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back to article Sky follows BT in blocking Newzbin2

The internet service provider Sky cut off access to Newzbin2 last week following a court order. It is the second UK ISP to block Newzbin2 after a High Court ruling earlier this year forced BT to deploy filtering technology to prevent its customers accessing the site. Newzbin2 is a members-only site which collates links to a …

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I've got a VPN solution ready to avoid the 'ban' when it reaches my ISP but I'm curious, how have BT and now Sky implemented the ban? Can the site be reached by typing in the IP address rather than the domain? Are customers who change their DNS provider to the likes to OpenDNS able to side-step the ban?

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On our work's BT account, newzbin.com is blocked and entering the IP address directly doesnt work either. Bizarrely https seems to work fine.

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Trollface

Https works because.

Https still works because it is proxied threw somewhere else. This is why they can not block it.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ed 11

Presumably you have to pay for your VPN service? In which case, you're prepared to pay for your "free downloads", just not prepared to pay the owners of the material you are copying.

Words fail me.

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Mushroom

you get a better deal with a vpn then with movie companies

for exemple for £15 for 3months access to a vpn i can download whatever i want and as much as my isp/HDD can take. for £15 to the media companys i can either buy a single dvd/blueray (depending on price) and sit through the anti pricy ads or stream a few hours from lovefilm online.

but im guess you don't care any of the above since your pro copyright & anon

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FAIL

Words fail me too

NewzBin2 is just an indexing service, very much the same as Google. They respond to DMCA requests the same as Google.

Youtube has copyrighted material actually STORED on it's servers, do we see them being blocked by ISP's?

You also pay for the majority of Usenet providers too.

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Pirate

I think you have hit the nail on the head

A user pays for a VPN service so they can download movies for free.

Why not just pay for the movies?

I would guess the answer is something like why pay for a DRM infested copy when you can rent a VPN and get a DRM copy free. Treat you customer likes criminals then they might as well act like them.

Buy 2nd hand DVD's off eBay. That's the real way to piss them off.

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymouse-Coward

If newsbin2 is just like Google, how come they have ended up in court? Is it because big business has the legal system and the government in their pocket, as is claimed so many times on this site, or is it because, actually they're not like Google?

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I'm prepared to pay. Unfortunately I'm not prepared to wait if something has been broadcast in the US and it's then not broadcast in the UK for an extended period. Also, as a Virgin customer, Sky deem it appropriate to bar me from watching Sky Atlantic so if I want to watch something from that channel I'll do what I need to.

Oh, and sometimes I forget to TiVo something I want to watch and if it's not on On Demand, what's a chap to do?

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps words fail you because you have not thought things through. I also pay for a VPN connection so I can download content. Why do I do it? Because the content providers will not take my money!

I would happily pay £60 a month for a license to download anything, but such a service does not exist, and until it does, the VPN provider gets my money.

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Anonymous Coward

Why pay VPN?

As a citizen of plant earth, who spends more time travelling outside of $geographical_birth_location than in it, a VPN service is a bargain for accessing content that I am both legitimately and freely entitled to. With regards to other content I am not legitimately entitled to due to longitudinal and latitudinal restrictions; ideallogically I would rather pay a VPN than put money in the pockets of fools and middlemen.

When I visit a country, I am free to walk into a local shop and purchase an item of choosing. Subject to tax laws, I can carry that item with me back to $geographical_birth_location. However when I visit a country and attempt to purchase digital content, the shop keeper refuses to sell it to me because they don't have a shop in $geographical_birth_location. So piracy is my only way of experiencing the freedom of travel ordinarily afforded me in meatspace; a VPN being my security from those who discriminate based on $geographical_origin_of_wallet.

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Using OpenDNS already, and no typing the IP in directly does not work...

Tor works, which completely sidesteps any blocks.

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Anonymous Coward

This breaking news story is 1 week out of date

Come on Register, this news story was printed on 13th December on most other sites.

Besides the Newzbin2 block has been a total failure in legal terms:

1) BT are unable to block https so simply placing the 's' in front of http "unblocks" the site

2) Sky is blocked at IP level but users can simply use the backup address which isnt blocked

3) Newzbin2 users can download the custom-written Anti-Block App which circumvents future blocking by using proxy connections and TOR possibly...

Either way, this Chinese Style Censorship attempt in the UK by the MPA has been an utter failure to which everybody was able to work around within minutes.

Trust me, more web blocking as per Newzbin2 is going to result in mega takeup of encrypted VPN use and the best bit... those torrent analysis people discovered if they make small changes in the torrent protocol it could become TOTALLY anonymous...

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Anonymous Coward

I'm surprised it's taken Sky so long - court order or no court order, if they didn't have nice profitable sweetheart/monopoly deals with the movie companies, they'd barely have a product to sell (at least in the UK, and that's what this article is about).

ps

why is it in the "wireless" category?

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That's what I thought on reading the story: why aren't Sky doing this anyway?

(regardless of whether *we* think it is right or wrong for them to block)

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Anonymous Coward

If Sky did this voluntarily they would:

1, Be reviled for becoming Britain's leading censorship proponent.

2, Lose a large number of their customers.

3, Be handed a huge list of thousands of sites to block and therefore become the MPA's bitch.

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Pirate

BT's block is trivially...

...easy to circumvent. It's almost as if they're doing this deliberately to show how ineffective this type of blocking is.

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Anonymous Coward

"copyright theft"

Just that term alone shows that they don't understand the law - unless of course somebody was actually stealing the owners copyright (i.e. claiming that they own the copyright and getting all royalties - which I doubt).

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Devil

The old analogy

Copyright theft is like having your bike stolen, but it is still parked outside your house.

It just happens that our "thief" is riding around on a copy of your bike.

Who loses out?

Downloads != Lost Sales

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

No copyright theft is like taking a train without paying or parking your car in a car park without paying. It's not right and the honest people pay more for your selfishness.

A download may not be a lost sale, but it is a lost revenue. The right to view a film or listen to music costs, if you don't pay the author and producers don't get that money, you had deprived them of it. If you don't want to pay for it, you shouldn't take it.

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The producers, and the actors, are more than likely not going to get any money from the films anyway if it is made by big Hollywood studios. Their corrupt accounting practices ensure the movie makes a loss, even if it is a big blockbuster that sells lots of cinema places, lots of DVDs/Blu rays and also lots of other merchandise. It will still make a loss on paper so they don't have to pay the people who contracted to make money from the profit. The amount of blockbusters that make a loss is absolutely staggering, and yet they get away with it!

Look up 'Hollywood accounting' for further info! The big studios are the biggest crooks!

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Anonymous Coward

@Andy

Not necessarily so, it's really quite common for actors, producers and other workers on a film to take a share of the profits. Maybe not in *really big* films, but it isn't uncommon.

Also, just because "the big studios are the biggest crooks" does that make it ok for everyone to be a crook? No, it doesn't.

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Paris Hilton

@AC

How is it lost revenue? If I would /never/ buy the hangover part 2 (I wouldn't) or pay for it in a cinema - but I happen to see it on newzbin or the 'bay and snag it then watch it.

Firstly that isn't lost revenue, second it makes it more likely that I may go and see the inevitable hangover 3, 4, 5 and 6.

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Anonymous Coward

@Streaky

If you don't like it, don't watch it.

If you do like it, pay for it.

That's how it is. If the RIAA see people downloading media for free they, not unreasonably, presume that these are just people who don't want to pay. This contributes to the lowest common denominator entertainment that we have - people pirate the music/TV/Films, so make something that as many people as possible will actually pay for AND people seem to like this/want this, because they copy it, so keep making it.

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Stop

Dirty Thieves

Stop moaning and go and buy your music/software/movies. If it's too expensive for you to buy, you're not entitled to it.

But the "block" does seem like a poor effort, if they are indeed really trying.

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Anonymous Coward

Well said!

The serious denials and justifications going on here are pathetic! You rip it and you enjoy it then you owe someone some money!

It's so simple even my 8 year old knows that stuff needs to be paid for and that downloading movies, music and games is illegal and you could get in trouble yet here are a bunch of adult tech minded people, most making reasonable money in this game, still ripping stuff off as if the the world owes them something for nothing.

I love the defence of pirating music, "I have to have it to make sure I like it!" Bollocks! Plenty of bands will hand out free samples off their sites. There's always places like Spotify and Last.FM too.

No I am not squeaky clean, I admit I do knock off a handful of US TV torrents so I get to see US TV shows after they air but as soon as they are up for sale on Amazon or Play.com I buy them as I want the original boxes and high quality editions with extras. I never rip movies as I never watch movies. I never rip music as I go to the gigs to see bands I like to make sure they get my money on the merch stalls and I don't rip games as I don't play that many on my 360.

If I can't afford it, what gives me the right to steal it or make a copy of it without paying the artist for the privilege? Tart it up any way you like, you're still taking something and/or taking a copy of something, without permission and without paying the owner of the work!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well Said - Like you I go to see bands and buy the merch there, such as their CDs, but unlike you before the gig I'll happily download the album from a torrent site, as I want to give the band the money directly at the gig, rather than have a large percentage knocked off by a reseller.

Why is this "pathetic" to use your words?

PS... You also say "You rip it and you enjoy it then you owe someone some money!" - Surely if you've ripped it then you have already purchased it.

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Anonymous Coward

The old "Bands make money from gigs" argument

I used to work in Sound and Light, specifically for small-to-medium sized bands and raves etc.

Let me be crystal clear - Taking a tour on show costs a lot of money, especially if your band is more than a couple of people. Bands do not rake it in, as is suggested, until they are playing large (multiple thousand capacity) venues. Touring is hard work, it's not sustainable and seriously damages your health if you do it too much.

There are also many bands that can't or won't tour - if you've got a family it's usually doable to record, but not tour. There are also some bands that just can't shift all of the kit they need, or would irreparably damage their instruments by moving them (old synths would be a classic, one-off instruments or instruments built into bulidings.)

Then there is the fact that you may be happy to fund a band by going to their gigs and buying a t-shirt, but most bands don't do world tours so you have to like a band that comes near you, you can't fund a band in the US or Australia by going to their gigs if they don't have enough money to come to Europe where you live.

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Copyright Crackdown

Something has to be done about copyright infringement, if only to prevent the proponents of draconian crackdowns from disturbing the set-up of the internet (e.g. SOPA). It's time experts from both sides of the debate sat down & thrashed this out. Otherwise they will always be an arms race between those determined to prevent internet piracy & those determined to circumnavigate it, while ordinary users suffer.

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Tor

Wouldn't installing Tor give you access?

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Anonymous Coward

What about media you can't get in the UK?

Fair enough, there are moral arguments for and against downloading music and films by the bucketload. Personally, I'd rather pay for what I consume, especially if I like it.

However, the one thing that drives me up the wall in the UK is when you can't get hold of media because some faceless corporation won't allow it's distribution here. For example, Futurama Season 6 - first part broadcast one year later in the UK than the States, still waiting for the second part and no guarantees we'll ever get it.

By restricting distribution to apparently squeeze every last drop of revenue from the product, do these companies not think that people are going to get frustrated and try and get hold of it anyway? Especially when it's as trivially easy as it is....

Oh, and another thing... the level of publicity this is generating is just letting more people know Newzbin is around... If it wasn't for that, I'd have never even heard of it...

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Nope - I still don't buy it

I see where you're coming from, but if a company decides it's going to do something one way, and you don't like it, voice your opinion, don't buy their product (if it was available to you) or support their products. However doing so doesn't give you the right to still go and take something that isn't yours to take.

They may not be losing a sale - I get that, but "never going to buy it" doesn't equal "therefore I can get it for nothing".

No point arguing though, those who do it will always justify it by starting a sentence with "but I want". I want to reroof my house, but I can't afford it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to nick the slates from the local church, who has loads of money, and slates are more expensive than they should be.

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Thumb Down

Waste of time and effort

I don't buy it or download it. The stuff they sell is manipulative trash. I have no movies or sound tracks on my system but the odd thing is I can watch or listen to this stuff on youtube . Why do they attack what must be a very small arena of techies using Usenet who will run rings round their legal block. Maybe it's because it's a soft target blocking youtube would cause major repercussions. Piracy is impossible to prevent so it has to be lived with whatever the morality.

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Pirate

Perhaps the artists need a new representative. For years the artist relied on the record label to promote and distribute their work, for which the record label took a handsome 90%+

Technology offers artists many new routes to market, and the sooner more artists sell their wares directly (cutting out the middleman cartel) then we will ALL benefit from cheap works while the artist will get a much better overall sales and profit

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The toy manufacturers regard the TV shows they make as simple advertising for merchandise. Most films make huge amounts from merchandising.

Time the studios grew up and started behaving like toy manufacturers.

I was a pro musician, many moons ago, and have no problem with people downloading music if they want. I am minded of comments by Lemmy to a concert crowd: 'How many of you have got our new album? What's wrong with you? Couldn't you steal it?'

I would strongly disagree with the view that 'piracy' = lost revenue. No, it doesn't. If people couldn't get this stuff for free they wouldn't get it at all. Stopping torrents and the like equals lost audience, so counter intuitively stopping piracy actually means losing revenue.

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Hold on while I a borrow an Audi R8 from the showroom, it will not affect anyone as I will wash it and return it before it opens the next day.

If we have a moral right to free movies, then I demand my moral right to a free R8.

Perhaps I am old fashioned, can't afford the film/music then listen on radio or wait for it to appear on a free to air channel.

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Meh

It's obvious...

If the ISPs stop you from downloading illegal stuff (movies, games, etc) then what justifies the amount they charge for their "Unlimited" connections? They want you to download as much as you can just as much as you do. That way they can keep charging over the odds without anyone complaining. I thought this was pretty obvious given i can't think of an awful lot over 1.5GB to download that is legal... i struggle with over 1GB tbh... atleast not on a regular basis.

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FAIL

Emmmm...

You say you can't find anything legal to download. By that I assume you can find plenty of illegal stuff to download. Like music and movies? Strangely enough, you can download those legally too. You just pay for them first.

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Is there anywhere that offers the same experience as downloading a film illegally, for a fee? As in a file that you can keep, transfer to whatever device you want, watch in whatever software you want, without adverts?

If there was somewhere that offered this for a reasonable price (ie a couple of quid per movie), then piracy wouldn't be an issue at all, and the content producers would make billions off it.

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Nope.

Actually, Piracy would still be an issue. People will steal stuff even if it's free.. Remember when Radiohead gave away an album a few years back. Pirate copies still appeared on torrent sites a couple of hours later.

Also, your idea about releasing films "at a reasonable cost". Avatar, while a crap film, made over £2 billion. £2 billion that is available for making other films. To get anywhere near that amount of money if you sold it at £2, you'd need 1 billion of the world's population to download it.

You could argue that Film Companies are using dodgy accounting, and perhaps they are, but they also employ a lot of people, who require paying. They also have a lot of associated companies, who also employ people. It's not unheard of for tens of thousands of people to be employed (whether directly or not) as a result of a film production.

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@DaeDaLuS_015

"If the ISPs stop you from downloading illegal stuff (movies, games, etc) then what justifies the amount they charge for their "Unlimited" connections? They want you to download as much as you can just as much as you do. That way they can keep charging over the odds without anyone complaining. I thought this was pretty obvious given i can't think of an awful lot over 1.5GB to download that is legal... i struggle with over 1GB tbh... atleast not on a regular basis."

I stream video and right now I'm at 180 gigs. There is a reason why Netflix has options to reduce the video feeds resolution.

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FAIL

Hmm, fair points and i conceed. There is a lot of legitimate use for the bandwidth (i myself thought of my 100+ game steam account that is single handedly occupying one of my hard drives, after i submitted... /facepalm). I personally don't download illegally/stream illegally/etc. I have no real need too, most things are free regardless (such as tv shows on bbc iPlayer, etc). I think usage wise there are a lot more people using the bandwidth for illegal purposes than legal ones and that was my point, i just put it badly.

I'm of this opinion because ISPs are like any other company, they aren't trying to protect your freedom by not complying / stalling. Somewhere, somehow, it is making them more money.

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Bronze badge

"I think usage wise there are a lot more people using the bandwidth for illegal purposes than legal ones and that was my point, i just put it badly."

I would like to know how you came to that opinion. Most of the people that I know that use a lot of data are streaming video. I know few that do pod cast from home.

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Anonymous Coward

I would pay...

...for unrestricted access to DRM free quality encodes of movies and music. However. I found out that Google music is restricted to less than 20,000 tracks. iTunes match is restricted to 25,000 tracks which most likely will give not match to the 60+K of tracks I have, most of which are Asian or esoteric in nature that are unlikely to match up with what is on Apple's database as they are so US/Euro centric (I tried matching album covers on iTunes to find most of my collection is unmatched). Spotify suffers from similar issues. Go search for anything by Yoko Kanno (No not Yoko Ono knumbnuts) or Yuki Kajiura or the South Korean girl band Girls Generation etc.

Until the music industry and the people who resell it realise that there is a whole world of media outside the US and Euro zone then I will continue ignoring them and obtain my media elsewhere for free thank you very much.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think this problem is as simple as some people try to make out

Is there anyone over say 30 that hasn't recorded music from the radio onto audio tape? Hell I remember my sister recording Top of the Pops on the TV using her "poratable" cassette tape recorder and mic

Who hasn't used a video recorder to record a TV program? didn't it take quite a few years before recording programs off TV became legal? and didn't they put a time limit on how long you could keep the recording? ages ago I found an old video tape recording of The Hitman and Her show (at the Discotheque Royale, Manchester I think) that was about 12 years old, should I of handed myself in to the old bill?

Who would call someone recording (to hard drive, video tape, etc) a film from TV a freetard? so should downloading a film from the net around the same as it's shown on TV be illegal?

If I put a CD in to my computer Itunes offers to rip it for me... wtf, that's illegal here in the UK! Does that make apple guilty of incitement?

I have the DVD's of It's A Wonderful Life & White Christmas, just noticed they are available on blu ray now, do they give us dvd owners a discount? do they ****

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You Are Right

It's not clear cut and we've all done stuff which is technically illegal, but recording Top of The Pops, which wasn't exactly the same quality as the released version, whereas downloading essentially bit perfect copies of movies of music, totally negating the need to buy the original is completely different.

Ripping a CD you purchased is also technically not legal, but you have bought the CD and so as far as I'm concerned you can rip it as many times as you like. So I'm choosing which laws I adhere to yes, but I've paid for the CD and the artist will have got some money thanks to that.

I wouldn't use the same argument for downloading an HD version of a movie because you own the DVD though - you didn't buy the higher quality version and if you want it, you should buy it.

And for those of you out there who say "I won't use X legal service because it can't take my 60,000 tracks". Sixty thousand tracks? Really? All legal? Oh let me guess, no, not all legal, because some are bootlegs, live recordings, stuff that wasn't released in the UK etc? Always an excuse.

And to those who say "I'd use a service if it was £2 per movie". No you wouldn't. You'd find a reason to not use it and continue getting something for free.

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Stitched up musicians

We don't have to look far to find musicians who've been done over by the music industry, The Beatles and Rolling Stones were fortunate to have long careers, Marc Bolan didn't. More recently practically every winner of these telly talent contests have been seriously short changed, whilst the men behind them have got richer and richer.

If the record companies can stick DRM and trojans on my computer, I will stick 2 fingers up at them.

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Downloading is a civil offence and not a criminal one

As I've said many times before, under English law, I can download what copyrighter material I chose to and as long as I'm not uploading it, I have not committed a criminal offence and cannot get a criminal record.

The film company can if they want take civil action against me, just like I can try to take civil action against a neighbour for anything I choose to feel aggrieved about.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended by the Copyright and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002, currently protects copyrighted materials. People who download copyrighted recordings without permission face civil actions. Downloading can also constitute a criminal offence if the downloader distributes the material.

Personally I download a few TV shows, I have zero guilt, they are shown in the next few months on the Virgin TV service I'm paying for anyway, all it means is that I can watch them the same time as those in the US hence don't find the plot spoilers all over the net etc.

I also might discover a TV show that I've missed the previous series, one that's been aired on the cable package I've paid for, I may download those to simply catch up and carry on watching from the pint I'm at. Again zero guilt.

A screwed up recording is another example, as is say my Virgin box died and needs replacing yet I still have stuff to watch that I've recorded.

All of these are not costing anyone a single penny in lost revenue as I'm paying for my Virgin service anyway. I rarely watch TV live any-more and it takes a few presses of my remote to skip over adverts, so I never see the adverts either, hence that argument is also invalid for me.

Stupid DRM measures that inconvenience legitimate users (I'm sure the £250 worth of movies I brought from Samsung Movies with a voucher I got with my tablet says it will only work on my tablet and one PC, hence if I change tablets or upgrade my PC, had I paid cash for those movies, they would be useless).

film and game companies chose to restrict free trade, stopping me buying a film or game when I'm in the US and bringing it back to the UK unless I had a modded machine or region free dvd player. It's silly things like this that fuels piracy.

I disagree with the poster who gave the car park or not paying for a train example. Ini both of those, IU'm taking up a space that's stopping another prospective customer using, placing wear and tear on the car park, train etc, It's more like me being a good artist, going into a friends house, they've brought a £500 painting, I take a photo of it, go home and paint myself a copy. No one has lost out as I would never had forked out £500 in the first place.

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Mushroom

I love that these are now optional

>If I put a CD in to my computer Itunes offers to rip it for me... wtf, that's illegal here in the UK! Does that make apple guilty of incitement?<

Heh, love that.

To all the pro-copyright anonymous cowards commenting, you all do realise those poor struggling artists don't get all the money (I thinks it's like less than 10% or 2%), but your comments read like they get what you pay for it. The lions share goes to 'the industry' which pays millions into political pockets, and the owners live in exclusive spots that aren't shown on Google street view.

I bought (an eg) all the David Bowie LPs in my youth and I'm still waiting for the music industry to send me the CD versions. 'The Industry' wants it all one way, their way (or the highway baby).

Piracy is the consumer fighting back, 'The Industry' would do well to take notice of it.

Notice: I don't pirate (anymore)

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