back to article British ISPs throw in the towel, give up sending out toothless copyright infringement warnings

Creative Content UK, the organization that terrified British internet users by requiring ISPs to send out emails with accusations of copyright infringement, has decided to drop this questionable practice. The Get it Right campaign, part-funded by the UK government, will no longer engage suspected pirates directly; instead, it …

  1. OffBeatMammal

    "many legally available sources" is a large part of the problem ... too many services with exclusive rights to content, geoblocking so you can't access content (even when there isn't a local rights-holder), or overpriced DVDs that take weeks to turn up (for something you only want to watch once) mean that even when you want to play nice and pay ... the loopholes make it next to impossible.

    1. fattybacon

      Amen brother. I was dismayed with the Netflix share price drop the other day which was due to imminent fracturing of the market due the arrival of streaming services from Disney, Warner Media and NBC Universal. Gawd help us, well the US.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Gawd help us, well the US."

        Having seen US free to air and cable channels, it's no surprise that Netflix and their ilk have took off so rapidly and widely in the USA. The ad breaks, and ads over the top of the running show are atrocious so switching to streaming, ad-free systems is an obvious move for the consumer Sadly, what the USA does is "cool" according to the "cool kids" so the infestation of balkenised streaming services is spreading across the world and we'll all suffer even though the benefits are far, far less relevant in many other parts of the world.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Netflix

        It's also to do with the factor that the cablecos are not prohibited from charging Netflix (or you) extra fees in order for yu to be able to reach Netflix' servers whilst at the same time pushing their own streaming content services.

        Remember that 80-90% of the US operates under effectively legislated monopoly supplies for broadband and dialtone, but there's nothing legislating net neutrality (which is only needed in a monopolistic supply environment, else customers can choose other providers and the problem sorts itself out)

        It should come as little surprise that a good chunk of the "astronomer" agitating against Elon's starlink birds was traceable back to US Cablecos/Telcos who could see it as a direct threat to their monopolies (if they could pay for legislation to make accessing that competition illegal, they WOULD). And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that large chunks of the rest of it is traceable to certain countries who see it as a direct threat to their censorship/firewalling of the Internet - on the way in(eg: China) or _out_(eg: Myanmar - where it's clear the military actively hunted down and killed reporters using satellite phones based on geolocating the images where they were reporting from)

        1. hittitezombie

          Re: Netflix

          What bollocks. As an amateur astronomer I can tell Elon where to stick his satellites.

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Netflix

            As an amateur astronomer

            Your objections are valid. Theirs are not.

            You may want to look into the sky to see anything from planets, moons and rocks to stars, nebulae and galaxies. The only "sky high" things they are interested in are profits, executive bonuses, shares and bank balances.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Netflix

            What bollocks. As an amateur astronomer I can tell Elon where to stick his satellites.

            I used to be an astronomer as a kid but lost interest.. Still, sometimes on a clear but moonless winter's night I like to get a good few miles out into the countryside and just look up for a while. Sometimes even in summer, though it doesn't get as dark as the darkest midwinter night.

            If we get chance, I'll hold Mr Muck down and you "dispose of" the first 30 satelites, then you hold Mr Musk down while I get rid of the next 30, and so on - until such time as he understands the issue with the pollution eh?

            (And these things are designed to fall out of the sky after a couple of years and burn up in the upper atmosphere - and people are OK with this??????)

    2. casinowilhelm

      "next to impossible"

      get over yourself

      1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

        Ah, Get over yourself - the ultimate rhetorical insult!

    3. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Unfortunately I can see video piracy actually getting worse with all the different providers dipping their toes into the pool and wanting to take a cut of the streaming service revenue meaning content is spread across more and more services. I can foresee a lot of people will pay for one streaming service and anything they want that isn't on that they will look to get illegally rather than pay another £8 pm just to access maybe one movie or TV show from a different provider.

      Even if you wanted to legally purchase some shows on DVD box sets the likes of Amazon and Netflix original shows are not released on DVD so that isn't even an option.

      1. David 164

        Some of Netflix shows do get release on DVD/Blu Ray.

        1. Mongrel

          Just a very prolonged wait from Netflix titles (Amazon is pretty good, obviously).

          And some stuff is just truly F*d up, looking at the release dates for online releases & the DVD releases for The Expanse between the US & UK, 6 or more months difference in airing and over a year for the physical releases.

          1. Derezed
            Coat

            Yup.

            "The Expanse between the US & UK, 6 or more months difference in airing and over a year for the physical releases."

            Plus ça change

    4. SWCD

      Dilution of quality too..

      As a young pup in the late '90's, I remember OnDigital, buying a card writer, avoiding the subscription fee and helping others to. Naughty - but when you're young you haven't the disposable income :-(

      Fast forward 20 years - I'll hand over my money willingly if you make it easy for me to quickly watch something I want to. No interest in clarting about Kodi/Android Boxes/Card Sharing or whatever the workarounds are.. I want quick and easy...

      BUT... I also want the content to be half decent.

      Gave ANOTHER "Exclusive to Netflix" thing a go the other day.. Shaft remake.. The previous SLJ one I enjoyed.. This same-name remake was utter dog shit. Perhaps I've been unlucky, but I've not yet seen a single movie with the "Netflix" logo on that I've enjoyed, or watched one to completion.

      But they want more money off me to keep the great content coming?

      Then people twist about paying for a TV license?! :-\

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: Dilution of quality too..

        BBC is horrific dirge, ITV no better 80% of their outputs are "property shows" (creator of the housing crisis by creating this idea you could make a killing easily), "antiques" shows (old tat planted by the crew for whatever tangerine host to "find"), budget soap operas of various flavours - stuff that makes diagnosis murder look like highbrow TV, brainless "game" shows - "Tipping Point" A show about people playing a giant penny falls game....sadly one of my mums favourite shows....

        All stuff I've seen while stuck in various medical waiting rooms or when visiting my parents etc....No wonder the average age of a BBC viewer is 62 and rising....and likely the seniors only watch it through habit....

        Reminds of me of why I do not miss broadcast TV, haven't willingly watched it since I left home and never missed it at all in that time...

        Had a Netflix sub until recently, Punisher was good, Disenchantment (a drunkard princess, a very unhappy elf and a demon, well worth a watch TBH) and a few other things, however it got cancelled as I wasn't watching it, the wife decided she could do without.

        1. Peter X

          Re: Dilution of quality too..

          Half agree/disagree. ITV is 99.9% crap. BBC certainly have a high % of crap, but there are good things. But it's worth noting that in any creative area, the vast majority is crap, or run-of-the-mill tosh that only appeals to people who like that specific niche.

          Take music as an example. Pick a genre, eg "rock". If you are into rock, you might be happy listening to (say) 50%, with (say) 10% you'd describe as "great" and (say) 1% as "epic". Someone who isn't into rock, may still appreciate that 1%, or even 10% if say they're into other guitar based bands.

          You can apply this to loads of things; art, TV, films for example.

          Point is, pointing at TV channels that broadcast 24/7 and saying it's all or mostly crap isn't fair! It is to be expected, but it's also true that other people will enjoy some of the stuff you hate. That's just how it is.

          (I agree entirely with your dislike of the programmes you mention, however, I do like bargin hunt!!)

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Dilution of quality too..

            Half agree/disagree. ITV is 99.9% crap. BBC certainly have a high % of crap, but there are good things. But it's worth noting that in any creative area, the vast majority is crap, or run-of-the-mill tosh that only appeals to people who like that specific niche.

            One of the things that put me off live TV (aside from the screamy ads and the stupid ads and ads overtop of other ads and entire shows that are just ads...) was the proliferation of certain types of shows at certain time slots.

            So TVNZ plays a cooking show on TV1 between 5pm and 6pm. TV3 sees that this is popular, so also plays one at that time. TVNZ sees 3 is gaining viewers so puts another one on TV2. The owners of 3 sees that is popular so puts another one on another of their channels. Sky sees people are watching this so takes their popular alternative program off and replaces it with more cooking shows.

            But now there's a lot of a cooking shows (I think there are 132,775 varieties of "Masterchef" now?) so they themselves aren't attractive (plus they're cooking stuff that few people can do, rather than the shows doing simple but really nice/nutritious stuff). So to make the show popular it needs "controversy" and some git with a reputation of being shouty and sweary suddenly gets popular (once people finally got sick of his shows it seems his restaurants started closing - or are things mis-reported over this way?)

            What would be nice is to see stations doing a "Hey look, those two have this type of program on, but we're smart enough to realise that a lot of people don't actually want to watch that, so we'll put something quite different on. They do reality, we do comedy. They do cooking, we do cars (or bikes - when are we ever going to see a decent bike show?) They get one set of viewers, we provide entertainment for a different set of viewers.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Dilution of quality too..

              NZ TV ~2004 was far better than British TV ever was. Heck even US TV is far better than British TV with its shaky sets, terrible production values, Noel Edmonds (Look at the American Deal or No Deal, even the daytime version and tell me that the British version isn't utter mutton in comparison, particularly their "fancy dress" specials, that look more a very very bad version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show)

              They could quite easily turn the broadcasts off between midnight and 6pm and nothing of value would be lost at all....

              At least with streaming your not stuck with rubbish like "Good Morning Britain" allowing some extremist to come on and blub "I have 2 boys 11 and 13 and in just a few short years there won't be enough for them to eat due to climate change" WAHHHHH WAHHHHH and no one challenged her on this claim and it was treated like gospel truth despite being a total alarmist fabrication and the worse than any claim made by Malthaus in the 1970s (he was wrong then and XR etc are wrong now, they're just parroting his claims but with a much more alarmist shrillness to it)

              1. Spanners Silver badge

                Re: Dilution of quality too..

                claim made by Malthaus in the 1970s

                Thomas Malthus put his ideas forward over 200 years ago - were you thinking of the 1790s?

                he was wrong then and XR etc are wrong now

                His warnings did not include crystal ball gazing so he did not foresee the scientific revolutions that were to come. XR do not have any either but neither do you. Or do you know something about how modern crony capitalism will reverse global warming, clean up the air land & sea, "un-extinct" the disappearing animals and save us from nationalists and NIMBYs everywhere?

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Dilution of quality too..

              "What would be nice is to see stations doing .... so we'll put something quite different on."

              THAT would require originality, creativity and analytical thinking, which are things that have been lacking from TV network management since the outset of TV networks.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Dilution of quality too..

                "What would be nice is to see stations doing .... so we'll put something quite different on."

                THAT would require originality, creativity and analytical thinking, which are things that have been lacking from TV network management since the outset of TV networks.

                Well, they're part way there...

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Dilution of quality too..

          > BBC is horrific dirge, ITV no better 80% of their outputs are

          "As cheap as you can possibly make them" - and it shows.

          New Zealand had the same problem with their TV license fee and govt-run TV channels vs private ones and solved the issue by making funding available to all comers on an investment basis - anything sold outside the country had to repay dividends.

          The govt network was originally exempt from the investment stuff but after a few years it became clear they were taking 2/3 of the cash spent, turning out lots of cheap tripe for local consumption, and making big money on the quality stuff they did export - yet not having to repay it - without doing any accounting for license-fee income expenditure at all, vs non-govt recipients who had to account for every last cent.

          In the end there was a licencepayer revolt and when it hit 30% of the population refusing to pay, the government gave up and canned it. Unsurprisingly the money was still found to fund local content production and the government network was forced to cough up profits on overseas sales.

          The same thing is happening here - which is why the license fee rules have been changed to try and cover anyone who could possibly watch BBC content in a frantic attempt to maintain income. Of course it that clamping down on Iplayer, etc means that more people are moving to piracy so they don't get counted as downloaders and license-able.

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Dilution of quality too..

            No, what's happening here is the BBC is not only funded by the licence fees, The BBC has other responsibilities that are funded by the government. So this government has defunded everything they can and have forced the BBC to use the Licence receipts to pay for everything which is utterly unsustainable so something has to give and that is program diversity and quality.

            So having crippled the BBC the government can now claim the BBC is a mess and defund them even more.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Dilution of quality too..

              Hear, hear.

              It's also instructive to note just how much of the content on cable and freeview channels in the UK is simply old BBC shows. If the BBC was really that awful, nobody would be watching all that stuff, would they?

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Dilution of quality too..

              So this government has defunded everything they can and have forced the BBC to use the Licence receipts to pay for everything

              See also:

              -Schools

              -NHS

              -Police

              -Fire services

              -Local government

              etc. etc., all in the name of "austerity" (while the national debt has grown by more than every Labour government in history combined, but shhhhh...)

              Somebody, somewhere, is getting very rich off the backs of the people, but while people continue to suck up the biased drivel broadcast as "news" by the state broadcaster*, and shoved in their faces by the red-tops and the Daily Hate, little will change.

              *This isn't just a tirade against tories, we have the previous lot to blame for emasculating the political neutrality of BBC news

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Dilution of quality too..

        I Am Mother is good.

      3. RealBigAl

        Re: Dilution of quality too..

        "Then people twist about paying for a TV license?! :-\"

        I can't remember that last time I voluntarily watched anything on the BBC or ITV. Unless I want to watch TV illegally I have to pay the UK's distinctive TV tax anyway so I'm forced to fund the BBC. If I don't want to watch Netflix or Amazon I can cancel my subscription.

    5. steviebuk Silver badge

      And with some DVDs that I have, being forced to watch the copyright notices even though I've paid for the fucking thing. Whereas someone who pirates it, doesn't have to watch said noticed.

      Not that I condone piracy but they also don't help themselves with the likes of Netflix UK having a lot less content than the America version. Amazon Prime showing adverts now before the video, looking for old movies yet despite being over 20 years old still not available as part of the Prime deal, then finding the DVD is now hard to come by also (can't remember what that movie was now). NOWTV starting to force an advert before the show or movie, why? We pay for your fucking service to avoid fucking adverts!

      Then you have the bollocks that is and soon to be was Ultraviolet. What a load of shit that was. i tried once to use it and had to sign up to about 3 other fucking services before getting the movie. I fucking gave up. Now appears they are shutting down the service on 31 July this year. So assume that means you'll no longer have access to them once shut down? You also couldn't move the movies to another device so pretty much shit.

      They need to understand, even if its wrong, pirates sometimes give a better service. And not every download can be classed as a lost sale. A lot of people download just because its free and would never purchase said media if there wasn't an illegal free option.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "even if its wrong, pirates sometimes give a better service. "

        The only kind of "customer service" that media types understand is the kind that goes on in a stud farm.

        It's an attitude that's bled into management of other areas. Bear in mind that the media industry is tiny in comparison to its voice and the likes of Google could have simply headed off the Hollywood challenges by _buying_ most of the studios and distribution systems up using change from down the back of the Sofa.

        1. quxinot Silver badge

          "even if its wrong, pirates sometimes give a better service. "

          Sometimes?

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            "even if its wrong, pirates sometimes give a better service. "

            Sometimes?

            Depends on the type of service you want. If you want to watch movies without issue and relatively little delay then it's the pirates all the way.

            But if the service you're after is the type that, well, lets just say 'requires a bit of bull', well....

            1. Dave K Silver badge

              fully agree

              Can't agree more. If you buy a film on DVD/Bluray, you have to watch a stupid copyright notice in 5 differend languages, then a swirly logo for the publisher, then a swirly logo for the studio, then a swirly logo for the company that authored the DVD, then a long-winded menu introduction...

              Pirated film? Hit play and the film starts. I like to support content creators, but going out of your way to make the pirated version much more user-friendly is a very strange approach to take.

              Same goes with games. Pirated versions have the DRM cracked, so install and play anywhere, most legal titles dont. Hence again, the pirated version often offers a better experience. GOG is one of the few exceptions here and is why I often buy GOG games where I can.

              And dont get me started on the damage that the loudness war has done to music. Why would I pay £10 for 45 minutes of hyper-compressed distortion?

              Tip for content creators/publishers. Make your products as good as they can be, and as accessible as possible and you might find that more people are willing to buy them...

              1. Graham 32

                Re: fully agree

                It's not just the piracy notices and the studio logo crap. There's also the stupid video intro the menu. And not just the duration of it...

                I have The Shawshank Redemption on DVD. What bit of video did they choose to put in the menu? Him climbing out the drainage pipe when escaping from prison - about 2/3 of the way through the film. FFS. OK I knew the film well before I bought it but if I want to lend it to someone do I tell them to close their eyes as the menu loads? Or say nothing to not draw their attention to it?

      2. Shadowmanx2012

        Online streaming

        "Then you have the bollocks that is and soon to be was Ultraviolet. What a load of shit that was. i tried once to use it and had to sign up to about 3 other fucking services before getting the movie. I fucking gave up. Now appears they are shutting down the service on 31 July this year. So assume that means you'll no longer have access to them once shut down? You also couldn't move the movies to another device so pretty much shit."

        Have never been suckered in by these "services". Much prefer to buy the media and rip it to my own system then I can stream around my network as much as I like.

      3. steviebuk Silver badge

        And we were watching Gavin and Stacey on Netflix the other day, I'd never bothered with it when originally on. It's OK. But got to season 3 and there was a lack there of. I was told there was one. Googled it, appears Netflix only had licence for 1 and 2. What a load of shit.

        I took a look at it the other day and now what! Oh season 3 has suddenly appeared despite not being available for years even though its an old show now. But now what, season 1 has disappeared.

        It shit like that which is why people pirate.

        And then you have sites like this

        https://www.joe.ie/movies-tv/releases-netflix-july-593076

        Classing old movies and TV series as Big Releases is just annoying.

        I like that most of the Star Trek series are on there but I already bought all the Blu-Ray versions of TNG. I wonder how long all the episodes stay up. You can be half way through a season only to find out their license is running out so it will be pulled.

        The industry is in a bit of a mess and instead of fixing it, want to blame pirates. Just like they tried to claim the tape would kill the music industry and the home movie tape would kill the movie industry.

      4. AgentMyth

        Re: Ultraviolet shutting down - I have an account and they sent a note last week. Apparently they'll transfer the movies in your library to a linked Google Play/ YouTube account.

        It's worth checking out. I registered a number of blu ray disks with them recently and transferred them to my YouTube account with no trouble. Playback was perfect.

    6. RAMChYLD

      I'd vouch for this. Heck, a lot of shows aren't even released on DVD anymore. I'd gladly buy DVDs without a second thought if I'm a fan of the show. But as it stands, there's no DVD release, and the region coding nonsense means that even if the show turns up on Amazon Prime UK or US, there's no guarantee of it turning up on Amazon Prime Malaysia. It's really frustrating.

  2. Drone Pilot

    IR35

    What was the magic bullet? We need to use the same for IR35.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    The expected increase in tax revenues simply never happened. Pirates won't pay for digital goods if you cut them off, they'll simply find other methods, such as a VPN hosted on a large cloud provider or simply club together to form a private community. For those in the know, private torrent trackers are even more successful than ever. Seed boxes are cheap and VPNs are almost free, I just set up a tiny server on Digital Ocean for a fiver a month IF used 24/7. So far I've spent three quid this year and terabytes moved...

    1. casinowilhelm

      Re: Follow the money

      Don't you think people should be paid for their work occasionally? Or are you one of those entitled brats who thinks everything should be free just for you?

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        Boo Hoo.

      2. Tomato42 Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        now, if that money was actually going to the pockets of artists instead of the corpo execs that handle distribution (see https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/the-lunacy-of-george-miller-having-to-sue-over-mad-max-fury-road-earnings-20171113-gzk12d.html for but a drop in an ocean of examples) then I would say that piracy is unethical, but if the piracy means that the CEO won't have the money for the 12th yacht they can go and fuck themselves with a golden dildo

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Follow the money

          Thank you for your righteous anger and refusal to fatten the CEOs, Tomato42. Trouble is, artists or (as I am) writers who get published via fat-cat publishers and get distributed by fat-cat distributors, don't get paid until they get paid. Soby using the creators-don't-get-paid-so-screw-the-CEOs, you give yourself an ethical pat on the back while ensuring that I definitely don't get see a dime.

          Thanks for looking out for me having having my back.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Follow the money

            artists or (as I am) writers [..] don't get paid until they get paid.

            You maybe need to have a chat with them about their business models then.

            There is some truth behind the "make something seem scarce and you can charge more" concept - but the problem is they're trying to make saltwater appear scarce in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

            I've heard of a great show called "The Expanse"[1]. I can think of all sorts of places where I could buy it from, but I'm in the wrong country. I could use a prepay visa card and use a VPN to appear to be from another country - but that would be "piracy" (stupid word for copyright violations!). I'd actually be paying the price you set for your product, but I'd be doing it illegally. Your keepers didn't consider NZ'ers to be worthy of having your product.

            Same for stuff like friends wanting to send me gifts of DVD's they'd purchased (even got a couple who have their own IMDB pages though more for crew/extras than any real acting). DVD's that've been sent could be stopped at the border, or wouldn't play on my system unless I 'illegally' changed the region code on my DVD. Sky TV had the rights to the movie but no intention of showing it in NZ. They did the same for quite a bit of stuff - they didn't want to show it but they didn't want any others to show it either, so they brought the rights and locked stuff away. We also used to have ISP's with free VPN services for overseas visitors - so people from the UK could do stuff like use iplayer while here - Sky didn't like the idea of people who'd already paid for content (UK TV license) not also giving them a cut, so they sued the ISP's and made it cheaper for the ISP's to quit a service rather than keep trying to fight Sky. And Sky wonders why they're haemorrhaging viewers.

            Anyway.. If you had content I wanted and I could pay for that content I would. But if you make it illegal for me to purchase stuff simply to feed your greed, well, I might not feel too guilty if someone hand's me a thumbdrive and says "You should watch this".[2]

            But then, I'm also someone who's been known to borrow books from others, buy second-hand DVD's, games and books, and even commit such horrid acts of piracy as having a couple of friends around to watch a movie I've rented through a proper place. If you buy 2nd hand creative material or borrow any, you're also committing 'acts of piracy'

            If your paymasters are making it impossible for me to pay money that you might see a teency bit of, then your gripe is with them not me. They do it for greed, not for the art nor for the makers.

            [1] From what I've seen of The Expanse, I'd recommend anyone who can legally get it to legally watch it. And those who're geoblocked etc, well, you know what to do. (I actually haven't recently checked it's availability over this way.)

            [2] Guy I know has written quite a number of books and also done radio shows and produced large amounts of quality material on a certain subject field. He did all the work himself so he could completely keep copyright (including giving a small local printing business a reason to expand considerably!). The reason he did that was so that when he'd made his money, he could do with his work as he wished. All but a couple of his books are now in the public domain as is most of his recorded material. If he'd given the radio station the full rights to his material, it'd be locked up in some vault somewhere kept out of the public eye lest someone listen to that rather than listen to their station. He's actually protected his work by making it freely available. He created because he was good at it and because he loved the subject. Money was a lower motivation. He freed his work because of his love of the subject and because he wants others to enjoy it. He's also the guy who introduced me to The Expanse, as well as several 'out of print' TV shows that I will never be allowed to see legally. He also finds the current methods of the rights holders to be repugnant, and has shown for some things you really can do it yourself.

            1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

              Re: Follow the money

              The Expanses was an excellent series - I'm looking forward to the next one, although I'm wary of how they do it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Follow the money

                Aside from the story line of 'The Expanse', I thought their depiction of humans in space to be the most accurate of ANY show ... ever.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: Follow the money

                  I thought their depiction of humans in space to be the most accurate of ANY show ... ever.

                  It certainly made me re-think a lot of long-held assumptions or "never really thought about it", including the issues with injuries in 0G, and how serious even a minor cut can be in such conditions.

                  But no shields, minimal armour, and any incoming fire can be catastrophic and needs to be avoided. And the whole idea of moving ships around space (I'd long figured this out) - much more like the old "Asteroids" game then the highly manoeuvrable fighters you see in many shows.

                  It could be very unrealistic in the end, but it does feel a lot better in regards to those sorts of things.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Follow the money

              "unless I 'illegally' changed the region code on my DVD."

              FWIW, unless NZ laws have changed since 1998, it's perfectly legal to change the region code on your DVD player or pay someone to unlock it, or purchase an unlocked one.

              In Australia, region coding was ruled an illegal restraint of trade and DVD players there had to be sold unlocked as a result - not that it stopped the global copyright cartels (yes they still exist and need blowing apart - they ARE cartels) from attempting (and failing) to get that court ruling overturned.

              Copyright is one of the last bastions of restraints on world free trade and the prime offenders in keeping the world carved up into "zones" for publishing are the USA and UK - which is why US titles have to get to Australia and New Zealand via the UK and why selling US-authored/printed/published books in Australia or New Zealand is illegal unless you have blessing from the _UK_ copyright holder (Hint: you won't get it - this is why things like O'Reilly titles costing US$15 hit NZ bookshelves at US$100)

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Follow the money

                "unless I 'illegally' changed the region code on my DVD."

                FWIW, unless NZ laws have changed since 1998, it's perfectly legal to change the region code on your DVD player or pay someone to unlock it, or purchase an unlocked one.

                ICBW but ISTR there was some law around anything that would 'circumvent' any sort of 'copy protection' or other rights management systems. This was brought in IIRC with the Clarke Labour government (one of those issues where I was a little ashamed to have voted them in) along with several laws around owning software that could be used to harm or remove files in a malicious manner (and yes, Dos/Windows/EE's "delete" functions WOULD qualify under a strict/literal reading!).

                It's not under the copyright laws per se, but the 'computer misuse' type laws.

                OTOH, at this stage I was doing a lot of stuff involving other countries and copyright laws and my memory may also involve elements of the DMCA or other trash.

                1. Mongrel

                  Re: Follow the money

                  FWIW, unless NZ laws have changed since 1998, it's perfectly legal to change the region code on your DVD player or pay someone to unlock it, or purchase an unlocked one.

                  And if you're happy to watch them on your computer VLC happily ignores region coding AND the piracy notices\trailers

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge

                    Re: Follow the money

                    FWIW, unless NZ laws have changed since 1998, it's perfectly legal to change the region code on your DVD player or pay someone to unlock it, or purchase an unlocked one.

                    And if you're happy to watch them on your computer VLC happily ignores region coding AND the piracy notices\trailers

                    For my part, my experience of watching DVD's on anything I think almost predates computers :)

                    (Then again, I do have recollections of finding a few easter eggs in 'The Wall' with VLC, maybe not so long back).

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Follow the money

            "Thanks for looking out for me having having my back."

            Maybe it's the people like you who should be working hard to change the system. If I want something created by you, why do I have to subscribe to piles of dross for anything from a month to 12 months contract just to see that one thing you produced? And what if it's "exclusive" to a service I don't subscribe to? That's just cutting off millions of paying customers for no good reason other than profit. I already pay for a TV licence, Virgin Media and Netflix. I can't justify Amazon too. Or, likely, any other of the new ones coming on line. Maybe, if they have 1 month rolling contracts, I can chop and change from one streaming service to another, *IF* there's enough there I want to see. Or maybe I'll just give up in disgust and NONE of you will get anything from me except the paltry sums passed to you when I buy cheap DVDd from the supermarket bargain baskets.

            The entire model is broken and instead of fixing it, the disties and creators are stamping on the fragments hoping to find a grain of profit in the dust.

            1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

              Re: Follow the money

              And what if it's "exclusive" to a service I don't subscribe to?

              This is where competition is incorrectly used in the media space.

              There's plenty of competition between streaming services. However, if the show/film you want to access is exclusive to one service, there is no competition, you must pay for that particular one. If there are several shows you want to watch, and they are spread exclusively across multiple platforms, you have no choice but to pay for ALL of them (well, except to miss out on something you want to watch, or to pirate the stuff not on the platform(s) you do pay for).

              The same thing happened with football: "Competition" was forced, but all it did was divide the games up between 3-4 different channels each of which required a separate subscription. If you wanted to be able to watch all the, say, premiership matches, you had to subscribe to all the channels and it cost you more. (Note I am not a football fan, but several of those I know were rather irked by this increased "competition")

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Follow the money

            "Trouble is, artists or (as I am) writers "

            Who _willingly_ walk into deals where you end up shafted......

            The ONLY actor to get paid out of Star Wars was Alec Guiness - because he insisted on a fixed fee.

            Everyone else made book on appearance fees later on.

            Ask Sigourney Weaver how much she got out of Alien (hint: almost nothing)

            It doesn't overly matter if the studios get paid or not - they'll still find ways to expense _EVERYTHING_ and ensure the actual creatives don't get anything (Hell, the only reason production staff get paid is because they have strong unions and have been willing to _use_ that big stick to force studios to the table. Those "stupid union rules" about having everyone possibly involved being in the credits are there for a reason traceable to one studio robber-baron or another.

            Rule #1 in Hollywood (and most media): If you don't get paid upfront, you're unlikely to get paid at all and _NEVER EVER_ work for a percentage.

            The amazing thing is, people KNOW this going in, but they still gamble it won't happen to them and they'll be the one in a million who doesn't get royally shafted - and then they go and do it AGAIN, over and over, just for a shot at fame and fortune.

            It takes a special (short bus) type to do this....

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Follow the money

              The amazing thing is, people KNOW this going in, but they still gamble it won't happen to them and they'll be the one in a million who doesn't get royally shafted - and then they go and do it AGAIN, over and over, just for a shot at fame and fortune.

              Isn't this mentality what keeps casinos/Lotto etc alive? :(

            2. dajames Silver badge

              Re: Follow the money

              The ONLY actor to get paid out of Star Wars was Alec Guiness - because he insisted on a fixed fee.

              Methinks sir misremembers ...

              Alec Guinness made (and his estate continues to make) and obscenely large amount of money from Star Wars because he insisted on a percentage of takings and not a fixed fee. The other actors did make decent money from the film (and doubtless much more since from book fees, endorsements, convention appearances, etc.) but not nearly as much as Sir Alec.

            3. genghis_uk

              Re: Follow the money

              To be strictly correct Alec Guiness got a set percentage of the film profits not a fixed fee.

              Originally this was agreed as 2% but George Lucas offered an extra 0.5%. When Guiness contacted the studio to modify the contract they only gave him an extra 0.25%... He did not argue at the time but they still shafted him out of agreed $millions.

          4. Tony Paulazzo

            Re: Follow the money

            I think the kool aid has finally run out. Mickey Mouse destroyed the public domain and your expectations that your great grandchildren be continuously paid for the work you did 70 years previously is turning the tide of public perception.

            Piracy is a self induced problem created by the media.

            On subject I'm pretty sure all those emails did is generate business for VPNs - oh, you're spying on me, well here's something I'm happy to pay for on a regular basis to give a big fuck you to the corporations.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Follow the money

            > artists or (as I am) writers ... don't get paid until they get paid.

            Perhaps you shouldn't have signed with a crowd that's intent on screwing both yourself and the end users?

            You're complaining the end users are finding other methods, to avoid being screwed.

            Just because you put yourself in the position of being screwed, unless the end user signs up for being shafted too.

            Sorry, but that just doesn't seem well thought out.

          6. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Follow the money

            Sooooo, how about putting a forward in your book pointing the reader to your website, where the reader can make a voluntary donation should they deem the book worthy *even if they pirated it*.

            You might be surprised at the result.

      3. Barry Rueger

        Re: Follow the money

        Don't you think people should be paid for their work occasionally?

        No question. So why is it so damned hard to actually buy or rent so much content? It's astonishing how much of our media history has entirely disappeared since streaming took over.

        Aside from the ridiculous assumption that I would pay monthly subscriptions to a dozen or more streaming services just because they've carved up the catalogue into as many pieces.

        I would happily pay $50 a month for one iTunes like service that would draw on everyone's catalogues instead of wasting time on wild goose chases for well known films that should be easily accessible.

        So, as others have said, make it easy to give my money to you, for things I actually want to watch. Otherwise just accept that the Pirate Bay is thriving for a reason.

        1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Follow the money

          would happily pay $50 a month for one iTunes like service

          Fuck that.

          No Subscription services, just pay for the product, own it and keep it.

          These bullshit providers that "sell" you a product - that you can only download 3 times, and try not to let you manage your own copies....

          Bandcamp seems to be one of the very few good citizens on the internet - (which makes me wonder how long they will survive, but then arsehole music services seem to fall of the perch pretty regularly too) - but Bandcamp by its very nature doesnt have access to a lot of back catalogue.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Follow the money

            The sky didn't fall in when the music producers started selling mp3s and unencrypted aac rather than the drm infested stuff they previously offered.

            I can now download a 4k video in about the same time that I could download a 128k mp3 back in the day, so sell me a mkv or mp4 and take my money.

      4. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        > Don't you think people should be paid for their work occasionally?

        Sure. As soon as they make it possible to buy their work. I can't watch Netflix/Hulu with my shitty American network connection, but I can wait a couple hours for it to download as a file from somewhere else.

      5. john.w

        Re: Follow the money

        I like to see the occasionally movie in the Cinema and that way the exhibitor gets a slice of the pie rather than it all going to a US tax evading outfit. All else is downloadable fair means or foul.

  4. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
    Pirate

    Although not directly on topic, I'm always amused when some obscure recording from the 50s, 60s, sometimes even later, turns up and a pathetically grateful BBC (who had trashed the originals) proudly shows a grainy copy of Blue Peter or Doctor Who, taken by a shaky cine camera by a mad hobbyist.

    Of course, in line with a lot of the ridiculous legislation over which our MPs have diligently pored over the decades, these pirates should have been prosecuted and vilified, and their reputations and tapes shredded.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Entertainment is a problem

    My personal opinion on this problem is that, on the one hand, people definitely deserve to be paid for their work, but on the other hand, I fail to see why I, having paid for a film on DVD, should be subject to an unskippable FBI warning on piracy every time I want to watch a film. I paid for it, so get that shit out of my way.

    I also care very little for the often unskippable film previews that are frankly ridiculous five years later. And, if I had it my way, I would force all studio logos to appear on screen at the same time, and they would be limited to 15 seconds max. Deal with it, Lionsgate, Dreamcast and the rest. Do you really think I bought the film because you made it ? No, I bought the film because I wanted that film. Who made is anecdotal.

    So I buy a film on DVD, then I go to torrent sites and find a ripped version without all the bullshit and I watch that. It's a much more pleasant experience.

    1. DoctorNine

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      I tend to buy cd's and dvd's and blueray's, then rip them myself to a private server. That way I get what I want, can store it more easily, and still have the reference original if I lose my server content. I have very nearly decided to stop all streaming content entirely, now that they are splitting up the aggregators. I will NEVER subscribe to any Disney product, simply because of the way they make it impossible to buy physical copies of their content. They are close to being too big (or maybe already are too big) for me to support with a monthly charge anymore.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Entertainment is a problem

        Ah yes, Disney, the company actually founded on theft.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Entertainment is a problem

          Ah yes, Disney, the company actually founded on theft.

          And sometimes they'll even have the balls to issue injunctions against the very people they stole *from*, if the original creator dares to show something of the source material Disney stole from (such as "Lion King" being stolen from "Kimba the White Lion").

      2. scrubber

        Re: Entertainment is a problem

        I bought a blue ray once, but getting the Steve Irwin off it out me off

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Entertainment is a problem

          > I bought a blue ray once, but getting the Steve Irwin off it out me off

          What? Do you need to call the stroke hotline?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Entertainment is a problem

            s/out me off/put me off/

    2. whitepines Silver badge

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      Completely agree. Don't want to make a permanent, DRM-free copy of your work available for purchase? Fine. Pay ME to watch it, then get your revenue from the ads and personal data slurp we all know is the reason for the subscription model in the first place.

      And while you're at it, don't whine about pirates when someone has a legitimate Bluray disk in front of them. All it does is make one wonder why one paid for the locked thing with unskippable previews in the first place versus finding some other form of entertainment. When I pop a game disk in my console I don't get threatened, I don't have to be online to play, and I don't have unskippable previews. Oh and the games cost less than the movie, don't need a subscription service, AND provide between 10 and 1000x more enjoyment (in hours) than the movie.

      Perhaps Hollywood is simply growing obsolete?

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Entertainment is a problem

        "then get your revenue from the ads and personal data slurp we all know is the reason for the subscription model in the first place."

        Not necessarily. A nice steady constant income from subscriptions makes accountants much happier. And of course, most streaming services don't have any ads, so clearly ad-revenue is not the reason.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Entertainment is a problem

          And a nice constant *drain* on my account is something I try to avoid, or when discovered cut off where possible. I don't go to work every day, losing my autonomy for those hours, just to have some leech take the results of my hard work over and over and over again to loan me derivative drivel. No purchase? No money. Simples.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      > So I buy a film on DVD, then I go to torrent sites and find a ripped version without all the bullshit and I watch that. It's a much more pleasant experience.

      www.makemkv.com

      No torrent required, although occasionally a disc is too hard to get into. Also the resultant mkv file on a dlna Nas box. Job done

    4. Barry Rueger

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      I fail to see why I, having paid for a film on DVD, should be subject to an unskippable FBI warning

      Especially since I don't live in the US of A.

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      I stopped buying DVDs because of these forced warnings and trailers.

      One producer was stand out, so I used to rip and burn. then thought why waste time watching these films?

    6. Baldrickk Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Entertainment is a problem

      Dreamcast? That only had a CD player app, no movies.

  6. KCIN

    They have just gone ISP.

    The game of whack a mole doesn't work

  7. Suricou Raven

    The fight is half-way over now.

    I remember the glory days of piracy. Then itunes, Netflix and Steam came along... going legit became so affordable and easy, piracy became unappealing.

    Perhaps the looming fragmentation of streaming services will revitalize it.

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: The fight is half-way over now.

      Indeed, if you don't have Sky Sports there's likely to someone somewhere who does and who is streaming it free via a VPN etc for a game you want to watch. Might not come with commentary, might come with commentary from and aimed at somewhere else.

      But the point is there are lots of people minded to share. The sharing economy is real and some people hate the idea that instead of selling something on eBay or Gumtree I might offer it on Freegle instead.

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: The fight is half-way over now.

        Freegle is dying locally - why? because people are so picky and downright unreasonable "purple living room stuff needed" "large screen TV must be immaculate"

        "Free Vacuum cleaner - works but used condition" - Oh its got some scratches on it, Oh its not the dyson I wanted, I need you to deliver it etc.....

        I posted a tesco branded hover mower, clearly stated as "electric" woman messaged said could her father have it, he turned up and was very sniffy about it not being petrol.

        Not to mention folk just not turning up

        Hence like many others I've sent a tonne of stuff to the skip instead as I'm sick of the BS

        Also had a volunteer (on a power trip) state he was going to "mark my permanent record for asking for money for something" (I didn't, I stated I had 3 baby gates for free, but that I also I had a 4th brand new in box that could be obtained through separate negotiation)

        He got a mouthful about storing information without my consent, reading private messages between myself and others where they had asked what I wanted for the 4th gate, snooping without consent or lawful right. ICO not interested as "they're a charity", Freegle gave some mealy mouthed answer about the groups being autonomous etc. So because of his spying some parents in need lost out and I took them to a charity shop instead.

        I deleted my data from Freegle and refuse to have anything to do with them again. Shame as for the few who were decent it was rewarding and I got to repair some stuff others had deemed broken...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The fight is half-way over now.

          "I took them to a charity shop instead."

          I gave a local charity shop a large real bronze sculpture and suggested they advertise it through their eBay shop. Local collection would limit their market but would avoid packaging problems. Gave them the minimum price they should start with - and an indication of the much higher probable market value.

          A few days later I found they had put it on display in the shop - and sold it the same afternoon. They even accepted a discounted offer below the marked suggested starting price.

          Gave them a second one - and they did the same thing. In spite of them saying that customers had been very enthusiastic - and some were disappointed on returning that it had been sold already. The person who snapped it up with a low offer was the same one - apparently a dealer.

          When they did the same thing with a third one I stopped giving them any more.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: The fight is half-way over now.

            When they did the same thing with a third one I stopped giving them any more.

            I've found some interesting mixes with charity places. Some know a mum with a newborn and not a lot of cash would be glad to have a suitable cot that has signs of use, know a far-from-home student will be grateful for a couch that needs a sheet over it to look presentable, and they don't mind putting some stuff up for 'free'. Others - "It's a shame this immaculate-looking leather 3-seater with matching lay-z-boy style chairs is worthless to us - we found a strand of cat hair stuck to the bottom so it's not good enough".

            I've known a couple that won't take stuff for 'free' because it'll stop someone from buying something in their store. Even though they're supposedly a charity helping those who need some assistance.

            So I look to the free sites first, or a suitable site to display something 2nd, before finally sending to the tip if need be.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The fight is half-way over now.

        "The sharing economy is real and some people hate the idea that instead of selling something on eBay or Gumtree I might offer it on Freegle instead."

        The gig economy comes to media distribution? BigCorp love the gig economy when it means they can use cheap labour with minimal admin and no HR.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They probably scared a few people into getting VPNs and doing their torrenting (and other nefarious activities) away from government tracking and surveillance. Win-win :D

  9. Nick Kew Silver badge

    In the real world

    Any commentards know anyone who's actually received the warnings in question?

    Just wonderin' where this lies on a scale from mythical to real, and on a scale from used only rarely and in egregious cases to routinely abused.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: In the real world

      We used to get them fairly regularly at a hackspace, where some members would download their films using the decent bandwidth.

      Of course, since it would be unethical to track people's internet usage, we had no idea what to do with them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the real world

        same here (admin of a fat pipe to a HS dorm), I did get them, but it all ended on finger-pointing and telling the kids to be more clever with where they get their content from

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: In the real world

        "Of course, since it would be unethical to track people's internet usage, we had no idea what to do with them."

        On the other hand if they'd been downloading "terrorist" material you'd likely have various security services all over you like a badly fitting shirt wanting to know those details and threatening jailtime using RIPA laws if you don't cough up the details.

        There's a small difference between not tracking usage and not knowing who was logged into your network when, but it's enough to cause a world of hurt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the real world

      I have received a piracy warning some 10 years ago for downloading a Stargate SG-1 episode by BitTorrent.

      It was so long ago I forget if it was a letter or an email from the UK ISP, but they did detail the date, time and filename in question.

      Someone I know has received warnings recently though, but not me.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the real world

      I received 2, (one was for a 6 year old single simpsons episode!) then I got a vpn...

    4. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: In the real world

      I received a couple. I'm on Virgin Media. I torrent a lot, but it was only for torrents downloaded from one particular semi-private tracker. I just switched to downloading all of those torrents over a VPN and stopped getting letters.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: In the real world

      I haven't. Was with Sky until last week (just internet, not their TV service). Browsing torrent sites via Opera VPN and copy/pasting the magnet links into Synology downloader without any sort of VPN set up on it.

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: In the real world

        Opera doesn't have a VPN despite it being marketed as such. What it does have a limited web proxy service you can enable that enables Opera to log and store everything you look at while using it.

        It certainly is not a VPN as understand it to be.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: In the real world

          It gets round ISP content blocking. I don't use it for anything else. I am well aware of the issues related to using Opera VPN, and the same risks mostly apply to actual VPN providers.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: In the real world

          Opera doesn't have a VPN despite it being marketed as such. What it does have a limited web proxy service you can enable that enables Opera to log and store everything you look at while using it.

          You can disable it I assume? Of course, disabling that allows Opera and others to log and store everything.

    6. SloppyJesse

      Re: In the real world

      I used to get them regularly when I was with Zen. The details on what was being downloaded were never remotely accurate - normally some recently released movie. They seemed to just send them to anyone accessing torrents.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the real world

      Yep, received two from my ISP, both were spot on.

      Now my VPN connects on startup on that server...

  10. adnim Silver badge
    Joke

    Creative Content UK, the organization that terrified British internet users

    roflmfao

    see title.

    SSL Usenet, before all this chasing piracy ever happened. I guess if someone tried really, really hard they could have detected what I downloaded over the years.

    Although the quality of Usenet posts has gotten real bad over recent years. Encrypted rar/zip files needing a visit to websites and marketing form filling required to get the password. Bit coin miners attached to exe files, Trojans attached to exe files. Mostly done so amateurishly it is easy enough to separate the wheat from the chaff... Still it's a pain in the ass.

    Fortunately my desire to see or play the latest derivative shite has decreased in proportion the the increase in garbage posted to Usenet.

  11. JLV Silver badge
    Megaphone

    You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet.

    </msg>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends how badly I needed to go...

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Je vois. A beef vindaloo evening perchance?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet.

      It depends. If he's the policeman who gets a call, arrives in a car with a 2nd officer, listens to description of gangbangers actions and vehicle while his compatriot gathers the ejected casings out of the street... and then proceeds to have them thrown into a recycle bin instead of saving them for evidence, then, yes, I'd shoot the bastard and his useless partner while they're sitting in that squad-car listening with a deaf ear. I'm sure I could drive the car about 2 miles, leave it running, and it would be stolen and chopped before morning.

      Sorry, I'm too late. Said bastard has already been fired and will be on trial for some other damned stupid actions involving another (but probably ths same, probably guilty) gangbanger he used his truncheon on.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet.

        Don't forget to breathe...

  12. David 164

    I have been waiting for mine for years, I even had a picture frame ready for it!

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pirate

      I have been waiting for mine for years, I even had a picture frame ready for it!

      Me too!

      I have a puny seed box running, only up 1332 days (honestly the actual number, not trying to sound "l33t" or anything! :) ), 13Gb uploaded in the last week but none downloaded (much of my movies etc comes via Popcorn Time or Kodi), and overall 4.6TB down and 9.6TB up (I tend to go for ratios of 5 or higher)

      We have a similar thing in NZ but with penalties attached, so first letter is a warning, not sure on 2nd letter, 3rd is cutting your feed. But since they cannot prove who actually downloaded the file, the ISP's seem to have been exceptionally reluctant to send out the letters. And a lot of them probably use some level of NAT anyway, so can't say where the traffic went after it reached them..

      I know one person who got a first warning and moved to spotify or the like for music (free but occasional ads or so I am told - probably "requires" lots of other access to run), and another who tossed it in the bin and his weekly transfers make my 9tb look lame. I don't know if a 2nd letter ever went out, but I am certain no one in NZ got a 3rd letter.

      But I'll keep trying.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just the other day....

    I put in a DVD for the first time in ages, to watch on my 360 (yep still doing that) - unskippable ads of ancient shitty films! Yay. Also I watch with subtitles now (have for a while) because it's more accurate if a word is mumbled, I get a lot more now. Sometimes they're written by a human and actually worse than me, there's synchronisation issues ect, some are from the script and perfect. This was one of the former. It'd mix words like "can" and "can't" (which really would suck if you were deaf) and seemed to use words which made no sense in that context like it was done by a machine or something with no correction.

    I'm pretty sure whenever we use VLC to play a blueray (I happened to have a laptop with a drive for it) and have to get the list of cracked keys, or use libcss to brute-force the DVD's tiny key we're pirates anyway.

    If it wasn't for Amazon Instant Video I'd probably be in the hard-core territory.

    WHERE AS:

    If you pirate (beyond using VLC) them, someone with a weird obsession - nay - /fetish/ for high quality subtitles has at least fixed up, if not made from scratch a great set included with the lot.

    Amazon's thing on my tablet does play a fair few ads annoyingly, legitimately annoyingly (for those okay with this) the same ones over and over. We get it, you hired the top-gear lot. STFU - it's on the top row of things anyway! The 360 version seems to be falling behind (THANK FUCK) as it recommends the same things on EVERY item in "people also watched", and hasn't had an update to the new-films and all that iconography but it works just fine. Still uses a lot of bandwidth (it's limited to 720p) - most stuff is surround sound with captions, generally very happy with it.

  14. Cincinnataroo

    Good to see the British Pornographic Industry (BPI) and the Motion Pornography Association (MPA), getting their just deserts. No doubt bastard, inbred relatives of the MPAA and RIAA.

    First them. Next let's get rid of all that surveillance.

  15. I'm Dugly

    I'm not likely to pay for old music that I recall during a moment of nostalgia. I won't pay 35.00 to YouTube for a ten-year old TV series or 10.00 for a thirty-year old movie - and many are listed at that price. They've pretty much squeezed Gone With the Wind for every last dime, and it's time to consider it as fully-amortized. The industry needs to look at its pricing models and get real about value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember when a film on UK TV was a rare occasion - not to be missed. Then with the arrival of BBC2 there was the regular slot of a single weekly colour film - late (midnight movie?) on a weekend evening.

      For Disney classics you had to wait for the excerpts on a Xmas programme. Jungle Book was available on DVD in the late 1990s - but only on sale for a limited time. Still - it was cheaper than a pre-recorded VHS of "M*A*S*H" in 1982 that had cost over £200 at 2019 prices.

      Now I have over 2000 DVDs - mostly bought from charity shops. One day in my dotage I will start filling my remaining time by finally getting round to watching them.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "For Disney classics you had to wait for the excerpts on a Xmas programme"

        Before digital distribution, Disney used to carefully curate their release schedules in order to milk maximum income from old titles.

        Now they just steamroller the opposition using the Microsoft Halloween model(*), buy copyright extensions to ensure Steamboat Willie never falls into public domain (There's a reason the most recent US copyright extending law was nicknamed the "Mouse Immortality Law") and go for broke with more bought and paid for copyright laws containing ridiculous penalties (there are bigger jail sentences on the books for movie piracy than for murder)

        (*) Embrace, extend, extinguish - or hoover up the competition - or just resort to outright IP piracy (eg: "Lion King" vs "The White Lion") and then litigate the victims into oblivion.

        At some point the greater public is likely to collectively wake up and wonder WTF happened.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks.

      Thanks for the advice. We just did. Then doubled it, and segmented access to 15 different subscription services, each with half the series divided by the owners.

      PS, I wish there were some sarcasm tags to post on this...

  16. tentimes

    People just aren't pirating as much any more

    People now have Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify etc and it has been made easy to "buy" content, so there isn't as much need to pirate. Just the same as Steam et al saw a vast reduction in games piracy. Give people an easy way to buy content at a decent price and they will.

    The only thing I now fire up the pirate bay for is stuff I really already own. Things on Sky that I just can't find using their hopeless search and FLAC versions of some old CD's that I own, to save me having to digitise them. Oh and one case (Archer season 10) where I am damned if I can find it on FX in the UK and it is not on Netflix yet. It will be though - I just want it sooner so I torrented it.

    So, reduce the reasons for piracy (and release US/UK same time!) and you have MUCH less piracy. No need for these notices any more.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: People just aren't pirating as much any more

      People now have Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify etc and it has been made easy to "buy" content, so there isn't as much need to pirate.

      Actually, as others have pointed out, that may be doing the opposite. If you can get the services without monthly subs and only pay for what you want to watch then it might not be so bad, but I'm still not keen on perhaps having to sign up to a multitude of services just to watch stuff.

      But if each needs a regular subscription...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: People just aren't pirating as much any more

        The thing is people are getting wise to that. They don't need a regular subscription, you can subscribe to one one month, watch one or two series, unsubscribe, subscribe to another service another month, watch one or two series, unsubscribe.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: People just aren't pirating as much any more

        " I'm still not keen on perhaps having to sign up to a multitude of services just to watch stuff."

        Incidentally the same applies to parking. If I can't use coins in a parking meter (because it's broken) and I'm required to setup _yet another_ app to pay (with "convenience" surcharges!) then I'm likely to go back to my car and take my business to an area which isn't so stupid.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: People just aren't pirating as much any more

      " Give people an easy way to buy content at a decent price and they will."

      This was repeatedly proven by the nascent computer games industry (cassette tapes!) as far back as 1980 - and them promptly broken by rapacious marketers wanting to make as much as possible in as short a time as possible.

      Of course the small matter of the same games selling in the USA at US$3 and in Australia/NZ retailers at US$35 didn't do anything to discourage piracy... (I gather the situation in the UK was similar)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal

    I used to be a fairly hardcore downloaded. Nzb files, couchpotato, etc. XMBC/kodi in every room. Still got multi TB of films and TV series on powered down NAS boxes.

    But almost everything watched now is via Netflix, Amazon, and occasionally Sky Go via a relative's account. (Which is more of a frustration as they don't actually sub to much!)

    The exception is for weird fan-subbed Japanese anime that the kids watch, or some low budget US reality shows that the Mrs likes occasionally. Neither of which are ever likely to appear on a legal UK streaming service. So they end up browsing dodgy websites that half the time don't work due to my network filters blocking to many porn ads.

    Fracturing the legal streaming market isn't going to make me subscribe to more services. Indeed, the latest Netflix price rise has made me consider if we still need to be on the top tier. It'll just drive me back to pirating more content, probably by reinstating the automaton..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are several anime streaming services in the UK with hundreds of shows available.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Legal

      The exception is for weird fan-subbed Japanese anime that the kids watch, or some low budget US reality shows that the Mrs likes occasionally. Neither of which are ever likely to appear on a legal UK streaming service. So they end up browsing dodgy websites that half the time don't work due to my network filters blocking to many porn ads.

      Ah yes, Kissanime, 9anime, etc. I honestly would rather avoid them if I could, but if I'm looking for certain older shows, even the official streaming services don't want to carry them, And as for the fansubs; there is a "gentleman's agreement" as far as the Japanese studios are concerned, where as long as there isn't an official distribution deal (usually for the US, don't know how they count UK) for the series, the studios don't care if someone fan-subs it. In return, the fansubbers will pull a series from their sites if the series *does* get picked up. So even the fansubbers would prefer a series not show up on those sites, because it breaks their ability to drop a series if it gets licensed for a market.

      I think it's Trigger studio that has set up a Patreon page to let fans support them directly. And while the "Help KyoAni Heal" fundraiser is more to help victims and families of the Kyoto Animation arson attack, people are also specifically shopping for KyoAni digital downloads to support them as well (digital DL meaning the now diminished staff don't have to worry about packaging actual merchandise).

  18. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Too many streams.

    Saw this a few days ago and is very apts

    https://i.imgur.com/AJoH1cS.jpg

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get it Right campaign is now moving to its next phase

    in burning through MY money

  20. Gustavo Fring

    Alec guinness

    Above did NOT opt for a fixed fee .. the legend has it that he opted for a small precentage of the revenue stream , possibly in the order of 1% .. What a fool .. as for the next decades big fat cheques dropped onto his letterbox . That included all the lunchboxs and pillows etc etc.

  21. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    "Under VCAP, ... collect IP addresses of prolific prates."

    Er, just how were BPI and MPA getting hold of IP addresses in the first place? Were they allowed to tap into ISP communications?

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: "Under VCAP, ... collect IP addresses of prolific prates."

      They join the torrent and ask for peers. Or rather, they pay a company to do that for them and give them lists of IP addresses for films they distribute.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: "Under VCAP, ... collect IP addresses of prolific prates."

        @Tom 38:

        Ah, so they join in on the pirate party? If this was physical media, I'm pretty sure anyone taking part in the distribution would be liable for handling stolen goods, so not quite sure of the ethics of enabling 3rd parties to channel warez through your own peer. The only blameless way to do it would be ISP logs, and it seems they aren't blameless then.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: "Under VCAP, ... collect IP addresses of prolific prates."

        They join the torrent and ask for peers. Or rather, they pay a company to do that for them and give them lists of IP addresses for films they distribute.

        And just watch that they get a list of people streaming something *ELSE* with the same or similar title. Would be like Chicago Pictures getting a list of people sharing "Redline", only to find it's the (far superior) *anime* film those people are streaming. (although I'm more likely to BUY the anime, as Madhouse is more deserving of my support).

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: "Under VCAP, ... collect IP addresses of prolific prates."

      Er, just how were BPI and MPA getting hold of IP addresses in the first place? Were they allowed to tap into ISP communications?

      Yes, I comonly hack the world's ISPs without even skipping a beat, it's so easy. In fact it's automatic. Bittorrent clients like Transmission do it automatically for me these days, but tools like iftop also do it for me. I hack the ISP by asking my system to tell me which IPs are connected to my machine when I am sharing material.

      Before VPN's were common, before IP4 got so tight on available numbers, and of course before people had bots or other ways to mask their real IP, getting the IP of anyone connected to your machine was as simple as looking up the list of IP's connected to your machine.

      Of course, these days a lot more of those IPs will be from VPN providers or shared by a much larger number of hosts, but not too many years back when little Johnny was seeding the latest batman "movie" all you had to do was open a torrent client and try to download said movie, instant list of IPs that are currently sharing or stealing that data - then since you have government backing contact the ISP that IP routes to, say "At this time this IP was up/downloading this movie, please send them a strongly worded letter telling them how naughty they are".

  22. Milton Silver badge

    Cause and outcome in a single sentence

    "... none of the ... participants appeared to have established any criteria for judging the progress¹ of the initiative, and none ... had shown a willingness to clarify how much it had cost² to implement and run"

    ¹ They never took it seriously and had no expectation of success.

    ² They still wasted money on an ill-conceived and badly-managed project.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All about the content

    "I'm sorry but populartvshow/filmyouwantedtowatch isn't available in your region"...

    I was watching the SDCC and the Marvel announcements about new Marvel shows on Disney+ streaming service.

    "How much is this?" asks my son. $6.99/month - not sure on UK price.

    "Can we get it?".. hmm

    I already have;

    Netflix HD

    Prime Video

    NowTV Movies and Children

    Spotify Family

    Virgin Media TV (basic package)

    BBC TV licence

    Then there is ITV player, channels 4 and 5 on demand, BBC iPlayer, BritBox.

    If only you could chose 1 streaming provider and all content was available via licence.

    People only head to things like KODI because of these stupid licence rights. There is education needed also - I know someone (not me - honest) who got a firestick with software installed. They are oblivious to where these streams are coming from.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: All about the content

      @AC It certainly is all about the content,... so, I'm a bit of a nerd, and I was excited to learn that DC had made a SwampThing series,.... but then I was a bit miffed to learn it's only going to be shown on DC Universe, and that DC Universe isn't going to offer it's services to the UK, and that they then cancelled the series right after the first episode aired (although the series had finished production so they will air all the episodes filmed.)

      So unless they release a Region 2 box set,......

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: All about the content

        It's all available on Exodus Redux. I'll leave you to do the research.

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: All about the content

      It's not the only reason... the reason I stopped was after buying seasons 1 and 2 of GOT via Tesco's subscription service a few years ago. Tesco then sold the service to Talk Talk who promptly removed the method of access I used to watch that content. When I complained I was told that they "have the right to change access methods at their discretion."

      When I then asked for a refund of the £30 of content that they had effectively then stolen from me, I was pretty much told to f**k off.

      I was able to write off the £30 TBH, but I learned a valuable lesson in terms of paying for virtual content.

      Never again. Ever.

  24. tiggity Silver badge

    value of genuine content

    Ah, the "value of genuine content".

    Not long a go, a prog I record on UK C4 (Free to air station that has ads, prog was Handmaids tale) started far later than normal (overrun due to cricket world cup) so my time based recording (even though it had plenty of "wiggle room" for delays) was missing some of the later content of the program as recording stopped before delayed program complete

    No problem I thought, I'll watch the remainder using the All4 "catchup" service

    Cue tedium of registration and then (given that i just wanted to fast forward past the 40 or so minutes I had seen to reach unwanted content) having to spend many minutes on unskippable adverts before I finally (not very fast due to ads) fast forwarded to where I wanted (then more unskippable ads as I was watching) - especially irritating as already plenty of lots of ads on the content I managed to record & watch

    .. Value for me - not great, especially as caused by C4 decision to alter transmission times instead of stopping the sport at its scheduled time (hint - chances are lots of affected viewers, could have scrapped ads on the affected TV content on your digital catchup for a few days)

    Amount of time wasted on registration to teh service and unskippable ads just to reach approx 20 minutes of missed content - I would have been far better off "pirating" the episode for a hassle free viewing experience.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: value of genuine content

      I gave up of C4 online, my wife decided it was too much hassle to watch one programme.

      My wife actually bothered to register BBC I player, we do use it.

      C5 still works OK (so she can catch up on hotel programmes).

      shITV is missing (but not missed).

      A little bit of advice shITV, do a client for the best selling games console, I DO NOT watch TV on a telephone.

      Yes I called and moaned, and told them it was a good job that so much of their output was shit. (I wanted to see one programme).

      So for streaming, we only bother with BBC or C5, C4 have 27 catch up channels and no TV is that important that you actually have to subscribe.

      I do subscribe to Amazon Prime though, they do do some good programmes.

    2. Duffy Moon

      Re: value of genuine content

      All4 has a lot of good content, but none of it is in HD. It's 2019!

  25. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Personally...

    I've not watched broadcast TV now for about 5 years and don't miss it. Haven't watched iPlayer since the rules change came in and don't miss it. I've not paid the license fee for 5 years but still get harrassed by Crapita with their pathetic monthly notices.

    The only thing I pay for is my Eurosport subscription and at £6 per month I find that very good value for money.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Personally...

      I've not watched broadcast TV now for about 5 years and don't miss it. Haven't watched iPlayer since the rules change came in and don't miss it. I've not paid the license fee for 5 years but still get harrassed by Crapita with their pathetic monthly notices.

      Would the laws in your area allow you to first send them a "final notification" complete with advice the you will charge them a decent amount (eg $1,000) for every letter they send beyond an acknowledgement of your letter, and any further correspondence will constitute agreement to be bound by your terms? (I mean it works for the software industry and many other "these terms subject to change, no notification will be given of changes, continued use means you agree to all changes" type scams - why not apply it to them?)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I subbed to a motoring orientated streaming service a few months back for the first time. I have over the years (literally years, I started with a xbox classic to watch the feeds running xebian and gentoox) just got used to using mythtv to record dvb-s2 content when it suits and watching it on pc's with mythfront end or kodi with the myth pvr integration on android boxes etc dotted round the place.

    I thought, "it'll be good, I'll just plug the streams into my existing setup" and then *DRM*, only playable through their app etc etc. So installed the app and patched it and got it feeding content into other stuff and then suddenly realised half the shows were region locked too with no warning which of their titles you could watch until you clicked on it to watch. I could defeat the region lock (well 5 of them I discovered) via a vpn, but I thought sod it why bother so I just cancelled the sub and pick up the tiny bit of content they had I wanted elsewhere instead, no drm, native stuff, streamed into a file so no massive pauses when the network burps, no region locking etc.

    tl,dr; piracy is a better experience than running the gauntlet of drm and region locking and has been for many years, and nothing really changes.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While they keep jacking up copyright lengths to ridiculous numbers of years I'll keep pirating (I'm mostly into old stuff) but when they bring it down to a reasonable length then I'll be reasonable.

    Don't get me started on Cliff's Law and the extension of copyright for audio recording from 50 to 75 years. No objection to people getting paid but I do object to Executives great,great,great,great,great and ad infinitum grand children still milking us.

  28. steviebuk Silver badge

    Nice example there

    A guy asking at work about a tablet that has a HDMI lead so they can use that to downloaded Amazon Prime movies through their app and then watch them via the tablet, connected to a HDMI lead on the TV (I assume they don't have a smart TV). And to use the tablet on a plane ride, oh and is cheap.

    Looking for those requirements is difficult. Most tablets now don't have HDMI. Some don't allow USB to HDMI and even when do you then can't charge at same time. Amazon Prime offline viewing via a laptop was mentioned but it was pointed out that this isn't allowed by Prime apparently, you can only stream on a laptop.

    Block after block after block.

    I said that is why people end up pirating. As you can simply download the movie you want, for the plane ride at least, stick it on your mobile and using VLC watch it. Like I did with my DVD rips of Columbo from my purchased Columbo DVD collection. Assuming said TV had USB ports you could also stick said videos on a USB stick to watch on the TV.

    The industry needs to stop fucking around and make it easier. Granted, it is somewhat now with NOWTV, NetFlix and Amazon but only if Streaming. And if you live somewhere like the Isle of Wight with their lack of fast fibre and no Virgin media at all, then you're fucked. Even more so if somewhere out in the sticks. But then you can buy DVDs and Blu-rays for that. But even Blu-Rays are an arse to get playing on a PC/Laptop. I played one movie once from a Blu-ray and tried to drag the player to the other monitor. It went apeshit and moaned about the monitor not complying with it's DRM bollocks. What a load of shit.

    As always, the IT Crowd is thought of when I think of anti-piracy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg

  29. RedCardinal

    >>the organization that terrified British internet users

    Hardly....

  30. steviebuk Silver badge

    Another perfect example of why I have no sympathy for an arse of an industry

    The late and great Bob Monkhouse was taken to court in 1979 for his movie collection.

    "Aside from comedy, Monkhouse was also a film buff (he appeared in a dozen films himself) and had a private collection of movies, which on one occasion led him into trouble. In 1978, he was arrested for conspiracy to defraud film companies by illegally importing films for his collection"

    He was, thankfully, acquitted of all charges but the cunts never gave him his collection back.

    Later, after he died, it turned out if it hadn't been for Bob Monkhouse taping loads and loads of shows off the TV, a lot of series would of been lost due to the big corporations being the greedy cunts they are and not choosing to store them (BBC were notorious for taping over old shows).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykNV4n32KGk

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Another perfect example of why I have no sympathy for an arse of an industry

      I like Bob Monkhouse.

      He even had the same model portable Betamax VCR as me.

      He was a Beta fan.

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