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Digital Economy Act: Illegal Kodi Streams Could Now Land Users In Prison For 10 Years (independent.co.uk) 213

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: The Digital Economy Act has passed into law, meaning people could now face ten-year prison sentences for illegally streaming copyrighted content. It covers a wide number of areas, including broadband speeds, access to online pornography and government data-sharing. However, amid the rising popularity of Kodi, an increase to the maximum prison term -- from two years to ten -- for people guilty of copyright infringement is particularly interesting. Anyone caught streaming TV shows, films and sports events illegally using websites, torrents and Kodi add-ons could technically face a decade behind bars. However, the new law will most likely target individuals and groups making a business out of selling illegal content, FACT CEO Kieron Sharp told the Mirror. The Independent also notes in a separate report that The Digital Economy Act could allow UK police to "remotely disable mobile phones, even before the user actually commits a crime." The Digital Economy Act "contains a section stating that officers will be able to place restrictions on handsets that they believe are being used by drug dealers," reports The Independent.
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Digital Economy Act: Illegal Kodi Streams Could Now Land Users In Prison For 10 Years

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  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:05AM (#54360083)
    The UK is becoming a country of populism and a police state.
    • This article outlines what fascism is, how it is growing in the 21st Century United Kingdom, how it has nothing to offer working people and how we can combat it.

      https://libcom.org/thought/fas... [libcom.org]

    • I guess Netflix, Amazon, Hulu & Sky are about to get a massive influx of sterling. Too bad it's worth 25% less than a year ago
      • When your currency devalues, stuff you import isn't any cheaper. Instead, prices go up. Services provided by foreign companies are likely to be priced based on the exchange rate.

        When your currency devalues, imports become more expensive and exports earn more.

        If people there are going to subscribe because they're a more-captive audience than before, they might even end up paying extra even beyond the exchange rate difference.

    • by Zemran ( 3101 )
      I love the way that they justify it by claiming that it will aid Britain's competitiveness in the digital era when it will likely do the opposite. A company does not need to be criminal to be wary of overly restrictive legal systems. The cost of auditing compliance can outweigh any benefit so it is safer and cheaper to run a legitimate business in a more relaxed legal environment.
      • The cost of auditing compliance can outweigh any benefit so it is safer and cheaper to run a legitimate business in a more relaxed legal environment.

        Sorry, that's illegal! :P

        Strat

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        They justify everything that way though. Politicians will forgive damned near anything if they think it might make them a few extra dollars per month. So they go to great lengths and jump through all kinds of weird hurdles for any new law or act to find some improbable-but-not-impossible way that it might add a few hundredths of a percent to the GDP (and happily ignore any ways it could damage the economy, even if those effects are likely to be far greater. Cherry picking data is a staple in this game.)

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      Am I the only one who finds "populism" a silly choice for a derogatory political term? I mean I know that they're not using the word by its true definition when they call someone a "populist" but still.. you'd think they could have chosen something better than "you're working for the people! You bastard!"

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:06AM (#54360089)
    Everyone on the Internet are law-abiding citizens. This shouldn't be a problem.
  • by TimothyHollins ( 4720957 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:09AM (#54360111)

    Brexit seems more and more like a positive thing for each day that passes. By the time May is done Australia will be sending its delinquents over there instead.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:23AM (#54360193)
      You mean like Rolf Harris?
      • For some reason my father had a Rolf Harris album and he played the hell out of it when I was a kid. I had a moment later in life when I saw some mention of "the wet" on some nature show, and flashed back to the song "In The Wet" and realize I had not known what it was about when I was a dumb kid.

    • by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:54AM (#54360391)

      Brexit seems more and more like a positive thing for each day that passes. By the time May is done Australia will be sending its delinquents over there instead.

      They probably will at this rate. As a NZer who's country has a free trade deal with Australia and China, I can attest to how little such agreements prevent you from being screwed over by the bigger country/better negotiator. Britain is going to get a nasty wake up call when it wonders off to the nations of the world to do deals and ends up tangled up in a mess of agreements that give them far less freedom than they get in the EU.

      Some examples: NZ has, for the last thirty years, been trying to get its apples in to Australia. It has a trade deal that should allow this, and it has gone to the WTO (that will apparently give Britain great default access to everywhere once it leaves the single market) repeatedly to try to prevent Australia halting the imports. It has not worked, because Australia keeps coming up with new reasons why the apples cannot be imported on trumped up biosecurity grounds. Good luck. In addition to this, NZ has been trying to break into the Australian aviation market for about the same amount of time. They finally managed it many years ago by buying out Ansett Australia, which was promptly grounded by the Australian Civil Aviation regulator a month later on the grounds of 'safety'. The result was that Air New Zealand had to be renationalised by the NZ government and withdrew from Australia with its tail between its legs. More recently, just months after a new agreement had been reached by the two governments on creating a pathway to citizenship for NZers currently stuck in an immigration no-mans land (due to continual erosion of the free movement provisions that were previously agreed) the Australian government announced new changes that put a whole new bunch of kiwis into a new no mans land. Basically they gave with one hand while pulling the rug with the other.

      With China things were not so bad, with the exception that the Chinese put a provision in the agreement that prevented NZ from discriminating against investors from there. This has hamstrung the NZ govts ability to prevent Chinese flooding their money into our tiny country, as it would have to renegotiate parts of the Australian agreement to do this.

      This is the sort of great stuff Britain has to look forward too. Already the stage is being set for them to be screwed by both NZ and Australia, which are attempting to position themselves as the UK's allies in their brave new word (even offering to send trade negotiators to help the UK), while lobbying the EU to replace existing UK meat and dairy imports with their own.

      If the UK expects to do trade with anyone, then it will quickly realise that doing trade deals always requires flogging off some sovereignty as well.

      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        Yep, same thing for Canada. Just ask the lumber industry in BC how good job security was even after NAFTA and the WTO ruled in their favour. About the only way to make Brexiters realise how riduculous their position is is to rephrase this in terms of a relationship that they understand: what would they say if Ireland or Norway tried to make similar demands of the UK that the UK is making of the EU? And by the way, every county in the UK gets to have a vote on the final arrangement (per Wallonia throwing

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          what would they say if Ireland or Norway tried to make similar demands of the UK that the UK is making of the EU

          If Ireland or Norway wants to have tariff-free trade with the UK, share intelligence information to prevent and respond to crime and security threats and share a trans-national football competition then my guess is that the UK will agree that this is a brilliant plan and we should probably make it happen.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @12:44PM (#54362225)

        which was promptly grounded by the Australian Civil Aviation regulator a month later on the grounds of 'safety'

        Safety, sans quotes, and there was nothing prompt about it. Ansett's fleet had been deteriorating majorly under the American control of News Corp (that should have been the first clue). They started dropping off the preferred flyer list of many companies long before being bought out by Air New Zealand. This was a spectacular case of lack of due diligence and lack of forethought, buying a company it couldn't afford with an ancient fleet that had high running costs, and the grounding? Well they were told to show cause as to why they missed their legal inspection requirements, they prepared an accepted plan to inspect the plans and then were grounded when the first 4 inspected showed signs of cracking in the wings.

        I'm sorry you feel personally attacked by Australia that Ansett was grounded after the American portion was sold to New Zealand (like anyone here gave a crap). But really get a bit of a clue.

        More recently, just months after a new agreement had been reached by the two governments on creating a pathway to citizenship for NZers currently stuck in an immigration no-mans land (due to continual erosion of the free movement provisions that were previously agreed) the Australian government announced new changes that put a whole new bunch of kiwis into a new no mans land. Basically they gave with one hand while pulling the rug with the other.

        Except no new people are in no-mans-land. The people who were on SCVs now qualify for citizenship. The fact that the timeline for this has been extended slightly doesn't put you anymore in no mans land then you were before. But I suppose you would like it if nothing was done at all and you can permanently be excluded from citizenship?

        With China things were not so bad

        That just shows your bias towards what you think is bad vs what free trade actually accomplishes. By freely trading with a country that has lower standards than yourself you effectively sell your future to them. Profits, manufacturing, investment, everything starts heading to the other country. It's worth remembering why there's restrictions to trade in the first place.

        You say things aren't so bad with China and you compare it to a story of Apples, a botched acquisition of a struggling airline in one of the toughest times for the industry, and a general improvement in rights for NZers in Australia, holy shit do you have a surprise coming.

      • The problem the English have is that they think they are still a colonial power.

        They, mostly, realise that places like NZ are no longer their vassals though and nowadays just see the Scots, Welsh and Irish as their colonies. Its really going to upset the English when the Scots and Irish decide to leave them to it and the English only have the Welsh to pick on. And that won't last.

        In the end the English will have what they always dreamed of; an independent England LOL. None of their neighbors will be sad to

    • Brexit seems more and more like a positive thing for each day that passes. By the time May is done Australia will be sending its delinquents over there instead.

      No one is happier that the English voted to leave the EU than the Europeans.

      The old Commonwealth countries are going to be highly bemused at the UK coming to them, cap in hand, for some sweet trade deals since, after the UK marginalised the commonwealth those guys have gone and made other trade deals with their (closer) neighbors. The English are about to get a nice lesson in their place in the modern world (and it isn't Empire).

  • Leave it to the UK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Notabadguy ( 961343 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:13AM (#54360129)

    Leave it to the UK to treat the movie "Minority Report" as a template to governance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:16AM (#54360141)

    FTA "However, the new law will most likely target individuals and groups making a business out of selling illegal content,"

    No, it will be used against average people if prosecutors find it in their interest. It simply becomes another tool in the toolbox. Just like terrorism laws. I am willing to bet that anti-terrorism laws are used far more often to elevate ordinary crimes (or even non-crimes) than they are used to prosecute genuine acts or threats of terrorism. I had a family member sit as a juror on a trial where a disgruntled employee making a drunken threatening phone call to a boss was charged with "Conveying a terrorist threat."

    • However, the new law will most likely target individuals and groups making a business out of selling illegal content,

      IE we are yet again going to pass an overly-broad law and place "correct interpretation of what we REALLY meant" in the hands of people whose jobs is NOT to guess as to the intent of the law.

      Just peachy. I really wish they would stop doing that. (and we know how effective wishes are!)

      • No, they're not actually going to use sloppy, overly-broad, incorrect phrasing chosen by The Independent as a legal document. They'll use stuff written by lawyers and politicians, perhaps even the text of the statute.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So lets get this right, you watch something illegal and get 10 yrs. Kill someone and get 7 yrs and out in 3 yrs for good behaviour.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:22AM (#54360183) Homepage

    Here I have a bunch of digital films. These are films I have bought the digital rights to. I have a phone and a mini-projector. Apparently, I am no longer allowed to stream content from phone to external device. Excuse me?

    WTF???

    So at this point, I am nearly ready to capitulate and start just pirating movies as it's so much !@#$% easier than dealing with the legitimate channels.

  • Rupert Murdoch has been propping up a lame Government with his Satellite channel Sky (thing Faux News) and the Sun (think national enquirer). This anti-competitive law is his reward.

    • The National Enquirer is one of the few news magazines still doing traditional investigative reporting.

      They've been legit ever since Bat Boy left for the Weekly World News in 1982!

      Who ended Gary Hart's political career? The National Enquirer. They also took down John Edwards. Who attempted to out Bill Cosby as a serial abuser in 2005? The National Enquirer. Who paid for the tip that solved the murder of Bill Cosby's son, Ennis in 1997? The National Enquirer. They even spent 18 months investigating Charlie S

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:38AM (#54360291)

    Ask yourself: 2 years of prison. Imagine this, just for a moment.

    Now imagine 10 years of prison.

    Now answer me one question: Do 10 years of prison really scare you more than 2 years? Does it? If so, you probably already know what prison is like and only worry about losing more time of your life. For everyone how hasn't, probably the threat of spending a DAY with hardened criminals is already scary enough to make them ponder.

    Does anyone honestly think that the average copyright infringer's train of thought goes "For 2 years I'll watch that show, but for 10, hell no!"?

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      I did 10.5 years in prison. Do I scare you? I should. Now let me go watch GoT.
      • No. Why should you?

        I usually expect people to have a reason to break the law. As far as I know, I have not given you a reason to break the law to my disadvantage. What I am scared of is being sent to prison myself. For various reasons. One of them being that there is a nonzero chance that I'll meet someone in there that is in there because of me.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @08:42AM (#54360317)

    Gen years for downloading g a file? That's a lot more than burglars in the U.K. get, though not as much as a homeowner who injures a burglar by resisting.

  • "I swear that the consequences will be horrible!! Never even think about doing that!". I said it before and say it again: piracy is clearly winning. At least, this is what the big corporations think by expecting their greedy and detached from reality gains to be maintained no matter what. They are being so short-sighted that seriously believe that forcing consumers to do what they want is an option, that they are actually in charge!!

    And how are they expecting all the viewers to know if they are actually do
  • by santax ( 1541065 ) on Friday May 05, 2017 @09:00AM (#54360429)
    That will teach them to not become pirates or witches! When they have no eyes, they can not watch our Holy Movies without a ticket! On topic: for the last 20 to 15 years for the first time in history we are witnessing a deterioration of the human state and human states. Fought for freedoms have been lost and while media has become much faster and could be much more powerful, we see that a lot of media is actually knowingly or unknowingly part of a propaganda-machinery and most of them are no more than vehicles to deliver commercials to the viewer. These are harsh times. A modern black age.
  • What would you get for shoplifting the same movie? Of course, you'd still get that nasty DRM on the disc and would have to jump through hoops to play it on a Windows 10 or OSX machine, so maybe you should shoplift a DVD player while you're there.
  • So it's now that when the cops arrive at your door, killing the officers and running is a better option.

    Lawmakers today are the enemy of the people and need to be treated as such.

  • Hey, editors: Comments on news laws are meaningless with a description of where they apply.

  • ... films consume YOU!

  • Punching someone in the face is less antisocial than movie piracy. I can't believe we're not hanging these black-hearted pirates that corrupt our children and steal profits away from movie studios and distributors.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson

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