back to article Coming soon to a theme park near you: Shocking ANTI-PIRACY NAG ADS

While the world's economic powerhouse China uses the muscle of the state to strengthen its intellectual property industries, Britain is apologetic and embarrassed about its own. This was plainly evident in a dog and pony show this morning starring Business Secretary Vince Cable. The event was staged by officials at the much- …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. jai

    Brilliant - i never go to theme parks, so i can look forward to a nag free future :)

    btw - that content map site is pretty good, i didn't know about that before now.

  2. M Gale

    We already have quite hefty penalties for copyright infringement

    As title.

    Wanting any more is simply a US-justice-style wishing for a pound of flesh.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Academics vs businesspeople

    Having worked in an applied research envionment (CSIR) as well as the business world, it's pretty clear to me that most of the real innovation happens in the scientific and industrial research world. Despite that, my one patent is from the business half of my career... it's an idea so simple that at the CSIR we wouldn't have bothered.

    Indeed my employers only went to the trouble to patenting it so that their competition didn't get in first.

    IP is real and valuable but the patenting of simply ideas or tiny incremental improvements has got to stop. Fundamentally new approaches that take lots of effort to get to market are still worthy of patent protection... but even then there has to be a "use it or lose it" approach: if you can't demonstrate a product that embodies the patent, you cannot sue for patent infringement.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: Academics vs businesspeople


      Agreed. Personally I want to see more legislative measures designed to hit patent trolls in the nads - essentially expanding on FRANDy type ideas to get us to a point where, if someone can't prove they're working on bringing a patented idea to market, they have certain obligations to at least engage with other companies working in similar areas and discuss licensing etc. Otherwise you just get felonious bellendery.

    2. Ragarath

      Re: Academics vs businesspeople

      But who decides if it is a small incremental improvement? It may seem small to the lay person etc.

      The whole system needs an overhaul, I need to protect something I have come up with (in the process of building it so not a troll thank you) but as a small single person doing this I am faced with the following options.

      1) Patent it, someone copies it and I am rich enough to protect that patent.

      2) Do not patent the idea but someone copies it as soon as it is out of the door. They have more resources and thus I still do not capitalise.

      3) Sell the idea and product. I would rather build it up myself and run a company.

      4) Get funding, sorry no one is lending for a risk.

      5) Take a big risk, this is my only option. Not much money in the bank, the patent itself will leave me out of pocket by a lot (for small inventors my butt cheeks) and risk having it copied out from under me with no recourse. I am just getting the courage up to go through with this option.

      Reform is most certainly needed. I am watching these EU wide patents with interest (but no doubt they will still cost a bomb).

      1. The Cube

        Re: Academics vs businesspeople

        You missed out the option that the government and their corporate donors would prefer you to take;

        6) Try to create a business, jobs and economic growth with your idea but don't patent it because you can't afford it. Before you ship your 100th product discover that an established party donor ^h^h^h^h company in the sector has ripped off ^h^h^h^h miraculously simultaneously invented your idea and patented it and is now suing you out of existence for having the temerity to bring a better product to market and disrupt their milking of customers with second rate crap.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Academics vs businesspeople

        Original AC here... even at the firm I worked for, there was an ongoing debate about whether it was worth patenting ideas - as you've said the cost of patenting something is pretty steep - and there is no guarantee that someone will not come up with a workalike.

        In you situation my biggest worry would be that some bastard reverse-engineers your product, spots the bright idea, and proceeds to patent it. You *can* defend against that by publishing the idea - thus providing prior art.

        But of course that makes it a lot easier for someone to make a functional clone of the product.

        On the other hand if the idea takes a non-trivial amount of engineering to implement, it is unlikely that someone will push out a comparable product unless they have already got a market-ready product to which the new idea can be added. So IMO whether or not an idea is patented you cannot expect to sit back and watch the money roll in - as soon as the product has been released it is time to start work on its successor.

        That was a big difference between the research and business worlds - the research guys used to like to spin off product-centric companies that rarely made it to version 2 of anything (because the ideas people remained in the parent), while the electronics manufacturer understood the competitive environment it was in and knew that any advance would be matched by the competition within 2-5 years and without a successor product they would be be out of the game.

    3. PyLETS

      trivial and obscurely written patents

      It's in the interests of patent lawyers to obscure and dress up a trivial and obvious development when helping write an application with complex and obscure language and it's in the interests of patent officers to accept a sufficient percentage of such applications or the application fees dry up. Those sitting in judgement of patent cases are likely to have been patent lawyers themselves earlier in their careers.

      Given a license to print money at the public expense, who wouldn't run this press at full speed ? If you have made the mistake in career choice to be a genuine innovator rather than a patent lawyer, you've now got the prospect of fraudulent EU wide patents which can be litigated against you despite being written in a language you won't understand unless you are technically and legally highly fluent in French, German and English.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Academics vs businesspeople

      > Indeed my employers only went to the trouble to patenting it so that their

      > competition didn't get in first.

      Puhleese. If they just wanted to protect themselves, they could simply have published, thus creating Prior Art. By choosing to patent instead, they purposely retained the option to use the patent as negotiation leverage.

      Anyone now independently arriving at this apparently rather simplistic idea (and using it) is under threat of litigation. Thanks a bundle!

  4. Anonymous Сoward
    Thumb Down

    Oh great

    More taxpayers money wasted on futile propaganda campaigns, especially ones to prop up the dying record business, where will the ludicrousy end for this tainted coalition?

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Oh great

      If you were to bother to read the article you'd realise that Intellectual Property isn't JUST about record companies, but about all types of creative endeavour from books to inventions to movies to the photographs you take and post on Facebook.

      1. Anonymous Сoward

        Re: Oh great

        Like I care.

  5. FartingHippo

    "Dog and pony show" ... "Steak pie arrived without any meat in it"

    Probably for the best, given the likely source of the meat.

  6. Shardik

    Worse than pointless

    The only way I can get to watch a film NOW is if I have a pirate copy of it and don't have to sit through pointless FBI Warnings and scaremongering You-Are-Funding-Genocide-And-Murder-Puppies style adverts. Not to mention the reels of trailers for movies I don't want to see.

    If I go to the cinema, I get subjected to similar levels of brainwashing fired at me - when I went to see Skyfall a few weeks ago, I paid to sit through 35 minutes of trailers and advertising?!?! And this is the great big-screen experience? It's resembling late night Channel 4. How long before we get mid-way through movies and get hit with another "word from our sponsors"? *I* am your frickin' sponsor, I just paid to see the movie! Get that into your head Big Content!

    If I am watching YouTube, the best way to watch a video or listen to a song is to do so NOT on the official channel. Otherwise I have to sit through advertising.

    It used to be that piracy would be "poor quality", now they make those who ARE paying them money sit through adverts aimed at those who are not paying them money.

    Major fail to alienate your entire audience dontcha think? no?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worse than pointless

      +1 for everything.

      I too was in a similar position recently at the cinema, however it was slightly worse.

      First of all they were 20 minutes late even starting the film, sorry I mean adverts. A chap from the cinema kindly came in to apologise and say they were going to skip through the adverts, only to find that no-one knew how to skip through the adverts, so again we sat for another 25 minutes watching those. Only to then (you'll love this) find that they had queued up the wrong film!

      So, another apology, correct film found, finally adverts skipped (they must have phoned a friend) to then have someone interrupt us watching the film 10 minutes in (well, probably close to 1 hour in but only 10 of the actual film we paid to see) who said we were more than welcome to a refund for our tickets, but only if we left the cinema now and didn't watch any more of the film.

      And I paid roughly £15 for the wife and myself to have such a priviledged big screen experience at the cinema.


      P.S. According to the all the adverts, apparently piracy funds terrorism, sometimes I wonder if they would do a better job of running my local cinema!

      P.P.S. If piracy funds terrorism and you download a pirate copy for free without funding anyone are you 'stealing' from terrorists? (I know, I know, no-one honestly thinks its stealing but that's the word they use in the adverts)

      P.P.P.S. (that's a lot of P's and S's) I'm not in favour of piracy, but surely stealing something is removing said item from someone else's possession. Downloading a pirate copy of a film does not remove said film from their possession. Copywrite infringement... definitely, theft... I'm not so sure.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Worse than pointless

        Ads in movies/TV. Like Bond gets a BMW and drinks cat piss beer all of a sudden. Or Hawaii 5O "why don't you bing it on your windows phone".

        It would not be much different if they just had the actors hold up a box of soap and tell us how great it is.

        As for the nagware campaign. I just love the "you would not steal a car" thing at the start of a DVD I just paid for. Makes me want to run off some copies and hand them out on the street corner.

        1. KroSha

          Re: Worse than pointless

          >As for the nagware campaign. I just love the "you would not steal a car" thing at the start of a DVD I just paid for. Makes me want to run off some copies and hand them out on the street corner.

          Unskippable too. That really pisses me off, to the point that I haven't purchased a DVD or BD for 18 months. That and the fact that just haven't been any new films I want to see that much. I'll probably get the new Batman at some point, but at the moment, online offerings make more sense.

          1. Murphy's Lawyer

            Re. "You wouldn't steal a car"...

            Damn right I wouldn't. That's the Motion Picture Ass. of America's job, as Kim Dotcom and his missing Porsches will testify.

            I can and will skip advertising at the front of a disc. On a PC [1], VLC is your friend. On the player in the living room, I "steal the movie" by making popcorn in the kitchen while the ads are running.

            [1] Yes, and one of Apple's shiny, shiny beefed-up tablets with a keyboard but no way of upgrading even the RAM.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re. "You wouldn't steal a car"...

              @Murphy's Lawyer:

              I'm at the start of Phase 2 of my 5-phase project to Fix Home Entertainment. The breakdown is as follows:

              Phase 1: Rip and convert all serial media to MP4/MKV. (Approx 500 discs).

              Phase 2: Rip & convert all feature-length media to MP4/MKV. (Approx 500 discs).

              Phase 3: ???

              Phase 4: Profit!

              Phase 5: Ongoing maintenance ie rip & convert new media as it is acquired.

              A substantial part of this is the desire not to have to cock around with non-optional trailers, bollocky adverts comparing me to a murdering paedophile for the temerity of wanting to format shift media I've purchased, or suchlike. Another part is the desire not to have to clutter the living room with the boxes for over 1000 DVDs when I could instead remove the covers from the cases, get rid of the cases, and store the disks in 500-discs-a-go containers in the spare room upstairs. (If truly DRM-free downloads were available I'd consider that as an alternative, given that I do have a backup strategy in place for the HTPC, but that's not going to happen any time soon so no point thinking about it really...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worse than pointless


      Saw Skyfall in the cinema myself (first time in a while I'd been to a cinema) and indeed, the 30-40mins of trailers and adverts was just tedious. No more sitting waiting for the lights to go down, nope, just adverts on full volume. Horrible.

      I've never been able to figure this out, the content providers seem to try their utmost to make legal copies so much worse than their pirate counterparts. With high prices, region encoding (to stop you buying it cheaper from elsewhere), adverts, trailers, company logos which can't be skipped, not to mention the delays in getting into the public's hands. What's wrong with them? It's not the VHS years where a legal copy could have a better picture quality.

      Come on, get up to date! We want HD streaming and not at a old 'rental' price (£3.50 to watch a film on my phone?! WTF!) but at a decent subscription or a non-punative one off charge.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worse than pointless

      Actually, netflix ain't too bad. However the selection of streaming movies is pretty weak.

      Subscribing to netflix is about the only way I can think of to encourage development of high-quality, on-demand movies and tv without advertising, trailers or scolding at the moment. It still can't actually compete with piracy, but it's about the closest I can find.

  7. ukgnome Silver badge

    90 day turnaround

    · launching a superfast patent processing service to deliver patents in just 90 days and a faster trade marks examination service which will deliver a full examination report in five days, instead of 10;

    This is just asking to be abused

    <-------because he's no ordinary troll.

  8. Eponymous Cowherd


    "Nagging by itself is pointless: people only stop doing something if there's a cost - and no penalties are forthcoming."

    In fact, "nagging" often just encourages the nagee to do just the opposite of whatever the nagger wants. Adding penalties can just make people more belligerent.

    They need to learn that carrots are a better incentive than sticks. Give people a real reason to buy legitimate media rather then just trying to scare them off the pirate stuff.

    1. grammarpolice

      Re: Nagging

      Indeed. Someone needs to read a bit of Skinner.

    2. carl 10

      Re: Nagging

      I wish I could convince my wife of this....

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Nagging

      Or even let them buy it at all.

      There is a LOT of stuff on that is not available on, just as one example.

      Give me a good reason why I can't buy from (or, or ...).

      A good reason, not something about licenses (that the media company wrote) or wanting to charge some people more for the same thing...

    4. silent_count

      Re: Nagging

      "They need to learn that carrots are a better incentive than sticks. Give people a real reason to buy legitimate media rather then just trying to scare them off the pirate stuff."

      You're right mate. But they don't get it. With the torrented copies, you don't get the director's commentary, interviews with the cast, trailers or "behind the scenes" type stuff.. Surely that's some incentive to buy a legit copy.... but wait... when you buy a legit copy you don't get that stuff either because they're keeping the goodies for the "special, director's cut, gold, super edition" which they'll release in a couple of years' time in a cynical attempt to get people to buy the same movie twice.

      The studios don't get any sympathy from me. They're cutting their throats with their own greed.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: Nagging


        The problem is that at this point, the Naughty(TM) copies of new releases have all the stuff the best commercially available releases have.

        So for example, if my OH wants to watch The Avengers again over Christmas, I can:

        1) get the DVD with none of the stuff that US audiences got, which to me at least is more interesting than rewatching the film again, at a cost of £8-10

        2) get a Naughty copy of same with the stuff US audiences got, at a cost of £0

        3) Convince her to watch something else instead eg The Raid (my preferred solution, TBH).

        (Before some smartarse says "Just buy the US Blu-Ray, it's region free" - I don't have or want a Blu-Ray player, and if I'm going to import films from another continent it'll be for something altogether better and more interesting than The Avengers...)

        I've no problem with tiered releasing in terms of content - some films I want the multiple-disc "loads of extra stuff" edition, other films I just want the film and couldn't care less about extras. Where they're being stupid is in making certain editions available in some locations immediately, but not elsewhere, and then expressing surprise that people use the worldwide communications network to get around the stupid restriction. Fortunately, at worst all we've got to do is wait for the out-moded dinosaurs to die off, because all the people who replace them have grown up with this technology and don't have the same fear of it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a photographer this government lost what little faith I had with them when they brought in the laws to let scumbags grab orphaned artwork and get free unfettered use of it without bothering to chase and pay the original creators.

    UK Gov you don't have any respect my creative output, why should I give a toss about you or your media mate's?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So don't publish or make a picture publicly available until you've been paid numbnuts.

      And if you are getting paid make sure you get what you think it's worth over your entire lifetime for it.


      Oh the huge-manate!

      What you've described sounds more like old school copyright working as it should.

      Copyright terms weren't absurd. New artists weren't shaken down by the old ones that are trying to live off of the labor they did 20 years ago.

      It would be far easier to manage "what is owned" if every worthless scrap of paper isn't assumed to be some masterpiece meant for publishing and exploitation.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Oh the huge-manate!

        Oh look it's this shit again from the clueless. I know you've gotten it into your head that we're all living like Cliff Richard, making a mint from a bit of work we did 50 odd years ago. The reality is nothing like that.

        Producing any kind of content requires time and effort. Usually by someone who has had 3 or 4 years worth of higher level training. This means it doesn't come cheap.

        If you can get commissions that pay the full cost up front that's great. For most of us though we have to supplement that with speculative work in order to make a living. It's speculative because you produce it and then hope somebody licenses a copy. You license copies rather than sell the rights because the rights have a large cost attached whereas the cost of the artwork can be split over multiple sales with licenses. The lower price of licenses makes them more palatable to customers meaning you're more likely to actually make some money.

        I'm sure somebody will point out that "We don't need professional XYZ, I took a picture on my camera phone / produced a song in my bedroom and made money". Except that you haven't actually made any money because you haven't costed your time and effort. You've just assumed the pittance you've made is pure profit. Try to make a living with that business model and you'll soon see your folly. You'll be working near constantly for a fraction of minimum wage, if that.

        Copyright needs reform, life of the author plus 70 years is ridiculous. With that said, people need to stop imagining we're all raking in the cash like the top 1% of content producers. Before you propose grandiose changes to copyright law to stop the likes of Disney et al abusing the system you should also consider whether you're screwing over the rest of us who work hard to make a living.

        N.B. If people use something, it has value. Regardless of your opinion of its worth.

        1. Anonymous Сoward

          Re: Oh the huge-manate!


          No, it's sheer madness and an utter shambles, we should abolish this copyright welfare system entirely, like reducing it to 5 or 10 year terms and boot all their asses back into the production studios to make MORE work.

          No other sector of work has it so good right now.

          P.S Yeah Cliff was one of those asshats who wanted 150 year copyright welfare extensions. Just say NO.

          Nuke icon cos that is what should happen to the copyright laws at present.

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Madness is repeating the same action over and over again

    and expecting a different outcome.

    I have no love for pirates, but I can see the attraction of a nag-free ad-free[1] programme.

    [1]Here's a question ... I can appreciate with free-to-air channels, that ads form part of the deal. But how come I am PAYING for Sky channels, and STILL getting ads ? Well, I would if I watched them. Combination of TiVo, usenet, and other sources mean I can't recall the last ad I actually sat through on TV.

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Creative industries

    Firstly, the term is an oxymoron. If it's an industry it is not creative. Industry deals with replication and mass production and Hollywood is not an exception.

    Secondly, they don't need protection. Lobbying for special laws and privileges, maintaining armies of lawyers, producing countless TV and cinema ads lamenting their poor lot requires so much money that if they really needed protection they would no longer exist. So, their pleas for "protection" are about as real as those of a benefit cheater, who claims he is a cripple, then goes for a good workout in a gym.

    Finally, this whole IP business (not only in entertainment, but any IP) has become a parasite on the Western economies. Innovation is being suppressed not by piracy or counterfeiting but by gangs of legal mobsters being sent by their masters to machine-gun the competition (albeit using injunctions and writs and not .45 cal lead from a Tommy gun). To continue the parallel, the dogs are even allowed to have a little feast of their own occasionally, with the masters letting them do their little extortion racket accusing OAP of downloading gay porn movies and demanding moneys for making it go away.

    The Government cannot do much against those "creatives", unfortunately. But, as long as they resist them even feebly, I'm OK with that too...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nag all you want

    i had enough of all this copyright rubbish, ive always been the mindset that if something is good then its worth owning the original ive done this time and again as can be seen with my massive collection of dvds and bluray often the same titles on both formats.

    being nagged is what is pushing me away from buying legit media anymore, the final straw was a movie we tried watch on bluray, the bluray player died in our living room so i decided to watch the movie though our plex server playing from our pc bluray. about 20mins in we got a message muting the audio and saying something about cineva this was a LEGIT bluray.

    the ofset to this is we WONT now purchase any more media, ive since got a google tv player and now stream all our tv though my nas server no more copy protection.

    im now thinking about cutting the cords completly and disconnecting my over priced sky sub, and switching to freeview.

    if we wasnt nagged on every turn i probo would have replaced our bluray player and carried on being a slave to the copyright gestapo.

    if they start to nag us when were at the themeparks (an escapism from life) then i will not be renewing my 5 annual premium merlin passes out of principle.

    these idiots need to realise that the more they push the more people will push back. i purchase my material and i want to use it as i see fit, i dont want to be nagged by FACT or the FBI, or watch horrible adverts that will mean sweet FA in a few years time that cannot be skipped.

    why is it pirate copys are much easier to view than a legit copy of anything, the copyright police need to move with the times and remove restrictions before people will stop pirating. In my case if they allowed me to use the media in the way i wanted to - ie drag to phone or stream over the internet / networks using programs like plex, store the media on a server for ease of use then i would buy more, as it stands they restrict too much and make the media useless for my needs

    Anonymous coward - because i dont want the gestapo knocking at my door

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I went to the cinema and they made watch trailers.. what a hardship!

    Geez, what a bunch of grumpy old gits there are on here.

    They do publish 2 times for films you know, 1 when the lights go down and one when the film start.

    If you go to the cinema so infrequently that its so remarkable that you post it on El Reg, then maybe you dont want to see adverts for new films... some of us do.

    If you dont want anything but the movie, then try bit torrent... the cinema experience is just that, it's not your living room... go home and put your slippers on... maybe get "the missus" to make you some cocoa.

  14. Anonymous Cowerd

    Nagware just antagonises customers

    Will these media distributors please stop suggesting I'm a potential thief every time I buy a legitimate DVD?

    It's no wonder people get pirate copies - at least they don't get insulted before they watch the movie on those.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes the only way to win...

    ... is not to play at all.

    Really, it seems it's not worth the effort anymore. Can all this be "sidestepped" somehow so as to avoid getting taken out by patent trolls or outgunned by patent nappers?

    I'd suggest using only existing expired patents in new ways to avoid getting sued and also being innovative at the same time. But the "sellotape it to a mobile and re-patent it" brigade already broken that possibility.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Let me get this straight. I can choose to

    Have some hapless marketing droid decide that, because I live in a specific part of the world, I am, for some reason, to be denied the chance to watch a film/read a book/play a cd, until the little cretin says I can.

    If its a film, go to some grotty multiplex where my feet stick to the congealed mess of coke and crisp paste that has been mopped evenly across the floor; where the money grabbing parasites running the place have priced snacks and drinks to a level that I need to take out a mortgage.

    And on top of that pay through the nose for the privelige, plus a booking fee.

    Until cinema acts like it is part of civilisation, I'll stick to decent pirates, thanks.

    You have only yourselves to blamen

  17. LawLessLessLaw

    Action to help Ministers and publishers understand the importance

    of respect for intellectual research, anmely economics :

    "If supply is infinite, price is zero"

    No amount of wailing is going to change that

  18. koolholio

    Back to the days when...

    the customer was always right.... without a customer, you have no business... without a business, you're usually bankrupt!

    Whilst yes, nobody likes a freeloader, im sure even half the pirate population would talk about ratios, but how many resort to crime due to poverty etc? It's what I'd say is an immediate result of the fat cats heirarchy... Which im sure, are ever increasing in public offices not just ones in the BBC, and typically those, who could possibly but usually have a few things to hide themselves (Perhaps even whole departments *hic hic*)?

    Information is power, as they say... and what does a negligent or unvigilant 'leader' show? Apart from, that they waste public resources in the first place? and still take a heafty package for them leaving? Or dont bother unless theres a credible mandamus lis pendens against them?

    This is a popular saying "salus populi suprema lex esto" ... Let the government not forget who pays and works, for them?

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Burch

    You wouldn't shoot a policeman then steal his helmet

    ...then go to the toilet in his helmet

    I can't be the first.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd just like to take this moment to say:


  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll be Crown Copyright vs Wikileaks soon!

    Pirates are as autonomous as the internet was designed to be, blame ARPAnet.

    The systems in between the autonomous systems however, could be a different story.

    Policing the internet for the safety of future generations proves that public safety isnt really the government's priority, is it? Unless you are iron man?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019