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BPI Defends Anti-File-Sharing Partnership With Virgin Media 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the choosing-sides dept.
MrSteveSD writes "The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has responded to criticism by Bill Thomson over its collusion with Virgin Media in targeting UK file sharers. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor personally wrote to the BBC to set things straight, and he asserts that 'it's Mr Thompson, rather than music companies, who is stuck in the past.' Of course, Virgin Media customers who download music and TV legally often find their connections being turned down to unusable speeds due to Virgin's aggressive throttling policy." Mike also points out a blog entry that describes one of the letters received by a Virgin Media customer. In the letter were suggestions regarding the customer's router settings and anti-virus software.
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BPI Defends Anti-File-Sharing Partnership With Virgin Media

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  • you let a record company also run an isp.

    there should be laws against running businesses cross fields.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:13AM (#23800401)
      you let a record company also run an isp.

      The record label was sold off a long long time ago. The only thing that's the same is the name. But don't let that little fact bother you.
      • difference ? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by unity100 (970058)
        you are talking about a company that has its real roots in record business, all its corporate lore, connections, even high level executives formed in there. just as microsoft is still 80s microsoft despite it runs in a very different format now, virgin is still virgin in corporate culture.
        • Re:difference ? (Score:5, Informative)

          by JPRelph (519032) <james@themacplace.c o . uk> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:07PM (#23800769) Homepage
          Not as much as you'd think. Virgin Media is basically NTL:Telewest with a new name. Basically after NTL and Telewest merged, they bought out Virgin Mobile (a cell provider with, again, very little connection to the original Virgin business in records). Richard Branson ended up with a pile of cash and a 10.7% stake in the new company because of that. That just added the mobile operator to the mix though, the bulk of Virgin Media is basically still NTL:Telewest, just with the Virgin brand attached to try and lose some of the smell that NTL and Telewest picked up over the years. It's not really working too well.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by drharris (1100127)
            If Mr. Branson indeed owns 10.7% of the current incarnation of the corporation, that means there is ample motive to use his considerable influence over the board of directors to convince them to reel in more profits away from these "thieves".

            In light of that, I would expect the connection to be just as deep as is surmised be previous posters.
          • It's in fact, basically NTL. As far as the board (and decision makers) are concerned, anyway. Telewest was a half-decent company before it was swallowed.
    • by mdmkolbe (944892) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:19AM (#23800451)

      There are laws against running businesses cross fields. They are called Anti-Trust laws in the USA ("trust" being an old word that approximately means monopoly).

      Unfortunately the scope and enforcement of these laws is very narrow as punishing a successful company for being successful is viewed as a bad thing. Basically the only time the law will be enforced is if a monopoly power (e.g. Microsoft) in one area (e.g. operating systems) uses that power to get an unfair advantage in another area (e.g. web browsers).

      (IANAL, YMMV, etc.)

      • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:25AM (#23800497) Homepage Journal
        well.

        you people are letting that happen in u.s.

        lobbyists, corporate interests, 'donations' to senators, and they produce bills for their masters.

        you need to take the reins back. and not listen to 'business should be free' bullshit from conservatives. for the freedom they speak of is only freedom for them to do whatever they want (to the extent of implanting workers with rfid chips for sake of 'security' - until california senate whacked them down) and get on top of the pile. theres no tolerance for competition in their view of life. so its pointless to lend an ear to them.

        you need a new 'new deal' president like FDR. one seems to be coming up. grab him.
        • you need a new 'new deal' president like FDR.

          You mean one that whines and attempts to sidetrack the Supreme Court when it passes down a ruling he doesn't like? No thanks, we've got one kinda like that already, although thankfully he's only got enough time left to only do the whining.
          • reason is important (Score:4, Interesting)

            by unity100 (970058) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:29PM (#23801383) Homepage Journal
            if supreme court acts to protect corporate interests at the expense of the people, and 'interprets' law to that effect, i dont see any issues with a president trying to bypass supreme court.

            lets remember that not only the law but also tradition of france was that 'ruling and privileges are aristocracy's god given rights', and in years leading up to 1789 all aristocrats were defending the 'law', and courts were deciding upon that law.

            this example should make it clear that law is not always right. especially in a country like u.s. where corporate lobbyists can buy out laws as they please and make them pass through house and president by pressurizing them from different fronts.

            yes, in short you really need a president like fdr now. for the balance is WAY off to the corporate side.
            • if supreme court acts to protect corporate interests at the expense of the people, and 'interprets' law to that effect, i dont see any issues with a president trying to bypass supreme court.

              No offense, but you really have no business voting then.
              • by unity100 (970058)
                just let me know whats your take on laws in 1789 france concerning 'aristocracy and its privileges and right to rule is god given right and tradition of france' then.
                • I'll be happy to when you show how it's the least bit relevant to the "separation of powers" doctrine under discussion.
                  • by unity100 (970058)
                    its quite straightforward.

                    democratical election and lawmaking process is very prune to exploitation by the rich. this issue is there since the roman times. not greek, because only landowners, rich aristocrats were able to vote in greece, whereas in early republic romans have given all kinds of rights to all citizens, with the tribune (public assembly, being able to pass laws that would bind both pleb (commoners) and the patricii (the elite) in addition to the long standing senate in which only elites wou
                    • however we are not in an ideal world yet, and we need FDRs.

                      Oh, you mean people that will just hand the future of the nation over to the banking industry?

                      they exclusively craft favorable conditions for their masters. this in the end makes judiciary just a tool under their hands, willingly or unwillingly

                      Yeah, whatever. You'd instead rather put *total* discretion in the hands of one man that, in the process of being elected President, accepted millions of dollars in special-interest money to get el
                    • by unity100 (970058)

                      Oh, you mean people that will just hand the future of the nation over to the banking industry?

                      why should he do that.

                      Yeah, whatever. You'd instead rather put *total* discretion in the hands of one man that, in the process of being elected President, accepted millions of dollars in special-interest money to get elected, and likely accepted millions before that in being elected to lower office, and then you think that somehow he won't be beholden to those interests, right? I appreciate the youthful idealism, but this is the real world we're dealing with

                      sadly im no longer idealistic, or can be deemed young.

                      buyer beware applies to elections as well as grocery shopping. if you elect caesar, you can expect a dictator. if you elect FDR, you can expect something else.

                      unfortunately the alternative to this is armed revolution as your constitution states, and its only legal if things REALLY get out of hand. but, things never go that out of hand, at least in appearance. they make things appear legal, so that option will be closed to yo

        • by Pichu0102 (916292)
          Every time I see "you are letting it happen in the US"... bah.

          We're letting it happen because we have no other choice. We can't stop corruption in the government, and we most certainly do not have any say over anything that matters.
          • if enough of you people would just wake up and supported a candidate that's reasonable, even if s/he is not put forth by the dominant 2 parties.
            • by Pichu0102 (916292)
              The likelyhood of that ever happening is, I assure you, absolutely 0. Not enough people care to change anything, and those who speak out loud and often are often branded as "nutjobs".

              There is no way to change anything. We the People have lost, and, for lack of a better term, are simply the walking dead, with no chance of any control over what happens to us.
              • by unity100 (970058)
                no more lost than being subjects and at the mercy of an absolute monarch in 1789 france.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:02PM (#23800727) Homepage Journal
        We have a Justice Department that is absolutely unwilling to prosecute any big corporations for anti-trust. It's been like this for the last 2 decades, and it's now the reason we have only a few oil companies, only a few airlines, only a few national telcos.

        One great example is Boeing. They were allowed to buy up all the other airframe manufacturers in the US because they claimed they couldn't compete with Airbus otherwise. Boeing got fat and happy, getting all the big contracts, until Airbus ate their lunch by building better planes. Boeing stopped trying so hard because they had no domestic competition, and now they can't compete with Airbus.

        The government of the United States has been completely co-opted by big business. We now have a person running for president (the old white guy) whose staff is entirely made up of paid representatives of big business, who have been paying his way for his entire 30-year political career. Some of them are also paid representatives of other countries, including Iran.
        • Boeing can't compete with airbus? PUT DOWN THE CRACKPIPE.

          To claim that boeing can't compete with airbus is just willful igorance of immature stupidity. boeing continues to be the world's most successful maker of large aircraft and its newest 787 series aircraft are seen to be a huge success while Airbus's A350 project flounders and the A380 seems set to be at best a modest financial success.

        • Great analysis, but Boeing is a bad example. They're now doing pretty well because their main competitor is suffering very heavy losses due to the weakness of the dollar, since their planes are made in dollars, but the labor paid for in Euros. TBH, it looks like without the support from the French Government, Airbus would've gone bankrupt in the last year. The government wont let it go bankrupt because it powers a large bit of the French Economy, and it would be very embarrassing to have it sold off to s
        • by NormalVisual (565491) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:09PM (#23801255)
          We have a Justice Department that is absolutely unwilling to prosecute any big corporations for anti-trust. It's been like this for the last 2 decades...

          I agree that the current DoJ is very averse to anti-trust actions, but the "2 decades" part is provably false - Clinton's DoJ successfully pursued an anti-trust action, and the only reason MS got off scot-free was because of an idiot judge that couldn't keep his mouth closed, resulting in an appeal that spilled over into Dubya's term, at which time the new Bush DoJ decided to let MS off with a hand slap even though the appeals court upheld the original finding of MS's guilt.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
            See, you're right, but if I don't include Clinton, then all the fool Republicans here will just fill up the thread with "But Clinton did it too!" posts.

            Although Clinton was pretty blind to the deregulation of brokerage houses and banks and didn't he let Boeing buy all their domestic competition?
      • by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:13PM (#23800819)

        Unfortunately the scope and enforcement of these laws is very narrow as punishing a successful company for being successful is viewed as a bad thing.
        And so it should be. I don't see a problem with a company being very successful to branch out in different fields. And what is a cross field, really? How about a bus company starting to run trains - is that cross field? If so why should it be illegal? A computer company producing both hardware and software, branching out in digital music players and mobile phones? Nothing wrong with that.

        Basically the only time the law will be enforced is if a monopoly power (e.g. Microsoft) in one area (e.g. operating systems) uses that power to get an unfair advantage in another area (e.g. web browsers).

        In case of Microsoft that was clearly abuse of monopoly power: forcing a web browser, media player, whatnot on users by installing it directly on the computer, and making it very very hard to remove.

        Though the area gets quite grey in case there was no such thing as a web browser, before it is integrated with the particular OS. Imagine Microsoft had invented the iPod and iTunes, and given everyone an iTunes application through Windows Update. Still monopoly abuse, especially if they were to be the first with such an application? It is quite easy to find arguments both ways in such a situation.

        Wouter.

        • by Electrawn (321224)

          How about a bus company starting to run trains - is that cross field? If so why should it be illegal?

          How about an automobile company (General Motors) using a front company (National City Lines) to rip up the light rail systems in major cities and replace them with ... automobiles and buses?

          GMC was convicted of anti-trust violations, later reversed.

          Google Trolley Conspiracy [google.com]
          "Trolley Conspiracy" [evworld.com]

          (make your own judgments)

      • Actually here in europe were pretty good with anti-trust laws, virgin ISP and virgin music, have pretty much only their name/brand and a major share holder in common.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dattaway (3088)
      there should be laws against running businesses cross fields.

      Sony is a good example. They have great electronics, but completely destroy it with DRM or rootkits.
  • by bablefisk (115988) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:10AM (#23800381)
    I am willing to bet I'm not the only one who wondered why the British Porn Industry was partnering with Virgin, before rereading the first sentence.
    • by denzacar (181829)
      Indeed.

      *replaces monocle*
    • by mangu (126918)

      I'm not the only one who wondered why the British Porn Industry was partnering with Virgin

      Well, not specifically the British Pornographic Industry, but there's a strong [easygals.com] relation [easygals.com].
  • That's okay, I will not give any money the two-faced Virgin ISP or any two-faced UK record company. How do they feel about the loss of my money as a possible subscriber / music listener?
    • Re:Defence (Score:5, Insightful)

      by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:19AM (#23800457)

      ow do they feel about the loss of my money as a possible subscriber / music listener?
      I'm sure they give about two shits worth of thought to you. But then again that's the problem =)
      • The only way to hurt an entity like this is through their pocket, so switching to a competitor _does_ make a difference.... but only in the same way a vote does. So not actually that much on an individual level, but collectively it *does* matter and therefore you [as in existing Virgin Media customers] should vote with their wallets if disagree.

        On a related note, was it not the newly installed head of Virgin Media who said that he though un-throttled broadband was "a load of bollocks" only a month or so a
      • That's exactly the problem. We are ineffectual individually.
         
        However, it sounds like there's now two of us who have stopped giving the BPI and Virgin our money. I'm willing to bet there are more. All we need is to drop them a line explaining why. I suggest doing it from the email address provided by your new ISP.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I've got hi-speed cable broadband and will almost definitely be getting one of their 'we like you, but piss off' letters. As I will no longer have any need for the hi-speed I use, I am at this very moment looking at a standard ASDL package as a replacement.

      I guess I can cut my monthly bill back from 60GBP($120)/month to around 20GBP/month.

      Virgin-media might not give a shit if I leave - but they've definitely given me the impetuous to save 40GBP/month.
  • The "letter" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:16AM (#23800427) Homepage Journal
    I actually read the letter this guy got and this comment stood out:

    "But, when I do, it does mean that traffic from other machines could be dropping out through my pipe because my laptopâ(TM)s configured as a Tor exit."

    Sorry guy, but you are responsible for any traffic that comes thru your connection. its part of the contract. You violate the contract you can be cut off. Take it like a man.

    We can debate all day long if there is such a thing as IP rights, if throttling is ok or the letters are proper ( i happen to think they should go suck an egg personally and don't believe in IP rights ) but using the argument 'it wasn't my PC' is pretty flimsy when you are running a proxy drain point intentionally.

    Yet another reason we should all be using freenet.. you cant pin the 'act' down on anyone in particular. All they can do is bitch that you are using too much bandwidth.
  • You know, I don't think I would mind too much if the movie/music industry were to go the way of the buggy whip makers.

    Yeah sure there are some mega-hit songs and some blockbuster movies I would have to go without, but there are other things in life. In fact it might be better for the art of music and movies as every work would have to be an indie work.

    The movie/music industries need to stop thinking they are entitled to exist.

    • by mangu (126918) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:00PM (#23800707)

      there are some mega-hit songs and some blockbuster movies I would have to go without

      Try the following experiment: compare this movie [btjunkie.org] with this one [btjunkie.org]. Then compare this film [btjunkie.org] with this one [btjunkie.org].


      I have a feeling that modern "blockbuster" movies are a giant step backwards. We had much more fun when films were done with shorter budgets and more imagination. Fx are OK for a while, but they can't make a bad film good.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tankko (911999)
      Yeah sure there are some mega-hit songs and some blockbuster movies I would have to go without, but there are other things in life. In fact it might be better for the art of music and movies as every work would have to be an indie work.

      Those two things are not unconnected. A lot of Indie films get made (financed) because of the profits of block busters. Hollywood is very good at farming new talent through Indie films. This isn't to say that no Indie films would get made, but I bet that several of your fa
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Then I can get out of the last nine months of my cable contract with Virgin and move to Freesat :-)
    Go ahead Virgin, make my day!!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can get out of the last nine months of my cable contract with Virgin

      Dude, I have some bad news for you. It's exactly nine months after your contact with a virgin that your troubles really begin...
  • by symes (835608)
    I'm on Virgin and I can confirm that the service they offer, at least in our city, is ropey. No, it's beyond ropey. The connection regularly drops, the cable tv service they offer freezes, broadband speeds are about 25% of advertised. And so on. Customer Service's advice? Switch eveything off and on. Great. Anyhow - given their vague service I really don't think I could tell whether they are throttling my connection or whether it's service as usual - but if one of those letters lands on my mat I wil
    • I do criticise Virgin Media, and their service has gone downhill since they were cabletel/ntl (and at the ntl era their service was already going downhill) but they are still better than any other provider that I can think of. I needed to get a broadband deal, and they offered me 2mb with phone for £15.50, with unlimited downloads. Consider if you go with BT the best you can get is with Talk Talk (40GB download limit) for a similar price, but BT love their £100 connection fee for get
    • by h4rm0ny (722443)

      "Our city" isn't useful. Tell us where abouts you are. I may change my ISP soon (as I'm with Pipex who recently got taken over by the Tiscali monster) and looking for a decent provider.
      • by master811 (874700)
        Be Un Limited is the best ISP in the UK. Its fast, cheap and unlimited, and you cannot go wrong with them, the router they supply is a bit temperamental at times (but firmware updates have seemed to have helped).
  • Faulty assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mangu (126918) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:47AM (#23800639)
    FTA: "Independent research has shown time after time that people who download illegally generally spend less on music than people that don't, which undermines investment in new music."


    Well, I suppose deaf people spend even less in buying music. The error, as always, is assuming buying would be an option for people who download illegally.


    I recently downloaded an old movie from a torrent. I would have paid, maybe $1, for that movie. It's on sale at Amazon for $14.95. If I didn't have the option of an illegal download, I simply wouldn't have watched it. There's no way I'll pay $15 for something that's worth at most $1 to me.


    What truly undermines that market aren't illegal downloads. Until the industry learns how to calculate pricing according to market rules, they'll have to live with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by localman (111171)
      While I agree to some degree, and in all honesty sometimes operate under the same guidelines, there's a little hand-waving going on here.

      The implicit agreement of the market is something to the effect of "if you don't like the price, don't buy it". But an assumption built into "don't buy it" is that you're not going to have the same benefits as having bought it, either. The high ground here is to just not watch the movie.

      But you did, because you were willing to spend the time to get it illegally. Let's s
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pbhj (607776)

        [...] in some ways the free version is superior to the pay versions as they stand now: instant gratification (as compared to amazon), easier storage (as compared to a DVD), more flexible playback (as compared to iTunes), etc. [...]

        You can buy the DVD to pay for the right to watch the movie, then download it. Seems completely legit to me, may not be legal but it's certainly morally right and you get the benefits you thought you were losing.

        How much is a judge going to award against you when you show that for those 10's of movies on your hard drives you have DVDs telling you your licensed to view the contents?

        YMMV, the law isn't this logical, IA-most-definitely-NAL

        • by localman (111171)
          You can buy the DVD to pay for the right to watch the movie, then download it

          Heh, that seems quite fair to me. Several times I've bought a physical CD I didn't actually want because I wanted the music and wanted to support the artist. I wish I could have just said "keep the CD", so it wouldn't clutter up my place and waste them money.
      • The implicit agreement of the market is something to the effect of "if you don't like the price, don't buy it". But an assumption built into "don't buy it" is that you're not going to have the same benefits as having bought it, either.

        That's not entirely accurate. There's nothing in the "market rules" that prevents you from getting the same "benefits" some other way. The actual rule is that you don't deprive someone else of the use of their property without their permission. Despite the whole "IP" misno

        • by localman (111171)
          I don't know man, that doesn't sound entirely honest to me. While I think that the music and film industries are terribly inefficient and the product overpriced, it's just not right to make use of someone elses work if they request payment for it and you refuse. In that case you just don't make use of their product.

          Sure, you can get the "benefits" some other way -- say by finding artists who give music away freely, or by writing songs yourself. And then hey, you could give your songs away. A good model
  • by ehack (115197) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:49AM (#23800657) Journal
    I disagree with Virgin - but this guy doesn't quite realize what he's been doing?

    He's running a net anonymizer - and he was logged as having downloaded a Winehouse song. He says he ain't done it, but maybe someone on the net running Tor did - maybe he doesn't quite get it ?

    If I lend my house to some idiot, and there is a report of someone having brought stolen property into my house, that doesn't make me a thief, but it doesn't mean the report is baseless either.

    Edmund
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by alexgieg (948359)

      If I lend my house to some idiot, and there is a report of someone having brought stolen property into my house, that doesn't make me a thief
      Unfortunately, it can make you lose your house anyway: Asset forfeiture [wikipedia.org].
  • You can not have both freespeech&Privacy AND copyright enforcement. Since therefore, all communications need to be monitored. Good by last "free" medium.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:55AM (#23800691) Journal
    whether this is in England or North America. Cable companies and large ISPs in general have the same problem in most places.

    They did not invest in infrastructure of the future at any point in the past. That is to say that they have never done what was needed to build a network that would support heavy usage.

    An example of this is the cable company that I have to use (there are no options. Satellite is not a viable option for broadband IMO). I have three cable boxes on digital cable. If I rent a movie in the living room I can't move to the bedroom to watch it without having to pay twice. This means there is NO infrastructure built to know I have two boxes and which they are so that I can rent a movie once and watch anywhere in the house. This is not just ignorant of the capabilities of technology, it is blatantly ignoring them at the cost of value to the consumer.

    There are a few people that would defend this situation with various excuses, but they won't work IMO because of the complaints that ISPs make regarding network usage, and the balance of guilt when you see what they were given as incentives to build a viable, usable network already.

    Their business plan has been designed to steal as much money from the user's pockets and the government as possible. They have done nothing less.

    This business of throttling traffic because of bandwidth usage is criminal in nature. If you rented a car to drive to your aunt's house but found that you weren't able to drive the expected speeds on all roads because of crippling by the rental company, would you sue? would you rent from them again? would you complain to the appropriate regulatory agency?

    Go ahead, tell me about the fine print in the contract. meh. I pay for xyz MBits/second and I have more than reasonable expectation that this is what I'll be able to get regardless of protocol, end destination, or content.

    The fact that I can't and that ISPs are throttling the service that I paid for is criminal. Their business model is broken. period. They have oversold their network to steal money from you and I, and now they got caught. It is convenient for them to blame the BPI and **AA, and there may indeed be collusion, but the fact remains that they did NOT use the money they were given to produce a usable network and are now trying, AGAIN, to get the users or government to pay them extra to build one.

    Why, yes, I do have a solution. I'm glad you asked. The last mile should never belong to a private enterprise. It should belong to co-operatives or the local council or some group that is directly responsible to the local public. By responsible, I mean by order of a vote, they can be replaced and the performance of the cooperative is judged on whether they keep their jobs in a way similar to how AT&T boardmembers are responsible to the share holders.

    Yes, all that AT&T, Virgin, Verizon, Comcast et all can do is provide network services. They can only hook up their big pipes to the local WAN and provide backbone network services. You can subscribe to their email etc. or you can subscribe to someone else's email and home page portal. You would be able to access Google via any of them network service packages. Like emergency services, email services would be possible without having long distance.

    Once network services are separated from last mile and provisioning services, their worth will be seen in the correct light, and all this throttling will become a thing of the past, a memory of bad times when criminals ran the board meetings and made marketing decisions for cable companies.

    When consumers have the right to choose and can do so with a phone call, then the market place will work as it should.

    In short, Fuck Virgin! and all their warlord comrades around the world.
    • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:01PM (#23801199) Homepage Journal
      Slight problem with the first few paragraphs of your argument. Comcast, Verizon, and the lot were given billions of TAXPAYER DOLALRS to build that infrastructure so that things like throttling and bandwidth caps never happened. They clearly did not live up to their end of the bargain, and now are playing the "victim" card and expecting us to understand. I would love to gee the GAO do a full audit on these companies to find out exactly where those billions of dollars went. But I fully agree with the rest of your statements.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This business of throttling traffic because of bandwidth usage is criminal in nature.

      Not necessarily so. The sizing of their channels depends on a statistical model. Usually that model is right, but if for whatever reason it isn't, the customers must compete for whatever bandwidth is available...

      If you rented a car to drive to your aunt's house but found that you weren't able to drive the expected speeds on all roads because of crippling by the rental company, would you sue? would you rent from them again? would you complain to the appropriate regulatory agency?

      Try a different car analogy: If you took a toll road, and suddenly you encountered a traffic jam, would you ask for your money back? No, you'd just blame it on bad luck.

    • I totally agree ... if a plane has 200 seats you dont sell 220 tickets and hope not everyone wants to sit down
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:04PM (#23800749)
    I think it would help greatly if BPI and the other record industry associations would stop talking about "consumers". We are their CUSTOMERS. Major difference. A consumer is an anonymous, generalised person that has the sole purpose of spending money. A customer however is someone you have a business relationship with.
    In TFA, the BPI is talking about "consumers" when talking about people that are enjoying music and other recordings, but "customers" when they are talking about the ISP. BPI doesn't have customers, obviously. So no wonder they don't care about what the people want. And the people don't care about the record companies either: they are just consumers, supposed to just consume whatever is recorded.
    Not that I fully agree with the original column, the reply by PBI is particularly sickening. The attitude they present is so high-hearted, as if they are God and the consumers exist only to serve them. I do understand the record companies have a big problem on their hand, but the last thing any reasonable business should do is sue their own customers. Oh well, they don't have customers, there are just consumers. And who cares about consumers, because they will consume anyway.
    • by billthom (599863)
      It's also the case that the BPI doesn't represent the whole music industry so their ability to speak for all musicians should be questioned. I was disappointed with their response to my article, I have to say - they just don't seem to have a clue what they are going to do, and are flailing around aimlessly. Ah well, their time has passed...
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:09PM (#23800781) Journal

    But it's naive at best to think licensed music services can prosper without action being taken against illegal downloading.
    It's even more naive to think that any amount of cracking down on piracy is going to solve this, at least without massive collateral damage.

    Music companies are radically re-inventing their business models in response to changes in how music fans want to access music online.
    Amazingly, they haven't figured it out yet.

    Independent research has shown time after time that people who download illegally generally spend less on music than people that don't, which undermines investment in new music.
    I'd like to see those studies. I've found that I actually spend more on music than I otherwise would.

    As a self-confessed illegal downloader, Bill may not know there are already hundreds of licensed online and mobile services (carrying more than six million tracks) from which to choose where and how to access music legally.
    Ten that I know of, but let's find out which ones they mention...

    iTunes (paid-for a la carte downloads), Napster and eMusic (monthly subscription), We7 (free to consumer, ad-supported), last.fm (interactive web radio), YouTube, Yahoo (streamed video on-demand) and Nokia's Comes With Music (music as part of a subscription) are just some of the many digital business models that record labels are supporting.
    Let's run through that, shall we? iTunes, while not always DRM'd, still requires the iTunes client. Napster relies on DRM, and you lose your music if they go out of business. We7 and last.fm actually have a shot at competing with piracy. YouTube doesn't provide any revenue to publishers, that I know of.

    Oh, by the way, there's also Azureus Vuze, among others, who rely on filesharing to work, even as they allow for-pay downloads.

    We believe that ISPs, far from being a simple pipe, can become significant distributors of digital media, and share in the tremendous value that would be unleashed if more music were accessed legally online.
    Ah, now their true colors come out. To everyone who pointed out that BPI is no longer the same company as the music label, it looks as though they still want a piece of the pie.

    But despite the proliferation of licensed services, most music is still downloaded from unlicensed services - a problem that cannot be addressed through new models alone.
    Ok, one, how is that a problem? It's a problem if they aren't using your model -- not that they're getting music illegally. A download is not necessarily a lost sale.

    And two, if it can't be addressed through new models alone, it can't be addressed -- again, without significant collateral damage.
    • But despite the proliferation of licensed services, most music is still downloaded from unlicensed services

      Sounds like the "licensed services" are not being allowed to deliver what people actually want.

      - a problem that cannot be addressed through new models alone.

      If the RIAA/IFPI/etc had bought out napster and assumed the helm instead of trying to stamp it out.. or ANY of the following p2p technologies, they could have leveraged the business models used by those p2p companies to gain revenue (E.G. ADVERTISING).

      they chose not to and still refuse to do so.

      Lies by omission are still lies. Keep lying to everyone, but nobody outside your payrolls is buying it.

  • "British Pornographic Industry". Tell me I'm not the only one who read that first time round.
  • BPI Defends Anti-File-Sharing Partnership With Virgin Media

    You're still a bunch of assholes.
  • Blog stupidity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by honeyp0t (1166499)
    The blog entry is full of stupidity. He refuses to secure his wifi network because he has 6 pcs and 'finds it easier' without a key. Well Einstein, don't be surprised if you get more letters from Virgin and the BPI. /rant
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I agree. The blogger is quite clearly stupid and just has a crappy attitude. He should consider himself lucky that it was only an Amy Whinemouse track that got downloaded through his open wi-fi.
  • My ISP's TSA (Score:3, Informative)

    by LM741N (258038) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:19PM (#23802387)
    explicitly forbids open WiFi routers and they actually go around in trucks looking for them.
  • This problem is not going to be solved simply by adding bandwidth to the network, any more than the problem of slow web page loading was solved that way in the late 90's

    As far as I remember, the problem of slow web page loading _was_ solved by adding bandwidth in the late nineties. I had dialup, then I got DSL, and I no longer worried about slow page loading.

    Cheers.
  • well folks, heres the thing, i got a 20mbps broadband connection from virgin media...

    now, i know that downloading music and movies and all can be illegal if i dont pay for it but heres a few things that one can do and there would be nothing at all illegal about them and people can consume the bandwidth they are paying for...

    A) start downloading:
    1- linux distributions (choose any, download it from that nice torrent and IF you have any time, install it in a vm or through xen (if u dont have time today, y

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