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back to article BT and TalkTalk threaten court to kill Mandybill

BT and TalkTalk may go to court to try and overturn the Digital Economy Act - passed just before Parliament was dissolved for the election. Two of the largest ISPs in the UK want the High Court to confirm that the Act is legal and that disconnecting persistent file sharers does not infringe basic rights. Apart from the legality …

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Anonymous Coward

Not the best argument

Andrew Heaney, executive director of TalkTalk said "It means we could have huge swathes of customers moving to smaller ISPs to avoid detection."

Just a suggestion - the judge may not take this the way you hope. But hey, you are an all-knowing infallible CEO, so I hope Your Benevolent Omnipotence will excuse my impertinence this once.

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N2

Yes please, crack on

& can we also have everything else that Mandleson has said or done rolled into one large cucumber shaped package and shoved some where the sun doesn't shine!

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Rob
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Go

Seeing as it's Mandleson...

.... could we swap cucumber shape for cactus (with really narley spikes) for our added pleasure.

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N2

I was thinking

Of spikes or a hedgehog or something unpleasant & wondered how many (nano) seconds it would take to get added!

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Flame

Sang to the tune of "I shot the sherif"

I shot myself in the foot, but I did not shoot my precious copper line

I shot the VOIP, but I did not shoot my precious copper line

I shot the competition VOIP, but I did not shoot my precious copper line

I shot the competition video, but I did not shoot my precious copper line

And so on...

BT (and to a lesser extent Talk-W*nk) can blame only themselves. It is solely and squarely their _FAULT_ that they still develop copper-centric voice products from the perspective of data being a privilege instead of being a universal foundation of the network.

Mandy Bill would have never had the chance to fly if Toxic Granny Smith and Victor Meldrew's phone was being delivered over the "Internets" with competitive service provision and 3rd party service access. So now BT will have to foot the bill for policying the MAFIAA interests regardless of what it does to their business.

Take bazooka, aim at foot, look into the exhaust for sure measure, fire...

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Thumb Up

Hooray for BT/TalkTalk

Not often I use that title!

As a longstanding Zen user - the last thing I want (and I suspect Zen also) is these freeloading tards switching and bu**ering up our business connections. One reason we pay more than BT or TalkTalk users is for the better service.

So BT/TalkTalk please keep 'em. If the copyright owners with the existing overlong copyright law protection can't enforce it - then I don't see why innocent users should have to pay to do the copyright holders work when they can't be bothered to share the rewards.

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good

Step in the right direction there.

There is no logical reason in this day and age for record labels to exist at all. The days of guaranteed millions by being the only game in town are over. Recording, publicizing and distributing music has become orders of magnitude cheaper and the majority of bands are, quite rightly, thinking twice before turning their souls over to an infrastructure set up to exploit them.

The government should not be protecting the rights of a media monopoly above those of its own citizens. And if it's true, that people in the music industry are losing their jobs over piracy, well they know where to find the tiny violin that I'll ask them to bring me. EVERYONE is losing jobs. Doesn't make you special. No one owes you a glamorous career and you are not above taking a McJob. If the people decide they no longer want to pay you for what you are doing: take the hint and do something else. Simple. Simple.

As for movies, well any claim they make to lower profits is patently false. Every year movies get crappier and crappier yet their profit margins get higher and higher. People will pay to watch anything, anything, anything.

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WTF?

But... am I a muppet?

Whilst I am happy that someone is standing up against this ridiculous legislation, something smells fishy.

Why would BT or Talktalk be upset at pirates(yes yes i know...) wanting to go to smaller ISP's to avoid detection? Surely those are the higher bandwidth users that they could do without?

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Policemen

the MandyBill is doing exactly what the new mob in HM.Gov. are up to - apparently giving powers elsewhere while still actually having an even tighter hold on the reins.

It's this ability to point elsewhere when the shit hits the fan, the shifing of blame to others, the refusal to actually take any meaningful part in the process that is marking the way the new mob are behaving.

They are happy to cut and cut and cut and then shit on the heads of anyone who trips up.

With the Mandybill they can blame the ISP's for something that affects all of us, tey hav eno desire to engage with parts of the entertainment industry who just whine and bleat about shareprices and the unfeasbly huge profits they used to get. After all, we've seen how the big companies just got bigger and bigger and gained more and more power. The greed based on recording sales moved to live shows and now that bubble has burst as the corporates don't want to sponsor gigs and festivals as much (about fucking time).

The fishy smell has been here a long, long time. It's the smell of greed that used to be just form the big companies but now comes from those wonderful caring bands like U2 who now can't fly all over the planet with Saint Bonio being his usual two-faced self. But there are plenty more who got used to it and the majors got used to it, too.

Viacom has been caught complaining about Google - methinks they doth protest too much.

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Anonymous Coward

Total red herring

Why connect to a smaller ISP when weak encryption and more powerful "n" wireless network mean you can land someone else in trouble.

Trust me, I'm just coming out of the other side of such grief, and the level of, "proof," that is needed is laughable.

Since WPA-TKIP was dealt a serious blow late last year by those two Japanese people, and most consumer equipment can't reliably handle WPA-AES ... there is a whole lot of trouble and pain waiting for us.

http://bit.ly/azmgWW

Funnily enough, I@m suffering this at the hands of one of those, "smaller," ISPs. The argument goes on.

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Coat

RSNA-CCNP

"Since WPA-TKIP was dealt a serious blow late last year by those two Japanese people, and most consumer equipment can't reliably handle WPA-AES ... there is a whole lot of trouble and pain waiting for us."

Not sure if it's just the weather right now or what, but a few days ago I was able to pick up about 15 wifi signals here.

2 - WEP

1 - WPA-TKIP

Rest were RSNA-CCNP (WPA2-PSK AES)

I tracked down one of the WEP Users, they have since changed it to TKIP (not good enough, but I'll approach them again :P)..

As For hardware not being able to support it, Any router than cant cope with AES style encryption will probably have WAN speeds between 10 and 20 meg, my 2003 WRT54G supports AES Just fine, and it was a Draft-G product at the time.

From either late this year, or early next year, all 11n equipment will be set defaulted to WPA2 encryption to try and stem people setting weak encryption. It is also impossible for a 11n device to run in 11n mode without WPA2-AES Encryption enabled (this is defined in the standard).

If you use an Appple PC, Or a Linux based PC then AES is possible (software has to support it). If you use Windows2k, WindowsXP, or any of the earlier MicrosoftVariants they have disabled AES to give users "help" on making the choice of changing OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Very good points

My problem isn't so much my router, it is my other devices. I admit it wasn't until late last year that I ditched my last Windows machine but I didn't know they'd disabled AES! Oh dear. That explains why it wasn't available.

The Belkin routers and network cards are the worst that I've found for compatability problems, particularly with mobile phones and gaming consoles. Some of my friends have had theirs supplied by their ISPs and, frankly, knocking them down to WEP was the only way to get some things to connect to them.

Ofcom responded to me yesterday. Firstly, my ISP invoked the Digital Millenium response when the law isn't actually active yet, and also my ISP is signed up to the Ofcom voluntary code of practice whcih means they should have informed me when I blew the cap. Ofcom are writing to the particular small ISP concerned.

Despite the ISP's blunders on this, they are being remarkably pig headed and firm in their ascertation that all this is my fault. Well, it was their own official advice in late 2007, when I took up the line, that I enable WEP security. Even I knew that WEP wasn't safe at that time; but I didn't know about WPA2-TKIP being hacked, though ... that came as a shock.

Well, time to engage AES and ditch my old wireless equipment then :-(

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Pint

Still happens

Like the wonderful wifi router I got of Virgin. Wide open on WEP and DHCP, with no password on the admin account, which incidently could be accesed from the "nasty" side of the box!!

That stayed plugged in just long enough for me to realise these wonderful facts, at which point it has been cosigned to the spare room to be used in a dire emergency. I have two WRT54Gs patched with Linux custom based firmware, one upstairs and one down. Best value for money router you can get, just dump the supplied firmware and get it loaded with DD.

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Maybe

Maybe the people on WEP have Nintendo DSs - my other half's DS is the only thing in our flat that can't get onto the network because I refuse to lower the router from WPA2 AES (so no professor Layton add-ons for you m'dear!).

That router is a few years old - I bought it because, at the time, Virgin Media didn't support wireless home networking (it works fine, they just didn't support it) and I've never known anything apart from the DS to have problems with WPA2 encryption.

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Nintendo DS

Get a USB wireless dongle and allow the PC to share its connection over WEP. Once the DS is updated, remove the dongle. Job done.

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"Go BT"

Never though I would say that.

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This hurts like hell but .....

well done bt

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Paris Hilton

Hmm

I read in today's Times that a trial of the technology has already been done & one of the unfortunate outcomes was a mother receiving a warning for the gay porn her previously-in-the-closet son had been downloading. And there was me thinking the whole legislation was just on behalf of the likes of EMI and MGM, not for compensating grumbleflick makers for their overpriced wares.

Er, would it be an offense to download an amateur film, say one one featuring a well known socialite and a night vision camera?

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Unhappy

.. and there is the Human Rights contravention...

... right there.

Snooping on private communications has until MandyBill been illegal.

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Anonymous Coward

i can see people leaving their current provider as well

Just dont know if it would make for a more competetive enviroment though.

Personally i dont wanna leave BT cause the only other choice realisticly in my area is SKY Nooooo let teh ltency begin !!

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FAIL

BT

Oh come on there's hundreds of providers out there that provide ADSL over BT Wholesale's network, you're not stuck with BT Total Broadband.

Personally I couldn't wait to get shot of BT, long contracts, crap service and lousy support.

Rob

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Bad legislation

Those of a suspicious nature might wonder why this legislation was pushed through without time for debate, just before the General Election by members of a government expecting to lose their jobs. It might be interesting to speculate which individuals or organisations might benefit from such legislation and what they might be prepared to offer in return.

This legislation should certainly be on the coalition's list of laws to be repealed.

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Won't happen

It won't be repealed, because the Tories supported it wholeheartedly, and the Lib Dems didn't care enough to actually turn up in parliament and vote against it.

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Anonymous Coward

Covering their own backsides and profits...

... rather than acting out of the public interest.

Persistent File Sharing is not illegal unless the content being shared is someone else's copyright and it is being distributed without their consent.

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Flame

So EU states ISP's are carriers *already*

IE they just provide the pipe.

What goes down it is *none* of their business.

AFAIK EU law supersedes members national law *every* time on subjects where the EU is *allowed* to legislate in the first place.

WTF allowed this law to *ever* get to 1st reading given this 1 *simple* fact.

I guess cash is *the* lubricant for legislative intercourse.

Flames for this law *ever* being allowed into law once that single fact is known. A very grudging thumbs up to BT Retail (AKA Phorm UK) for doing the right thing.

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Big Brother

The Coalition Government is committed to restoring and defending your freedom.

So says the title of the recently opened Your Freedom website.

There are thousands of votes for repealing the Digital Economy Bill - which ALL parties said would be discussed further in this Parliament.

But the coalition government has since told the BBC it had no plans to change it.

"The Digital Economy Act sets out to protect our creative economy from the continued threat of online copyright infringement, which industry estimates costs the creative industries, including creators, £400m per year," read a statement from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

"We believe measures are consistent with EU legislation and that there are enough safeguards in place to protect the rights of consumers and ISPs and will continue to work on implementing them."

Strike One, LibCons... Three strikes and you're out.

BB - because we're clearly not out of the woods yet...

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Silver badge

Slaves to the rhthym?

"which industry estimates costs the creative industries, including creators,"

'Creators' which are signed, boosted up, milked and then dropped (then a 'retrospective' collection released)

The term 'industry' says it all

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Don't remove the road

"But the coalition government has since told the BBC it had no plans to change it."

I can't believe the lying bastards got in to power!

If my Daughter is banned for a driving offence, then i should not be banned too.

So if she downloads a .avi/.mp3 without my knowledge, why oh why should my Family be banned from the Internet.

If they have to go after someone who downloads a film/song, then it's the downloader that should be cut off, not the Family.

And that is only after time in court, and without a gagging order.... or is that to much work for them

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Pirate

BT? Ian Livingston?

BT... communication spyware pushers, infringers of personal/commercial communication privacy rights, fraudsters, computer hackers, and copyright thieves... worry that the DEB might harm basic rights and freedoms, cause them to lose trust, and haemorrhage customers?

Hehe. BTs board of directors are two-faced lying bastards.

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Janus-headed BT?

For those who have worked for the esteemed company ----

Nothing remotely new there.

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WTF?

Eh?!

Er, is this the same BT we're talking about here? The one that was happy to pimp their customer's web-browsing habits (without consulting them) in return for extra revenue from Phorm?

*taps monitor to check it's properly on*

*pinches self to check for consciousness*

Where has this sudden attack of conscience come from?

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Yay!

BT : Guardians of our privacy and human rights.

Wait... hang on....

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Hmmm...

If it is now illegal to shared and download copyrighted content then surely that is a criminal act and therefore falls under the juristiction of the police to investigate and prosecute - rather than leaving all of the upfront grunt work to the ISP, and then having the rozzers claim all the glory on behalf of an industry which as the TT CEO rightly describes, has done absolutely nothing to help itself but has instead acted like a mewing child over it's losses.

In reality I think that this case by the music and film industry is a bit like the global warming argument; too much hot air by those claiming to be affected - but little hard fact and/or empirical evidence to back up their argument to make it stand up to any form of rigorous analysis.

If the music and film industry is suffering such catastrophic losses as they suggest - how come they can afford to green light and fund the production of so much formulaic and repetitive dross year after year... they really need to start their search for cause of the problem closer to home - rather than simply blaming and criminalising the consumers they are supposedly trying to serve.

But then, as I've said before - serving the public has no part in the new business model of the music and movie industry as it goes something like this...

1. Produce content - anything. No matter how awful. Just keep shovelling the shit...

2. Claim revenues derived from shovelled shit are down - due to piracy.

3. Blanket sue anyone and anything to generate income.

The genius here, and you have to hand it to them... is that the music and film industry has, on little or no evidence, convinced the governments to enforce other people to do all of the investigative legwork for them, so that they don't have to pay to, or actually do, anything but slurp up the proceeds.

I really don't believe that piracy is as much of an issue as these fucktards make out, simply because no objective and independent agency has put in the legwork to do the math - they need to remember, revenues derived from every single product on the planet are down... apart from oil, guns, drugs and trafficking.

Go figure.

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Bronze badge

Copyright infringment is mostly a civil, not criminal matter.

Downloading copyright material is only potentially a criminal act (it needs aggravating factors to be considered so). Usually it's just considered to be a breach of copyright, which is a civil matter, unless somebody seeks to make money out of it or does something like make it freely available or persists. The police will not generally pursue low level copyright infringement as it requires a great deal of police time and a criminal prosecution requires a high level of proof (beyond reasonable doubt rather than balance of probabilities) and criminal copyright infringement is not a strict liability crime (that is criminal intent has to be shown too).

That's why the pursuit of such matters is being left to copyright holders and their agents. It's simply too expensive for the state to pursue unless somebody is engaging in this at wholesale volume levels.

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Urf

I couldn't give two craps about pirates and related freeloaders. Their persistent theft does affect the content creators (I don not mean the studios/record labels) and they are, to an extent, destroying what they enjoy. Thing is, I don't necessarily blame them.

The RIAA/BPI/et al have put so many barriers in place (region encoding, DRM, rootkits etc) that if you want to consume media on-line, often the easiest and most convenient way is to go pirate. There is still this crazy attempt to carve the world into regions which makes no sense when the medium in use is global.

I can't watch Hulu, why? You can't watch the BBC, why? Restriction of free trade and profiteering is why. It's only the pirates who provide the service many people want, the current situation is entirely the fault to the RIAA et al. If they had wised up and understood that their current method of business is dead then they would not be wasting so much time chasing freeloaders and we would have numerous services we could go to and *legally* download/stream movies, tv, music etc easily and without fair-use-preventing DRM bullcrap.

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Paris Hilton

@BigWally- calling you out

So because of Region coding on DVDs, it's OK to pirate *MUSIC* ??

So because of DRM that doesn't exist on iTunes, Amazon, We7, eMusic or anywhere else these days, you're pirating *MUSIC* ??

Paris, because she can't think logically either.

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FAIL

@AC

Straw man.

I never said that it was OK to pirate anything. What I said was that the actions of the RIAA et al means that the service offered by the pirates can be more convenient. That is a matter of fact, not morality. Whether or not you choose to use those pirate channels is your choice; personally I do not.

I am glad that you and Ms. Hilton are together in you inability to follow an argument without inventing things the other party did not say.

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Grenade

Really???

If an ISP becomes responsible for the acts of its users, surely this would also make the Highways Agency responsible for speeding motorists and so that is where people should post any NIP's they get from now on ;-)

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Coat

Irony

(Heaney) said: "It is outrageous that they are coming begging at our door but are not helping themselves."

Unlike the Pirates, who are clearly helping themselves :)

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MJI
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Music - what music?

I haven't bought any music for a couple of years. I was given a double CD recently - now in slots 9 & 10 in the Car changer, but buy - no.

Why - because nothing decent has been done.

The given CD - that was a friends band.

I will admit to liking NWOBHM and similar rock from that period. But why rebuy what you have?

As to films - 2 in the last year. Why only 2?

DVD doesn't look as good as BluRay, BluRay is still too expensive, but made an exception for Clint, last night though just ordered a few Pixars in a sale. But since the BluRays exists I will not purchase the DVD.

What have I downloaded - recently nothing, prior to that couple of rips of HD-DVDs which were of films I wanted to buy but wasn't getting the DVD, and I already had a BluRay player - which also happens to be good at streaming, this time I wanted to be on the winning side after Beta and Minidisc.

What have I bought?

Games, the value behind a good game at £37 is to be honest worth the money, a poor game is not worth £5. When I see online times of around 8 days, and single player around 20 hours, I think I have found my moneys worth. Then all three of my children have played as well.

If the production companies want my money provide the following

Music I want to buy at sensible prices (definately under £10)

BluRays at sensible prices - not £20

Games with good replay value, and are not poor ports from other formats (I am looking at you Ubisoft), if Naughty Dog can make a great playing and stunning looking game so can other companies. I have already decided not to buy a game from a British software house because it is a very poor port, low resolution and frame dropping is unacceptable now.

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The answer is simple

I know how to reduce piracy. it is so simple.

1. Reduce the copyright on music and movies to 5 years. After that it goes into the British Public Domain.

2. Any work not released in UK is not eligible for copyright so is fair game for downloading by any UK resident.

There you go, I have just reduced piracy by 95%.

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That remaining 5%

is rather refractory, isn't it. You wouldn't want to eliminate it, however, as it would demonstrate you are not just a freetard but a commie freetard. Say what?

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Happy

How about you...

come and clean my toilet for free?

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Silver badge
WTF?

So how can they REALLY detect copyrighted transmissions.

My company prepares databases pertaining to air travel for distribution to travel agents most of whom leave their computers running overnight for logistical reasons.

Our database products are distributed as Torrent transmissions. Does the brainless Mandleson-sponsored act mean that all our UK clients will be branded as illegal downloaders? Will they even try to identify the actual Torrent content?

Many businesses deploy large data content as Torrent traffic so there will be quite a few false accusations as government panders to a failing business model employed by media companies.

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How to detect?

It's simple. "Any download is copyright theft unless the downloader proves otherwise." A bit like speeding tickets etc. You have to prove your innocence and even if you win, you can't reclaim the costs.

I am sure the ConDems will be applying these Labour tactics soon enough.

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Unhappy

So much for ...

innocent until proven guilty.

(But how will they know what was actually being transmitted?)

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Big Brother

Cost / Benefit analysis.....

Phorm:

Costs: Most borne by Phorm.

Risks: Customers piss of to other ISPs.

Benefits: lots of luverly ad revenue.

Analysis: Good for us. Good for our customers.

========================================

Mandybill:

Costs: We have to pay for everything.

Risks: Customers piss off to other ISPs.

Benefits: None.

Analysis: Bad for us and bad for our customers.

======================================

Funny how spying on your customers is suddenly a *bad* thing when there isn't any money in it, isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Use anonymous encrypted networks

I lost the war to prevent downloading on my network by younger members of my family. (Who don't have any money anyway). They spoofed ip and mac addresses, used brute force attacks against the router and cracked root passwords. Any unencrypted networks were considered fair game.

Now I just provide them with an encrypted anonymous connection and tell them that if they must download stuff, then use the VPN.

I use IPredator from The Pirate bay

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Paris Hilton

Do you own dirty work.

Whatever their motives I am 100% behind the action they are taking.

This Act is BAD, for so many reasons (presumption of guilt, punishment of the whole household for the act of 1 individual, etc), and it's not as if the things they are preventing are illegal - they are not criminal acts, but breach of copyright - IT IS NOT THEFT (just to make that point clear).

The media companies are trying to wield bigger and bigger sticks (or trying to get BT and Talk-Talk to wield them for them), when all that is requested is a carrot (even a small one would be nice) in the form of usable content at a proper price for use in they way the customers want.

My suggestion to BT and Talk-talk is to setup a subsiduary VPN provision service, which could be free for their subscribers and a paid option for non-subscribers. They can then collect as much info as they like at the ISP level, which will contain lots of reports on connections to the VPN service. Luckily the VPN service would not be covered as an ISP under the act (not yet anyway), so traffic out of the VPN would not be monitored - if they expanded the act (which would be a bad day for those running TOR exit nodes) then move the VPN offshore.

Basically stuff the act back up the government's (Mandelson's) arse, and get the media companies to do their own dirty work (or provide useful alternatives to the copyright downloads).

Paris - 'cos she does her own dirty work.

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Stop

Stupid

Its not going to be long before your average UK citizen figures out how to get around any detection of breach of this law, using SSL tunnels outside the UK. If/when that happens it will have knock on effects. It will make the detection of real crime on the internet very hard. I cannot imagine that GCHQ signed up to the Digital Economy Act in order to see most of the UK securing their internet connection.

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