whilst the general public readjust their mental attitude from expecting to be ripped off to something more favourable, but by and large even in this day and age most people feel uncomfortable about breaking the law to obtain something they could acquire for a 'fair' price.

    Personally I don't download; my response to the extortionate media prices these days was to simply stop buying music and DVDs until something I really want falls to a reasonable price (as in under £10 for a single CD/DVD, or between £15 - £25 for a regular box set of something, depending on the number of episodes).

    Of course, by that time, the largest part of my enthusiasm for that particular item has often waned, so I save my money and just enjoy watching if/when it pops up on Freeview (paid TV is another thing I refuse to pony up for, despite it being the only decent way to view cricket these days). Which means the media companies lose again...

    As for DRM - if you ship something with it, I'm NOT buying. End of. At the end of the day there is plenty else out there to entertain me, so if your 'thanks' for me giving you a wedge of my hard earned cash in exchage for your product is to say 'but we're also going to control how you watch/listen to it' then I can live without it.

    At the end of the day it's simple - sell something at a reasonable price from the outset, and I (like most people, I suspect) am far more likely to buy it there and then. Otherwise you'll have to take your chance that I'm still interested when the price drops.

    ~Jes :)

  144. Chris Hunt


    If, as the Sith Lord tells us, 95% of tracks are dowloaded unlawfully, why do we need a new law? We have a law, people are breaking it, go out and get 'em. How hard can it be if 95% of us are villains?

    On the other hand, if the marketplace is so totally dominated by pirates, the creative sector seems to be surviving rather well regardless. This "threat" to their existence doesn't seem to be having much effect, unless I've missed a lot of entertainment companies going belly-up in the last year or two. The financial ballsup foisted upon us by the banks looks like a much bigger threat - maybe we should be going after them instead?

    I'm not a file-sharer, legal or illegal, so I don't have a dog in this fight, but I don't like the look of this proposal. What I particularly dislike if this:

    "Only persistent rule breakers would be affected - and there would be an independent, clear and easy appeals process"

    This is "sentence first, trial afterwards", in true Alice in Wonderland style. First they cut off your access, then you try to prove yourself innocent in an appeal.

    By all means paint illegal downloading as a terrible crime akin to mugging old ladies, if that's what floats your boat, but it doesn't mean you can ignore natural justice. Allegations should have to be *proved* before sanctions can be taken.

  145. Tony Batt
    Thumb Up


    Couldn't have put it better myself

  146. mmiied

    cheeper better easer

    the problem that meida outlets have is it is so much easer and better before I get to cheeper to pirate stuff I can get somthing 4 hours after it is first shown in the US and watch it in hi def on my tv I STILL cannnot even get big bang theroy in HD form the shops when I can be bothered to drag my self into it

  147. Maurice Verheesen


    Intellectual property must be protected, though not at all cost. Therefore 1984 practices must be avoided and network neutrality enforced.

    Personally I think the matter solves itself rather quickly when "the content industry" starts to actually sell <i> \huge{*ALL*} </i> content in a DRM free way.

    How can I be arrested/blamed/charged for stealing something which I cannot legally buy although I have the money to do so!

    Yes I'm looking at you notices of "you are not in America and therefore cannot watch this show" crap.

    First content, then restrictions.

  148. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Denial doesn't change reality

    No one has the right to steal or illegally distribute copyright protected works - NO ONE. You are not entitled to anything that you don't pay for. If you don't like the price then go without. There is no God given right to steal copyright protected material or purchase it for whatever price YOU deem satisfactory.

    People who suffer from the delusion that the world is here to serve them usually end up in prison as The Pirate Bay Boys have learned the hard way. DENIAL does not change reality as the pirates who have already been prosecuted can advise.

  149. Anonymous Coward

    The solution?

    Pirate party :)

  150. Kwac


    Quite right.

    I will only distribute via torrents fully legal material. e.g. today's Ununtu release.

    I WILL NOT distribute any material I download from usenet using SSL.

    As I'm not distributing it it's not a crime, merely a civil infringement.

    BTW, I don't recall God giving me any rights.

  151. PirateSlayer


    If the cap fits MinionZero, then it fits. The arrogance and greed of millions of illegal filesharers is causing (and will cause) draconian measures which I am staggered to see make the very perpatrators of this criminal activity 'angry'. Ultimately your ilk is responsible for any snooping, cut offs or draconian measures which will affect legal users too.

    "But even then I want to see the music and film industry survive but why the hell do they get to inflict a Totalitarian Police State on us all, just to support their out dated business model!!!"

    How noble, I like the arts too! I wonder if you will extend your hatred of such an out dated business model when you get a job. It's easy to do. You just have to work hard and then not get paid at the end of the month (or have your products stolen by spotty youths). This is where moraility and decency come into society...things which the parasetic kiddies don't seem to understand. Morality and decency are the elephants in the room in this argument. All this bullshit about try before you buy really irks me, or about how things are too is not the sellers responsibility to judge your reaction to their product: caveat emptor.

  152. bexley


    for years now it has been possible to encrypt your transfers with the check of a box in your preferences.

    This will just cause it to become a default option.

    what you gonna do about that mandleson?

    what a waste of time and money.

  153. Anonymous Coward

    Oh really

    The crooks in so called parliament just keep showing how naive and stupid they really are. They keep trying to take the pee out of the poor but fail to address the fact that it is they that are the deceitful ones. A record for example that costs £1 is to be chased, but a £100000 house fiddle is not. Oh come on are they seriously so stupid that they think that we know nought about having an address in outer mongolia.

    How about we send all silly persons trying to make the poor poorer an email purporting to say make a nuke with naughty thoughts encrypted and then notify the uncle bill that we know that they are making ideas about overthrowing the system and becoming a dictatorship. Encrypt it and then they must be arrested for disclosure failure, having sent it from China.

    Stupid lot, Barmy, Stalinist twits.

  154. ShaggyDoggy


    Any fule kno that downloading is not illegal in the Netherlands.

    They're in the EU last time I looked.

  155. ShaggyDoggy


    You use the word 'illegal'

    This word has been imprinted into you be the media big boys.

    Mandy is a bit better advised than you are, he says 'unlawful' which is more correct.

    That is because downloading copyrighted material without permission is a civil offense not a criminal offense.


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