back to article A user's timetable to the Digital Economy Act

Now that the Digital Economy Act has been passed by both Houses, what can internet users expect, and when? Quick answer: nothing much soon. The outgoing government says it introduced the measures because in the 20 months since the MoU between ISPs and copyright businesses, little progress has been made. So the P2P part of the …


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  1. EvilGav 1

    Huh ?

    Given nobody has any real idea of the full extent of illegal file-sharing, how can anyone say with any certainty that illegal file-sharing has dropped after the 12 months is up ??

    Basing further legislation on figures pulled out of someones (read : the music industry) arse for the current figures and (presumably) the same people will create the future numbers, a group of people who have a vested interest in that figure either staying stable or increasing seems to me to be a conflict of interest.

    But when have we ever let a conflict of interest get in the way of another trough to feed at for the politicians ??

    1. mmiied


      that they will messer amount of p2p by the logic of

      (level of sales in 2000)-(level of sales in their online businesses)=amount of losses due to piracy?

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        do some work

        The phrase you're looking is "substitution ratio"

        1. mmiied

          re: do some work

          you know that was just what my boss tells me when I am posting on your stories :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How they measure it

      'Given nobody has any real idea of the full extent of illegal file-sharing, how can anyone say with any certainty that illegal file-sharing has dropped after the 12 months is up ??'

      That's easy - if Hollywood has a bad year and its movies are even crappier than normal, or if Simon Cowell doesn't get a number one, that can only be because people have been pirating the material. Declines in sales are *never* anything to do with people not having the money to buy media, bad releases, piss poor distribution or offensively intrusive DRM.

  2. Ben Raynes
    Big Brother

    It's still ridiculous

    I'm still waiting for some to qualitatively (or quantitively) define the difference between downloading a series of, say, Stargate Universe or House, from BitTorrent and keeping it on your PC as compared to simply hitting SeriesLink on Sky+ and automatically recording each episode that you can then keep forever. Or putting a blank DVD in a recorder and making a perfect digital copy. Or even a videotape for f**ks sake!

    That's just in terms of copyright in relation to possession.

    A similar question arises with regard to the 'sharing' of copyright materials. What about if I tape/DVD an episode of 'Blue Planet' or 'Doctor Who' - something I've already paid for through the licence fee mind! - and then lend the recording to a mate who missed it? Does that make me a distributor? After all, it's functionally the same thing as putting a digital copy of it online for him to download from my FTP server.

    Should my gran be getting worried once precedent is set because she tapes 'Coronation Street' every night to watch the next day in bed?


    Anyone know where I can download some network traffic encryption software? Lets see how many nightmares we can give OFCOM and GCHQ trying to crack who-knows how many millions of 256 or 512-bit encryption streams.

    Free download, of course. I'm not going to PAY for it!! ;-)

    (Note to the comedically challenged - the last statement was a joke!)

    1. mmiied


      as far as I am aware recording thing of the tv IS illegal atm but it is just not enforced please someone who knows correct me if I am wrong

      1. David 105
        Black Helicopters


        IIRC videoing (or variant thereof) something off the telly to watch later is legal under fair use IF you watch it within 30 days and delete it afterwards. Sharing it with your mate because they missed it is illegal as it counts as distribution.

        And no, no one has as yet been able to explain why you cant download an episode of Stargate Universe that you've missed instead of recording it as long as you abide by the above mentioned rules, although I would guess it's something to do with the medieval mindset that 1 download = 1 lost sale

      2. chr0m4t1c

        No, it's not illegal

        You may record something off the TV for purposes of "time shifting" (i.e. to watch later), but not if that involves bypassing any technical measures intended to prevent that.

        IIRC Sky+ records the datastream directly from the signal, so would actually record the encrypted data if there was any DRM.

        You're supposed to destroy the recording once you've watched it.

        So in the above example, you can hit series link & record an entire series of something, you can even keep it indefinitely (as long as you don't watch it).

      3. Andy ORourke


        It appears that, under existing UK law, it is legal for the purposes of timeshifting, although no time limit seems to be applied:


        Acts that are allowed

        Fair dealing is a term used to describe acts which are permitted to a certain degree without infringing the work, these acts are:

        * Private and research study purposes.

        * Performance, copies or lending for educational purposes.

        * Criticism and news reporting.

        * Incidental inclusion.

        * Copies and lending by librarians.

        * Acts for the purposes of royal commissions, statutory enquiries, judicial proceedings and parliamentary purposes.

        * <B>Recording of broadcasts for the purposes of listening to or viewing at a more convenient time, this is known as time shifting.</B>

        * Producing a back up copy for personal use of a computer program.

        * Playing sound recording for a non profit making organisation, club or society.

        1. Tarw

          Librarians huh?

          So if you're a Librarian, it's legal to copy and lend?

          *rubs chin*

    2. Robin 1

      Downloading vs. Sky+ / TiVO

      [quote]I'm still waiting for some to qualitatively (or quantitively) define the difference between downloading a series of, say, Stargate Universe or House, from BitTorrent and keeping it on your PC as compared to simply hitting SeriesLink on Sky+ and automatically recording each episode that you can then keep forever. Or putting a blank DVD in a recorder and making a perfect digital copy. Or even a videotape for f**ks sake![/quote]


      You can press any button you like on any device you like, but if it isn't being broadcast right now, you're not getting it. With the torrents, you can download just about anything you like, any time you like, whether it is currently broadcast or not.

      This is the current model of broadcast / cable television. Advertisers gamble on what many people will watch and won't watch. Content owners rely on advertisers for things many people will watch, and dvd sales for things many people won't watch.

      With downloading, you break the second half of that model. People who want to watch shows that broadcasters can't sell don't need to buy the dvd anymore. They can download it and avoid the costs.

      Folks, this is where the distribution companies are right in their assessment of losses (that they are experiencing them, not the $ value they assign).

      I don't like it any better than anyone else, but the truth is that for some of these tv series and movies that aren't routinely broadcast, people *will* pay for the dvd. With downloads readily available, people are less inclined to do so. Certainly the folks who don't have the money won't, but there are lots of people with money who don't buy them because downloading is cheaper and more convenient.

      Like it or not, download *has* affected the dvd and cd industry. You can argue that those bastards had it coming, and I'd be right there with you, but you can't pretend that some (many?) people who used to buy dvd's and cd's stopped once downloading became easy.

    3. DJGM
      Paris Hilton

      Sky+ vs torrents

      QUOTE: (partially edited)

      I'm still waiting for some to qualitatively (or quantitatively) define the difference between downloading a TV series, from torrent and keeping it on your PC as compared to simply hitting SeriesLink on your Sky+ and automatically recording each episode that you can then keep forever. Or putting a blank DVD in a recorder and making a perfect digital copy. Or even a videotape for f**ks sake!


      Download any TV shows from torrents on to your PC, and you have pretty much full control over how long you can keep the files, regardless of the legality of doing so, at least until your hard drive is full or crashes.

      Meanwhile, with recording TV shows on a Sky+ box, since Sky still have some level of control over their proprietary PVR system, what's to stop them suddenly moving the goalposts? With one over the air software update downloaded to your Sky+ box in the background or overnight, suddenly your Sky+ recordings can only be kept for a specific amount of time, say up to 30 days, or maybe less, before they're automatically deleted. They could even impose another restriction that prevents you from copying those recordings from your Sky+ to another device, be it a computer, a DVD recorder, or an old skool VCR.

      There's a chance that all Sky+ boxes already have these restrictions built in, but not enabled by default. It'd only take one push of a button by someone at BSkyB HQ to enable these "features" . . .

      It'd most certainly stir up a shitload of controversy, but I wouldn't put it past Murdoch's Money Vultures to pull a stunt like this.

      Paris ... only because she enjoys being screwed!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    new music services?

    I'll bet a large sum of money that nothing better than the current "illegal" alternatives is forthcoming from the music and film industries in the next 12/24 months. By better, I don't mean cheaper - I mean:

    for music: a fair price for decent bitrates (ie lossless formats) with no attempts to cripple the service with DRM or other means to control how/when people can play their music.

    for film: no DRM or forcing people to sit through half an hour of adverts/anti-piracy guff before being able to watch what you've paid for.

    Take a look at the fantastic offerings from bleep, juno and boomkat if you need to get a clue.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: new music services?

      I agree, but when did you last see DRM on music?

      You can't have looked at iTunes or Amazon recently.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        itunes = satan's digitised ass

        iTunes is the poster boy for DRM. If you buy a track on your ipod, it cannot be played on any other device. If you lose the data on your ipod, you also lose the track. Even though the server knows you've paid before, it helpfully asks you if you want to "buy it again". Diabolical shit.

        1. Giles Jones Gold badge


          I have plenty of purchased tunes in my ITunes that are AAC. I can right click these and select "Create MP3 version" and play these anywhere.

          You can also burn to a CD and rip the CD. It degrades the quality a bit, but people wouldn't buy lossy music if they cared about that.

      2. Andrew Norton

        itunes and DRM

        There are more audiotracks than just 'music' on iTunes & Amazon. They have audiobooks as well, and they ARE still DRM encumbered. Maybe try asking Cory Doctorow his experiences of getting his books on iTunes without DRM. That is, the Author/copyright holder (not always the same thing) and publisher not wanting DRM, but the distributer INSISTING on it.

  4. mmiied

    why allways music

    what I want are tv shows and maby movices so I can watch them when I want for example I find a goos series half way throught I want to be able to catch up and watch the rest when I want (if I work shifts I can not watch any tv form 3pm to 12pm) P2P gives me that nothing else dose

    1. Anonymous Coward

      TV on demand sucks

      The ability to legally watch tv shows is severely crippled compared to the 'illegal' way of watching tv shows.

      I was round a friends last night and he mentioned he hadn't seen a particular Top Gear episode where they take 4x4's through some jungle, the Bolivia Special it turned out, so did a search on BBC's iplayer and luckily it was available to watch.

      I say luckily because there were ONLY FOUR EPISODES of Top Gear available on the iplayer site to watch, and one of them wasn't actually watchable because it was in the pipeline of becomming available.

      What the fuck?

      No really, what the fuck are the BBC playing at? we pay for access to this through our tv licence so why can't we see their almost entire back catalogue? or even just the past couple of seasons of something instead of the TABLE SCRAPS we're supposed to be geatful for.


      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: TV on demand sucks

        Presumably that's so the BBC can sell the rights to Dave,and all those other channels where Top Gear is on 24 hours a day every sodding day of the week.

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Would that be...

          The same Dave that's owned by UKTV that's 50% owned by the BBC?

          The same one that the BBC is trying to buy the other 50% of?

          I hope they're not charging themselves too much for their own content.

    2. The BigYin

      Too much data

      I wish I had the time to listen to/watch/play all the crap I can get perfectly legally. Want some music? Spotify is free (bar ads) and pretty good, or any internet radio station.

      What to see film/TV prog? Might be on demand, might be on air (so just record it for watching later), might be cheap on DVD.

      Want to play a game? There are seriously good games available as abandonware or FOSS.

      Even books! Project Guttenburg.

      I think this is what the major labels fear, a total collapse of their market. I, you, we simply don't need them. Content creators need not fear. marketing distribution etc. need not fear (although their jobs will certainly change). but major labels ripping off their talent and squeezing the customer for every penny they can get certainly need to fear.

      So they lobby governments to pass laws that entrench their out-moded and dying business models and carry on shafting their customers even more.

      I've not mentioned anything illegal - and I simply have no need to buy anything at full price or to even use illegal channels.

  5. Daniel Garcia 2

    He he

    "One view is that up to now people have used P2P because they know they’re not being watched, and 12 months of monitoring may be enough to change that. Another view is that they may not care that they’re being watched, and are willing to take their chances."

    Another view is that if they are watched,with just a few goggles, forum reads and downloads, you can create a smokescreen so thick that make you invisible again , and easy to share with others the tricks in a few minutes.

  6. Subban

    Call me sceptical...

    But couldn't the media companies just ramp up the efficiency and number of CIR's they file over the year to give an illusion that its not enough, and the trend is still rising ?

    They get then to have even more draconian laws protecting their lazy asses.

    Seriously, if they haven't had enough time to sort themselves out with business models now, they won't ever do it. No matter how much money they get, it isn't ever enough, and a flat rate model really does not fit into the wallet busting amounts of money they want.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Ah, but...

      The deal is to come up with new services. If they don't, they may not get any technical measures at all.

      "Seriously, if they haven't had enough time to sort themselves out with business models now, they won't ever do it. "

      Why not?

      "No matter how much money they get, it isn't ever enough, and a flat rate model really does not fit into the wallet busting amounts of money they want."

      That's just a retch isn't it? If you ask a manager, band or indie record label if they think "wallet busting amounts of money" are available now online, you'd be laughed out of the room.

      1. David 105


        "If you ask a manager, band or indie record label if they think "wallet busting amounts of money" are available now online, you'd be laughed out of the room."

        Isn't that just proof that the distribution of wealth in the music industry is unjust and more needs to trickle down to the people actually involved in creating the content, rather than the people in the distribution industry that the internet has largely made redundant? Nearly all comments from the freetards suggest they have no objection to their cash going to artists, but they object very strongly to their money going to overpaid executives charging them over the odds for a completely outdated medium that they just dont want.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: @Andrew

          Define "justice". Independents just want access to markets and capital - you're not suggesting quotas, are you?

          One very interesting thing is that the city likes independent operators - labels, artists, publishers, managers etc and wishes the music business looked more like Silicon Valley, so they could invest in people with a talent-spotting record, or the talent itself. Currently bets like this are taken within the major labels.

          " Nearly all comments from the freetards suggest... overpaid executives "

          Yes, but that's just an argument of convenience, that two wrongs make a right. People use the same logic pinching sweets from WH Smiths vs Mr Patel's Newsagent. There's also an intellectual prejudice against anyone making money from music. Maybe they should just become vegans, and live in a yurt.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            You are Wrong Sir!

            You say argument of convenience but it's how I feel. In the last year I've bought 2 CD's from HMV and 12 from local bands I've seen in a pub somewhere.

            Sure a lot of that is because I don't like most of the music the major labels sell but if I had the chance to buy direct from an artist I would have bought more. I am fed up with the major labels and want them to go bankrupt. I originally stopped buying music from them when I kept noticing the CD version of a album was consistently cheaper than the MP3 download version (on Amazon and play) and the only reason I could see for that was greedy executives trying to stop technology.

            I'm the same with PC games, I stopped buying PC games when the DRM started affecting the machine it was installed upon. I'm a massive C&C fan but don't own Red Alert 3 or C&C4 because the DRM is too invasive.

            I have a Cineworld card and go to Cineworld 2 or 3 times a week and have to ask why I need to be thanked to go to the cinema. All that does it help me compile a list of soulless greedy actors whose films I'm going to start avoiding.

            The BBC has shown what's needed with the iPlayer, but does the any other media company embrace this idea?

            I don't pirate I just don't buy, although I'm sure the music and film industries will use the decrease in sales as a argument for more DRM and more invasion of my privacy.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: You are Wrong Sir!

              I hear what you're saying, the music business failed to make the supply side reforms.

              There are lots of people interested in what kind of service you actually would be willing to take up, that's for sure. Within the scope of "any music on any device, anywhere", lots of permutations are possible. I wouldn't want or need unlimited downloads for example.

              But if your willingness to spend is genuinely zero, though, I don't think anybody's going to listen to your opinion. That's why the Pirates are pissing up a wall.


              > The BBC has shown what's needed with the iPlayer, but does the any other media company embrace this idea? <

              I thought everyone does an iPlayer now? ITVPlayer, 4oD etc. What's Spotify?

          2. David 105

            @Re @Andrew

            Andrew, I can't be sure if you're deliberately playing devils advocate, but you seem to have misinterpreted what I said just enough that you seem to be arguing with me, yet at the same time supporting what I've said

            "define "Justice""

            I didn't use the word justice at any point in my original post. Sticking it in quotation marks suggests that you either haven't read my post, or are answering the questions you think I should've asked. Ever considered a career as a cabinet minister?

            "Independents just want access to markets and capital - you're not suggesting quotas are you?"

            I'm not sure how you would get the idea I was suggesting quotas from my post but hey ho, I guess that's why I'm not a respected technology journalist. No, I wasn't suggesting quotas, what I was suggesting was that the record industry largely exists to produce, promote and distribute music, a role that thanks to technology in general and the internet in particular, is largely redundant. Most people now posess the ability to record music and distribute it over the internet. Shows can be easily promoted by the bands themselves without the need for a promoter as all bands worth their salt will now have a Facebook page, a Myspace page and a Twitter feed at the very least, to send information about gigs to anyone interested. They don't NEED a middleman (charging an arm and a leg) to do this for them. There are also excellent independent local recording studions (I can think of 3 within a 10 mile radius of me) that are desperate for business, but because they're not affiliated with a major label, no one wants to use them, as it's not a guarantee of success. For all their size, major labels still only have a finite amount of money to invest, and it will be invested in the safest option, eg bland unioriginal and uninspired drivel for the teenage girl market, as that will guarantee the biggest return on investment. Independent music that caters to niche interests gets ignored, they do a good enough job promoting themselves using the methods outlined above, but while the market is still dominated by an outdated business model they will never be as successful as they could be. Removing the distribution companies (and I've outlined above why this is very possible nowadays) means more money is available to the indies, just like you wanted, and would allow people to "talent spot" (as you put it) genuine talent, rather than major label crap that has given us *shudder* jedward.

            "People use the same logic when pinching sweets from WH Smiths"

            I'm sure they do, but that wasn't the point I was making. Overlooking the "downloading music isn't the same as theft" arguement for a minute, because I think we can both agree, it's a pretty tired one, my point was that people only have a limited amount of money to spend on entertainment these days. The distribution companies arguement seems to be that you HAVE to buy this as a physical medium (CD), even though you know that a digital copy would be a fraction of the cost, and the CD is going to be converted to a digital format anyway (I accept this may not be true for everyone, but it's true for enough people to still make a legitimate arguement) How is that fair? I cannot think of any other area of life where this would be accepted, the market would shift to the cheapest possible altrernative and the company refusing to modernise would go bust. There are very few, if any, industries that have to demand legislation to protect their business models. (I know there are download services available, but their in the early stages and the cost per track seems to be Cost of CD/Number of tracks on CD rather than any reflection of costs involved).

            This arguement about the cost of music has been rumbling on for a very long time. I can remember when I was in school and CD's had just become a viable medium, they cost almost half as much again as the tapes and LP's they were replacing, yet cost a fraction of the cost to manufacture (I recall a figure of 10p a CD, but that could have been schoolyard grumbling) I know there's the issue of better quality, but I was under the impression that in a free market economy things should be priced at Cost of Production + Cost of Distribution + Fair Margin for Producer. This has never been reflected in costs for the consumer, and the internet has highlighted this hypocrisy even more.

            "There's also an intellectual predjudice against people making money from music. Maybe they should become vegans and live in a yurt"

            EPIC FAIL! The whole point of my post was that people should be able to make MORE money from Music, on the proviso that it's people who are actually involved in the actual making of music. If I go and have my car fixed I want to pay the mechanic who did the work, not all his buddies who weren't involved. The distribution industry is not necessary for the creation, promotion and distribution of music anymore. They have become the opposite of Free Market enterprises now, they are protectionist cartel's that aren't just stopping the development of new bands and creative new methods of recieveing and enjoying music, they're actively harming it.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Your proviso

              David > " people should be able to make MORE money from Music"


              David > "...on the proviso"

              Yes, there's always a proviso. I'm not sure why you think either of us in a position of authority to set down such restrictions on what kind of transactions are permissable. You need to justify it, so perhaps you can elaborate using the following example.

              Imagine you're in a medium-sized act that stands a good chance of being very successful. Say, where Florence and the Machine about a year to 18 months ago.

              Which of these would you permit the band to engage in?

              • Hire professional management for the band?

              • Joining a performance rights society for collective bargaining? Or would they have to negotiate their radio, TV airplay individually?

              • Employing street teams? Or would they have to pound the pavement themselves?

              • Professional digital marketing agencies? Or would the band have to be on Twitter all day?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Cracking article

    Piracy is not just illegal cheapskates, I have downloaded a lot illegally because I can't buy the stupid thing in the shops. I spend months trying to find out of date TV series and things from my childhood online in amazon or play etc. I would like boxed sets of those kind of things on my shelf, instead of a PC harddrive.

    Example. Region 2 copy of Due South. (The mountie thing from the 90's) I could get a Canadian import at hugely overrated price (With import tax, posting etc it was tripled in value by the time I was ready to pay.) And it wouldn't work on my hardware as it was region 1. The 'regions' thing is a complete annoyance and waste of time because they want you to buy your local versions, which isn't available because if the huge US bias we have going on .

    I also downloaded the X-men cartoons from my childhood, and the thundercats. None of which can be bought in shops because they are old stuff.

    I don't download music legal or otherwise, I buy CD's, but I don't buy anything now as it is all crap, that is why the music industry is failing.

    What will happen as has been said many times is encryption, and what that will do is make a mockery of this law and the security services. What that will mean is another law making encryption illegal further down the line.

    Anon because I just admitted to downloading Due South and thundercats. :)

    1. Ben Raynes
      Thumb Up


      ... completely. However, you're also forgetting the convenience factor as well. Simple example - you're working away from home and you've got your laptop. A lot easier (I know, because I've done it!) to chuck a load of files on the laptop HDD, or even on a pen-drive, than it is to carry around a load of DVDs.

      Most media providers are stuck completely in the past, with very rigid pricing structures. "We want you to pay this, and so you shall." In a TRUE free-market economy, people will pay what they think something is worth - what the market will tolerate. If something is good, people (ok, ok, MOST people. Some freetards are beyond help) don't mind paying for it. If it's terrible, people won't touch it whatever the price.

      As proof, I'd like to direct you to 'Big Brother' and the variety of horrors the await you, lurking in the bottom of the bargains section in your local DVD sales establishment!

    2. DavCrav

      I actually thought Due South was OK.

      Fine, I was a kid, and didn't have the finely tuned sense of taste I have now, blah blah blah.

    3. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      You might have chosen better examples.

      Thundercasts for example is available in the UK:

      as is Due South:

      and if you can't be bothered to pay £2.83 for the x-men original series:

      then you are part of the problem.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Well said

      I am sick an tired of this region schedules rubbish. I love watching Family Guy and American Dad ( my only sad and guilty shame!) , but I am blowed if I am waiting 6 months for the DVDs to come out over here, I would like to see them within a day or two of them being shown on TV in the States. So I torrent them the morning after they are shown. When the DVDs come out for pre-order I ALWAYS buy them!

      My missus is the same with CSI , House, etc. She likes chattting on the forums with other viewers, well she can't do that 6 months down the line! So she torrents them, to enjoy them at the same time as everyone else so she can stay in with the communities. Once again, when the pre-orders are annouced, she's ALWAYS first in line for the DVDs.

      Where's the online catalog available to UK/European viewers of new TV shows in the US? With or without DRM, I don't care, I just want to enjoy them at the same time as every one else.

      Sorry TV companies, you didn't bother investing in the online infrastruture so the little people decided to fill the niche. You still have time, but crying to the governments of the world will not solve it, it may stem the tide a little but the word "torrent" was not chosen lightly!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Where and when do I submit a disconnect request...

    for my local MP, and every member of the associated party?

    1. Ben Raynes

      on May 6th...

      ... probably at your local primary school or church hall.

  9. irish donkey

    Ode to a ex-pirate/freetard/scum - Just my 2 pence worth

    Well its time to bite the bullet and wrap up my downloads.

    So time to reduce my 50mb Broadband to 10mb cost saving for me – Sorry NTLworld don't need it anymore

    No burning disc's for my mates. Sorry! – Saving for me.

    Went to off to Blockbuster we go to check out the viable alternative and hire some movies - Some for me and some for the kids. Out of the 6 movies I got 3 were so badly scratched that they wouldn't play. When I complained at the shop I was informed it was the customers fault as they mistreated the discs. Not my problem I said I didn't scratch them, I want my money back. Err, um sorry can't give you your money back as it's against company policy. I'll give you some replacement films. Well I will remember that before I return here again won't I.

    Blaming your customers for you not ensuring your disc's are 'up to scratch'

    Viable alternative to Piracy? Rubbish! So far but still looking forward to the new business models

    So in a year's time when sales haven't gone UP.

    This will be the only measure the meeja companies are going to recognise as a decrease in Piracy is an increase in profits….. Then Piracy has gone really deep underground we need more control.

    Everyone is using encryption? What can we do? Can we extend RIPA to cover encrypted internet traffic? Of course we can…… this is the War on Terror!

    Roll out Deep Packet Inspection and controls on Encrypted Traffic (Encrypted traffic automatically moved to the slow lane for special consideration) and find where all the Piracy is going on……. Still can't find it. Damn it! It is happening but how can we track/measure/control it. How do you know its Piracy?

    It must be Piracy look at our bottom line it hasn't gone up in 5 years 1000's of people will loose their jobs.

    Throttling will happen. Some Pirates will carry on regardless but it will be more difficult. But they can only throttle if a users is accused of Piracy..... Well speed camera's started as a safety prevention measure and now..... Everybody has a point or three

    Eventually we will all pay a percentage of our Broadband cost to meeja a company to off-set looses to Piracy. They already do it in Spain when they buy blank discs. Why not here?

    And the Meeja business is carries on churning out shit which nobody will spend what little money they have left on.

    So how can we fight back? Bought a DVD and watched it? Sell it on. Meeja companies hate 2nd hand sales as they get nothing from it. Buy your DVD's 2nd hand and lend them round your mates. One person buys a disc then lends it to everybody you know. Of course this is a infringement of your license but looking at a DVD upside down is a infringement of your license telling you mates a film is $hite is a infringement of your license.

    We will still share and they can't track it and they continue to loose money! Perfect Loose Loose situation for everybody!

    Special thanks to Lord Mandy the unelected untrustworthy dark master!

    1. Andrew Norton


      "So in a year's time when sales haven't gone UP."

      Oh but they will, just like the UK music sales have gone up over the last 10 years. The BPI's own figures, for instance, show a 30% increase in singles sales over 10 years ago ("it should be erm, 90% more, but for them pirates!" Cinema figures are stronger than ever, and this during a RECESSION. It doesn't take much research to show that most of the claims made about the 'freetards' by the industries, are fake. Yet they are still gobbled up by those that are clearly undeserving of the leading 'f' and regurgitated as fact.

      It's amazing what people will do or believe for a free holiday, lump of cash, or even pint. It's those people, the politicians, and journalists that dive no deeper than industry press releases, and ignore facts because it might interupt their 'free' gifts that are the real freetards.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: heh

        "The BPI's own figures, for instance, show a 30% increase in singles sales over 10 years ago"

        Epic Fail.

        Can you guess why, Andrew?

        1. Andrew Norton


          you're right. there's no figures published for now, to compare with 10 years ago... therefore my statement was strictly false (but still more accurate than that substitution ratio stuff before - and I noticed my comment on that, the first one, was NOT approved)

          So lets go to 10-year figures we DO have for singles, say 1998 and 2008 (and even better, 1998 was before Napster)

          Singles sales for 1998: 77,610,000

          Singles sales for 2008: 115,200,000

          That's actually a growth more like 45% (using rough mental maths, I'm sure you can calculate it differently. So I was wrong again, it's not 30% growth, it's MORE!

          My source for these figures? My word, it's the BPI's top product lines publication, which shows 33% growth in single sales between 2007 and 2008 (maybe thats what I was thinking of when I said 30%

          Now, on the other hand, the same document shows that album sales are falling, after a peak in 2004. At the same time though, in 2008, there were still more albums shifted than in 1998, about 8% more. Most of the drop corresponds with a take up in digital singles purchasing, so presumably a-la-carte music buying is shifting the sales from full albums, to individual album tracks (ie singles) as people eliminate the filler-tracks. (a warning of this has been distributed amongst BPI members, although since you've not worked in the music industry - as I have - you'd probably not have been aware of that)

          Icon because, well, actually looking at the industry's data seems to be too 'technical' for many people, such as politicians tasked with 'Business' portfolios

          1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: oopsie

            Your proposition is that the sound recording industry is healthy,

            Your supporting evidence is increasing sales of singles.

            Thank you, your argument is toast.

  10. Tim Barrass

    To what extent ....

    ... is the rise in jobs in the creative sector actually driven by wider availability of content?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Time to invest in VPN services then... The government are really even less competent than I thought if they think this piece of crap legislation (well, that goes for anything they spew out, really) will actually do anything.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Whats needed is the american way.

    If i've understood correctly, its legal, in the USA (and most other countries, the UK is the exception) to make a back up of something you legally own. So, if i buy a wii game, i have the right to back it up. Thats a sensible option as it means little timmy who decided to eat his crisps of my disk, needent worry as daddy had the sense and legal rights to back it up.

    Im all for that but it seems the freetards arent content and copy it / distribute it/ because they can, so everyone is tarred with the same "illegal fretarding file downloader and distributor" brush.

    A chap called geohotz has opened up the PS3, simply because he wanted to (and, if its HIS device then he should be able to) but on april 1st (no joke here) sony released a firmware that removed the option to install another OS citing "security" concerns. My arse, when did effin Sony care about security!!! So now, he plans to properly break the ps3 hypervisor open and release the info into the wild. Go for it!!! Sony, being the grabbing bastards that they are, cant see past the £/$ signs on their keyboards. THIS is the crux of the problem, greedy corporations whom want us all to assume the posistion and be royally arse fucked for as much wonga as they can, bollocks to our (limited) rights. Why am i having to pay for something and then having to pay for it again because i want to play/watch/run on another device. Whilst ever this situation continues people and that includes me, will continue to back up/copy/crack/hack whatever we can to make OUR lives a bit fairer and convienient.

    Rant off.

  13. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    @"What happens next"

    This legislation (and the public's growing realization the government plans to spy on everyone) will definitely "shift people’s behaviour". It will act like a huge rallying cry to vastly boost UK downloads of Tor etc..

    In a way I suppose its about time to move over to encryption. In hindsight, I wonder if future generations will look back at us, and find it surprising that early Internet users ever used and trusted unencrypted connections. It looks like a history lesson in the making, when society finally learned that governments and businesses cannot be trusted to carry data without it being encrypted. We need to stop giving them our trust, because as soon as we do, they totally exploit us.

    I'm sure the rich control freaks in business must be celebrating adding more controls over us all, as they continue to prop up their failing business plan, which is itself ultimately based on the concept of controlling the distribution of media. But these rich controlling middle men in the longer term, need to be wiped out of the business of the distribution of media. (After all, that's what the Internet is so good at, so we don't need these distribution middle men). That way costs will drop and consumers will be far happier to pay the creators of media, instead of giving so much to worthless middle men, who spend so much of their time seeking to transform our society into a totalitarian level of control, just so they can stay in control and so profit from having so much control over us all.

    Every act of control creates a pressure for change away from that control. Time to look into using Tor :(

  14. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    “The ultimate aim of the legislation is to shift people’s behaviour from the unlawful to the legal.”

    There's nothing wrong with this aim, it's what policy should be about. Of course, discussions have to be had about what is legal and what isn't, and whether the boundary is in the correct, fair place - for both producers* and consumers of the products.

    * Not "music producer", the whole series of people involved. The balance of fair payments between those involved is another matter altogether.

    "The code agreed will be put into practice for a year, during which the outgoing government hopes lots of new music services will appear, and casual infringement will fall. As BIS wrote in an explanatory note earlier this year:"

    This is where the government is dreaming. New music services, in this economic climate, that the public want and use and (although technically not a requirement) are fair? Not likely. No VC is going to throw money into this kind of thing right now, especially given the virtual stranglehold certain companies hold, the costs involved compared to the return and time for a return and the free alternatives. The free alternatives may start to attract risks, but they'll be so small for now that most users will ignore them. Look at driving while using a mobile as an example - everybody knows they mustn't do it and the penalties for doing so, but how many do you still see doing it?

  15. Seva

    what revenue loss?

    I think most folk who download their movies illegally from the internet do so because they are not very well off financially and simply can't afford to go out to the cinema every time a new film comes out that they would like to see. I fail to see how the movie/music companies can claim to actually be losing anything. If someone can't afford to go to the cinema then they're not going to go Those who can afford to go and see a decent cinema release don't usually bother downloading poor quality internet copies. The downloading is being done mainly by folk who wouldn't go and pay to see something anyway because they can't afford to, so what monies are actually being lost . very little I suspect. The whole copyright/piracy thing is simply a cover, an excuse for more control mechanisms

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: what revenue loss?

      That is one argument. The usual response from the big industry players is typically along the lines of...

      "Who gives a shit, if you can't afford to watch it, we're sure as hell not going to let you watch it for free! What do you think this is? A fucking charity? Have you got any money on you, eh? Have you? give it here, gimme."

      Personally, I view piracy with the same view as getting to watch the footy match for free because you live in a block of flats next to the stadium, except the block of flats is on the internet and an unlimited number of people can upload themselves to your balcony to the point where your balcony can hold more people than the stadium...or something.

  16. Mark Eaton-Park

    The answer is obvious

    Stop giving them the money to buy the corrupt, in all senses

    No rentals, no media purchases whatsoever, drop SKY and Virgin, get rid of the TV hit them where it hurts.

    If an artist is selling directly by all means buy from them by preference but no more money for the "industry"

    They want to use "our politicians" against us, fine, let see how long they can afford to buy them without our regular tithe.

    We are their customers and their first rule of business needs to be changed to DO NO UPSET THE PUNTERS, we can after all live without them.

  17. steve 9

    OMG shut up about Spotify

    Jesus!! all these MP's and the industry never shut up about "Spotify" being a legal free alternative

    now people here are saying Spotify a legal free alternative please just shut up about it!

    1. IT IS NOT FREE it is Invite ONLY this means you have to already have a friend on the inside who's bought or paid a subscription to the service can only invite you since they get 1 or 2 free invites per term they re-new the subscription.

    This service is completely useless to me and millions of others who do not all ready have a friend on the inside to invite you.

    but MP's and all the legal idiots keep going on about well there should be no need for illigal music sharing we have a great free service available spotify..

    they know as much about digital media as they know about IP and not Interlectual Property addresses which made me laugh so hard and cry so much knowing these guys are the ones trying to put down laws on things they don't even have the first clue about.

    1. Peter Mylward

      RE: OMG shut up about Spotify


      I think you might be getting a bit confused here, Spotify is a pretty good legal alternative to torrenting, and is available right now for the premium membership (which is what they are talking about after all, legal, paid for large choice services as an alternative to freeloading.) Now the streaming service, which is equally cool was open for ages with no need for an invite, so if you didnt get in there while the whole world was banging on about it, then maybe you should have let your torrents go for a bit and given it a try!.


      1. Semihere

        Spotify not free...

        I tried to get in while it was a 'free streaming service' and everyone was banging on about how good it was, but the doors were closed and you already needed an invite, so it seems the 'party' didn't last that long once word got out.

        Am I seriously expected to pay for a service when I can't even LOOK AT to demo? You'd think they'd at least let you have a time-limited trial (maybe a day or a couple of hours - that'd be enough to assess it) to get a feel for their catalogue before you commit to paying them. After all, they may not even have half of the music you normally buy, especially not from the indie labels.

        Seems to me the majors all shoved a paltry sum of money into Spotify so they could point at it and say "see, we made a legal alternative, but they're STILL downloading - now give us some new laws to go after our customers".

        Unfortunately, Spotify has become the internet equivalent of having to pay for a membership to a music shop before they'll let you go in and browse through their music, which is stupid. If I go to a music shop I can listen to as much music as I want for free without having to buy anything, and if I like certain tracks enough I'll make a purchase to take them home with me - I thought that's how Spotify was supposed to work (only with the 'take them home' option being a high quality download version). This a crazy business model which actually PUSHES PEOPLE to casually download - it's much less hassle and isn't going to cost you an annual subscription to get that one track. At least iTunes has a 'one click buying' option to take the annoyance out of checkouts when buying casually.

        Personally I'm with the 'stop buying this shit unless you're paying the artist direct' crowd and I'm no longer interested in what the labels are offering. Wise artists won't want to sign up to them if our numbers increase (and I see more and more people thinking this way all the time), or risk being ostracised from their paying customers.

        I bought and paid for my entire music collection, but they can screw themselves if they think they're getting a penny more. I've had it with buying music from labels, they treat you like a criminal when you DO buy stuff - and they must've had about 30 grand off me in my lifetime. So from now on if the artist's selling it direct I'll buy it from them, if they're not then I won't buy it. I can live without it, I probably have enough music already anyway.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It seems the only way to make these companies realise that just because they have the cash to pay Mandelson's fee, it doesn't mean the public will not fight back eventually. When enough parents are hit by this legislation (due to the actions of their teenagers), then the people will react with one voice.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    iplayer vs torrent

    I'm a license payer.

    iplayer: Low quality, time limits.

    torrent: HD, more available and no time limits.

    A while a go I had trouble playing a leagally purchased DVD on my legally "purchased" copy of CyberLinkDVD just because my video card had an S-Video output. Solution: Crack the DVD drive so it would play any DVD.

    The 'illegal' options are better

  20. Anonymous Coward


    The winners will be VPN providers, not the content providers. Services like The Pirate Bay's IPREDator will grow and natural competition will lower the cost of these services.

    1. Danny 14
      Thumb Up


      Good old usenet will probably see a resurgence too so usenet providers will profit.

  21. Blubster

    Perhaps a better idea

    is to start charging the music industry a fee to have their records aired on radio and TV. As it stands, radio stations, shops, cafes etc. have to be licensed to play music for public consumption. If that were reversed and the industry had to pay for the privilege of having their records played on air as advertising?

    1. SleepyJohn

      As in the Payola Scandal you mean?

      Probably still goes on. Perhaps Mandy should produce a bill to legalise it; then all those penniless teenagers who currently rip off struggling media moguls could earn a living wandering round the streets with boomboxes, like quadrophonic sandwich boards. Happy times for us all.

      Some government idiot might even imagine said gainfully employed teenagers then being tempted to rush into record shops to buy obscenely over-priced CDs full of songs they don't want. At least with vinyl singles you only got one B-side.

      I don't think even Timothy Leary could have made all this up.

    2. Danny 14
      Thumb Down


      I used to listen and watch all sorts on iplayer via XBMC iplayer scripts. That was until the beeb pulled all support. Looks like its back to finding the shows differently.

  22. Mostor Astrakan

    The last CD I purchased... let me see.

    I think it was Robb Johnson's "all that way for this". I bought it from the man himself when he was playing at the folk club. My tenner straight from my wallet into his calloused fingers. That's about the only way I'll purchase music these days.

    I'll never enter a "free" record shop again. I don't download music either, legally or otherwise. I don't have iTunes. I wouldn't know where to download illegal music because I cannot be arsed to google for it. What these recording industry types need to understand is that first, it's very easy to do without their products, and second, my buying any of them depends on my liking them.

    I don't like them anymore.

  23. Lee Dowling Silver badge


    I just posted a comment on here that was "too long", so I thought I'd share my thoughts with people: ... basically, I hope the Digital Bills die a death, despite the fact that I pump thousands of pounds into the music/TV/movie industries every year whether by design or accident.

    Please, please get real. Come into the land of the sane. It's nice there, honestly. Stop pissing all the money I'm giving you away on trying to criminalise my quite reasonable actions to watch YOUR content that I enjoy. It's a nonsense, and the sooner you force me to make a decision between ignoring those laws and not consuming your content the better - Neither option is good for the industry and artists.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Theres always a way around this...

    Time to dust off the Tape recorder!

  25. M man

    Sneaker net

    sneakernet ftw!

    the uk translation trainernet fails the taste test :(

  26. LawAbidingCitizen

    Litigation not mentioned in the timetable

    You forgot to mention litigation on the timetable. Effective immediately, the BPI will resume it's former practise of volume (bulk) litigation:

    The BPI are claiming that the government have forced them down this road by not acting sooner to curb piracy.

    What does this mean? It means that when the firm hired to gather "evidence" from a P2P swarm (that is, IP addresses and torrent transfer logs), the law firm will be handed the IP addresses, they will seek a court order to obtain the identification of the broadband connection owner and will subsequently send the connection owner a letter along the lines of:

    "You have been infringing the copyright owned by our client. Pay us £800 (or so) or we will take you to court where you will have to pay much more".

    Thousands, probably millions, of parents who have teenage children will be the demographic hit hardest. The parents, many of whom will have already been hit hard by the recession, will be held responsible and will be (financially) punished for the actions of their children.

    As I have already said, technical measures and litigation are not mutually exclusive. The UK is about to encountered a wave of litigation on an unprecedented scale.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Litigation not mentioned in the timetable

      A letter that has no legal validity is junk mail. We're about to see a blizzard of letters with no legal validity. Whether you want to call them junk mail is up to you: the people sending them prefer to say they will be educational.

      Hopefully you will eventually learn the difference between an empty threat and a valid legal threat before you are too badly scammed. The unscrupulous tend to target individuals who are ignorant or mentally infirm, who can't tell the difference.

This topic is closed for new posts.