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back to article Brit music body BPI lobbies hard for 'UK file-sharers database'

Britain's biggest ISPs are in talks with copyright-holders to find ways to nag broadband subscribers about illegal file-sharing or downloading that may have happened on their connections. But plans apparently tabled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that include maintaining a database of customers whose IP addresses are …

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Anonymous Coward

The BPI are a bunch of turds...

They really are. I understand why they don't, but what they SHOULD be doing is turning around to the music industry and encouraging them to get innovative, and find new ways to sell music to customers more profitably and more cheaply.

I walked into HMV last week and an album is still £12+, yes it has always been this sort of price, but it doesn't mean that it always should be.

BPI - I would like:

1) Cheaper albums.

2) Free digital copies when purchasing a CD.

3) DRM-free music when purchased online.

Work with the technology industry to deliver these items, and I will feel better about buying music (and I already do), but for the time being, the organisations for whom you are lobbying are still considered a greedy, out-dated, old-fashioned, worse-than-bankers bunch of ...w...(rhymes). Sort THEM out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

To be fair, most on-line music stores are DRM-free now, so that particular turd-hose should be directed at the movie industry and not music.

However, your point about CD sales getting you on-line value is something they should be looking at. I prefer to buy physical media for various reasons, and it would be better value for me if it came with on-line for free. After all, I am not going to pay twice, just rip the CD, but it would make that £12 a lot more appealing.

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Silver badge

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Well.... Don't you have what you ask for already?

No 3 you get with Google Play, Amazon and others, but I'd like lossless options over MP3 as an option..

No 2 is pretty much a given as so far I don't think they are after anyone who rips a CD for their own usage, in fact I seem to remember a statement where they would not pursue anyone who rips for their own usage, and of course the simple fact that it is a civil offence not criminal, and the courts would laugh them out if they tried to (unless of course the person was uploading everything massively after ripping)

No 1, albums are only around £6-£8 online when I've brought them, HMV are always expensive...

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Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

All three happen with Amazon. Amazon actually gives a shit.

It's even retroactive. Purchased a CD on Amazon long ago? Check your account.

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Holmes

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Buy secondhand, isn't like the quality is degraded over time as on LP or Cassette.

No it doesn't support the artist but there's more effective ways to put money in their pockets like merchandise (which presumably gets a higher % of sale price into their bank?)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

"All three happen with Amazon. Amazon actually gives a shit."

Try selling your Amazon download music collection. You can't, it dies with you, physical media is the only way to have some control of music you paid for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

"All three happen with Amazon"

Only for certain albums. I have plenty missing.

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Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

It's even retroactive. Purchased a CD on Amazon long ago? Check your account.

No need to. They mail you about it.

At least they did me, last week. So apparently I now have access to the on-line versions of CDs I bought as presents for other people.

So Amazon is actually giving me access to music I do not own!

I expect the BPI to be suing Amazon shortly...

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Go

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

BPI & content providers insist music is software and licensed to purchaser, regardless of physical format or delivery...

European Court declares software publishers have no right to restrict resale of licenses..

Discuss..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

They also still take the arse about face approach of upping prices on new formats, rather than reducing the price of older formats (the model the rest of the technical word follows)..

e.g. a DVD cost 15 quid. Blueray gets established... so they cost 20 quid, DVDs still 15 quid.

It's stuff like that that really gets on my tits. every opportunity of putting prices up, they take it, and when people say - feck off, its not worth it, they send in the lawyers.

Grow some balls and give us real, decent pricing and no DRM and we'd go for it - DRM does cock all - blurays have been ripped the day of their release the same way as DVD were.

pay 20 quid for a blueray or get it for free off the net (and in a nice digital format that can be stored on a media server)

pay 5 quid for a digital non DRM version similar to what can be had off the net (1080p, DD or DTS, etc) that can be stored on media server and most current 'pirates' would buy it I reckon.

what have they got to lose ? not giving the world a non-DRM version - we have em already ripped the day of the release. So what's the problem ? All I can think of, is that their BUSINESS MODEL now actually relies on pirates (and the fines, etc they pay). ?

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MJI
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Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Pay a fiver for a Blu ray when it is a bit older.

That said last 5 I bought were £5, £5, £5, £5, £40

The expensive one was full of fungus

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

I don't believe you can fit £40 worth of shrooms in a dvd case....

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Boffin

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

@ AC - Worth is whatever someone will pay for it.

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MJI
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Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Blu Ray at £40

Fungus - cordyceps

I thought it was obvious

A data one with a game on it

And WELL WORTH £40

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MJI
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Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Looks like you guessed.

It is not only films found on Blu Ray

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Gav

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

Seriously? People are still trotting out these excuses like they are at all relevant?

>1) Cheaper albums.

You can get albums online for as little as £5. How much cheaper do you want?

>2) Free digital copies when purchasing a CD.

Amazon do this. Every computer equipped with a CD player can do this. If you are buying a CD you already *have* a digital copy.

>3) DRM-free music when purchased online.

You mean you can still find places that sell music online with DRM? It must take a special kind of determined stupidity to buy from them.

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FAIL

Re: The BPI are a bunch of turds...

You shouldn't be posting here if you are unable to sort out a local / off line backup of any stuff you may have floating around the cloud...

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Bronze badge

The BPI is attempting to resuscitate the corpse of a business model that has been rendered redundant by modern technology. They refuse to recognise that the genie has left the bottle and cannot be made to return.

The government should tell them to stop whingeing and find a business model that is relevant to the 21st century. This would be in the best interests of all stake holders.

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Holmes

Mostly because

That corpse is mostly the BPI's

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Re: Mostly because

It's all a lie - the effect of piracy is negligible if not positive. All that fuss is the BPI Mafia creating a case for continuation of their own existence. A scam. An extortion racket. Nothing to do with music.

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Anonymous Coward

The BPI is attempting to resuscitate the corpse of a business model that has been rendered redundant by modern technology

Yup, but you must admit they would be using very modern methods: blatantly ignoring the right of people to due process. Any database compiled that lists something negative about someone better creates a very compelling case and hard proof, because it can otherwise quickly lead to automated slander and reputational harm, which (thanks to many celebrity cases) fairly rapidly leads to large amounts of damages for people so alleged. Personally, I hope they get this established, because it will be the quickest way to ruin ever.

But the BPI wants to take the process one step further by keeping a record of which subscribers had already received such a missive. Presumably that information could then be used to build a case against repeat offenders.

Warnings <> facts. I can send you a gazillion warnings about you not trimming a branch which overhangs my property, but the moment I involve a 3rd party (for instance by publishing) I have to be very, very certain I have my facts and my interpretation straight or I get a deserved kicking in court.

Beware of databases - especially when you share them you can attract all sorts of problems. Unless you're Google and UK law doesn't apply to you, of course.

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When ever the spooks break the law to keep as all safe in our beds, the law is changed so they're not so naughty any more. My guess is that the music industry will 'lobby' till the same thing happens here.

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This is an issue for the music business to solve...

... and not an ISP issue.

Despite the difference between criminal and civil, it is the music industries problem to solve for the same reason that it's the responsibility of the Police to catch bank robbers as they flee the scene, rather than the Highways agencies.

And when I say it's the responsibility of the Music industry to solve, I wasn't inferring that they simply try to pass that buck onto other businesses.

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WTF?

TalkTalk say WHAT?

...our customers' rights always come first and we would never agree to anything that could compromise them...

Didn't TalkTalk monitor all the web activity of their entire customer base? How hypocritical, not to say lying, can they get.

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Should music be free?

I can't help but think that if music had just been invented, it would be free. Look at all the services available online for free, and free games in app stores. There are many business models where the core offering is free, and money is made out of the extras - music is only different because it 'came about' as a commercial entity before such business models were viable and has failed miserably to keep apace of what works and what doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Should music be free?

The music industry has become just like the business world, very uneven in pay and perks. There are a few very overpaid artists who get blanket coverage, flash expensive videos and who spend up to millions recording a record.

At the other end of the spectrum you have people who are talented and produce great music for a fraction of the cost of the big names. They can't get their music played because of the dodgy deals made between big labels and TV/radio stations

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Silver badge

Re: Should music be free?

If libraries were just invented today, publishers would be lobbying for them to be banned immediately.

Industries work to protect their business model. That's just what they do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Should music be free?

There is a lot of truth in that. The current model has only run for 70 years or so give or take.

Why a musician expects to get paid when not actually doing anything strikes me as very very weird.

Perform, get paid.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perform, get paid

Yeah, fuck films, lets go to the theatre, no difference there either....

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Re: Should music be free? Industries work to protect their business model.

Its a shame the customer and producers get screwed in the process.

Fortunately, as has almost always been the case, the best music is by unsigned musicians - but now we can access this for cost plus a little profit for the musicians. I've just got a cd, a bunch of mp3s that constitute the said cd and a t shirt for £15.

I've no problem with the BPI protecting their business model - so long as they dont fuck up others who choose not to play their stupid games then capitalism will do the right thing and send them to the wall and a new more efficient replacement will be in place.

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WTF?

Re: Should music be free? Industries work to protect their business model.

"Fortunately, as has almost always been the case, the best music is by unsigned musicians"

Well, the 'best' music is what you like the most, and the 'worst' is what you like the least. There is no objective definition of 'good' or 'bad' music.

In my case, the 'best' music came from those artists who could afford the studio time and a stress-free creative playground that wealth allows. Do you think an album like Dark Side Of The Moon or Abbey Road or Moving Pictures could be made by an unsigned band today? Do you think they could continue to produce such high-quality output by selling T-shirts at gigs where they played lesser 'live interpretations' of the (definitive) recorded article?

The same goes for movies. Could some novice 'unsigned' director create something like "2001: A Space Odyssey" or "A Few Good Men" in their 'spare time' with local amateur actors? Would file-sharing that film be in that director's (or the film industry's) best interests?

Maybe the managers at Pixar should get rid of the existing distribution method and pay all the animators and artists from the 10p contributions that file sharers 'would pay, if push came to shove'. In fact, who actually supports those creative workers in having a decent income while they make their latest 'product' the first time (before digital sharing/copying for free)?

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Gav
Facepalm

Re: Should music be free?

They get paid "when no actually doing anything" because most of the value of what they do is not realised at the at time they do it.

You'd be as well arguing that programmers shouldn't get paid when someone buys software they coded, because they're not actually doing anything when the software is used.

"Type code, get paid."

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Re: Should music be free?

How many programmers actually do get per-sale royalties, and how many are simply paid a fixed salary or hourly contract rate regardless of how many copies of their code get distributed?

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WTF?

Re: Should music be free?

"and free games in app stores" - by that logic, music would be free but your song would be interrupted every 25 seconds for a brief advert, plus you would need to purchase add ons such as "final chorus" and "awesome rock intro".

Yes, in many places online, the content is indeed free and money is indeed made out of the extras and those extras are splattering adverts everywhere possible. Or did you not read the recent story where Facebook will ignore any rights you might think you have over your likeness in order to flog shit to other people? It is interesting in the case of Facebook in that the user is both the product and the consumer, but its a very flakey business model, just ask MySpace... This very site that you are reading now. Content is free, dumb comments like this one can be posted without a subscription. In return I am expected to notice the advertising. It says in the right "Top 10 database hacks!" In bright blue.

Would you like to have the same applied to music? If it wasn't as obtrusive as inserted spoken adverts, we'd instead have Ellie Goulding singing about her Toyota, Miley Cyrus doing a rock number that's something to do with aftershave, Lady Gaga extolling the virtues of Fairy Liquid, and Lana Del Ray warbling about how you can get a better deal with Wonga.......it would make Simon Cowell's desecration of the music industry seem like a minor blip.

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Linux

"We are involved in discussions about measures to address illegal file-sharing and ultimately would like to reach a voluntary agreement." -- I have a suggestion. Content Rights Holders should be made to offer their complete catalogues without exception in a digital format watermarked but not prohibitively "protected", so as to identify the original purchaser. They should then use a system similar to iTunes or other digital store to record purchase history and allow a customer to re-download content at will. This, I feel would convince customers that they "owned" the content for the purposes of personal consumption in their preferred format.

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Gav
FAIL

How many days you think would pass before a way of stripping the watermark was freely available online?

My estimate; maybe 14, tops. At that point your suggestion becomes useless.

Some MP3 sellers already do something similar to this, by embedding a code within the MP3 tags. But it is simplicity itself to remove it.

What happens if someone hasn't stripped their watermark, and then the file is found copied all over the internet? They get prosecuted? "Not my fault. My MP3 Player was stolen with my entire MP3 library. Someone hacked my computer and copied the lot. Prove that I uploaded them..."

Again, useless, as nothing can be proved.

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Linux

Obviously, there will be holes in any protective system and it was only a suggestion. The importance of my post is more about how the customer can obtain and use the media, not how they can abuse it. I believe, personally, that DRM (and other protective measures) really only impede genuine paying customers. Why would you want to strip out the watermark if you are not sharing this with World+Dog ? Many computer based music players can fingerprint music and identify a copyrighted work, if that work doesn't bear a watermark, it is illegitimate*

* most people's current ripped MP3s (where they owned a physical copy of the media) would be deemed illegitimate by this measure, so still not a perfect suggestion.

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Anonymous Coward

Why pirate music?

The radio and Spotify are there if you really can't afford to pay...

The only media piracy I actually understand the reason for is Movie & TV...

Movie, you have to wait for ages after the Cinema release before buying on DVD/Blu-Ray, I know often I'll watch a film at the cinema and want to buy it, OR there will be a film I want to see, but I don't feel like going to the cinema so I'll wait for the Blu-ray, and then if it is too long I'll forget and end up watching it when it finally hits the TV, if they released at the same time onto Blu-ray, they would get an extra sale...

TV, if your a fan of something and its 2 weeks until the UK release, you would not pay to watch it as you can see it on TV for free, BUT you might not want to wait if you engage with others online to discuss it, hence people will pirate it, and they won't pay £3+ an episode as they can see for free on TV with adverts as did the original broadcast... start simulcasting around the globe, offering downloads with embedded adverts, and then you will cut piracy massively yet increase the viewership and advertising revenue...

Finally the other reason is format, with blu-ray's I own that have digital copies, I don't usually use them, as they are not easily portable, so I rip them to a portable format, I like to be able to play on my TV, my phone, any pc I have without needing more than to stick it on my NAS, also if I am in a hotel I like to stick a USB stick into the TV and watch my owned media, or even use DLNA to play from my phone to TV..

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Facepalm

Re: Why pirate music?

With regards to movies it's a problem due to cinema release schedules. Unlike music and TV which is instantaneous movies get exclusively shown on cinemas first. Then of course the promotion of them requires actors and directors to be available in each country. Something they cannot do worldwide at the same time.

The only way to encourage people to buy would be perhaps to release DVD/BluRay at the cinema which is only available to buy when you purchase a ticket. But then it would get ripped and uploaded (catch 22).

Whatever they do there will always be the hardcore few who refuse to pay and download instead. All they can do is continue to encourage casual downloaders to buy instead through special offers. Trying to get ISP's to police the internet is a waste of time and money and only causes further friction with their honest customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The radio and Spotify are there if you really can't afford to pay...

Not if you are in the UK and want to listen to music in other languages. And CD's of such artists are often not available on the likes of Amazon etc

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The solution is simple...

Using readily available technology commonly in use today. Every computer/device must be equipped with a webcam that cannot be turned off. Monitor and record all traffic in and out of each computer device, including photo of the user. It is mostly already being done today anyway. Using facebook and google technology identify each illegal item downloaded/uploaded and the individual responsible. Lock them up. Pay bonuses.

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Re: The solution is simple...

I've got some readily available technology - a little piece of masking tape; it's simple.

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Thumb Down

Re: The solution is simple...

Go away David. I won't be voting for you come next election.

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Devil

@ Sureo - Re: The solution is simple...

I'd have another solution: Why doesn't the BPI just route the entire UK internet traffic through their headquarters? Then they have all the control over every user and every byte. I'm sure that the savings from the cessation of piracy would easily make up for the expense to buy hardware that can handle and check 2.5 TB per second*. They can also print all of this out and send a copy to Devizes, so that the local MP there can vet the data and look for porn, prawn, pawns and whatever else she thinks harmful. Think of the children.

*This figure is based roughly on the upgraded 100Gb bandwidth of the backbone fibres GCHQ tapped into, together about 200 Petabyte a day. This would be seriously heavy iron (probably would need some new breakthroughs in parallel processing . . .) and good for the industry. Unfortunately it'd also eat about 120 GW, so that the national grid would fry. Having nothing left to run your pirating pervert computer with, the problem is thereby solved!

Back to the dark ages, just avoid Wiltshire.

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Silver badge

Re: The solution is simple...

"I've got some readily available technology - a little piece of masking tape; it's simple."

And I have an excellent business opportunity for any Dragons willing to invest. The product is called a WIFFIE (Webcam Identity Falsifier). It consists of a clamp, arm and photograph holder, and comes with a choice of photographs. It attaches to your device so that the phorograph holder faces inwards, allowing the webcam to see the mounted photograph, and nothing else.

The choice of photographs supplied with the device include key personnel from the BPI, all taken by embedded webcams such as those you proposed, showing said personnel using such devices, thus making them look plausibly like they are using yours.

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Facepalm

Re: The solution is simple...

D'oh! Quoted the wrong post.

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Anonymous Coward

Does this imply Virgin Records vs. Virgin Media?

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Silver badge

Does this imply Virgin Records vs. Virgin Media?

There's only one solution: fight!

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Presumably Spotify will be on the list, since last I heard they were still providing unlicensed music tracks.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder

I, nor anyone I know, haven't downloaded any movies / tv series / music that is avaliable to us by legal means for many many many years now. I think the only thing any of us download now is Anime, And that's because we normally have to wait a year or so for the funimation dub, which is horrible. And tbh I don't even download anime since most of it I get on Crunchyroll.

Perhaps they'd be better off lobbying to lower the tax on entertainment so we can get some of teh content they release on services like netflix in the US, which we don't get over here due to costs etc. I'd quite literally kill for a universal netflix library. (rather than using mediahint)

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