back to article Mandybill petition puts hacks in a spin

A rash of reports fantasise today that the government has "dumped" or "abandoned" plans to boot the most persistent illegal filesharers off the internet. The source of the reports is a sentence in a lengthy response to a petition on the Downing Street website, which reads: "We will not terminate the accounts of infringers - it …


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  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    Will last five minutes?

    I'm sure the having-access-removed-but-still-being-charged part of the bill will last a long time before being struck down by the courts as absolutely ridiculous.

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a lame duck, a snake in the grass

      It makes ISPs liable for claimed infringement by its customers so it is not a lame duck.

      The ISP does not need to know what you surfed for, they don't care, all they care about is they have to terminate your connection or *they* will have to defend against *your* alleged copyright infringement.

      How can *they* possibly have the evidence or time or money to defend claims against *you*???

      So they will cut your connection, and it will be written into their terms of service that they will cut your connection on allegations alone.

      No filtering required, no logging required, nothing special, just a nasty law by a nasty man to skirt around a persons rights.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Wokstation

    I'm more worried about...

    ...the "orphaned works" section.

  4. ShaggyDoggy

    never mind

    stick with slsk there's no 'swarm'

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Not gonna save you. It's the "offered up" part that matters. Swarm or no swarm, anyone with an internet connection, a copy of slsk and a bit of savvy can find out exactly what you're making available.

  5. Rob Crawford


    Indeed the combination of alleged 'orphan works' and the lack of clarification of what constitutes evidence (and appeal procedure) are my concerns

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a victory

    Mandys bill was to introduced secondary civil liability for ISPs.

    It is in this phrase:

    "imposes obligations on internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement, and allows the Secretary of State to amend copyright legislation to the same end"

    i.e. make ISPs civil liable for copyright infringement by their customers, they in turn require a term of service in ISPs contracts with customers, that bars accused offenders from the ISP.

    To say *WE* (the government) bans people is misleading, since it was the ISPs. To say it would require a criminal penalty is misleading, since it only requires a term of contract in ISPs terms of service.

    To say Mandy has been banned from making criminal offences in this bill (the claim in Wikipedia) is also to mislead, since the game is to create a liability by contract between the ISP and customer, to remove their access right on accusation.

    3 strikes and your out, remains there in that bill.

    Really, Mandy should not be allowed to amend copyright without Parliament.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "suspension" and not "termination"?

    Pure word play to get past the critics.

    The next thing that will happen once it is on the books is that someone gets their internet access "suspended indefinitely".

    Unless they agree on a maximum duration of these "suspensions" we may still get "termination" through the back door.

    We are dealing with politicians here after all.

  8. Paul Donnelly


    I cant believe I've taken this long to realise 'the plan'.

    1 Make it so Mandy can change copyright laws at his whim

    2 Implement a secret copyright treaty with the Media 'producers'


    4 Profit!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    It makes no difference - it still won't work

    I pay for plenty of content, but I also pirate plenty too. When the MandyBill comes in, I shall still pirate plenty. I may pay for less depending on how resentful I feel.

    The fact is that the ISPs don't want any part of this and they will not go out of their way to piss off their customers or even worse, terminate (er suspend indefinitely) their accounts. There is no way they could continue to charge for a service they do not provide so they will do the bare minimum required.

    However, the most significant issue is that most (possibly all) people who download material illegally are much cleverer and much more nimble on their virtual feet than the dinosaurs running the record companies and film studios. We shall outwit them at every turn absolutely no matter what they do. DRM failed to stop piracy. Legal action was even worse; not only did it not have any impact on illegal file sharing, it was a PR disaster. Now we have this stupid bill and that won't work either.

    70% reduction - pah! I would be amazed if there were a 7% reduction. In fact I shall do my best to make up the difference - now where can I get a gigabit pipe to the internet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      your Gigabit pipe...

      Have your city council write a letter to Google. They're looking for volunteer communities that want the 'ultimate internet connection'.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Suspension - no problem?

    There seems to be the view that these (alleged) filesharers will just need to go on holiday for a couple of months or just sign up with another ISP and get back to their (allegedly) illegal activities. So no biggy?

    Well, I think in practice, since the ISPs lose money with all the letter writing and suspensions, they will set up a private ISPA blacklist of unwanted clients. So in practice it will be very difficult - or very expensive - for an alleged filesharer to get reconnected.

  11. Shades

    @AC; RE: "suspension" and not "termination"?

    ""termination" through the back door"

    Wow, sounds painful!

    1. seanj

      Re: termination through the back-door...

      Sounds painful? As opposed to suspension through the back door?!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Is El Reg following the proposed ACTA stuff?

    Is anyone at El Reg following the proposed ACTA stuff? If not, why not? [Hint: you are, but not this week, here?] [0]

    It would have been appropriate to mention ACTA in this article and in the (comment-free) Orlowski one today, and probably pretty much any other article on or near this subject.

    ACTA here means "anti-counterfeiting trade agreement" but the nice people in the entertainment industry are seeking to broaden the definition of "counterfeiting" to include non-commercial downloading of copyright material, ie to newly criminalise something which is already covered by existing UK legislation (as a civil wrong, rather than a criminal offence). And to do so without introducing new primary legislation, but by (inappropriately?) widening the scope of legislation which already exists.

    Lord "Two Resignations" Mandelson of Ill Repute is of course involved in these negotations, and taking the side of his dinner partner, Mr Geffen (that'll be the Geffen Records head honcho).



  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    More spin.

    The Government say that these harsher measures will only be introduced if the bill fails to reduce filesharing to the degree they want. However, given that they expect a truly absurd 70% reduction in one year, the failure of the bill is a complete certainty.

    If the music industry seriously think this will make people buy their increasingly unappetising product, they're mad. Now when people buy an album from the Big 4, they'll know their money will be funding the enforcement of oppressive laws like this, and that will ultimately only put more people off.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Suspension is worse than termination

    This looks like another case of spin to me. I think they're painting it that they're being "kind" by only suspending and not terminating connections when that's what I think will make the punishment work.

    If my ISP suspends my connection for 2 months then my ADSL line is still locked to them and (assuming they won't give me a MAC) I can't have it transferred to another ISP* and I have to wait the 2 months out. If they terminate my account and say "come back and see us in 2 months" I get my MAC and I can sign up with another ISP and be back on in 3-5 working days.

    * unless I get BT to change the phone voice account into the name of another member of the household which causes the ADSL to be ceased automatically and the line unlocked. There is nothing the ISP can do to stop that.

  15. ShaggyDoggy


    I still don't get how they cam match content to a set of copyrighted content.

    Let's say Sony store the first 10 seconds of every song they own copyright to.

    I make a file available for P2P wioth filename mysong.mp3

    They would need to compare the first 10 seconds of my file to all the stored ones to validate whether copyright was being infringed or not. Gonna take a while.

    Then they find it's actually a spreadsheet. This is going to be fun.

    WAIT ..... since when was is Sony's remit to enforce the law, and law it will be once the Bill becomes Act.

    Surely it's the remit of the police of other appointed govt body to enforce the law, not some global corporation ?

  16. Tony Paulazzo
    Big Brother

    Copyright is theft!

    >So they will cut your connection, and it will be written into their terms of service that they will cut your connection on allegations alone.<

    I'm pretty sure they've always had this clause in their terms n conditions anyway, if they think you're doing dodgy on their pipes they can terminate the contract.

    Basically, anyone who receives two of these letters and continues doing it (I'm assuming false accusations will be strenuously taken to task, checked, corroborated and resolved), deserves to be suspended... then sent on an 'how to use the internet' and 'learn how to be less stupid' course.


  17. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    You can trust us, we the mafia...

    And who is going to decide if there has been a 70% reduction in downloading, will it be the ISPs??? Or the copyright mafia who will no doubt "prove" that downloading has not been reduced.

    That's the same copyright mafia who think the only reason to have a broadband connection is for illegal activity

    Para 480

    As usual, copyright mafia + using law to protect monopoly = fail

  18. url
    Paris Hilton

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Can't we just take turns walking around Westminster onces this becomes active.

    A little nmap work shared amongst the masses will see mandy et al facing the letters they are aiming to get delivered to us. I'm sure they will see the error of their ways.

    What happens when we submit that [IP address of police station] is sharing copyright materials?

    (will there be a whitelist??)

    How much validation goes into this is key. If the ISPs shoot letters as fast as google pulls youtubes, the potential for mayhem is ripe.

    Paris is good at the mayhem.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Whats Mandy getting out of this?

    I mean, really, why is he hell bent on getting this bill passed? As an unelected business secretary, surely Brown can ask/bully him to attend to other major issues of the day facing us.

    Is there a quid pro quo here? Yacht holidays and all that!

    Surely something stinks . I guess after labour loses this time, he will be employed as an advisor/consultant by the same music labels?

    Mines the one with a one way airline ticket to somewhere more democratic and sensible.

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