back to article BT, TalkTalk in court seeking axe for Digital Economy Act

Two of the UK's largest internet service providers are appearing in the High Court later today to try to overturn the government's Digital Economy Act. BT and TalkTalk say the Act is in breach of European privacy and human rights legislation. The law was passed during the fag-end days of the last government and saw little debate …

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Dead Vulture

Forget about Crossley.

He's toast! He didn't even bother to turn up in court last month, and got a pasting from the beak...

English Justice. Not quite dead and buried.

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FAIL

From the BBC article...

'John McVay, chief executive of PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and TV), who will represent the UK's creative industries at the judicial review, defended the act.

"The Digital Economy Act is the result of many years of consultation and presents a reasonable and balanced solution," he said.'

Really? Many years? Not a hastily cobbled bunch of crap thrown together after a "chance" meeting between "Lord" Peter Mandelson and David Geffen on a free holiday in Corfu, rushed through into law before Mandelson lost all power and influence when Labour lost the election?

Do you really think you're fooling anyone with your shit, mate? Behave yourself...

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@ seanj

Please don't forget:

Twice disgraced "Lord" Peter Mandelson.

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Unhappy

Doesn't matter

Disgraced or not, he still appears to have had enough dirt on New Labour to be sent on a jolly as MEP. And that EU club has achieved the holy grail: their books are in such a mess that it has proved impossible to sign them off for the 10th year running (I think). No risk of cash-for-questions or expense abuse disclosures there..

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@Neil Greatorex

"Twice disgraced"

Assuming you don't consider either the Geffen or Deripaska episodes to be disgraceful.

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Good news...

This government should scrap the stupid DEA asap.

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Nice idea except

Mandelson's creepy little shadow minister, Ed Vaizey, was all in favour of the DEA. Neither he nor Jeremy Hunt will want to upset the content teat for fear of not being invited to all the most slebtastic of parties.

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Megaphone

If they fail...

...which they may well do, then BT and Talk Talk should create a 'vpn provider' between them (BTTT-VPN if you will) as a separate organisation, and give all of their customers free access to this VPN service. This organisation could charge non-BT and TT customers to use the service if they wanted.

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I'm a Talk Talk customer...

...and I would be unhappy about having BT involved in providing my internet service anywhere along the line. Yes, I know they own a lot of the backbone infrastructure, etc. etc. but I'd rather not trust them any further than is essentially necessary, given their past record on trustworthiness.

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You're a TT customer

... why would you trust them any more than you would trust BT?

Google TalkTalk, StalkStalk, and Huawei.

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O-kayyy

But you'd trust Talk Talk?

The mind boggles

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Anonymous Coward

So our government shouts .....

.... when Egypt cut internet access, kept oddly quiet when the Department of Homeland Security leapt in with their size 10's and shut down sites for 72 hours & now wants to introduce censorship by the back door (I know it was down to Mandy, but this bunch are just as keen).

Never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but well done for BT and TalkTalk for standing up against this act, even if it is for their own reasons.

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BT...

...who engaged with Phorm are worried about their dear wee customers? Pfft. It's the costs they care about, nothing more.

The only thing that is damaging Equity and BPI member's businesses is ther so-last-century business models (regional releases, region locking etc). Get with the program idiots, the Internet has no borders.

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Could almost forgive them

If they pull this off, I could almost forgive BT for Phorm. Almost.

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@ The Big Yin

Upvote because I agree with you, but sometimes people can do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Whether it is simply costs that are their motivator or not, let's hope they win!

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Creative industries?

They haven't managed to create a new business model for the 21st century!!!

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Anonymous Coward

WTF!!! are!!! you!!! talking!!! about!!!

A business model that competes with freeloading leechers is really quite difficult. I'd like to see you try.

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Bless

Aw, it's difficult. Boo hoo.

Still possible.

Theatres still survive despite inventions like radio and television which make a whole load of entertainment freely available in forms in which it used not to exist. Might be harder to make money in the theatre business than it once was, but it's still possible. When something changes, so making money the way you used to isn't as easy as it once was, there are two options: stand still and cry about it, or figure out what you're going to do next to continue make money by doing things differently.

I don't see why the law should side with the crybabies.

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except its been done

Steam, Spotify, arguably netflix and amazon with their push on digital distribution

Turns out most people werent freeloaders - they just prefered the access model of downloading or streaming.

Once presented with the access model they wanted, they were quite happy to pay.

True Freeloaders do exist yes, and they probably always will - but they do not prevent new succesful models of content distribution from being profitable.

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But give them some credit

Their accounting methods are nothing if not creative.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:Steam

I will say this - I used to download quite a lot of my games, but since I started using steam I haven't ever wanted to. They have a huge catalogue of games, excellent sales, there's 13 games in my collection which i picked up for a pittance over Christmas which i still haven't got around to playing. More often than not the game uses Steam's DRM which is totally non-intrusive and lets me play the games from my library anywhere on any machine, it's just a case of downloading the game.

OK Some things are a pain such as games that also come bundled with securom, or which require you to go make yet another account with the publisher to use, but it's pretty easy to avoid games that do this.

So yes, it's perfectly possible to create a digital distribution model that can compete with downloading. If you can do it right then people will be willing to pay for it.

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@ the very silly AC, 12:23

A business model that competes with freeloaders? OK, I accept the challenge:

1. Free "try before you buy": time limited files that allow the potential buyer to see if they like what they are interested in. Follow-through can be enhanced by offering discounted rates for buying within a certain time.

2. Costs: significantly lower (and I mean *significantly*) than buying the same thing on physical media. There is no reason for the downloaded files of a single CD to cost the same as as the CD itself - think about it, and you'll see why.

3. No restrictions - once it is bought, it is the buyer's to do with as they like, within the law. Yes, it is a risk, but letting people do what they want with stuff they have spent their money on is key to this argument.

OK, this is no challenge, really - these ideas have been floating around for years. What is needed is acceptance by the big media companies that some executives are going to be out of a job, and that those that remain might have to have fewer flashy toys, but that is the nature of a technology revolution. Everyone else has to learn to live with it, and there is no reason why the true leeches - those that live at the expense of people actually doing the creating - shouldn't have to as well.

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FAIL

FM Radio.....

.... is there anyway they can lump the FM Radio switch off in this, and kill that mad idea too?

300 million radios in the UK will be binned and we will import more trash from China.

Labour really were a sham.

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Megaphone

the problem

Is that its piss easy to create media (or should I call it "content") these days.

About 90% of all UK graduates are photographers and musicians and film makers (lol they wish) and every one of them has a home studio capable of cutting decent sounding tracks, or producing special effects that would have had you shitting your pants out through your trouser legs 50 years ago.

Media is worth nothing because basically everyone has an imagination, and these days all you need to act on it is a modicum of patience and a few weeks dole money to buy the gear. I have much respect for those who bother, but I'm still not going to pay them. Why should I when my own family is in desperate need of that money?

Meanwhile the people with the most talent of all (proper musicians, visionary directors etc) see what kind of shit us plebs like and they immediately top themselves rather than pander down to it. It's an exercise in pure degradation to make the kind of crappy music that a scumbag like me listens to. Why would anyone with self respect bother?

I'll fucking listen to a man scream at a diesel generator. I don't need notes or any of that fancy shit in my music. And if you listen to the radio in this country, even occasionally, you will know that I am not alone.

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Mr Klutz...

"I'll fucking listen to a man scream at a diesel generator. I don't need notes or any of that fancy shit in my music."

" I have much respect for those who bother, but I'm still not going to pay them."

I thought The Daily Mail had cornered the market for incoherent, foaming-at-the-mouth loonies. They need to play catch up.

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FAIL

When will they realise....

....that when you try and monitor/mould what flows across the internet you just end up with more secure connections, the introduction of DPI by the isp's demonstrated this with bit torrent traffic. if this is introduced it will do the same. You will just end up with less diverse traffic as more of its encrypted.

@Klutz - spontaneous laughter in a quite office, got some funny looks!

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Coffee/keyboard

Haha!

"I'll fucking listen to a man scream at a diesel generator. I don't need notes or any of that fancy shit in my music."

New keyboard please, Mr Klutz. :D

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You wouldn't steal a handbag...

I was typing a text the the other day and Mandelson came up as "Bandwidth" in predictive text which was weird

Also, O2 currently compromise customer's net connections if the customer doesn't use a 3rd party router so how does this apply to them?

I wrote about it here:

http://o2hell.com/security.htm

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For Music, before file sharing there were Tapes (remember them?)

That's how those short on cash got their music free.

If the cash was there and the song was good enough, the record was purchased, otherwise, it was taped from the radio and the missing or spoken-over intro and tail was ignored because it didn't matter enough.

Back then the moguls cried foul and predicted the death of music, but it didn't die.

When CD's arrived, they told us they cost more to make so we payed more, until the smoke that hid the truth cleared.

Now they say file sharing over the web is killing them.

Mmmmm. The industry doth protest too much, methinks.

Give consumers value for money, give the writers and musicians a better deal, take less for doing so little. Otherwise, just wait 'till the sharers get prosecuted...Detecting what's shared will then either get harder to recognise and/or go via thumb drives etc. and the sharers will feel more satisfaction, the more they do it, because they will 'know' someone the 'evil money grabbing industry moguls prosecuted' and they will want revenge.

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Good for BT and Talk Talk

Intellectual property is the responsibility of the "Creators" not ISPs, Government or anyone else. Its their "property". They need to look after it better and control the distribution of their properly. Not sit on their backsides claiming they are loosing billions of £ $ and expect everyone from the Government downwards to bend over backwards to protect their "wealth"

They cannot prove their losses. Lazy so and sos.

However, I am suprised at BT taking this action. Surely it is their interest to have the Digital Economy law in place as it would strengthen their Vision Box service. Why pay £3 or £4 VOD charge for the movie Inception if you can download it Peer-peer for nowt!!

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Bronze badge

Different?

I don't think a BT Vision customer and someone downloading free films are likely to be the same person. The Register's readership isn't an accurate cross-section of society - I'd guess there are more downloaders here than in society at large.

Sample size of one - I've got BT Vision, but I've never free downloaded a film or CD. If I want something I pay for it, if I can't afford it I don't have it.

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Anonymous Coward

Not likely

It's not likely that BT and Talk talk will prevail. If a distributor can't manage distribution then they should close their virtual doors.

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ISP liable

I have been told that if the ISP does not point the finger at the suspect then the ISP will be prosecuted as if they committed the offence. Even if that's not legal the ISPs might still apply filtering to try and prevent the crime in the first place.

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Paris Hilton

April 1st perhaps?

BT and Talk-Talk have decided to champion the rights of the 'littleman'...

yeh right, and in other news; moon made of gorgonzola, world = flat and Katie Price has morals.

The article does have merit however. A brief sortee to the good old 'computer/car analogy' should suffice. Do we expect TARMAC to administer fines for speeding and parking offences? Fortunately this concern is redundant since, as we all know, everything on the internet already undergoes extensive scrutiny for free (room 641A).

Paris knows all about free downloadable content.

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