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UK Government Advised to Promote and Adopt DRM 304

Posted by michael
from the gigo dept.
aking137 writes "From ZDNet, the UK Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG) are recommending '...actively promoting the development and spread of global DRM-related standards' on the grounds that 'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'. Also in the article: 'The massive popularity of peer-to-peer networks also needs to be urgently addressed, the BSG said.'" The report (pdf) is online.
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UK Government Advised to Promote and Adopt DRM

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  • well alright then! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cakestick (323966) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:20AM (#6532237) Homepage
    oh yeah, that's the most pressing issue with broadband.. that people aren't interested in the ways they wish to exploit it. egads!
    • by ePhil_One (634771) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:27AM (#6532304) Journal
      You know, I was talking to my dad last night, and he said:
      "If you don't get addequate controls on this computer to protect the copyright holders Intellectual Property, I'm going to have to ban that cable modem from this house!"

      He then went on about how there wasn't enough taxes, and how the unemployement rate was too low to ensure that every man, woman, and child had access to the american dream...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:21AM (#6532243)
    Where broadband has failed because there's no DRM, or is it more like Japan, or maybe Canada?

    Wait, maybe its like the US, where with DRM and the DMCA, broadband is failing.
  • Likely to falter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Havokmon (89874) <rick&havokmon,com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:22AM (#6532258) Homepage Journal
    'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'

    Didn't anyone tell them porn and piracy are the main reasons for broadband?

    At least they left the good stuff ;)

    • by rmadmin (532701) <rmalek@homecod[ ]rg ['e.o' in gap]> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:26AM (#6532293) Homepage
      'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'

      I think what they are trying to say is:
      'We can't offord for people to actually use the bandwidth we sold them, you must get rid of bandwidth clogging mp3s and movies so we can survive selling 1mbit connectivity, even though we can't support all of our users actually using that 1mbit'

      ok thats kinda drawn out, but I think thats kinda what they are saying.
      • by Havokmon (89874) <rick&havokmon,com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:41AM (#6532435) Homepage Journal
        I think what they are trying to say is: 'We can't offord for people to actually use the bandwidth we sold them, you must get rid of bandwidth clogging mp3s and movies so we can survive selling 1mbit connectivity, even though we can't support all of our users actually using that 1mbit'
        ok thats kinda drawn out, but I think thats kinda what they are saying.

        Interesting thought.. I took it more along the lines of:
        "Sure, we know we can't really control every detail of what goes over our lines, but it a lot of press makes us look like Pirates Cove. Let's cover our butts, and put the onus on the government to mandate a system that will make us look good without costing us a dime. The other industries can worry about implementing it."

        IMHO, it's the perfect plan.

    • by blibbleblobble (526872) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:30AM (#6532337)
      "Didn't anyone tell them porn and piracy are the main reasons for broadband?"

      Don't worry, the politicians will know...
    • Re:Likely to falter? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by turgid (580780)
      Didn't anyone tell them porn and piracy are the main reasons for broadband?

      ....and downloading Free Software.

      Is this a sneaky way of preventing the wholesale adoption of Free and Open Source software?

      • by TopShelf (92521) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:51AM (#6532539) Homepage Journal
        Of course it is! Come on, a quasi-government group comes out with a report supporting restrictions on people swapping copyrighted material illegally. I'm sure that the whole reason they're doing this is to thwart OSS - in fact, if you think about it, the Broadband Stakeholder Group has the same initials (BG) as the biggest and baddest opponent of OSS out there, Bill Gates himself! Somebody call Mulder and Scully quick!
      • by Zak3056 (69287) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:21PM (#6532808) Journal
        ....and downloading Free Software.

        Is this a sneaky way of preventing the wholesale adoption of Free and Open Source software?


        The quantity of tinfoil you must be using in that hat of yours almost makes me want to go out and buy stock in Alcoa...
        • But he might be right.

          The people behind the BSG are not the ISPs but intellectuk (according to the contact email addresses).

          IntellectUK are an IT industry body backed by Microsoft who told the government not to buy GPL [slashdot.org]
  • Scary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:22AM (#6532260) Homepage
    The fact that DRM doesn't actually solve anything doesn't seem to phase these people?

    Sure you can make *your* software DRM but free open source multimedia applications already exist. The cat is out of the bag [so to speak].

    If there are any psych majors in the crowd could you please explain to me the appeal of seeking out the "latest 3 letter fad" regardless of any the predictable outcomes [e.g. DRM techniques always fail because the problem has no solution].

    Tom
  • Where is the logic? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:23AM (#6532267)
    Fast downloads of MP3s are why people sign up for the first place. Stopping that would discourage my John Thomas from signing up for broadband. How can they say that "digital piracy" slows adoption of broadband? That just makes out with me.
  • HAR! Comedy Gold! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rorgg (673851) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:24AM (#6532272)
    'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'

    Because the general populace HATES getting entertainment in a medium of their choice for free. What they REALLY want is a lot of constraints on using their entertainment purchases, and really aggressive copyright holders to sue them when they think they might have stepped out of line.

    Oh yeah, need DRM in there quick or this "internet" thing will never catch on.

    • Ya, this was my thought. They are basically saying, let's kill off the one reason most people are adopting broadband. As it currently sits, there are only two real reasons that a person would have to get broadband.
      1. High speed songs/movies/porn. Sure, a legal way to get these wouldn't hurt, but right now P2P is the best way to get this stuff. This is most of your broadband users, in my experience.
      2. Getting a damn good ping on Enemy Territory or other online games. Much smaller group of people.
      Othe
  • Ah ha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dorward (129628) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:24AM (#6532273) Homepage Journal
    So making it harder for people to help themselves to media files over the Internet is supposed to encourage people to switch to broadband?
  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:24AM (#6532280)
    Let's use this same logic a century ago and compare it to the fledgling automobile boom.


    "The upcoming boom in automobiles is likely to fail unless we install governors on all cars to enforce speed limits."


    Reading this, does anyone else go, hunh?

  • DRM an issue? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    why is DRM an "issue" only MPAA and RIAA sees it as an issue everyone else sees it as them trying to make more money.
  • These include urgently looking into ways of developing "effective measures for enforcing intellectual property rights", and actively promoting "the development and spread of global DRM-related standards".

    And, as everything every user create is copyrighted to this user, how are the DR of this user Managed, and how are the ip rights of this user enforced ?

    remember that system like sdmi consider that unmanaged content should be managed, and once in the system, cannot be extracted. this is a clear violation o
  • by doctor_oktagon (157579) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:25AM (#6532286)
    It's a fair point to assume the more access to high-capacity connections then the easier it is to download large-volume copyrighted material.

    From this viewpoint I would argue the report is at least far-sighted. ... but I agree broadband in the UK has more pressing issues at the moment, like when are we all going to get access to it?
  • by peterpi (585134) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:25AM (#6532290)
    "'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'."

    The UK's broadband boom has been caused by digital piracy. Kazaa and the like are nearly the only reason anyone I know has got a broadband connection. The only other reason is online gaming, but everybody I know who plays games also downloads music and films.

    • by garcia (6573) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:41AM (#6532436) Homepage
      no, the reason that most people have broadband is the simple fact that they don't want to wait for dialup to connect, they don't want to tie up the phone line, and they don't want to wait for their Flash enabled webpages to load.

      My father uses DSL because his online banking page took too long to load with dialup.
      • *tic* *tic* *tic*... you hear that? That's the meter running. Worrying about the phone bill, broken downloads = wasted money, idling waiting for your friends to come online = waste of money, remember to disconnect when you're done (e.g. you go play a game, even if you turn the machine off when not using it) and so on.

        The single most important reason for me was to get a flatrate connection. No worries, no insecurity, no nastygram phonebill. That is the real power of broadband, and why I'd never want a meter
    • well, you don't know me but I have broadband purely for convenience. I never have to wait for a connection, and I can browse in a normal fashion (i.e. not having to only have one window at a time, that kinda thing). That and working from home is a helluva lot easier with a decent connection ...

      a lot of the people I know have similar reasons.
    • I think that the reason that there is the availability of movies and music (in the sheer volume that there is) is because of the availability of Broadband.

      if anything, mp3s and movies came about because of the broadband explosion, not the other way around.
  • 'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'

    Riiiight...

    We have to save broadband! But how? I know! Let's limit what people can do with it and throw them in prison if they don't comply!

  • by dethl (626353)
    even if DRM was implemented, many broadband users would probably cancel their service. In the end, the broadband companies would just blame it on piracy, taking us back to the original problem.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too.
  • thats funny.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jtilak (596402)
    one of the main reasons for getting broadband is so you can download large files faster. large files like songs, movies, pr0n, warez...
    • That as may be the case, but it was sold to "the public" as a way of viewing movie trailers, good-quality video feeds, etc.

      This is reflected in BT, AOL advertising, etc.

      Not as a "kazaa" pipe sticking out the back of your PC!
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:37AM (#6532397) Homepage
    My bullcrap detector went off when I read this:

    "Digital Rights Management and micro-payments are becoming 'make or break' issues for the whole of the broadband value chain," said Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, in a statement.

    The value of broadband isn't determined by which businesses deign to offer pay services requiring a high speed pipe. The value of broadband is based entirely on what the end user is willing to pay for a high-speed pipe to their house. I'm sick of these rat-bastard marketroids who keep trying to redefine the utility of internet connectivity based on their [TV/radio/other mass-media] mindset: "we talk, you listen (and buy)". Broadband is doomed unless they can sell stuff to us? Broadband is doomed unless they can force us to pay-per-[view/listen/read] for the media we "buy"? Broadband is doomed unless they get to keep our credit card number on file to make paying them [easy/automatic/mandatory]? Please...

  • by vegetablespork (575101) <vegetablespork@gmail.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:38AM (#6532411) Homepage
    'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'.

    should read

    'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter if more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'.

  • without set top boxes so that people can watch their movies on their TVs most people won't want broadband for watching movies and TV?
  • by gosand (234100) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:40AM (#6532424)
    I pay a monthly fee for my broadband service. How does digital piracy, by me or anyone else, affect that? The DSL ISP is getting their money from me. Apart from that, they should stay out of my business. Is online piracy consuming all their bandwidth? If so, then how will making broadband more available help this?

    I don't understand their position. Oh wait. Unless they are getting pressure from the entertainment industry to take this stance. Now it makes sense. I know this is a UK issue, so maybe things are different over there. But I just don't understand how online piracy is preventing the spread of broadband services.

    • All DSL ISPs assume that you will not use your bandwidth. Seriously. Yes, they market it as a 24/7 512Mb or whatever service but they assume that you will never use it at full capacity at anything like that level. Look at the situation not long ago with NTL: that 1Gig a day cap they were proposing works out at less than a fifth of the possible download capability of a 512Kbps line. And NTL were complaining about that 1Gb putting too much of a load on their systems. This is true, to an extent, but the real p
      • This is true, to an extent, but the real problem from their point of view is that if users actually use all the bandwidth they are paying for ...

        Well, the problem is that the users are using bandwidth that was advertised, not that they have paid for. If the users were actually paying for a 512Kbps line, as you said, they'd be paying a lot more.

        Personally, I wouldn't mind having a cap on daily usage, as long as it's spelled out in the advertising and contract. I'd say it's a lot better than metered net
    • He's been modded +1 troll, +1 interesting and now +2 interesting, but the point is valid. WTF does broadband internet have to do with DRM? My father didn't get broadband to pirate mp3z or warez, he just got tired of waiting to DL huge PDF's & Microshaft SDK stuff through a 5.6K modem.

      Some other post made the observation that my broadband internet is something i'm paying for... and completely seperate from those rat-bastard marketroids [slashdot.org] I think we're starting to get back to the old argument of "it's mine,

  • by non (130182)
    as i just said here [slashdot.org], services such as iTunes won't be available anywhere outside of the US until other countries pass DMCA-type laws.

    it may just be a bunch of smoke and mirrors, but its a bunch that there going to make damn sure we have to live with!

  • True - sort of (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:42AM (#6532449)
    'The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy'

    This is probably true. I work in an organisation that requires content from the people that Slashdot love and then hate on an almost daily basis.

    They have made it abundantly clear that if we don't support DRM, they will not give us any content. There is no room for negotiation.

    As much as I hate DRM and some of the ideas behind it, I realise that when companies make that kind of demand there is nothing we can do about it. Sure, we could say "push off, we don't want you" but then that would be a monumentally dumb move and in the end, if we kept that stance up, we'd have nothing to sell. Plus, before you start - we are a big company. This is not a case of us verses the big guys.

    When every single company you work with is starting to make those demands, you have no chance but to comply.

    So in that sense, I think they're probably right. If content providers see that the UK is making no effort towards adopting DRM, then they simply won't sell there. Again, there is no room for negotiation - like it, or lump it.

    • If they won't provide content without DRM, someone else will. The old media content providers have their fossilized heads up their sterilized asses and want DRM so as to keep new content providers from thinking up a better business model.
    • What you say is clearly true. However, the BSG is only looking at the equation from one perspective, as their sole purpose is to encourage growth of BB in the UK. Personally, I refuse to accept their logic that BB uptake will be faster with DRM than without. There is no reason whatsoever to accept that that I can see, even if certain content providers won't play, that doesn't mean that BB uptake will be slower as there are plenty of other reasons to get BB.

      Even if they are correct, they are effectively

    • This content will make it into your network anyways. Except they will not be paid for it, but you will be paid for the bandwith by the end user.
  • Exports (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lovebyte (81275) * <lovebyte2000@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:43AM (#6532457) Homepage
    Let us not forget that one of the UK industries that export the most is the music industry. Now you might understand the logic behind this report.
    • I liked this passage from page 14: [empasis added]

      "Piracy
      In assessing the relationship between the availability of online content services and broadband take-up an obvious question can be posed: if consumer broadband take-up is limited when there is wide availability of free content, courtesy of, for example, file sharing technologies, why should the introduction of technologies ushering in a new internet age of controlled content access and use promote wider broadband use?

      There are a number of equally o

  • by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:44AM (#6532471)
    Water, electricity... bandwidth?

    Water and electricity are commonly billed on a usage basis -- you pay $X per gallon of water, you pay $Y per megawatt of electricity. This causes certain actions, such as conservation of water and electricity, which are beneficial as these are limited resources.

    Bandwidth is also a limited resource, and as it is being more and more dependent upon by business and government...

    If people were paying for bandwidth like they do for many other utilies, conservation of bandwidth would be achieved and much of this piracy would be limited. When Danny's father gets the internet bill for $200, Danny's P2P software is getting uninstalled. If Danny leaves all the lights on in the house, or leaves all the faucets running water all day every day, we can easily see that his water and electricity bills would skyrocket and he would pay for his usage, as well as shortening the supply of these two shared resources for others especially in times of limited resources.

    The days of flat-rate internet usage (should be) numbered. If I download a 650 MB ISO image of RedHat, or a 650 MB ISO of a pirated version of MS Office XP, it doesn't matter, similarly it doesn't matter if Danny is taking 30-minute showers or is just running the shower into the drain for 30 minutes.

    Maybe that's what the UK should be looking at instead of all this DRM nonsense. The primary reason people download music is because they can get it "for free" since they are already paying their flat rate for internet access. If it actually costs them (in terms of $Z per MB) perhaps they will think twice about both downloading and potentially more expensive uploading of these files.

    And maybe that will help some of these god-awful websites clean up their massively over-imaged websites.
    • Bandwidth is also a limited resource

      This is the flaw in your analogy. "Bandwidth" is not a consumable like gas, water, or electricity. It is a measurement of capacity, like the size of the [gas/water] pipe or the amperage rating of your electrical service. You don't pay extra for a bigger gas pipe or larger electrical panel. Bandwidth doesn't get "used up", it only gets saturated.

    • "Bandwidth is also a limited resource," Is it? Last I heard masses of fiber were just sitting dark - if there is any scarcity then it is a completely artifical one.
    • I don't have an on/off button on my DSL modem. Neither, probably, do you or most other people. When I lived in Tampa, I had one until the cable company arrived one morning to tell me that I had to get a new modem installed.

      If companies really want everyone to conserve bandwidth then why can't we block the pipe without unplugging the thing? Makes no sense unless they get a bigger benefit from knowing exactly what your computer is doing at any given moment.
    • Data are not like water, gas and electricity. Data can be reproduced infinitely at virtually no cost. The others have to be made or dug out of the ground or cleaned up etc. and once used are gone.

      If the broadband company is willing to sell me a 600kbit/s link at £25/month then why shouldn't I be allowed to use it as much as I like?
      What are the hidden costs?
      Why shouldn't you just pay for the size of the pipe?

    • Water, electricity... bandwidth?

      Water and electricity are commonly billed on a usage basis -- you pay $X per gallon of water, you pay $Y per megawatt of electricity. This causes certain actions, such as conservation of water and electricity, which are beneficial as these are limited resources.


      Hogwash.

      Let's sort out terminology first. Bandwidth is the diameter of the pipe that bits flow through. It is NOT the amount of bits.

      If we accept this definition, then I would agree with you. People should pay mor
    • the 'big' players already buy bandwith in such fashion, that have popular websites & etc.

      paying in mb for end users would be fine by me too, _IF_ AND ONLY _IF_ the pricing wouldn't be ridiculous(so that with ~50$ per month you could transfer 1-2gb per day, or so would be fair imho, currently). the providers WANT to sell a flat rate service, but what they don't want is that people actually use it for anything. the perfect subscription is one that the end user never uses.

      there is absolutely NO reason wh
    • Many 'utilities' have a flat 'subscriber' rate for up to a base amount of usage, and if you exceed that you get charged per kW/hr, kB, gallon.. etc.

      As long as the base rate/cap are *reasonable* its not a terrible idea. But still give us the option of buying unlimited as well, for us people that use their broadband for work.

      But.. once i get charged for use, i agree the websites and spam-artists MUST be dealt with. im not going to pay extra just to see their crap, which many times i cant control ( ie, spam
    • You're absolutely right. And because you're right, and it's an unpopular position here, prepare for a massive assault by the trolls that occupy this place.

      Metered bandwidth usage would solve a ton of problems IF users were charged seperately for uploading and downloading. The same rate for both, but tracked independantly. This would kill the vast majority of the spam business right away. If pushing that "send" icon meant getting charged for all of the bandwith it takes to send mail to 100,000 addresses, sp
  • by sharky611aol.com (682311) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:44AM (#6532473)
    A little sampling of the members of this "Broadband Stakeholder Group":

    AOL Time Warner

    British Music Rights

    Universal Studios

    Panasonic

    And my favorite: "The Work Foundation" (a fully owned subsidiary of The Human Fund) Source: Broadband Stakeholder Group's Website [broadbanduk.org]

    And remember, never attribute to studpidity that which can more accurately be attributed to a global conspiracy.

    • So basicly the monopoly-like ownership of the music industry agrees, DRM is a good thing for profits.

      But I'm left wondering how they are going to make a profit if nobody ever wants to buy another one of their CDs because of what they did to us. I mean, are we really guilty until proven innocent? That's the way I feel when things like DRM is forced down my throat.
  • Without DRM, broadband won't become popular. These guys really have thier finget on the pulse of the net generation. Yep, got it all wrapped up.
    Reminds me of AT+T's CEO talking about the big telecoms recovery in the next few years where everybody is going to going crazy paying for music and movies and the best part --videoconfrencing.
    Well, as long as he can hustle all the 80 year old shareholders it works. Shine on baby.
    You just got to have confidence, see.
  • by mccalli (323026) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:48AM (#6532510) Homepage
    Hmm. Well, as a UK citizen I advise the government to provide me with free pizza for life. However, it seems unlikely that they'll listen to or act upon that advice. Why does this group believe its advice to carry any more weight?

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:49AM (#6532521) Homepage Journal
    The massive popularity of peer-to-peer networks also needs to be urgently addressed.

    This trend of allowing corporations to dictate law to politicians also needs to be urgently addressed, but I don't see them recommending anything in that regard...oh wait...you usually don't make recommendations that will lessen your power.

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:51AM (#6532541)
    Broadband what?

    Large parts of the UK can't get broadband and these clowns are coming up with DRM recommendations?

    Piracy is a problem, but with all the factors put together is it any wonder people are saving money copying music? house prices are very high (£125,000 average UK house price), council taxes have soared, NI contributions have gone up, fuel prices are slightly higher. The average UK citizen has between £2000 and £3000 worth of credit debt.
    • But you have 'free' medicine that looks and operates like a 3rd world country (6 month wait for ingrown toenail, heroin is given to birthing mothers, etc.) and 'free' education that doesn't hold a candle to that in a decent private school elsewhere (and I've been there, I know, this isn't a random troll).
      But hey, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'. When does Mr. Mouch become PM?
  • 'The massive popularity of peer-to-peer networks also needs to be urgently addressed, the BSG said.'

    I'm sure what they mean is to try their darndest to shut down p2p networks, but in the words of Hugh Grant, "that's just silly." Why do they have to be addressed this way? Why don't we address the broken IP and copyright legal system instead? Why don't we address the VERY broken entertainment and recording industry?
  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:02PM (#6532624)
    I think the point is that broadband could do with more killer apps. Currently companies are unwilling to let their content loose on the net due to piracy concerns, whereas if there was a pervasive, fairly reliable DRM system, a lot more companies would make use of broadband, which in turn would make people more likely to buy it.

    Sure, you may say, why would people pay for what they can get *now* for free?

    a) It's still not that easy to get. Sure, you can use kazaa, but it's not really reliable or quick
    b) Legal systems would get marketed. I'm sure this makes a lot of difference. If people were getting ads on TV all the time advertising on-demand movies, streaming music etc, they'd be a lot more tempted to get broadband.
    • I think the point is that broadband could do with more killer apps. Currently companies are unwilling to let their content loose on the net due to piracy concerns, whereas if there was a pervasive, fairly reliable DRM system, a lot more companies would make use of broadband, which in turn would make people more likely to buy it.

      LOL. Are you saying that more you make broadband look like TV, the better it will be?

      The point of broadband for many, many people is not the (potential) ability to watch pay-per-v
  • Ah well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    And an echoed cry was heard around the countryside, "Will the last one leaving the island, please turn the lights out?"

    Speaking as a born and raised Englishman, I'm considering leaving this country as it increasingly goes down the pan. I was a fierce patriot once - but times have changed. I simply can't find a way to be proud of being British any more. I know I'm not alone in thinking that it may well be time to head back into old Europe - I have loads of friends in the process of emigrating.

    Maybe I'll
  • Riiiiight (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ride-My-Rocket (96935)
    [The] UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy

    Actually, the more piracy there is, the more broadband is needed / utilized. There's absolutely no reason to combat piracy, where growing the broadband market is concerned.
  • This sounds exactly like the argument used by the US media companies to get Sen. Fritz Hollings to propose the SSSCA, or whatever it got renamed to.

    Some of us might actually use broadband to transmit large amounts of non-media data, or do VOIP. It isn't all about music and movies!

    Fight back!
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:09PM (#6532685) Homepage Journal
    You can avoid being sued or arrested if you download legal music instead of getting your tunes from the p2p networks. You also don't need to deal with Digital Rights Management.

    Many unsigned and independent musicians provide free downloads of their music on their websites as a way to attract more fans. Here's some from my friend Oliver Brown [kingturtle.com] for example. Many such musicians, while relatively unknown, are as good as any major label band and certainly an improvement over the pablum they serve up on ClearChannel.

    You can find many more examples in my new article:

    The article also explores some of the historical and legal issues behind copyright, and suggests steps the file traders can take to make file sharing legal.

    If you're a musician who offers downloads of your music, I can link to your band's website from the article if you give my article a reciprocal link. Please follow the instructions given here [goingware.com]

  • Tony Blair (Score:3, Funny)

    by Molina the Bofh (99621) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:15PM (#6532746) Homepage
    If it depends on Tony Blair, aka US joyful puppy, then the UK will have DRM.

    This is sad. So sad.
  • The only reason I have braodband is to download large files. I'm talking 50megs, 100 megs, even various files that make up one entire dl that add up to over a gig. Dling music that hovers from around 2-10 megs is also a huge reason for broadband.

    Just like upgrading pc's to get things moving faster we get faster connections for the same purpose. If you're on broadband depending on the type (cable/DSL/etc.) you can grab an mp3 in a minute or so but on dialup it can take you way over 10 minutes to get the sam
  • by rusty0101 (565565) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:21PM (#6532815) Homepage Journal
    One of the recurring themes with Media providers is that they need a way to make more money of the sam variety of product with each new inovation.

    Examples from the RIAA include the fact that a lp record would cost $8, and a casette tape of the same recording would be sold for $9. When CD's came out they upped the price immediately to $10, then over the next 15 years ramped it up to $15 per album. As they realized they could add features onto the CD, such as data tracks with atrax compressed editions of the music, and possibly video clips in mpeg format, they bumped the prices up to $18-$20 for an Album. (More if they could find a way to make it multi-disk.)

    Similarly going from vhs, (which I realize the movie industry did not want to use at all initially) where a movie would cost between $5.99 and $20, (at a time when the same movie was shown 6 or more months previously in theaters for $4.00, $2.50 Matinee) to DVD, the Movie industry generally bumped the price up to between $9 and $29 depending upon the features they decided to include, and their take on the potential market for that movie.

    Broadband is their next target. They want to sell you the option of watching any of most of their library of videos. However they do not trust the existing platform because it is altogether too easy to pirate the videos that they would like to provide for you to watch.

    Yes the current boom is largely due to piracy of one sort or another. Whether it is MP3 audio, or Divix video, is only peripherally important. They believe that there is a much larger market for them if they can get to the vast majority of customers who will not pirate their material.

    If they can charge $4.99 to ppv a movie they released last year, and $2.99 for a movie from 5 years or more ago, or $.50 to p4p an audio track from the last year, and $.25 for more than 5 years ago, they think that they could be making significantly more money. They may even be willing to sell you a copy of the same movie for 3 times the ppv, or an audio track for 4 times the p4p cost.

    The disadvantage for them is that they need an even larger potential customer base than they can get from the current broadband customers. They realize that they are not going to be able to charge those prices to people who can get copies of their material free for the download from some pirate site or network.

    Since they believe that their ability to provide content is what will continue the boom in sales of broadband, they think that they have a serious voice when it comes to what the users of that network should be restricted to attaching to the network.

    I am not saying I agree with them. Just giving the logic behind it. I happen to think that there is a sufficient market for broadband without video or audio on demand from the members of the MPAA and RIAA, and their equivalents in other countries.

    Then again, I have been known to be wrong.

    -Rusty
  • by Bas_Wijnen (523957) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:23PM (#6532838)

    The massive popularity of peer-to-peer networks also needs to be urgently addressed

    Yeah, because if people massively use peer-to-peer, then they probably want their representatives to put an end to that. Or perhaps they don't?

  • What a fscking brilliant plan: Stop people from doing the things that make them want to buy your service.
  • by reality-bytes (119275) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:34PM (#6532951) Homepage
    File sharing technologies which facilitate the direct infringement of copyright have the potential to destroy important areas of creative, cultural activity: shrinking rosters of creative talent in the music industry bear compelling witness to this fact.

    Notice that last line there: shrinking rosters of creative talent in the music industry bear compelling witness to this fact. - This is the only 'fact' it seems in the document which isn't backed up by various statistics. Its worrying how government documents can make hard statements like this with no presented evidence (I'll be contacting them on Monday to ask for some).

    Notable the evidence involving statistics is geared up to attack the file-sharing networks ie: Kazaa currently running at 2.5m downloads/week.

    I believe that the BSG is a Government advisory group started by Patricia Hewitt, I'm worndering, being as they 'advise', what gives this group so much expertise in the matter?

    The report is Authored by Nick Garnett of the Simkins Partnership (Media&Entertainment Lawyers) - He reveales few if any sources of information in the document so we have to assume that he is the oracle of all things P2P and Internet.

    I dislike the way our govenment tries to 'Blind with statistics' especially when only the statistics of convenience are shown. Clearly the government is attempting to scare the UK broadband stakeholders into co-operation.

    They have scheduled September 2003 for initial talks; I'm yet to discover if any discussions will be public. I would suggest that if there are public talks, members of the general UK IT community should be in attendance before we get our legs cut out from under us by DRM side-effects.
  • Synopsis (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:34PM (#6532958) Homepage
    • Government supported globally standardised DRM [sic] technology is necessary (but, they point out repeatedly, not sufficient) to encourage online transactions, both commercial and in public services.
    • We need new payment systems that target the right audience, e.g. paying by a debit against your mobile 'phone bill for under 18s.
    • Peer-2-peer has to die, as well as DRM [sic] be adopted. This is stated baldly and absolutely. 'There is no possibility of "competing with free"'. It has to be crushed, by law, now.
    • The availability of content is an essential driver for takeup of broadband services. [They do not, however, explain why paid content is a better driver than free p2p content]

    P2P is pretty heavily demonised. "Filesharers don't [...] pay for the infrastructure they use", is the old argument that just because you were sold a 1Mbit connection doesn't mean that you should expect to use it. This is absurd, because the only way that you could pay for the infrastructure would be to buy content from your ISP. That relegates "broadband" to being just another way to pay-per-view. Excuse me, but I can already do that. Don't expect me to pay you extra for some of bits that turn left at my cable splitter rather than right.

    They also make the (seperate) point that large scale copyright violation will lead to less money going to content producers, which means that less content will be available. Yes, yes, the economy will collapse, we'll waste our money on things like mortgages and food instead, cats and dogs living together... There's no acknowledgement that if the incumbents die off because they won't change, then maybe, just maybe, something might spring up to take their place and supply the demand under the new conditions. Yes, you can't "compete with free", but why the presumption that content is only created in order to make money? Instead they propose DRM [sic] as a mechanism to prop up the incumbents, again repeating the fallacy that copy rights are designed to protect profits rather than to put work in the public domain. Look, chumps, it doesn't matter how it gets there, or how much money changes hands in the process, as long as someone is prepared to make and distribute it.

    I'd go on, but it's just repeating itself from this point. Bear in mind that they assert that "The DVD Video format [is] still relatively secure." Judge from that whether this report is worth your time.

  • Bollocks! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mopatop (690958)
    This bedroom's conclusion is that these people are talking bollocks, as surely digital piracy is one of the single most attractive reasons for getting broadband in the first place!
  • My thoughts on DRM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kurt555gs (309278)
    If I actually feel the need to manage MY digital rights, I will do it myself.

  • "The UK's broadband boom is likely to falter unless more progress is made towards combating digital piracy"

    Thats a joke right?
  • There's a billion PCs out there right now without h/w DRM. In the next few years there will be another billion sold without h/w DRM. These machines are not going to disappear overnight.

    So who can afford to limit their market place to the
    very small number of PCs that have DRM?
  • by spells (203251) on Friday July 25, 2003 @01:01PM (#6533249)
    After spending a considerable amount of time trying to figure it out (5 minutes) it seems to me that there is only 1 way for DRM to be successful - only DRM-enabled computers will be able to access the internet.

    Okay, probably not the internet, but MSNet (or something similar). This will be like the internet but more business friendly and it will be cheap for users, probably free with new computer and console purchases. Companies will pay to be on MSNet because all machines must be DRM-enabled AND consumers will want it because the speed will be measured in gigabits and be able to access the latest music, movies, etc. Of course, for a consumer to be on MSNet, you need an MSBank account that allows for simple and quick purchases.

    Once MSNet is up, the internet will go back to the geeks and the universities and MSNet will be the choice for consumers and media companies!

    Come join MSNet, Secure, fast surfing without the geeks :)

    It's coming, as soon as the DRM hardware is available - look for an announcement by 2005.

  • by Upright Joe (658035) <uprightjoe.gmail@com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @01:10PM (#6533349) Homepage
    Ok, I know it's counter intuitive, but bear with me. I think DRM could possibly make music, movies, books etc, MORE readily available for free.

    I've layed out my idea in my blog [stratfordswake.com]. I could be wrong but I think it works. The only barrier I can see here in the states is possible DMCA issues resulting from decrypting DVD's or some future encrypted audio format.

    DRM can be used to subvert fair use, or protect it depending on whose hands it's in.

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