back to article UK.gov 'to create anti-net piracy agency'

Following its failure to foster a voluntary solution between ISPs and rights holders, the government will create a new agency and regulations to clamp down on copyright infringement via peer-to-peer networks, it's reported today. A proposal for a body called the Rights Agency will be at the centre of anti-internet piracy …

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I must be getting old

Because I can remember the concept of rights as being a positive thing - what you're allowed to do, what you are protected from, that sort of thing.

But now under NewLab rights have become the things you aren't allowed to do on the grounds you'll either upset a squillionaire or become a terrorist.

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Anonymous Coward

So,,

They're just sneaking the Interception Modernisation Program in under the guise of dealing with piracy now. Just you wait, it'll be "The only way to catch pirates is by logging all internet traffic in the UK forever".

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Stop

They already have a legal remedy

Copyright holders who believe that their IP rights are being infringed already have a legal remedy.

It's called suing for copyright infringement.

The government should be asking themselves why the BPI are so reluctant to use the already existing laws. Could it be because they suspect they can't win? Is this why they want to introduce "guilt by accusation"?

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Common carrier?

If I were the ISP, I'd want to make very sure indeed that I didn't know (and couldn't know) what information were passing over the link. As soon as they know, they lose the ability to be a common carrier.

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Unhappy

Bah!

Great - more taxpayers money wasted on bureaucrats and their featherbed pensions! Still, only £1 trillion in debt & counting ....

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm

I hope they are as ready to protect the copyright of website owners from large international telecoms companys. Yes BT we're looking at you.

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It is still all pointless

Until they can prove WHO shared what then there will be little they can do. There are 6 people who regularly use my home connection, not including my Fon Spot and the TOR traffic that terminates here.

I don't file share and am just dying to get a notice from my ISP.

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Ash
Happy

Doesn't affect me in the slightest

I haven't bought music in around 3 years.

http://www.jamendo.com

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Anonymous Coward

This was always

This was always going to happen, the lay of the land was "Either the ISPs agree to what the music industry want or we'll enforce it by law."

They did not agree as such the government will create yet another piece of vital infastructure (ergo logging of all files shared by users in this case) needed to eventually censor the net completly when the time is right.

Along with the old "become a government/corporate informant, hand in your friends, children, parents, gain extra food tokens and new worker level!"

And the extreme pronz law, and the inevitable move in the not to distant future to bring IWF inhouse, and reducing rights to disagree, be rude, write obscentiy, ever greater monitoring and oppression, government looking to take control of the .co.uk zone. And that's just where we are now.

I don't look forward to where we'll be in 10 years time.

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Stop

@Chris Williams

"suspected of illegally sharing music and films"

If you're going to post this in the "Law" section, you could at least get the terminology correct.

"Illegally sharing" and "sharing illegally" do not mean the same thing. File sharing is not illegal. In fact, it is not illegal even if you are infringing copyright. Copyright infringement is unlawful, not illegal. The distinction is important. Ask a lawyer.

Perhaps "suspected of sharing music and films unlawfully" would serve better.

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Pirate

huh?

The government pirates are anti-internet?

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Anonymous Coward

Extortion from ISP's

Most trackers are including semi random IP's in thier results which are leading to many false accusations from the legal parasites.

A new strategy is to include a larger range from specific ISPs that irritate the tracker. This leads to a large number of innocent customers being accused and slowly destroys the ISP's business as people move to other ISPs.

This new agency has just ensured that those who run trackers can now destroy an ISP in a matter of months.

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Silver badge
Coat

I wonder.....

....which will come first?

Election, or insurrection?

I am beginning to believe this shower could cause even the normally politically apathetic British public to decide that enough is enough.

Mine's the one with the inflatable barricades in the pockets.

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Pirate

Why pick on ISPs and P2P ?

Surely the Post Office should stop people sending pirated VHS and CD/DVD's - maybe start opening peoples private mail to see if it's carrying illegal material ? This is just the same as an ISP snooping.

Pirate - 'nuf said

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Stop

No doubt...

some government crony (doesn't matter which party, they're all the same) will be on a very big junket. £180k a year for saying a few words about the "dangers" of piracy.

Get EDS to run it. It'll only cost £5bn.

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IT Angle

ok i give up

I have p2p software on my laptop, i'm a master crimnal.

As technology will undoubtedly provide a nice side step to this threat maybe I share my vision of the future. Imagine 10 years from now an MOT style check for every computer in the nation ... bring it in get some oik to give it the once over. Think of all the merchant bankers/ex wooolies staff you could employ. In exchange for this you are given broad band credits for the next year ...

Thats just a guess by the way my tongue was firmly cheekbound whilst i was typing honest.

That said i'd trust it a whole site more than any govt tech project to do it properly.

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Sam

Yeah.

Good luck with that.

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Boffin

Just popping next door

So who will protect those who are accused of downloading illegal media when it was some Wi-Fi hacker that actually did it from a few doors down?

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@AC - They already have a legal remedy

Remedy yes, but right now the scale of the problem is so large as to be unmanageable. The BPI must count this as a victory though because they have successfully created a situation where the government will spend money to do things that record labels and film studios should be doing for themselves..

Unfortunately for all involved in rights protection, the genie is out of the bottle. Record labels and movie studios need to create new business models rather than spending money defending the old ones. All they will do is prompt a new round of development of file sharing software to confuse or avoid ISP investigations into torrents.

I've said it before on this subject and I'll repeat it again here. With the huge growth in wifi use it is not beyond the wit of man to create a peer to peer file sharing system that does not use any fixed infrastructure at all. In brief, this is how it would work:

Create a peer to peer networking stack using WiFi. The basics of peer to peer between two machines are already there, so this should not be hard. The peer networking software stack notifies all detectable peers of its availability and all the other peers it can detect - a kind of keep-alive function. Each computer builds an internal map of peers and their connections, on request they will relay segments of that map to other peers, thereby allowing non-adjacent nodes to discover each other and their connections. Thus a map of the peer network can be constructed and replicated without recourse to the internet.

File sharing software uses TCP/IP over the peer networking stack and WiFi instead of over the internet, thus avoiding putting the file sharing traffic through the ISP. A broadcast facility allows one file sharing client to discover other clients in the network, available files and the swarm of machines from which pieces of the file are available. Thus a download can proceed completely off the radar of the ISPs of all the participants.

Its not entirely untraceable because by definition the peer network is open and unsecure (although remote access to local resources would be severely restricted) so anybody can join the network. However only the source, destination and relaying nodes will have at best transient information about requests for, and responses to, pieces of a torrent.

Obviously no node would log any traffic - unlike the internet - and intermediates would relay data without inspection, retention or logging. However I'm sure that somebody with more time and a better knowledge of the specific technologies could make it much harded to crack. For example, when sending pieces of a file the data packets might contain only the destination of the data and not the source. So whilst you could find out where a block of data is going to, you wouldn't know where it came from beyond the peer you received it from, and you probably wouldn't be able to tell what IP was being passed around.

Further you could set things up so that as many alternate routes as possible are used for a single download, making it much harder for any snooping nodes to build up enough of a picture to work out where the data is coming from and what it is. You'd have to have a lot of nodes in the network to stand any chance, and of course it would be possible to blacklist suspect nodes by MAC address.

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Flame

The State will soon run everything

Just what we need - more f***ing civil servants.

The law exists to prevent this. Let the BPI enforce it. Don't use my tax money to prop up this 1970s business model.

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Pirate

So...

..no need for more than a 2meg connection then? I can see the only ones to be harmed by this is the ISP's, no one will want a high speed connection things like Iplayer are supposed to work on a 2meg connection if that is so what will the ISP's like virgin and their 50meg connection be flogging? Hard core file sharers will go over to VPNs and the like so in the main will be untraceable and the small timer's will not bother and they STILL WILL NOT BUY THE CD's! When will the record and film industry wake up and smell the coffee, they need to change, change the tired content, change the format and change the pricing. Use the carrot before you use the stick and you will win the hearts and minds of the masses. Their wallets will follow.

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Pirate

Not just about copyright and P2P

They are just putting things together one piece at a time to what it will eventually become a framework to regulate the internet and ban certain very disturbing content for them.

Soon, G8 will impose this to most of the countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

The internet is the only place where there is freedom of speech, and some people don't really like that.

Viva la Revolution!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

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Bronze badge

rapidshare anyone !!

I mean like seriously P2P is so yesterday !!!

Get with it ...

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Paris Hilton

China have blocked iTunes

for an offending track, why can't western governments block trackers for offending activities?

oh wait, that will be too easy, they must consume tax payers money and they can't do that with an easy solution.

PH, one of the reasons she is famous here is, her video was STOLEN!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Is this really taxpayers' business?

What on earth has piracy to do with the taxpayer??

Before New Labour found that their fat friends in the City expected a divvy on their multi-million investment in Blair & Co PLC, such things were a civil matter - as far as I understand it, that legal framework is still there. Whatever anyone's personal views on piracy, why the HELL should taxpayers fund a government plan to maintain the profits of multinational media corporations?

Even our police are being suborned to corporate priorities. Police forces with 'insufficient resources' to adequately deal with very real crime can suddenly find massive resources when it comes to kicking down some DVD-copying teenager's door in the early hours of the morning, or to keeping perfectly legal protesters away from visiting foreign despots.

Hell - it's even becoming dangerous to take photographs on the street in this country - what about the average citizen's 'intellectual rights'?!

We have huge priorities right now in the UK of crime, punishment and legal processes. At the very least the government should leave the media companies to fund their own (largely self-engendered) problems.

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Government serves business not its citizens

I wouldn't mind them creating this organisation if we had dealt with the serious crimes on the streets. But the streets aren't safe and people are dying everyday by being stabbed, run over by drunk drivers etc...

But no, the government has to help big media giant bosses keep their expensive flash offices and luxury sports cars.

I think the money would be better spend elsewhere! Nobody dies when a CD is copied!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Time for a clash with the govt?

This is a public service announcement

With guitar

Know your rights all three of them

Number 1

You have the right not to be killed

Murder is a CRIME!

Unless it was done by a

Policeman or aristocrat

Know your rights

And Number 2

You have the right to food money

Providing of course you

Don't mind a little

Investigation, humiliation

And if you cross your fingers

Rehabilitation

Know your rights

These are your rights

Wang

Know these rights

Number 3

You have the right to free

Speech as long as you're not

Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights

These are your rights

All three of 'em

It has been suggested

In some quarters that this is not enough!

Well..............................

Get off the streets

Get off the streets

Run

You don't have a home to go to

Smush

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent

You are warned that anything you say

Can and will be taken down

And used as evidence against you

Listen to this

Run

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Go

@Gulfie

So what you are asking for is freenet over WiFi, yes?

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@Gulfie

But where's the money coming from that would be spent on this stolen property?

THERE IS NO MONEY.

Or only a tiny fraction of it.

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IT Angle

It'll NEVER happen

The problem faced is firstly that there are so many anonymouse proxies that "innocent" folks can go through to mask IP's and what they're viewing or downloading it is virtually impossible....although I'm sure that the government will try and pay someone to do it.....to track people's traffic.

Secondly with all the wireless technology and "hacking" skills available freely on the internet, no one can stop someone from tunneling through someone else's router and then downloading any content they like....the WatchDog episode a couple of weeks ago is testiment to this fact.

Thirdly what ever happened to freedom? Freedom of speech, freedom of media and freedom of the internet.....VIVA LE REVOLUTION!!!!

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IT Angle

It'll NEVER happen

And as for the MOT on computers....free laptops on yearly contracts with mobile phone ISP's solves the issue. Use the laptop for a year and then skip it!!!

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Stop

iPlayer etc

Services such as BBC iPlayer use P2P protocols.....does this mean people watching Top Gear on iPlayer can expect letters from ISPS over use of P2P applications?

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Paris Hilton

YET AGAIN...

The government prove they know nothing about technology.

Encryption FTW.

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"Encryption FTW"

Exactly.... There will be an obfuscated workaround distributed across the world before govt even switches it's late, broken detection systems on. People will route through TOR or anon proxies, or just go back to posting CD & DVD-R's around.

It might not be right or fair, but the industry has to recognise that it's business model is broken. Most people would pay a pound or two for a downloaded legit album or movie (which is more than the net profit on a retail sale), so *why* won't they start selling it in that form?

Until they do, schoolkids & workmates & neighbours & friends & families will continue to swap whole collections via GB USB sticks etc. Crippling P2P (even if it could be done) would only marginally slow that traffic.

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Pirate

glass houses and all that

Given that there are various examples of BPI member companies breaking copyright by selling music when they have no rights to that music - i.e. no contract with the performing rights or copyright owner(s) - perhaps the first thing the BPI should do is to introduce a code of conduct for its own members. And maybe this code could also include paying artists what they're owed in a timely fashion (within 6 months would be an improvement) without making ludicrous deductions for costs never incurred. And maybe, maybe, they could even enforce such a code.

However I suspect bears will start using lavatories first.

Still, make an interesting line of defence for an accused copyright violator - unlikely to succeed, but could get some press attention...

[ acknowledgement: BPI code of conduct not my idea, just passing it on ]

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright isn't an inalienable right!

Copyright isn't a "god-given" right - it's a right that Society grants in return for an improvement in the overall "social good". It's not clear that the "rights holders" are living up to their side of the bargain any more, so maybe it's time for "society" to seriously rethink the whole issue of Copyright.

And increasing the period of Copyright to life plus 70 years isn't the sort of re-think that I had in mind!

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Why not try removing copyrights?

No, really. The pigopolists scream holy murder that nothing will be created if copyright was weakened. Well, lets see. Remove copyright.

Get a real job or sell your time, not your recording of it.

Lets see if the pigopolists are right.

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Anonymous Coward

Simplest is best- the solution to electronic slavery

Simpler than wi-fi, people will go back to what they did pre-internet- they'll swap music in person (e.g. via memory sticks & writable CDs & DVDs rather than tapes) with their friends at school, etc. It happens to a certain extent already at my workplace.

Previously things like the internet have given us a freedom to see things & exchange information pretty much instantaneously without much worry about any kind of repercussions. It's pretty much become part of people's lives. For a variety of reasons (loss of income through piracy, crime & terrorism, because they can) this is under threat from governments & businesses. It is very convenient that the interests of the UK government, Phorm & the record companies coincide to see who we sending stuff to & what we're looking at on the net. But it is symptomatic of larger things in the world. The whole world (democracies & dictatorships alike) is moving towards a situation where technology allows both more censorship & more surveillance.

The BBC news website today is carrying a story that HSBC is now going to scrutinise all credit card transactions rather than the current 25% to detect fraud. This will involve matching it against your 'normal pattern of transactions'. They've admitted more legitimate transactions will be rejected as a result, but 'people will just have to put up with it'. What happened to our flexible friend? Avoid the inconvenience, just use cash.

So I think this will be the pattern for our future lives. Whereas technology has made our lives more free, now it will become more & more a chain round our ankles. Our lives are going to be more & more dissected by computers. Our spending habits will ever more be analysed by the government to see if we're purchasing bomb parts & commercial companies about what they can sell us. There will be a 'normal pattern of transactions' against which it is run. Likewise with our car journeys, internet & phone calls, the way we walk & linger on the street, will all be monitored.

Of course people will resent this kind of intrusion on their lives, but it will be for their 'own good'. Thank goodness I live in the countryside where there aren't too many CCTV cameras (yet). I now take my privacy a bit more seriously- I switch off my mobile more, I delete cookies regularly off my computer & use Mozilla Firefox. Perhaps to avoid this situation we will have to disengage a lot more from the electronic world. Buy things in cash, use your local library (don't take out any books though!), write letters & avoid leaving a trail. Though soon it will get more & more difficult. I can see in the future groups of people who deliberately spurn the internet & other technologies because they resent categorisation.

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Pirate

Business Plan 2.0

1. Set up botnet

2. Set up ISP with anon VPN included

3. Use botnet to infringe copyrights

4. Sign up botnet members who have been accused of copyright violations

5. PROFIT!!!!!!!

Alternatively if you are a terrorist don't set up the VPN ISP and just use the botnet to destroy the internet in the UK.

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fine?

keep in mind that they can draft all the laws they want, they still need to get them past a court and possibly a jury.

hence this will be something that doesn't cut the $RevenueSource (user) off, otherwise they can't be caught again, and again.

no it will be akin to a fixed penalty notice, where its basically up to you to prove innocence (its hardly going to be worded so they have to prove guilt since thats a non starter, otherwise they would currently be pushing that through the civil courts without the beyond reasonable doubt clause)

no it will be a fine, maybe £30 per 'offence', but maybe £300 if you challenge it, so people will just pay up. enforcement will be privatised, and will end up with the ISPs themselves getting half the fine as 'payment' the rest going to some gov agency, in theory to hand out to the media companies, but in practice kept by the treasury.

worst of all worlds really. media companies get *nothing* and the users get shafted on flimsy 'evidence' thats not possible to disprove since *you* won't be able to get access to the required logs from them.

the only other way is a mandatory license, and thats a huge can of worms as well, especially since then you can download, and upload anything, can't see the yanks liking that much.

either way it has to be something that can't be circumvented by simply using some encryption, hence has to be akin to the tv tax. you pay a 'tax' on your internet connection (probably with a seriously complex scheme behind it to justify $crapita getting the contract to run it) that gives you some sort of vague rights, but not too many.

he gov then sit on the cash, give some to "good causes" and keep the rest for admin costs, and tell the media companies to go swivel.

once the media types brought the dragon of legislation in they must have realised they would never get the lions share.

the law will also be very badly worded, won't catch the serious file sharers, but will result in a lot of fines being sent to laser printers and people without internet connections.

personally waiting to see if a valid defence will be "my connection was too slow to have commited the alleged download in the times indicated"

doubt the ISPs will want *any* part in this unless they get to enforce it and keep the cash, or a large part of it for admin & investigation, why would they?

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No Hope

"keep in mind that they can draft all the laws they want, they still need to get them past a court and possibly a jury"

No, they can keep re-trialling until they get the verdict they want. If that fails then they can go to a trial with no jury.

In any case, it's just another way of bunging cash to someone else...the gov has no hope of running the system...they couldn't run downhill....so someone else will get the cash and run the anti-piracy (AKA anti-freedom) unit.....probably the music industry....or the police will get another specialist unit.....and loads more cash.....at the end of the day you just follow the money trail......try following the money trail from the hundreds of billions given to banks to re-finance the country.....straight to the stock market and buy depressed shares to make a killing later, with our cash.

You expect financial and moral probity from a government that pays 168 billion a year in pensions, paid from current income, while preaching the tale of financial investment for [private] pensions ?

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So basically

Piracy is going to go back to how it was in it's infancy; people only sharing files with people they trust (albeit with encryption). Christ, usenet over ssh is probably still the safest and quickest way to download things you shouldn't.

Given the fact that government IT projects are notoriously shit, and the fact that people can move a lot faster than a system that is supposedly watching everything, they'll always be several steps behind a canny user.

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Bah

... And one again the government is protecting poor, defenseless big business from the bullying evil individual.

Not that I advocate theft, but I don't think this is the way to handle it. The fight seems a bit one-sided.

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Anonymous Coward

Hyphens are important

An "anti-net-piracy agency" is an organization opposed to piracy on the internet.

An "anti-net piracy agency" is an organization of pirates who don't like the internet and want to go back to the days of passing bootleg tapes around.

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Pirate

Like trying to order back the waves

Whatever anyone thinks about the rights or wrongs of copyright infringement, the war on piracy is like the war on drugs. It is doomed to be never-ending and hopelessly futile. The simple fact is that the pirates always have been, and always will be, cleverer and more resourceful than the rights holders.

The rights holders need to start being clever (at last) and offer something that people are willing to pay for. To a lot of people they do not do that. If the rights holders want an example of what happens to a company which relies on legal action instead of innovation, look at SCO.

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@Simplest is best- the solution to electronic slavery

"The BBC news website today is carrying a story that HSBC is now going to scrutinise all credit card transactions rather than the current 25% to detect fraud. This will involve matching it against your 'normal pattern of transactions'. They've admitted more legitimate transactions will be rejected as a result, but 'people will just have to put up with it'. What happened to our flexible friend? Avoid the inconvenience, just use cash."

Clasic: Problem, Reaction, Solution

The question is, "How do we get people to accept having every credit card transaction investigated?"

The answer is: Create a problem, have inadiquit security on the card so it gets scammed occasionally

Wait for the reaction from the card holders and shops "this is getting out of hand, something must be done!!"

The solution is exactly what you needed to answer the original question. Close inspection of every transaction.

The solution to everything is to tighten security in our minimum securty open prison. When the prisoners misbehave take away the priveledges you gave them. No more Internet for you sonnie.

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Anonymous Coward

What this country needs...

...is more bureaucrats!

Why not just take the proposed cost of the Rights Agency, and give it to the artists?

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Happy

@ "Get a real job"

You mean like in local government, or some public sector climate quango?

That leaves hours for posting comments on blogs, but they're not real jobs either.

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Anonymous Coward

"100% secondhand materials"

So all they do is make it illegal to buy second-hand CDs and DVDs, Blu-Rays etc. It can't be that hard, Microsoft have done pretty much that by making the UELA for Fista tied to the computer you buy it with rather than you as a person. Or, in something closer to my own heart, the way New Labour have made it almost impossible to buy new paintball or airsoft gear in order to protect us from the evils of little plastic balls.

What I would like to see is our wonderful Police using anti-copyright infringement laws to stop the Yoof from playing their crappy "music" at high volumes when the little scrotes are sat on their driveway - broadcasting without a licence, isn't it? It's obviously not "disturbing the peace" any more since Plod cannot be bothered to get off his lazy arse and stop the little sods, so maybe I'll be able to shop 'em for illegaly sharing tracks...

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