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back to article Hunt: We'll slightly inconvenience pirate sites

In August the government said it wouldn't implement the Digital Economy Act's web-blocking powers. But it still thinks pirate websites hurt British business and wants something to make accessing them more more difficult, and to make sanctions against them less expensive. But what might all this look like? According to a leak to …

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Bronze badge

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Right! If that's the way you want it - Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions! Confess! Confess! Confess!

It doesn't seem to be hurting her, my lord.

Have you got all the stuffing up one end?

Yes, lord.

Hm! She is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fang - fetch...the comfy chair!

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I may be wrong but...

Doesn't flagging them already happen with the tag "this site may damage your computer" ?

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Silver badge

Spooneristic error

For 'Culture' read 'Hulture', throughout.

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M.A
FAIL

easier to spot

First point obviously the government don't know how the file sharing works i have never heard of a site that charges feel free to correct me.

a traffic light system will help people looking for free content find it. (thank you gov.)

the money would be better spent finding a business model that works preferably without the greedy corporations who cheat the artists out of their copyright.

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Anonymous Coward

I've seen a number that charge subscription fees to download files directly from their servers. But the vast majority come with "Donate" buttons. Many of them offer special privledges if you do donate.

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Anonymous Coward

File hosting sites do..

File hosting sites such as rapidshare megaupload fileshare + probably a few hundred more all offer no waiting and faster downloads in return for payment. I don't think they accept pieces of eight but they do all accept paypal.

The countless forums which list links to the hosted files largely rely on donations and advertising.

HTH.

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Facepalm

The LAW hasn't kept pace?

"The copyright-holders argue that the law hasn't kept pace with technology."

Best laugh of the day so far.

The law isn't anything directly to do with technology, anyway, it is about resolving disputes between non-state actors (tort) or between non-state actors and the state (criminal). The fact that certain actors (copyright holders) are in bed with the state at the expense of private individuals is nowhere better illustrated than in copyright so-called "law".

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FAIL

Agreed.

"The copyright-holders argue that the law hasn't kept pace with technology."

It's more like: "The copyright-holders business model hasn't kept pace with technology."

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Silver badge

Flagging sites in search

So instead of having to search for torrent/rar/mp3 etc you just have to select "show me only sites that I can download pirate content for free" as an official feature ?

This form of government crackdown could catch on.

Night clubs where you can buy drugs will be forced to announce it (and prices) on their advertising.

Pubs caught allowing underage drinking will be forced to include it on their pub signs

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Facepalm

Channel 4

Channel 4 did this in 1986, a little red triangle to indicate "special discretion required"

They got over 3 million viewers a figure that was *HUGE* for the time compared to other channels broadcasting late at night.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes" - George Santayana

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So the 2 things mentioned in the item handily means the government dont have to do anything at all other than the receptionist typing out a dictated letter to google asking to demote pirate sites.

I've got an idea for the sticker though, rather than "intel inside" pirate sites could be labelled "free-stuff inside" yep that'll do it.

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'depriving creators of a fair reward for their creativity'

This is the bit that gets me, is he accepting that fair reward = millions of pounds for the artist and hundreds of millions for the record copmany? Is that fair reward for a few months in a studio and a year touring? Doing somehting your supposed to enjoy.

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Gold badge

"fair reward for their creativity"

I'm all for a "fair reward for their creativity" and that is why I look at some of these people and ask how they justify earning as much as everybody who lives in my town put together.

And don't say that lots of people benefit from their "acting" or "promotion" skills. There are lots of people who without you wouldn't have flights, satellite TV and lots of other things that benefit more than CDs and DVDs, but they don't earn anywhere near as much.

Oh and as a note, I am not holier than thou, but I did pay for the CDs and DVDs in my media collection.

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I would gladly pay for my movies and TV shows, but they don't want to sell 'em to me.

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g e
Silver badge
FAIL

A pot meets kettle moment

"The copyright-holders argue that the law hasn't kept pace with technology"

*ahem* outdated business model *ahem*

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Exactly!

The more money and power you have, the less actionable you become.

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££££££ and $$$$$$

Maybe, Hollywood and the Music industry should do something too – make stuff at a more reasonable price!

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Megaphone

Hunt you ninny. Have you nothing better to ligislate? Piracy can never be stopped, there will always be new innovations and ways to illegally distribute content. Why? Because there will always be demand for something for nothing. Blocking sites is pointless, somewhere on earth there will always be a route to the pirated content and once content is on a physical media (CD, Bluray, etc) it can be copied left and right without ever needing to go online.

"blocking" stuff has always been the lazy approach to tackle piracy and it never works, but it is the cheapest approach that makes content producers think that their concerns are not being ignored. Politicians know better than to take piracy prevention seriously; they know there is no way to ever stop piracy. And in the end, politicians have bigger problems to solve than the petty problems of the entertainment industry. If politicians give too much support to content producers, they will be seen to be giving too much attention to corporations over the concerns of ordinary people who are suffering high inflation and near zero returns on investments and life savings.

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Silver badge
Coat

Piracy

Don't you have to profit from it to be a Pirate?

In fact isn't it not-illegal to just download something (and not redistribute it)?

Yeah, old point, I know... coat grabbed

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Silver badge

"Piracy can never be stopped, there will always be new innovations and ways to illegally distribute content. Why? Because there will always be demand for something for nothing... Politicians know better than to take piracy prevention seriously; they know there is no way to ever stop piracy."

Hasn't stopped them trying in other circumstances. For example, "drugs".

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pirate sites arent always used by the naughty ones...

i have been watching a series called falling skies on FX. the last one of the season decided it wasnt part of the series link as it was on at a different time (an hour after). so, it ended up not recording the last in the series.

if it wasnt for download sites i would have wasted several hours watching a series only to not find out what happened.

see, twats, we arent all people downloading everything under the sun. thats the first thing i have 'pirated' in years. i buy all my music and movies legitimately.

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FAIL

Totally. I mostly download TV shows that will be on TV in my country much later anyways, and I pay for those channels, so why should I be labeled a pirate? I mean, I could have waited 2-6 months and recorded these shows on my PVR, but I want to see it now, and I know English very well, so I have to resort to torrent sites, because the distributors don't want to sell these shows online to others than Americans. The old physical borders issue again, only by IP.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

@Nader re: physical borders

That's exactly it. The content producers demand different distribution rights on their content depending on the physical location of the consumer.

If you look at the American TV-on-demand sites you will find that they have negotiated the rights to the content *IN THE US ONLY*. This is normally because other companies have bought the rights for the same content in other countries.

For an example, let's assume that Universal Media Studios make another series of Heros. They license commercial broadcast in the US to NBC and in the UK to Sky.

If someone in the UK can watch or purchase it from the NBC on-demand service, they might not take out a Sky subscription, causing lost revenue to Sky.

So a condition of the license that Sky enter into with UMC is that US distributors must restrict online access to only people in the US, and if they don't you end up with severe lawsuits between all of the companies involved.

The only way that will change is if production and distribution companies take a whole-world view which is likely to harm choice by making large regional minorities too small to be considered in a whole-work market. There is no perfect solution.

We as consumers must realise that production and distribution companies are commercial enterprises, whose very existence is conditioned on their need get as much money out of their customers as possible.

I look back on the days before the growth-is-essential mantra, when it was enough for a company to ensure it's existence, make reasonable but no excessive profits, provide good employment to their workers and good service to their customers with some fondness. Maybe my glasses have just taken on a rose-tint.

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Silver badge

Couldn't they first stop inconveniencing legal users?

I mean, if I wanted to get a movie in HD I'd need the following steps:

1. Look though a few versions of Amazon to be able to find the medium.

2. Buy it

3. Get a special Bluray drive, and an additional PC

4. Get some exotic software from a country I don't know and I cannot pay with the usual means.

5. Rip it to harddisk

6. Put the disk into the shelve and watch the movie.

Since I'm not sure whether 3 and 4 works, and both cost quite a bit of money, the pirate way seems a lot more interresting. It would be like this:

1. Look for the movie on Pirate Bay

2. Torrent it

3. Watch the movie

Why can't the movie industry simply sell me a copy of the file? Why do they have to encrypt it so I have to spend a lot of money and effort to decrypt it?

I'd love to pay money for HD copies of movies, but I need a DRM free copy so I can play it whenever and on whatever device I want.

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Anonymous Coward

Who cares...

I might listen to your music/film/digital stuff, but I do not value it.

I hear 'music' all the time and I am bombarded with video everywhere I go, whether I want it or not, why would I assign a value to it in the first place, let alone the level of value you assign to it.

We see pissed kids smoking all over the country and it's never been easier to get illegal substances to abuse, why do _they_ think it will be any different for those that wish to consume digital contraband?

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Anonymous Coward

Well AC it goes like this

your digital contraband will (soon) be signature analysed by your ISPs low level analysis router and it will be timestamped and IP stamped and protocol and content stamped and there you are screwed?

illegal substances make money for someone nearby in the economy , but hollywood/bollywood isn't getting enuff loofah out of your presumed pirated digidownload...

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Devil

Funny really

Just as Sir Cliff and Sir Paul are about to get their wish to continue to get paid for what they were doing over 50 years ago their stuff is increasingly available for nowt on tinterweb.

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Pirate

Passing Off

I'm just waiting for some Somali warlord to take the copyright boosters to court for using the term "Piracy" in a manner likely to confuse consumers. "It's a dilution of our brand and trademark, guv"

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Silver badge

@Piracy

According to the 'creative geniuses' in the industry

It's illegal to copy a CD you own to your MP3 player, it's illegal to import a DVD from another country, it's illegal to play a DVD from another region. It's illegal to read a ebook out-loud to your child.

I just ignore the whole business - haven't bought any new music in 10years, it does mean I have missed out on Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga though

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Anonymous Coward

The CD to MP3 one is supposed to be changing, as shockingly, the MP's have said that "if you have a law that 99% of the population break all the time, as a matter of course, then it's a stupid law". Not sure what they were smoking, but I hope they keep it up!

The others are just as bad though, I've imported same region dvd's from other counties, as they weren't available for sale in the UK. I've imported different region dvd's from other countries because, surprise surprise, they weren't available for sale in the UK. I've even, on a several hour coach trip from Edinburgh, put a film i bought while there on the coach's player for everyone... lock me up, I'm a criminal mastermind!

People generally don't think twice about breaking laws they see as stupid and pointless, and these are!

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WTF?

Whats this?

Did they not get the memo? The War on Piracy is over - and you fella's lost.

The War was over 10 years ago when regular folk could choose from competing P2P networks like Gnutella, G2, Bittorrent, DC, Overnet, eDonkey, FastTrack and others and freely share music, video and software. Things have advanced much further since then. Everything is streamed live at the consumers convenience.

An entire generation has grown up, saturated with media to consume - thousands of tv channels, radio stations and free sources for software. There is no going back. Legislation cannot revert society back to the old model. The paradigm shift was triggered by technology, but the philosophy is driven by the people. The value of media must be re-evaluated, and business must adjust to operate in the new model.

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Anonymous Coward

Translated:

Everyone can make money off art except the people who make it. It's The New Reality.

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Silver badge

Fair reward for their creativity

I like J-pop. I can buy a CD, but it'll cost me twice the price in postage. I can't find legal mp3s, apparently I live in the wrong country. That is, assuming it is available at all. Even Youtube, the last bastion of obscure music, is succumbing to this. Songs are taken down to be replaced by official versions... but wait, not in this country...

The industry should pull its head out of its ass and understand that simplicity and accessibility are important. While I agree some people will just freeload because they can, I think a reasonable number do so as the "legal" way for anything outside of the mainstream is, for want of a better analogy, an exercise in self flagellation.

What? My money isn't good enough? Just offer me the damn mp3s and stop whinging about where in the world I'm located. Stop trying to think you own, or can tame, the internet. You can't. Your business model where the label has ultimate control no longer exists. Deal with this reality, and soon, please.

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Silver badge
Flame

"Fair reward for creativity"

Yes, of course. As a professional web developer I want my fair reward too, so every time someone visits a site I design for you I should be paid for the same work, over and over again. And my heirs, and their kids, and their kids' kids too - why should they have to do any work at all since their great-grandfather designed some websites a century ago?

What about electricians? Shouldn't they be rewarded for their creativity by making you pay every time you turn on a light? And how about the plumbers? They should be paid every time you flush the toilet - that's only fair reward, right? Don't forget their kids for the next 3 generations too - they've earned the right to be paid again and again for their ancestors' hard work.

Copyright law is a scam, plain and simple. There's no other logical way to look at it. If you spend a week writing and recording a song, you should get paid for a week's worth of work, and no more. Same as everyone else who does honest work for a living. And as long as these thieves and fraudsters have our governments in their pockets, justice remains impossible.

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Sure

I just spent a week writing and recording a song. Where do I pick up my cheque?

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Anonymous Coward

@Roper

You are not a great advert for copyright reform. A poem or a great movie is worth more than flushing a toilet. Duh.

If people are enjoying art 50 years later and other people are making money from it then the creator should be rewarded too.

It's as simple as that.

You sound very envious and angry and bitter.

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Silver badge
FAIL

"A poem or a great movie is worth more than flushing a toilet"

Is it really? So if no plumbers made or repaired toilets so you would be living in your own shit and piss, most likely dying of disease, you wouldn't really be in any position to write your poems or great movies now, would you? Without trade services like plumbers and electricians, civilisation could not exist and your "artistic creativity" wouldn't be worth shit. Get some fucking perspective, idiot.

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@AC - you're not much of an advert for copyright extension...

The problem with that theory is that copyright was originally introduced as a trade-off, well after the initial establishment of copyright as a legal concept - allowing creators & publishers the exclusive right to exploit their work for a defined period of time (and providing them with the ability to legally pursue anyone who infringed those rights), but also defining a point at which those rights ended and their work became part of the public domain.

What we've seen since is a shedload of people, some of them very well rewarded and some of them utterly abused and mistreated, wanting to change copyright and legal conditions to better suit themselves. There has to be some element of adhering to the original contract, even if the unexpected success of your creation means that you later realise you could've made even more money from it.

It's particularly suspect that it's generally publishers rather than artists or creators who start off the "ooh, copyright should last longer" - of *course* they want that, they *love* the idea of having exclusive rights to a given product for ever-longer periods, given that the cost of production is frontloaded.

The chances of people paying for a given cultural item if it is neither new (where new is, say, less than 1 year old) nor particularly well-regarded (where positive regard is subject to attrition as time passes) are inversely proportional to the amount of time passed since its original publication. Continually extending copyright to protect the ability of content producers to make more money from the same content is a disservice to society as a whole, because it directly undermines the public domain concept under which copyright was originally introduced. Essentially, rights-holders threatening to take their ball and go home.

And, well, fuck 'em, or at least fuck the ones who aren't willing to adjust to changing usage patterns, behaviours and technological landscapes. My expenditure on books, films, music and games is quite high now that I have disposable income available, but the only reason I have a desire for these things is that when I was younger I availed of pirated versions - because there was absolutely knack all (well, with the exception of poor-quality classical music performances) available in the public domain.

If said pirated versions hadn't been around and there hadn't been decent libraries either (which there feckin' won't be, given what our Tory Overlords are doing), I just wouldn't have developed an interest in those things and thus wouldn't be spending my money on the output of those industries.

TL;DR - rights come with conditions and obligations attached.

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Thumb Down

Samizdat

Samizdat - "subversive" literature hand-typed and passed on and re-typed, chain-letter style, played a big part in bringing down the former Soviet Union.

What chance that pirate sites can ever be suppressed, or even inconvenienced?

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Anonymous Coward

Dear enemy

I curse you, and hope that something slightly unpleasant happens to you like an onion falling on your head.

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FAIL

It's true, they've already lost

I've noticed that on a fairly new version of uTorrent, I can now stream movies I am downloading.

What this does is (I would assume) prioritise the first segment of the file so I can watch it a couple of minutes after starting the download. That's it for me, done!

No more waiting for a 2GB file to download first before watching it. I mean, I'm talking 2 mins to start watching a movie.

Let me say to a few companies here - Sky - your repetitive rolling of the same movies day in, day out, for a month is what has caused me to cancel my Sky subscription. If you'd have kept an interesting, varied schedule then I would have probably continued to pay the £62 per month.

It doesn't even need to be consist of new movies. Have a play around... get one of these know-it-all 24 year olds who thinks they have greatest taste in movies as a temp and let them do the schedule. They might actually choose something other than 'How to train your dragon', 'Inception' and 'Little Fockers' 200 fucking times a month.

Netflix - pull your finger out and launch here ASAP, preferably at under £15 per month. I guarantee you, people will bite your arm off. Your biggest competition is LoveFilm and they're a joke - and not a very funny one, either.

At the end of the day, if you give people a good service at a reasonable price, people will pay. This is a fact. Look at the Apple App Store (with 59p apps), Spotify etc...

If it's easier for people to pay, they will. Charge too much, and it's back to piracy. Your call.

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Black Helicopters

THE BAD GUY!

well, i guess im "the bad guy" in this situation...

i run a website described here.. its been running for four years, but a few things make it NOT illegal.

its a .info domain name and we dont host or upload any videos ourselves.

but all im going to say is the geovernments will talk, and talk about what thyere going to do and meanwhile the tv and film studios are tired of waiting.

my website is being regurlaly DOS'd every firday night between 6-10pm EST

as are every other site similar to us.

Who would want us to be offline between 6-10pm? on a friday night, with the majority of new tv being released? Could it possibly be the t.v studios?

like i said, the governments will talk... but the studios are getting tired of waiting and taking things into their own hands...

and iv allways been tought 'two wrongs dont make a right'.

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