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UK Internet Filtering Bill Watered Down 183

Posted by kdawson
from the still-siding-with-the-man dept.
superapecommando writes in with news that in the UK, Liberal Democratic peers will soften their filtering amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, to allow those wrongfully accused of illegal filesharing to sue the rightsholders in court. The previous version of the Bill had drawn instant criticism from some of the world's largest technology companies, including eBay, Google, and Yahoo, who signed an open letter against the filtering proposal. Blogger Glyn Moody summed up opposition to the Bill, stating that in its previous form, it was "utterly one-sided, where the only winners are a music recording industry too lazy to change, and the losers are everyone else."
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UK Internet Filtering Bill Watered Down

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  • by SolidAltar (1268608) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @03:57AM (#31492902)

    Then again, Slashdot has even more stories about stupid things the US is doing, so I guess we win.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveime (1253762) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:11AM (#31492954)

    Businesses and people who actually fucking create stuff

    But that's the whole crux of the argument isn't it ? A long time ago, LPs and Singles had to be physically made in huge machines, tapes had to be created, CD's had to be pressed.

    Despite the fact that CD's were supposed to be a cheaper alternative to Vinyl, they still milked the fuck out of it and the consumer got zero benefit.

    And now, when duplication and transmission costs are essentially zero (no more physical product, no transportation costs, no distribution costs), they STILL want to charge the same gross markup they did in 1971 ?

    All other businesses have to adapt or die ... why should the media companies get a free pass to continue screwing with their customers ?

    If it's a case of paying 20 bucks for something, knowing that the actual artist will get 10 cents if he's lucky, then fuck them.

    If it's a case of paying a *reasonable* price direct to the artist, I'll gladly pay.

    There's a difference between leechers who just want a free ride (and unfortunately always will), and those of us that can actually see the wrong in a situation and stand by our principles to effect some kind of change.

    If the law is in the pockets of big business, then it's people power all the way. What other choice is there ?

  • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:27AM (#31493024)

    The UK legal system operates on a "loser pays" basis, so unless there's something explicitly written into the law which puts such cases in the Small Claims Court (where there is a limit to the expenses that can be claimed by either side), you can guarantee anyone threatening to sue these people will be met with a nastygram saying "If you continue in taking us to court, we will demand costs. We're up to £20,000 now, and it's rising with every letter we write."

    The people who are most likely to be cowed by such a threat are exactly the people who are most likely to get such a threat in the first place - I'm thinking particularly those who can't afford a solicitor and where the parents in the household don't really understand what the kids get up to on the Internet.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hanabal (717731) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:39AM (#31493078)

    No one cries for horse buggy makers or tanners or typewriter makers. Some times, technology makes your business model completely obsolete. The best thing is to come up with a new one, either in a totally new industry or maybe adapt to the conditions the new technology has made. Trying to legislate against the new technology is bad for everyone as it holds up progress.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:48AM (#31493102) Journal

    Who can afford the lawyers? Now if they really wanted to make this work (don't forget that all parties in england have to pacify the media/content owners. Do you want to upset the content producers and then be ridiculed forever in every piece of content? Go ahead, suggest the BBC should be privatized, see how long your public image survives. Yesterday the BBC aired an entirely self serving copyright program that showed only the content owners point of view. How suprising)

    If this was to work, then the content owners should setup a fund from which lawsuits against them could be funded, they should be rate limited to the amount they could spend on lawyers and be stopped from endlessly appealing. The damages should be high enough that it is a serious detterent against endless false claims and for any succesful claim, the pot for making claims against them is doubled.

    Else it is just a hollow shell. Nobody can afford to sue the media companies. Don't let the lib-dems fool you.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:50AM (#31493114) Homepage Journal

    The difference is, for every 4 stupid things the US introduces, 3 are fought and 2 are shot down. For that amount, UK introduces 2 stupid things and both pass with little or no opposition.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:01AM (#31493164)

    > Wrong. The consumer got a format that was much less susceptible to damage, that didn't deteriorate in quality the more times you played it, and you didn't need

    > an ultra-expensive hi-fi system to get pretty good audio sound from it.

    Nope. I remember all too well when CDs came out. We were told they were virtually indestructible, would play covered in jam & hairs and would be much cheaper than vinyl. At the time, they were around 10GBP in the UK compared to 5-6GBP for a vinyl album. We were told within a couple of years they would be cheaper than vinyl. Ten years later they were 15GBP+

    >Also, please don't forget that a single vinyl LP was limited to about 20 minutes of music on each side

    Yep(ish) but you did get double LPs with glorious artwork, liner notes etc.

    >then they shouldn't be making albums - it's that simple.

    That's a whole other agument. Back in the day, the A&R department might let a band put out 3-4 albums while they found themselves. Many now great bands had some dreadful early works - if we followed your rules we'd never have the good stuff. That was always the equation, the handful of uber successful groups funded the up and coming ones.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:07AM (#31493184)

    I always amazes what bullshit some people come out with in order to justify their continued use of BitTorrent.

    My friend, stop with the politics because it's actually very simple - if it's too expensive, don't buy it. Then grow a backbone and don't copy it either.

    When you start hitting these mega-corporations in their wallets, then they will start to listen to you.

  • by kaptink (699820) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:17AM (#31493220) Homepage

    The difference is, for every 4 stupid things the US introduces, 3 are fought and 2 are shot down. For that amount, UK introduces 2 stupid things and both pass with little or no opposition.

    You forget the shear volume of stupid bills put up for adoption in the US compared with the UK.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PeterBrett (780946) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:20AM (#31493226) Homepage

    My friend, stop with the politics because it's actually very simple - if it's too expensive, don't buy it. Then grow a backbone and don't copy it either.

    Very good advice indeed, and not only is that my approach, but I recommend it to everyone else as well. Check out sites like Jamendo. Also, donate to support those artists and corporations who have a 21st-Century approach to distribution.

    When you start hitting these mega-corporations in their wallets, then they will start to listen to you.

    This just isn't true. If you stop pirating, and buy their media, they decide that their increased income is because the anti-pirate measures (DRM, horrific legislation, etc) are working, so they work to get more of them. On the other hand, if you stop pirating, and don't buy their media, they decide that their decreased income is because the anti-pirate measures (DRM, horrific legislation, etc) aren't working, so they work to get more of them.

    Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't.

    I -- and the Pirate Party -- have absolutely no intention of "[stopping] with the politics." The erosion of civil liberties and privacy rights being pushed for by the international media cartel are totally disproportionate to the actual damage they are suffering (minimal), and are fundamentally unjust, and deserve to be fought against.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:22AM (#31493232) Homepage

    Net result for the company and artist if you don't copy = 0.
    Net result for the company and artist if you copy = 0.

    If people don't buy it, they *are* hitting the mega-corps in their wallets. Copying or not is irrelevant.

  • by nosferatu1001 (264446) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:22AM (#31493238)

    Then sue for an amount less than £5000, where it is *automatically* Small Claims Court. Even magistrates court is "cheap"

    Oh, and "loser pays" is not always the case - if you are found to have unwarranted costs (for example, retaining a QC to handle a simple copyright matter) then you may find you are told to pay them yourself, even if you win.

    In essence *both* sides have a duty to mitigate costs, and any failure to do so is looked down on, usually from a great height...

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:28AM (#31493266)

    I don't know, but it's going to cost them my vote come election time. It goes against everything I thought they stood for.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:36AM (#31493288) Homepage Journal

    I always amazes what bullshit some people come out with in order to justify their continued use of BitTorrent.

    What are you talking about? I download software with bittorrent. You seem to be confusing the protocol with the content.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Heed00 (1473203) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:36AM (#31493292)

    Th industry too lazy to change?

    Yes, as evidenced by your very next line:

    Maybe you can inform us of how you 'change' to accomodate the fact that people are takuing your output for free and not paying a single penny?

    "We haven't done any of our own thinking on the issue -- give us an answer."

    Perhaps all of the very experienced business owners here at slashdot could emerge from moms basement and explain how you make a living that way with music?

    laughable.

    What makes you think that you are entitled to make a living from making music at all? Was the fletcher entitled to making a living from producing arrows? Or the blacksmith entitled to making a living for making horse shoes? Surely we need legislation to resurrect those industries who have suffered far longer than any perceived suffering the music industry claims. What about the baker? He's seen the mom and pop version of his industry assailed by supermarkets for years. We surely need to help those mom and pop bakers out first as their plight has been ongoing long before we even had the internet. The same can be said for the mom and pop butcher.

    It is laughable, I'll give you that. It's laughable that an industry feels it's entitled to survive no matter what may come. The level of entitlement displayed and articulated borders on delusional. Music might be culturally significant and of value, but it doesn't need an industry to remain so. This is the origin of the delusion -- confusing the value of the industry with the cultural value of the artistic output -- they are not equivalent nor necessarily linked.

  • what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:37AM (#31493294)

    to allow those wrongfully accused of illegal filesharing to sue the rightsholders in court

    ummm, i think this is just a nice way of rephrasing the same thing. i mean, sueing anybody *was* already allowed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:53AM (#31493354)

    Yeah and the other 93% is stupid privacy/internet stories from the US.

    That's Slashdot's focus. It illuminates little else than the biases of the Slashdot editors. But hey, those biases are shared by enough of the readers to make this a hugely successful site. They're not going to change now for the sake of something abstract like balance and integrity.

    A few other things to bear in mind:

    1. This story is related to the ongoing debate in parliament about the legislation. No decision is made yet, so it's premature to call "stupid" on the results
    2. If the US does something stupid, you USians blame your government. If the UK does something stupid, you USians blame our people. Slight double-standard, no?
    3. Er, this legislation is based on US legislation. I agree, high time we stop copying every bad idea that comes out of the US.

    Did you have a point to make or anything?

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:18AM (#31493454)

    There is another aspect to that:

    If you dont copy:
    - net result for company and artist = 0
    - net result for you = 0

    If you do copy:
    - net result for company and artist = 0
    - net result for you = +1 (you 'enjoy' the art without compensating the artist/company)

    Hence why copying is NOT the way to make a stand, you are just a freeloader.

    Better idea:
    Buy from independants via web sites:
    - Megacorps net income = 0
    - Artists tied to Megacorps net income = 0
    - Independant artist = +1 (possibly more money than going via Megacorp per sale)
    - your net result = +1

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd[ ]org ['ot.' in gap]> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:24AM (#31493482)

    Maybe you can inform us of how you 'change' to accomodate the fact that people are takuing your output for free and not paying a single penny? Perhaps all of the very experienced business owners here at slashdot could emerge from moms basement and explain how you make a living that way with music?

    I’ll bite, even if it looks like trolling.

    First we clarify the actual physics:

    1. Music, Films, Book, etc, are Information. Their physical container is a separate thing.
    2. Information is not a object of “meatspace”. You can’t touch it. It’s a object of “bitspace”. Data.
    3. Bitspace has other rules as meatspace:
      1. Information can only be copied. Moving can only be simulated trough copying plus deletion. Which often is impossible (e.g. in the human mind).
      2. Information that can not be copied, can not be proven to exist at all. Because that involves copying it. Only copying a sample only proves the existence of that part.
    4. Information, when copied to someone else, is now under control of both parties. And there is nothing any party can ever do about it. As long as you let it out in a form that the destination can process, this processing can involve giving it away to someone else. That is a simple physical fact.
    5. Hence information — which is not a physical good — can not be owned by anyone. There is no such thing as “intellectual property”. It’s a physically impossible and absurd concept.

    So the obvious consequence is, that if that information has some worth for you, and you don’t want to give it away for nothing, you have to demand something in return right at the first completely simultaneous release to x “clients”.
    After that, you have just shared the information with x people. Who can not be stopped from doing to it, whatever they please. If you’re not happy, tough shit, cause it’s too late! Go ahead, and fight basic physics. Next up: Gravity! ;)

    Now we must clarify something else: The production and marketing industry, the media reproduction industry and the musician industry, are three distinct things! The first two are usually combined into the “music industry”. The reproduction industry obviously lost its purpose and struggles with inevitable death. The music industry as a whole on the other hand...
    The illusion is, that they would be for the musicians. Ask musicians. They will tell you, that they get around 3.5% of the whole profits. While the stupid producer gets 60!!! Plus they still have to pay the studio time from that! And as if this were not bad enough, the MI fights, to get the 3.5% even lower!
    Now add the typical extortion contracts of the MI to it, and you get a mix that screams “the music industry is the enemy of the musician industry!”. Why do you think so many artist run away from than at their first chance to get out?
    The same is true for every likewise industry. Films, games, books, you name it.

    Finally to the basis of your arguments: The business model of the media industry.
    Their fault was, that they handled information like a product. A good. Because when they started it, it always came in a container that could be a product. That was what they knew, so they ran with it. To the painful end.
    All the problem are based on that single misunderstanding of basic physics of bitspace/information.
    And now they are treating the artist like crap, treating the clients like crap... in a struggle to continue their delusion they walk over dead bodies (ACTA vs constitutional rights).

    This all has nothing to do with taking any rightful compensation away from the artists. (The MI is working hard on that one anyway!) If the artists wanted something, they should have asked for it when they first passed it on. Now we have it, and it’? too late.
    It has to do with the delusion.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @08:00AM (#31494060)

    Nice speech, but get an MP elected in Parliament, then I might start taking you seriously - until then, don't call yourself a "Party"...

    What - like the Green Party? Or the Christian Party? You can quite happily be a political party with millions of supports no seats in Parliament. Does that make you not a politcal party?

    (I'm not a Pirate Party supporter - just saying your point is crap is all).

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