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

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

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Bronze badge

Wrong way round?

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

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

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

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Happy

Better hurry....

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

Bye Bye...

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Thumb Up

Um....

So...

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

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

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

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

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Fair enough

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

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

What the hell do they expect to happen ?

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Consumers needed to be educated...

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

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

Person A downloads a video or piece of music.

How much has the media company lost?

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

Would person A ever have bought or rented the item?

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Anonymous Coward

heh

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

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

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

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

Still perfect dark all the way baby.

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FAIL

process to ensure that the correct infringer is penalised

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

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

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Stop

2011?

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

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Whats in a Name

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

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

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Silver badge

Where do they get these plonkers?

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

Oh this made me laugh out loud!

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

That's part of the problem.

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

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FAIL

SSL for everyone

Mandy's plans will fail for a number of reasons:

1. He will be out of a job soon.

2. Ofcom will be out of a job soon.

3. Bittorrent and web sites like the Pirate Bay will simply switch to using SSL for everything, thus falling off the radar.

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Lame Ducks

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

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

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Badgers

Third strike..

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

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Big Brother

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

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

Which is handy - right, Mandy?

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Grenade

ohh,

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

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But surely the same counter argument applies?

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

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Eh?

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

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

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

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Black Helicopters

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

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

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

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Stop

Three pronged assault?

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

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

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

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

2) End the great region-locking scam.

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

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

AC, obviously......

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Anonymous Coward

Why three strikes?

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

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Anonymous Coward

1 in 20

1 in 20 downloaded lawfully.

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

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

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Just words

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

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Grenade

Possibly illegal anyway?

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

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

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

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Anonymous Coward

One Little Problem...

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

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Alert

So who's responsible if...

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

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Coat

What a pile of ....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Joke

C&binet

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

Just try pronouncing C&binet.

"Can & bin it" I say.

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Anonymous Coward

Utterly irrelevant

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

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

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Single biggest threat...

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

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

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

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

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

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FAIL

Ga!

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

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

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

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ISP Tax

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

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

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Two letters. Sounds simple enough.

Let us imagine this

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

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

Is this the second letter for Person A?

Or this

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

Person A switches to ISP2.

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

Or this

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

Person A switches to ISP2. A month passes.

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

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FAIL

Who elected this fule?

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

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Er....what?

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

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Voters? What are they.

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

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Where there's a will..

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

Or am I missing something?

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

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

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

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oh well

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

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Pirate

Calling All Filesharers - DEFCON 5

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

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

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WTF?

Hopelessly deluded

70% drop in file sharing within a year?

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

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

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

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

You funeral.

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Anonymous Coward

Innocence

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

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

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change in business model

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

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Stop

"Consumers need to be educated"

I think that's a fair point.

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

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

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

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

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Anonymous Coward

@heh

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

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

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Three Strikes - not a bad idea actually

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

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

Just remember kids -

Home Fucking is killing Prostitution

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FAIL

Really?

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

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Big Brother

Politicians should all be composted to save waste

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Big Brother

Now

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

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Anonymous Coward

Abandoned material

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

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

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

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FAIL

What a Klunge

That's all.

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Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

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