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back to article Suspected freetards to face piracy letters in 2014

Letters will be sent to suspected copyright infringers under the Digital Economy Act in 2014, a ministry of fun top wonk outlined yesterday. The Act was passed in 2010 after voluntary agreements with ISPs failed, and set out procedures to tackle unlicensed downloads. The legislation outlined a 12-month monitoring period in which …

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Meh

You mean...

...the Coalition are unwilling to enforce a piece of policy enacted out-of-hours, in the dying days of a deeply unpopular government?

Well, colour me shocked.

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Pirate

Re: You mean...

... and driven through by a twice-sacked (more?) tosser?

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Thumb Up

Re: You mean...

That, surely, is just a detail :-)

You know, no matter how bad things get with our current lot, I always look back on Mandelson & Co. and think to myself "thank fuck they're not still in charge".

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Coat

Re: You mean...

I just searched for

http://whatgordondidnext.com/

but it returned a DNS error. How ironic.

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Silver badge

@I'm Brian and so's my wife

I think he sold that domain.

Just as its value reached an all-time low.

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Megaphone

Re: @I'm Brian and so's my wife

Indeed! Of course, the sale was heavily publicised to ensure that everyone knew about it beforehand.

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Silver badge

Interesting infographic

It suggests bucks can be passed arbitrarily.

Useful, that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting infographic

Or perhaps in envelopes ;)

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Facepalm

Re: Interesting infographic

Arbitrarily and completely endlessly, around and around in circles, it seems.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

If its so widespread AND illegal

Maybe, the law/ business model needs to change?

Just a thought.

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JDX
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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

So if enough people want to do something, it should simply be legalised? Good way to reduce crime figures, at the cost of absolute idiocy.

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Sir

@JDX

"So if enough people want to do something, it should simply be legalised? Good way to reduce crime figures, at the cost of absolute idiocy."

It isn't idiocy, that's the way the world (should) work.

What we have is a group of special interests (small number of people) with lots of power telling other people (large number of people) what and who they can do, whilst ignoring the rules themselves - that's idiocy.

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

"So if enough people want to do something, it should simply be legalised?"

I believe that is rather the meaning of democracy, yes. For better or worse.

Although, here I think the point was that widespread piracy is at least partly due to the outdated business model of content providers. The refusal of the record companies to accept that we shouldn't have to re-buy all our music every time they bring out a new media format, for instance.

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Pirate

@JDX - Good law doesn't bring the law into disrepute

"So if enough people want to do something, it should simply be legalised? "

Um yes. It will be anyway once enough people vote to legalise it. The purpose of the criminal justice system in a democracy isn't to suit the interests or prejudices of a minority at the cost of criminalising the majority. Whenever that happens absolute idiocy results.

And it's not as if this is the first time such idiocy has been tried and failed, e.g. as with prohibition of alcohol in the US. For this reason it was eventually made legal to tape radio and TV programmes in the UK, and to have a radio without a license in more enlightened times than these. There's no law as bad as laws which everyone treats as too contemptible to care less about.

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JDX
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Re: Sir

So there's no right or wrong, just majority rules?

If the majority of us decide homosexuality is wrong after all, we ban it again?

The law is supposed to be based on morality, not giving people what they want. Not a position that fits our 'enlightened' post-modern society, but still the right one IMHO.

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

>>"Although, here I think the point was that widespread piracy is at least partly due to the outdated business model of content providers. The refusal of the record companies to accept that we shouldn't have to re-buy all our music every time they bring out a new media format, for instance."

Since I started buying CDs >25 years ago, no one seems to have been forcing me to re-buy anything.

Or even meaningfully trying to claim that I should.

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Silver badge

Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

>So if enough people want to do something, it should simply be legalised?

Obviously not - carried to extremes that would result in poor people and even women voting !

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

"Since I started buying CDs >25 years ago, no one seems to have been forcing me to re-buy anything.

Or even meaningfully trying to claim that I should."

So all the songs you bought back then and have since wanted to listen on your MP3 player, you just went ahead and bought again?

Don't you remember when they started mucking about with copy protection (car stereo killing in some cases, rootkit installing in others) on CDs?

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Anonymous Coward

@JDX - the law isn't a moralist ass

The law isn't primarily about what people think is right and wrong. It's one part about how those powerful enough to influence it get their way, and the other part about what those picking up the tab (that's you and me taxpayers) decide through our representatives which laws are worth enforcing . Homosexuality wasn't legalised in the UK because a majority thought it was right (they didn't), it was legalised because MPs didn't like the consequences of using the law to enforce private behaviour between consenting adults.

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

>>"So all the songs you bought back then and have since wanted to listen on your MP3 player, you just went ahead and bought again?"

No, since there was no meaningful threat that any individual doing that with things they'd already bought would face legal action, any more than there was previously any meaningful threat of legal action being taken against anyone taping their own CDs or LPs, placing doing such things in a distinctly different situation to people downloading copies of stuff they had never bought in *any* form, or sharing copies of stuff with an arbitrary number of other people.

Some people might want to pretend that there's no meaningful difference between people format-shifting stuff they have already paid for and people just copying and/or widely sharing stuff they haven't paid for, but that pretence simply isn't an honest one.

Morally speaking, there's a blindingly obvious difference, and legally speaking there's a clear practical difference resulting from the moral difference.

Whatever license terms drawn up long before MP3s were invented might say, it'd have seriously bad PR for someone to have been sued for format-shifting for personal use something they had already paid for, since the vast majority of observers would have looked at such a case from a moral standpoint rather than a strict legal one and whether people were doing it or not, they'd be likely to see little morally wrong with the activity.

On the other hand, people copying stuff they had never paid for are likely to be viewed massively less favourably by most people, and more so if they try and pretend they're somehow equivalent to a format-shifter.

That's one of the things with law - there's a huge difference between laws which are technically breached by a meaningful number of people in situations where there is a good moral defence ("I paid for it already"), and laws which are breached by a meaningful number of people where such a defence is lacking ("I have a right to get stuff for nothing").

>>"Don't you remember when they started mucking about with copy protection (car stereo killing in some cases, rootkit installing in others) on CDs?"

Not on any CDs I bought.

The fact that they gave up those attempts pretty quickly suggests a tacit acceptance that people demanded some freedom regarding things they had bought, freedom which the publishers decided it was necessary to provide.

Not really the actions of a huge powerful conspiracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

too much text

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Coat

Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

Democracy: two wolves and a sheep deciding what for dinner

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Bronze badge

Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

"outdated business model of content providers"

s/providers/distributors/

People who produce content still need to be rewarded, but the massive infrastructure of expensive distribution is obsolete, replaced by the Interwebs.

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

I quite agree

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Stop

"The law is supposed to be based on morality"

Not necessarily.England has "common law", and I _think_ it's based on precedent, which has _nothing_ to do with either common sense or morality per se, more on the accumulated judgements of those making a specific judgment at a point in time, who we hope have a moral leaning, but that does depend on the cash pot of those prosecuting (or defending) their case when it's heard. And then the result goes into the pool of common law...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law

"In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis)"

If enough people want it, the rules will morph over time, I'd have thought.

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Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

>>"too much text"

For the short-attention-spanners, maybe.

But I'm not particularly bothered what they think.

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Facepalm

Re: If its so widespread AND illegal

I switched from Apple iPhone to Motorola (Android), and I DID have to buy many apps again, Asphalt 6 for example.

I gave away to charity my VHS collection of Stargate, painstakingly (yes this was stupid) recorded from Sky Digital, with even the breaks removed (this is obviously legal), as sticking to a VCR when the TV size has gone from 20" to 60" meant that it was redundant, and even awkward to hook up. Then I've bought the seasons one by one, but second hand. Oh add all five seasons of Babylon 5, bought the VHS's for £1 a each in discounts stores, again given away and replaced with each season on DVD for about £7 each second hand. Blu-ray and Hi-def are pointless unless they are remastered. But if they did... then again I wouldn't be 'forced' an upgrade, as I virtually had been for VHS to DVD.

Apple killing power PC support to move complete their move to Intel chips, I bet that forced a few new software purchases.

CD's are the one exception. I have never bought a single track from iTunes. Most CD's can be bought on eBay for a few £, legally.

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@david wilson

"Morally speaking, there's a blindingly obvious difference, and legally speaking there's a clear practical difference resulting from the moral difference."

Legally speaking there is no difference, the legislation is quite clear and makes no distinction between format-shifting or copying for personal use and doing it in order to distribute copies. If you have ripped a CD you own in order to listen to it on your mp3 player or computer without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner, then you have already broken the law.

The *only* difference at the moment is that the copyright owners are not going after people doing this because they know what a huge backlash it would cause since almost everyone does it anyway; they've already see the backlash caused by going after children and OAPs (often incorrectly).

They pushed for this new law so that a) they don't have the same burden of proof, they can just accuse someone and b) put it below the press radar.

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FAIL

Head of Arts?

Well, it says on the picture posted he's the head of arts... go figure

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Happy

Warning: PDF

Why the warning?

Is it because it's either:

- so boringly business orientated you are at risk from powerpoint poisoning...but in PDF?

- or because it's probably laden with malware?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Warning: PDF

It's El Reg style to alert readers to PDF links. Just a matter of courtesy :-)

C.

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Re: Warning: PDF

Earlier revisions of adboe reader firefox plugin tended to cash firefox with annoying frequency. So a lot of places started warning users that a link was to a .pdf.

Its not quite such an issue anymore, but the courtesy warning remains.

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Re: Warning: PDF

"Warning: Movie clip" or "Warning: Has Sound" would also be quite good, where it's not obvious.

Finding the mute has unstuck itself when at work is not an enjoyable experience.

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JDX
Gold badge

El Reg style to alert readers to PDF links

don't give in to them El Reg.

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A reward could be set up

for the first Regitard reader to receive such a letter.

what reward?! I dunno... an interview with the Register, or any other glamorous prizes, plenty of choice out there...

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Devil

Re: A reward could be set up

A kick in the balls from Mr Orlowski, perhaps?

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Re: A reward could be set up

well, any relevant news is... news.

a kick in the balls... live coverage. That'd be the news! :)

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Coat

Re: A reward could be set up

A kick in the balls from Mr Orlowski, perhaps?

Sounds more like a job for the Special Projects Burro.

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Silver badge

Re: A reward could be set up

and being from Orlowski you must suffer the kicking in silence, no comments allowed!

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Pirate

prince of darkness

So Mandelson offered big media to promise to intimidate Net users at the Net's expense in exchange for Labour politicos being photographed next to rock stars, because that might help in their election campaining. And this obliges the current administration which noticed how unpopular SOPA/PIPA was how exactly ?

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Devil

Re: prince of darkness

I thought that he was only a Sith Lord at the present

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Headmaster

Re: prince of darkness

I think "Sith" is a typo?

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Re: prince of darkness

"the current administration which noticed how unpopular SOPA/PIPA"

Not just SOPA/PIPA, I contacted my MP in 2010 (Huntingdon, Djanogly - CON) asking for an explanation of how he had voted for DEA and why.

I got a form response back which was identical to the response other people in other constituencies received, they just had a different MPs name and address at the top of the letter.

So enough people had written to their MP to make it an issue noticed by their Head Office and I'm pretty sure nobody was writing to say what a wonderful Act it was.

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Angel

Re: prince of darkness

Pippa's incredibly popular, I'll have you know.

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Bronze badge

Re: prince of darkness

And they really don't like it when you tell them you've noticed it's a form letter. Why do they think they can get away with claiming such a lengthy and carefully phrased reply was typed up in ten minutes?

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Flame

Wow

45 people in the graphic... bet they're all on £100 000 + pa

And this stupid law? passed because media companies could'nt be arsed to embrace the new technology of the internet, and politicos wanted the money the media companies give them.

PS If any record company exec is reading this(very very unlikely) whats wrong with pricing music downloads at the artists cut + storage and infrastructure costs, theres no physical media to transport about, no shop distributers/warehouses to take a cut and with the internet you can deliver any media worldwide in the the time it takes to transmit it.

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Unhappy

Re: Wow - Fixed it for you

And this stupid law? passed because nazi media companies couldn’t be arsed to use existing laws to tackle copyright infringement because it involved too much effort and bother of providing proof, much easier to assume people are guilty, just kill them all and let $DEITY sort them out.

Why repeatedly pay a lawyer to use the law when you can pay a politician once (or have a "meeting" in Corfu) to change the law for you.

PS. you forgot... and sell you another copy when the format changes or you get a new device.

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JDX
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Re: Wow - Fixed it for you

Well done, you devalued your entire argument by using the word 'nazi' to sound cool.

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Re: Wow - Fixed it for you

Well done, you made a pointless post to condemn the use of the word 'nazi' just to sound cool.

I do not use the nazi lightly, I it use it to describe a right wing Totalitarianism movement that spreads propaganda to suppress all opposition, to control the economic activity of people, and has promulgated a belief in it’s own supremacy and infallibility.

Come to think of it, that covers a lot of religions as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow - Fixed it for you

"Come to think of it, that covers a lot of religions as well."

Repeating someone's own words back at them is more the behaviour of an 8 year old, don't you think? And really - bringing religion up? Mission creep there, I think. Or just picking another Reg reader bugbear to show you're one of the gang?

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