back to article Punters are the real losers in BT, TalkTalk copyright court blow

The British ISP industry has spent a small fortune of its customers' money fighting the people who would, in a saner world, be its business partners - only to suffer a crushing defeat. On Tuesday Lord Justice Richards threw out BT and TalkTalk's judicial review against the 2010 Digital Economy Act. Yet as trench warfare goes, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    there are numerous workarounds!!!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It took me all of ten minutes to get round the Talk Talk block and that was without using the Newzbin2 client.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The problem

    is the utter contempt that the movie / music industry seems to have for its customers. Everyone is a thief in their eyes and they are losing sooo much money. Give me a break.

    There should be a system in place much like FRAND for music and movie companies to licence their goods in a fair and reasonable way and thus open the door to greater innovation as they are effectively a monopoly. I would pay vastly more than I do now for Netflix etc if I had access to the latest and greatest the industry had to offer but it constantly seems like greed prevents agreements between innovators and the industry who's archaic views are creating a downward spiral of their own doing and their only way of trying to stop their teddies falling out of their pram is to "pay" to have draconian laws introduced.

    I say let them continue as unless they rapidly pull their socks up, they are going to be a dead industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem

      I have been an avid music and movie consumer for well over 30 years and have had access to global opinion via the internet from the late 80s.

      In all that time I have never come across anything resembling the utter hatred for the greedy, self indulgent fools who run the music and film industries that has arisen in the last few years.

      There is only one reason for this hatred and that is as you say "the utter contempt that the movie / music industry seems to have for its customers. "

    2. Mark 65

      Re: The problem

      "is the utter contempt that the movie / music industry seems to have for its customers. Everyone is a thief in their eyes and they are losing sooo much money. Give me a break."

      That, right there, will be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      "Customers are stealing our copyright en-masse"

      "No they're not"


      court case after court case, lack of change to shitty business model etc etc


      "Customers really are stealing your copyright en-masse. Serves you right"

      They need to realise that the Government will only go along for the journey up until the critical mass of public opinion is reached whereby they realise they'd never get voted in again. At that point your lobbying cash is worthless.

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The problem

      FEAR is more of a factor than GREED. It is hard to describe industries that have shrunk by half greedy - desperation is much more of a factor. That is what results in short-sightedness and fear of making radical market experiments.

      I am not sure what you mean by FRAND. A movie studio which has a hit film like Inception or Sherlock 2 is going to want to maximise its income and look after distribution. There's no reason they shouldn't either, because it inconveniences some bloke in a shed somewhere.

      The best way to encourage industries to innovate is to reward them with your cash. This is why the Free crowd have made themselves irrelevant to the debate, they have removed their economic vote.

      1. Ross 7

        Re: The problem

        "despite empirical evidence (pronounced "Sky") that people cheerfully pay for content if it's convenient and good value"

        :) Most ppl will generally wander towards the 'right' way of doing things if it's easy and reasonable. When it becomes more bothersome, or just too darned expensive then yes, ppl will look for alternatives.

        "The best way to encourage industries to innovate is to reward them with your cash."

        No truer word said. It does however tie in with the above para - there is a delicate balance between what ppl will pay, and what needs to be paid to keep promoting new developments. The reward sought must be realistic considering a variety of factors.

        "This is why the Free crowd have made themselves irrelevant to the debate, they have removed their economic vote."

        Whilst I agree with the sentiment entirely, you do have a way of expressing things in a way that tends to wind some ppl up :)

        I would add that the 'Free' crowd seem to have distorted what is meant by 'free' in that context. They d/l a Linux distro for free (i.e. sans payment) and think that's what the FSF folk are talking about when they mention free software. It's as much the fault of FSF and the English language (they really ought to have realised that using free in that context would confuse *many* ppl) but it doesn't detract from the fact that 'free' means to those ppl that you don't pay.

        Get FSF/GNU et al to change their terminology and you immediately solve the problem of the ppl that for one reason or another don't understand that 'free' means a number of things, and they've got hold of the wrong end of the stick (or are communists, but that's a whole other story...)

        PS - FRAND is not applicable. That;s there to maintain/foster 'open' standards. The DVD format should be licensed on FRAND terms, the pretty pictures it makes should not. You pay for what it's worth (pretty subjective), whereas the value of the DVD format can be considered fairly objectively.

  4. irish donkey

    decent service that's launched over an IP network since Spotify

    Quote from gizmag: 'A claim dating back to November 2009 had it that in the five months since its launch in Sweden, Spotify racked up one million plays of Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face', and paid the artist just US$167 (GBP100) in royalties'

    The argument is less about the poor creatives but more about the middlemen taking the lions share. Steam/Spoitify proves that give people a decent price and they will pay. What most people object to (hardcore pirates excluded) is the middle men to keep the price artifically high and thus swelling their profits which they do not share with the poor creatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: decent service that's launched over an IP network since Spotify

      Seems like more than enough for anything by Gaga...

  5. Purlieu

    So what if

    an IP address found to be downloading shedloads of films etc unlawfully turns out to be, say, Honda head office, since someone on their network is abusing his hospitality. Are they going to pull the plug on a major manufacturer ? My breth is not held.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd love a decent service

    Problem is that if the creative industries don't let me get access to their content in an open and flexible way that I can easily pay for at a reasonable cost then plenty of services will let me do it free.

    I use an ATV2, and it can easily be jailbroken to run xbmc, and then a whole load of free movie services. And while I do have netflix, it never has anywhere near the content of services like 1channel or icefilms.

    The industry is so far behind the free content distributors (Pirates... arrrgh) that it is not even an option to pay as they just don't make the service available.

    I don't feel guilty, as the creative artists are seeing very little of the money anyway, and in many cases I end up streaming something I have on DVD anyway, just so I don't have to dig the dvd out and put it on.

  7. PyLETS
    Big Brother

    Unicorns exist

    Perhaps this belief is similar to the idea that people will readily vote for politicians who will allow their snail mail to be steamed open by arrangement between third parties and the post office in order to threaten them for having allegedly copyright infringing photocopies sent (DEA) ?

    Or that people will vote for someone who denies their entire household access to the local post office, and the red box at the end of the street and will block snail mail deliveries based on copyright infringement allegations against any unspecified member of their household and the threats and intimidation described above being ignored (DEA)?

    Or maybe the idea that people would vote for someone who would have someone held incommunicado who tells them where a photocopier is located where the guards don't check what you are photocopying. ( SOPA/PIPA, and which, my Romanian friend tells me, was the method of distributing Samizdat under the Soviet/Causescu system .)

    This to me seems the equivalent of unicorn belief: translating all of these repressive legislative proposals described above to their Internet equivalent contexts, and imagining that people will put up with this kind of thing for very long, in a world where politicians need the support they trade for the legislation big media wants less and less as each year passes.

    1. Beaver6813

      Re: Unicorns exist

      The truth is that most people don't care about the wider picture when voting. They care about their local MP who has filled in some potholes in their road. People are in their own little bubble, if it doesn't directly/physically affect them, they don't care.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Unicorns exist

      I hate to spoil a good conspiracy theory - but most people support stronger copyright enforcement, actually. It's consistently shown in polls.

      Even pirates agree.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it not the case that...

    all of the sites that host content unlawfully are financed principally by advertising? By making the placing of advertisements on blacklisted sites an offence ("aiding and abetting"), and the provision of financial services to blocked sites also an offence (a la online gambling in the US), would not most of the "problem" disappear? Going after "users" i.e. those (millions) who download is always going to be far more hassle than going after those (a much smaller contingent) who provide the finance that allows these sites to operate.

  9. Gizzit101


    I have no issues with counter-piracy measures, as I don't pirate.

    I do object however to the outlandish prices charged for streaming films - I have a Lovefilm and a Netflix subscription - but worthwhile included content remains sparse.

    And when are the government going to get the finger out and implement the Hargreaves review that will legitimize copyright exceptions for personal format shifting?

    I want to be able to legally rip my own CD and DVD/BDs and stream them on my own devices, I want Google & Amazon to be able to offer their cloud based music services in the UK.

    How much longer do I have to wait?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gah

      Perhaps forever since you're already giving them your money.

  10. Steven Jones

    Costly arms race.

    The thing that is going to alarm the ISPs is simply the immense cost of maintaining and developing anti-piracy measures and technologies in what will simply become a technological arms race. Indeed an arms race that's impossible to win unless the Internet is to become a rigidly controlled "walled garden" where what can, and cannot be done is micro-managed. It's the sort of dream of the Internet that despotic regimes (and maybe Apple) would like. It's simply nothing like the Internet as we know it.

    Also, it's not "customer's money" being used to fight these cases unless, somehow, we have departed from the normal capitalist way. It's shareholders money.

  11. ph0b0s

    Impressed... Open to comment

    Well not with the article, but more I am more impressed that Mr Orlowski has opened one of his controversial opinion pieces to comment. Good on you...

  12. SJRulez

    This is the latest attempt for the music industry to try and recoup money they lost on box office flops, the standard of recent films is ridiculously low and the number of remakes coming out is appalling.

    Its quite easy for them to blame it on piracy rather than face up to the facts that people are fed up of watching rubbish while actors get rich, want formats which the music industry aren't even contemplating and don't want to be left out by releases being staggered over 6 months whilst their friends on social networks are ranting about them.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They still don't get it....

    1) Provide the content in a completely ubiquitous manner.

    2) Make it cheap enough that nobody is going to think twice about it - they'll just buy the content rather than fuck about with torrents/usenet/rars/7z/codecs/etc etc.

    This means NO DRM and when a customer buys the right to watch/listen to the work then the customer has the right to watch/listen in ANY way they want and on any device. No time or region restrictions.

    It also means that the copyright holders are going to have to cross-license so that customers have a "one stop shop", whoever that might be (Lovefilm/iTunes/whatever). Nobody in their right mind is going to continue paying two subscriptions/companies for digital product (ie downloaded work) - its a rip-off and we all know it.

    Until that day comes the copyright holders deserve to be pirated out of business.

  14. Ancient Oracle funkie


    Have to admit, I'm not as well versed in this as I ought to be (especially as there are 4 adults using the same static ip address). However, what concerns me is the constant reference to people who are "alleged" to have downloaded copyright material. Seems to ignore the innocent until proven guilty premise.

    BTW on the topic of hating the music industry, can I stake a claim for the earliest grievance? December 1966 - I had to buy The Beatles' LP "A Collection Of Oldies" as it had one unreleased track on it. Since hat date I have bought a number of LPs because they had been re-released with one or two new tracks. Then when CDs appeared they did it again. Release the CD with its original tracklist. Then release it again with "bonus" tracks, then again re-mastered and once more for luck on its 25th/30th/40th anniversary. But then, they probably don't care about being hated.

    1. Ross 7

      Re: Optional

      "Alleged" - it just means that there is a belief, based on the evidence available at that time that a person has committed an offence. It doesn't state that they are guilty. That's why we have courts, tribunals etc. You can't have a decision made by a court without an allegation being brought to their attention. At that point the court will determine if the allegation is proven or not, to the appropriate standard of proof.

      Don't fall into the trap set by the tabloids. They use the word "alleged" to get ppl to think "he's guilty" without getting sued for liable.

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