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Piracy United Kingdom

MP Says 'Failed' Piracy Warnings Should Escalate To Fines & Jail 135

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the everyone-is-a-criminal dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that, not long after UK ISPs agreed to send piracy notices (Voluntary Copyright Alerts Program), thoughts have already turned toward adding criminal penalties. From the article: Prime Minister David Cameron's IP advisor believes that the carrot needs to be backed up by a stick. In a report published yesterday largely detailing the "Follow the Money" approach to dealing with pirate sites, Mike Weatherley MP says now is the time to think about VCAP’s potential failure. "The Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) is welcomed and will be a good step forward once it is hopefully in operation in 2015, although it is primarily an education tool," Weatherley says. ... "Warnings and fines are obvious first steps, with Internet access blocking and custodial sentencing for persistent and damaging infringers not to be ruled out in my opinion." These suggestions aren't new, but this is the second time in a matter of months that the Prime Minister's closest advisor on IP matters has spoken publicly about the possibility of putting persistent file-sharers in jail.
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MP Says 'Failed' Piracy Warnings Should Escalate To Fines & Jail

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  • by Bob_Who (926234) <Bob&who,net> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:32AM (#47324773) Homepage Journal
    From the constituency who agree prisons trump paper from Politicians
  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:34AM (#47324777)

    When politicians running for election start getting in real trouble for stealing songs and images to use in their promotional material then they can start to think about applying this to the little people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Little people laws don't apply to "the elite", whether they be government or just rich.

    • "Hey [music company], I'd like to use [song] in my campaign. I'm sure a nice company like you would be happy to support me in this manner"

      The only time the music company might go after a politician for it is if he/she is using said material and is pro copyright-reform (a.k.a not in their pockets)

  • False Warnings? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DERoss (1919496) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:35AM (#47324787)

    How about a fine and prison for making a false complaint or warning about a copyright violation?

    • If they could find a way to imprison a corpoation, I'd immigrate to the UK tomorrow!
      • Re:False Warnings? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Scutter (18425) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:56AM (#47324991) Journal

        Stop allowing the perpetrators to hide behind the corporate veil.

        • >Stop allowing the perpetrators to hide behind the corporate veil.

          Then what's the point of a corporation!? (See my sig. below.)

        • Perpetrators of what? There's loads of things that might or might not be legal, depending on circumstances. If you want to make corporate employees liable for things that are illegal that they had no good reason to think illegal, you're going to wind up criminalizing a lot of people who don't deserve it.

      • Re:False Warnings? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:06AM (#47325107) Journal

        If they could find a way to imprison a corpoation, I'd immigrate to the UK tomorrow!

        That's easy if you think about it: imprison the board of directors whenever there is sufficient malfeasance to warrant such a punishment. They hold shared responsibility for the company's actions (and benefits thereof), so let them share the consequences.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Its not going to happen. The corporations own the government... bought and paid for.

      • Re:False Warnings? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Bengie (1121981) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:17AM (#47325229)
        Seems simple to me. Find the people in the corp that are responsible for the dept that does such heinous acts, then imprison all of them, all the way up to the top. Take 100% responsibility for your actions and those beneath you. If you don't want to take responsibility, then have a paper-trail backing you up showing that you tried to stop them.
      • by Rande (255599)

        Stick all the company's assets into storage for the length of the sentence.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      How about a fine and prison for making a false complaint or warning about a copyright violation?

      Honestly, I don't know why companies don't do this. If I was Google, I'd charge like $1000 for every false/incorrect DMCA notice delivered. If the person/company refused to pay,then I would stop processing DMCA notices from that person/company.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Except, compliance with DMCA and the like is a requirement to have safe harbor provisions.

        So it is more in the interests of companies to say "we don't give a damn", than it is for them to determine if something is true or false.

        That was how the law was written by the corporations who wanted it -- "comply with us, and you're OK. Don't and we'll have the government hurt you".

        There's simply no incentive for Google et al to give a damn if the claims are true or not -- that is for your lawyer to determine at yo

      • Better idea: Just get rid of the damn DMCA takedowns and force companies to go to court if they want something taken down.

    • by mpe (36238)
      How about a fine and prison for making a false complaint or warning about a copyright violation?

      If they are (or acting on the specific authority of) the copyright holder then that should have the effect of placing the work in question in the public domain.
      If they are not then treat them as "pirates". Regardless of their complain/warning had any validity at all.
  • Totally clueless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:35AM (#47324789)

    Hey, that guy illegally downloaded a movie that's worth 20$ on DVD.

    Let's put him in jail, costing the government thousands of dollars per year.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hell, why not. It's only your money after all, and their donors have mouths to feed and coke to snort.
    • If it costs the government thousands of dollars a year, maybe the UK should just look into jailing anyone accused of filesharing, even without proof. Bankrupting the government would be a very effective way to plan for a possible re-election of Mike Weatherley as an MP, and would be 100% effective against piracy to boot, in that if the government goes bankrupt the people will be too busy rioting in the streets to pirate anything.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You miss the bigger picture, that costs the taxpayers money, the movie industry doesnt have to pay for incarceration.
      Of course they still working on making remembering a movie a copyright violation

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:43AM (#47324873)

      I'm in security. And once security costs more than the asset you're trying to protect, it's time to stop protecting the asset. If your insurance costs more than the asset it insures, wouldn't you cancel it immediately?

      And the cost for protecting copyright has outdone the damage done by infringement a long, long time ago.

      • by jythie (914043)
        Luckily for the IP industry, the cost of lobbying a few key people is much smaller then the cost to the government for enforcement.

        I also can not help but notice that when studios infringe other people's copyrights, those cases still have to be fought at the expense of the prosecuting party.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Hey, that guy illegally downloaded a movie that's worth 20$ on DVD.

      Let's put him in jail, costing the government thousands of dollars per year.

      Seems to me that while the UK was one of the near or first countries to get rid of debtors prisons, they're on the forefront of bringing them back.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:36AM (#47324803)
    Prosecutor,"Yah, you're going to jail for downloading some crappy movie."

    You,"But I never downloaded that movie."

    Prosecutor,"Lets hear your defense."

    You,"I run a free wifi spot for people who want to check the net when they're out and about."

    Prosecutor,"You should have never said that fellow. You're responsible for what other people do on your router. So lets see what other criminal activities they did before we sentence you to just a couple years of jail."

    There's an alternative dialogue that involves a guy who clicks on links he finds on Twitter and Facebook and doesn't realize he watched copyrighted material.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Firethorn (177587)

      Prosecutor,"You should have never said that fellow. You're responsible for what other people do on your router. So lets see what other criminal activities they did before we sentence you to just a couple years of jail."

      Common Carrier protection.

      • As I understand relevant statutes, such as the corresponding US statute (17 USC 512), protections like "common carrier" and "safe harbor" stop applying once there exist "red flag" facts that reasonably should alert a provider to a subscriber's wrongdoing. Courts have lately been finding willful blindness [wikipedia.org] when the accused intentionally arranges not to be made aware of "red flag" facts.
        • by Firethorn (177587)

          As I understand relevant statutes, such as the corresponding US statute (17 USC 512), protections like "common carrier" and "safe harbor" stop applying once there exist "red flag" facts that reasonably should alert a provider to a subscriber's wrongdoing.

          Well, a solution to that is that once notified of legal proceedings, you shut off your anonymous AP.

          • by tepples (727027)

            once notified of legal proceedings, you shut off your anonymous AP.

            Then the state could just notify every home Internet subscriber of "legal proceedings" that it plans to take against those who operate an anonymous AP. It could claim to be planning a sting operation to drive around town and download CP through anonymous APs that it discovers. Besides, in some cases, ceasing and desisting is not enough. Someone might be seeking damages or criminal penalties for what was done before the AP was switched off.

            • by Firethorn (177587)

              Someone might be seeking damages or criminal penalties for what was done before the AP was switched off.

              Then, like a coffee shop you provide what information you have about those who connected, and move on.

              • by tepples (727027)
                Under some proposed laws, the police would then be able to get you for failing to keep enough weeks of logs.
      • Can you just declare yourself to be a "common carrier" like that?

        Anyway, in this case, this is happening in the UK, where responsibility defaults to the owner of the access point.

    • by mrbester (200927)

      Yeah, we've got this thing with the major ISP (BT) where you can get free wireless at hot spots around the world (FON) by ticking a checkbox that sets aside bandwidth on an open SSID on the router. The IP remains the same, but a claim of responsibility for what other people do with open WiFi gets a "fuck you" to the prosecutor and to hell with the contempt of court.

      • More of a "Excuse me people of the court, but that IP does not belong to me; it belongs to BT. You should have their board of directors here in court, not me, as they are obviously the ones profiting from this breach of law."

      • by mpe (36238)
        Yeah, we've got this thing with the major ISP (BT) where you can get free wireless at hot spots around the world (FON) by ticking a checkbox that sets aside bandwidth on an open SSID on the router. The IP remains the same, but a claim of responsibility for what other people do with open WiFi gets a "fuck you" to the prosecutor and to hell with the contempt of court.

        IIRC it isn't just BT doing this sort of thing.
        From a technical POV it would be perfectly possible users of the "guest" captive portal to appe
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Yeah, we've got this thing with the major ISP (BT) where you can get free wireless at hot spots around the world (FON) by ticking a checkbox that sets aside bandwidth on an open SSID on the router. The IP remains the same,

        The IP doesn't remain the same, please don't lie. Additionally, you have to login with your BT details when on said system, which uniquely identifies you, no matter which hotspot you're using.

    • by sttlmark (737942)

      Prosecutor: "You laundered millions of dollars for violent drug cartels."

      HSBC Bank: "Yup, sure did. Here's $2 billion. We're good now, right?"

      Prosecutor: "You're free to go."

    • by phorm (591458)

      These days it's more:

      Defendant: My router runs a free wifi hot spot to provide internet access for people.
      Prosecutor: Your router, you're liable for all the traffic
      Defendant: But my ISP is the one that turned on the hot-spot. I don't even want it!
      Prosecutor: Doesn't matter, it's in your house. You're responsible.

    • You're responsible for what other people do on your router.

      That's why my ISP's router is nothing but a passthrough device for my own router, which in turn routes all traffic through a VPN out of the country. It's none of your fucking business what I do with the connection, just like as a Common Carrier it's none of my ISP's business. If you want to search my shit, get a warrant. Not wanting you logging at what I choose to read or watch online is not "reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing".

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:40AM (#47324843)

    For a moment it sounded like asshats sending out frivolous takedown notices via carpet bombing would end up in jail.

    Should've known that adding sanity to the mix would be asking too much.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Content industries are merely a speck on the surface of the global economy. Why are we devoting so much judicial and legislative time to them?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because media companies are the ones that provide access to voters.

    • Because their lobbyists spend a lot of money on fluffing politicians. Cash for questions never went away, they're just more careful now.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Those sharing culture shall be prosecuted.
    The rent-seeking shall continue until you comply.
    Please insert your coins into this slot [ ] after reading.
    Or you will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:57AM (#47324999)
    Just do it harder. That'll work.

  • Naturally for a person that is not on average income it's difficult to understand proportion.

    Like a punishment (if found guilty) proportional to the crime (if proven as such).

    Every so often someone calls for a tougher stance on copyright infringement. How about a more reasonable stance on copyright in general?
    Maybe all this Gestapo copyright notions should be canned and a more enlightened, modern system be created?

    I agree with some other posters, why not make false copyright complaints accountable? -
    • by pla (258480)
      Naturally for a person that is not on average income it's difficult to understand proportion.

      Naturally, for a person who doesn't need to pimp him/herself out to get reelected, it's difficult to understand the real damage here.

      It takes millions of dollars per election cycle for any politician above the local-town-council level to get and keep their government meal-ticket. Joe Plumber doesn't have millions of dollars, and as a non-corporation, even if he did, he couldn't legally donate that much to a si
  • The copyright concept has to be reviewed. The only problem is, people with the power to do it receive some bonus to keep ignoring it.
  • I don't get how you can talk about incarceration at all in this context. Once you block someone's internet, their ability to "infringe" is over.
  • Already there (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:07AM (#47325113)

    IANAL, but the process would be something like this: Copyright owner sends take down notice. Service owner fails to comply. Copyright owner files civil suit and court orders civil penalties, including an order to take content down. Service owner still doesn't comply and can now be held in contempt of court (criminal offense).

    No new law needed.

  • by Alejux (2800513) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @12:04PM (#47325765)
    ...steal a handbag. You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t steal a baby. You wouldn’t shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn’t go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman’s grieving widow. And then steal it again!
  • Just not against "infringers"...instead, they should jail the copyright maximalists, the MPAA, and the government stooges who pervert criminal justice systems to pad the recording industries bottom line! Enough of this! It's time that everyone, as members of so-called "free" societies REJECT the corporate takeover of our governments!
  • Fraudulent Copyright takedowns should result in fines and jail.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

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