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Do the digital piracy laws strike the right balance?

09:33 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

Ministers have been accused of a "stitch-up" to pass laws cracking down on digital piracy before the election. What's your reaction?

Campaigners have been angered by what they say are attempts to rush through the digital economy bill aimed at supporting artists' copyright and tackling illegal file-sharing.

The bill allows copyright holders to apply for a court order to gain access to the names and addresses of serious infringers and take action against them while internet service providers (ISPs) would be able to suspend accounts of offenders

However, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said the legislation struck the right balance between giving creative artists more protection and giving consumers a "fair deal".

Do the laws give artists more protection and consumers a fairer deal? Should there have been more debate before the laws were passed?

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This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    As long as people in the UK think they have a divine right to download music & films for free(and if you read enough of these comments it will become clear that a lot of people do think exactly in those terms)then you will never come close to solving the piracy problem.

    Basically there is a huge proportion of the population who honestly believe they deserve something for nothing, and will even go so far as to blame the record companies or movie studios for their own personal acts of theft.

  • Comment number 2.

    Bye-bye public wi-fi!

  • Comment number 3.

    Seems Ben Bradshaw believes the myth that the music industry's been peddling for years. Does he seriously think that all the people who download music illegally from pirates will go out and buy it if they can't any more? Will they heck!

  • Comment number 4.

    I think this bill is purely bull and a clear example of government not doing there job. Not only are they lying to us about who will benefit from this bill, major record companies not artists, they are also going against popular opinion. Downloading of music is no longer a minority, it's a majority for internet users and the government isn't representing it. Besides this costly bill is impossible to enforce, merely go through a proxy website and you can't be traced.

  • Comment number 5.

    Although piracy is wrong, it seems to me that British people are being unfairly targeted. People in most other countries copy far more and little or no action is ever taken against them.

    I have visited many Asian and African countries where copying goods, including digital CDs/DVDs and digital downloading is rife. In one SE Asian country I lived in a few years ago, all school computers were using a beta version of the Windows Vista operating system before it was even launched! I am sure similar practices are not uncommon in most European countries too.

    Surely, there needs to be international action on this, rather than just targeting British people who are already required to pay far more than most other people in the world for digital media.

  • Comment number 6.

    I watched the third reading of the Digital Economy Bill last night Live on the BBC. I'm 25, and have voted in every election since my 18th Birthday. I'm not sure I will be voting for any main party this time around, such was the disbelief at what I was witnessing.

    I was disgusted to see such an important law passed in such a trivial and dismissive manner. The lack of technical knowledge displayed by the front benches was shocking, as was the empty House of Commons. 189 voted for the reading yet most of those votes seemed to come straight from the House of Commons bar! Over 100 MP's being whipped to vote for something they couldn’t possibly understand without debating it first!

    I must say congratulations to Tom Watson MP for standing up for our generation throughout.

    I am absolutely horrified by the lack of a democratic process here. Didn't MP's realise they probably had the youngest audience for a debate since the Iraq Invasion? But no, they managed to show themselves as the out of touch, fat wind bags they collectively are.
    Agree with the bill or not, it was a sad day for parliamentary democracy.
    Yours, apathetically, the youth of today.

  • Comment number 7.

    Our great democracy at work, or an example of "lobbying", that truly democratic machine whereby people with money and influence lead, and ordinary people are, well, unable to do anything about it.

    Is the process of making media fair and democratic the whole way through? Or is the process of making media largely composed of greedy companies wanting to squeeze every last ounce of profit out of mediocre output?

  • Comment number 8.

    The digital piracy bill is a terrible document and should not have been passed by parliament without further discussion, as it potentially damages the freedoms and richness of our Internet commerce its supposed to protect. As a developer and musician it places all my users and supporters at risk, irrelevant of any Licensing issues. It does nothing to solve the issue it sets out to tackle, accept raise even bigger ones. Right now in our economic situation, this bill is such a bad one, and will badly limit the growth of our IT and music industry. It written by people who I don't think can even turn a computer on, let alone understand the nitty gritty of online-distribution and commerce.

  • Comment number 9.

    As long as people in the UK think they have a divine right to download music & films for free(and if you read enough of these comments it will become clear that a lot of people do think exactly in those terms)then you will never come close to solving the piracy problem.

    Basically there is a huge proportion of the population who honestly believe they deserve something for nothing, and will even go so far as to blame the record companies or movie studios for their own personal acts of theft.
    Hmm, Pea Eye, if that is their real name! IS getting his/her underwear in a twist. Nobody is saying that people have a divine right to download; but let the punishment fit the crime. Have you understood fully that you are guilty until proven innocent? That the person who provides the Internet connection is not necessarily the person downloading? The current free WiFi available to everyone maybe be reduced or removed as retailers think that they may be punished due to someone using their service for downloading? Not such a good idea now my friend...
    Like everything you'll only miss it when it's gone and we can reminisce about those days when we could access the internet freely across the UK

  • Comment number 10.

    Whether you are pro file-sharing or anti., this is a badly thought out, undemocratic, flawed bill. As pointed out by one of the few MPs to vote against it, the legislation as it stands could be used to shut down sites such as Google, and Wikileaks because they may contain, or link to unauthorised copyrighted material.

    The potential consequences of this bill are frightening. And if you think these new laws will never be used to stifle free speech and democratic dissent, just have a look at how anti-terror laws are used by the police for stop and search and how liable laws are being used by Big Business to gag people science journalists like Simon Singh...

    I never thought I'd live a country where I'd be guilty till proven innocent, and when proven innocent, I couldn't sue my accusers for compensation. Welcome to a North Korea everyone...

  • Comment number 11.

    Legislation passed in haste without proper debate and public consultation is bad legislation, by definition. If this, or something like this, really needs to be done, then do it properly in the next parliament.

  • Comment number 12.

    There won't be anyone left online!

    Poor little film stars - they'll have to make do with a $3million per film instead of $6million. My heart bleeds for them,

  • Comment number 13.

    Rushed legislation is bad legislation at the best of times.

    When the legislation in question is crucially dependent on a lot of technical details which most MPs probably don't fully understand, we really don't have the best of times.

  • Comment number 14.

    There will be no problem so long as people can buy the product at the price in any country of their choice if its 50p in China why should we pay £50 for the same thing there are no more costs in the manufacture of one digital release than another.
    Adobe is another case where they set prices on a national basis UK £2199.99 USA price $2099.99 (price taken from amazons UK and USA sites)allowing for the exchange rate our Government is allowing anyone who buys this product to be ripped off, The USA price would need to be 2680 dollars if you remove the VAT meaning we are being cheated out of £386 per copy in cases like this it should be perfectly legal to buy from the cheapest place rather than having to pay the premium for buying here!
    The Governments bill does nothing to help the consumer as usual it only ever helps the manufacturers at the expense of the consumer. It would be more interesting if the price was a worldwide price for a product with only local taxes making the difference if this cannot be done then for something like this it should be legal to run pirated copies until the manufacturer charges the same price why should our country be ripped off by our supposed friends!

  • Comment number 15.

    #1. Pea Eye

    Copywright infringment is NOT theft. Look up the legal definition before you make such statements.

    And if no new peice of music was ever sold again do you think music would cease to exist? No it wouldn't because people would do it for the joy of it which is exactly what music should be about.

    Music should be somthing you do for fun in your spare time not for a living.

    Yet musicians make money grossly out of proportion to the importance of what they do and look at the result?

    X Factor, Jedward etc thats what money has done to music. Its ruined it.

    Piracy is not killing music money is. Piracy actually helps music.

  • Comment number 16.

    Just because record companies seem to make huge profits, is that a reason to allow others to steal their property? Maybe it's ok if my neighbour can afford a better car, it's ok for me to borrow it when I feel like it? This type of law needs to be put in place and tweeked as required over the years. It is impossible to get perfect legislation so at least get something in place, no doubt lawyers will sort it out in time and those that loose the arguament will claim it is bad law, whilst those who win will claim it as good.

  • Comment number 17.

    Isn't democracy in action amazing, I'm pretty sure this isn't it though!
    How can such a hugely important peice of legislation have been rushed through without proper scrutiny? I'm fairly sure that alot of the MPs' who have voted have never even read the proposed bill, let alone understood it.
    What will this mean for our freedom? Only time will tell. The internet has been one of the most useful tools of the modern age and now it looks like it will be strangled back to the stone age.
    Bills like this will not stop people from sharing files - there is always a way.
    This bill is completely biased towards industry and against the consumer. I could rant for ages about statistics but I think i'll just go and fume quietly to myself in a corner now.

  • Comment number 18.

    If the music industry was genuinely concerned about the survival of their signed artists, they'd give them a bigger cut of the revenue that is being generated rather than keeping the bulk of it for themselves. They feign concern for the artist, but it's keeping their own pockets well lined that they're really worried about.

  • Comment number 19.

    Criminal penalties are being applied to a civil offence with no recourse to legal remedy as far as I can see. Accusations from copyright holders based on very limited information (reported IP addresses) are enough to get users banned from the internet, possibly impacting on peoples' ability to do their jobs if they work from home.

    The other issue is that the copyright holders, especially in movies and TV, have managed to influence legislation to protect the business models and release schedules they've been using since video tape came out. Rather than reach out to internet users wanting to be their customers they've slapped them back into last place. Some content, that could be released to paying customers instantly, will not be available for purchase over the internet until well after it's available on DVD, if ever. And even then it'll be in a protected format that will only work on a very limited range of devices, not transferable to new equipment, and can disappear if the license holder closes their shop or unilaterally revokes licenses.

    It is very disturbing that MPs have passed this legislation without exploring the issues. This isn't a true Digital Economy Bill, it's more a bill to keep things the way they were before the internet.

  • Comment number 20.


    9. At 10:34am on 08 Apr 2010, Gordon wrote:

    That the person who provides the Internet connection is not necessarily the person downloading? The current free WiFi available to everyone maybe be reduced or removed as retailers think that they may be punished due to someone using their service for downloading? Not such a good idea now my friend...

    ----

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?

    Should anybody have any responsibility in your Brave New World?

    Or is nothing ever anybody's fault?

  • Comment number 21.

    "Do the digital piracy laws strike the right balance?"

    Balance? What balance?

  • Comment number 22.

    It's interesting that a similar set of regulations recently completely failed in france.

  • Comment number 23.

    My objection to these laws is based on the restricted trading practices operated by publishers. There are many instances of media that are simply not available for download in the UK (but are in the US), or are only available in restricted DRM formats that make them difficult to use without buying additional hardware (e.g. a Sony eReader). These restrictive practices, geographical restrictions, are purely designed to increase profits, and largely do not benefits the artists at all. This bill is not designed to protect the artists, or the British Creative Industry, but the profits of a small number of multi-national publishers, at expense of consumers.

    The additional danger is that it will make the Internet easier to control by governments for entirely political purposes. We should be very wary of selling our freedoms so cheaply.

  • Comment number 24.

    As someone who has downloaded a few cds over the years this bill is enough to teach me not to do it again, and maybe that's the point. Weed out the small timers who are easily discouraged and the pirates who make money from this practice are more easily exposed. What I do not understand, however, is how you identify what is legal from what is illegal. I download Linux software etc from peer to peer networks which is legal - at least I think it is. How do the authorities know if I'm pulling off a large download of a free OS or illegally downloading a movie through the same channels?

  • Comment number 25.

    15. At 10:54am on 08 Apr 2010, bigsammyb wrote:
    #1. Pea Eye

    Copywright infringment is NOT theft. Look up the legal definition before you make such statements.

    And if no new peice of music was ever sold again do you think music would cease to exist? No it wouldn't because people would do it for the joy of it which is exactly what music should be about.

    Music should be somthing you do for fun in your spare time not for a living.

    Yet musicians make money grossly out of proportion to the importance of what they do and look at the result?

    X Factor, Jedward etc thats what money has done to music. Its ruined it.

    ---

    If music is so utterley without value, then do without, rather than stealing it.

    If you are not willing pay, go without - its pathetic to say that the poor quality of the stolen goods is an excuse for the act of larceny, i'd love to see you try that in a court of law.

    And don't waste my time with your petty definitions.

    Morally, taking something without making the payment demanded by the owner is theft.

    If you pirate music or film you are a thief. If you try to argue otherwise you are a thief in denial.

  • Comment number 26.

    The only people this will hit are the law abiding, people who need the internet for work not pleasure. If all I did was download illegal stuff then why stop, the worst is “they” will stop me. I can not afford to take that risk.

    Those who are really involved (not teenagers doing the equivalent of recording TotP on to a cassette from the radio) will know how to hide their IP address.

  • Comment number 27.

    Fine. Go ahead. Make us all criminals.
    But I know something that you have forgotten.

    Every artist, mega-star and company executive in this grubby little business depends on people going out and buying their product.

    A simple 6 month boycott should bring them to heal.

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't download. So I don't care.

  • Comment number 29.

    20. At 11:16am on 08 Apr 2010, Pea Eye wrote:


    9. At 10:34am on 08 Apr 2010, Gordon wrote:

    That the person who provides the Internet connection is not necessarily the person downloading? The current free WiFi available to everyone maybe be reduced or removed as retailers think that they may be punished due to someone using their service for downloading? Not such a good idea now my friend...

    ----

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?

    Should anybody have any responsibility in your Brave New World?

    Or is nothing ever anybody's fault?

    ---------------

    Pea Eye, consider this. If someone steals your car and uses it to commit a crime (e.g. a hit and run), should you be guilty of that crime, or the guy who stole your car?

    Its a bad piece of legislation. Simples.

  • Comment number 30.

    Agree with stopping the free for all on people's creativity but it is a sadly unworkable law that will fail to deliver. Typical poorly thought through stuff.

  • Comment number 31.

    20. At 11:16am on 08 Apr 2010, Pea Eye wrote:

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?

    Should anybody have any responsibility in your Brave New World?

    Or is nothing ever anybody's fault?
    In the words of Mr T - pity the fool. Of course they will have responsibilities, but forcing them to do so will inhibit companies who previously provided a service from doing so in future, punishing everyone for the mistake of one rather than just one person. If your brave new world includes group punishment them sorry it's not for me. You didn't explain the other part of this brilliant new wheeze - that is guilty until proven innocent, another terrific addition to this hastily contrived bag of nonsense. Accept responsibility for your own actions – Yes but don't force these on others...

  • Comment number 32.

    I do not download files illegally, but I can see this causing havoc. First, kids sometimes download material without knowing it is copyrighted. Also, let's face it - some kids are mischievous and would be willing to violate the law. In either case, entire families will be punished for the transgressions of one member. Second, it is technologically possible to hack into wireless routers of the kind found in homes, and it is also possible to fake (spoof) one's IP address. A lot of wholly innocent people are going to be affected by this law. Third, as another commenter noted, this will be the death of publicly available WiFi in businesses, libraries, schools, etc., for inevitably the somebody will illegally download files and the IP address will be flagged. I think as well this will end commercial arrangements like BT Fon, where people share bandwidth on their home WiFI hubs.

    All in all: nice going Parliament. You have demonstrated why we need a completely new generation of MP's. I fail to understand why elected officials in the UK fear the ire of big business so much but not the wrath of their own electorate.

  • Comment number 33.

    #20 Pea Eye

    Depends if you want public wi-fi or not. Coffee shops etc. will just stop providing it if you saddle them with the responsibility of policing what people use it for.

    I say the benefits of public wi-fi far outweigh the narrow interests of the music industry.

  • Comment number 34.

    This bill is a load of utter rubbish. It does nothing for the consumer, maybe if movies, music and software wasn't so overpriced, then maybe people would buy it instead of downloading it for free.

    The movie and music industry need to move into the 21st century. People will find other ways to SHARE music. P2P is only the tip of the iceberg. Is the RIAA going to start monitoring Windows Live Messenger for people sending tracks over that? Or maybe lets take down YouTube, because you can download the soundtracks from music videos on that.

    I also fail to see how piracy = stealing. Stealing is taking a physical object that doesn't belong to you. Piracy is making a copy. If I bought a car, and made an exact copy of that car, have I stolen anything?

    Finally, Wi-Fi. My WLAN is protected by WPA2. However there are people out there who do not know how to enable security on their networks. So if I may be disconnected from the Internet for downloading songs. I can just connect to my neighbors unprotected network and download the tracks through their Internet connection. Public hotspots will be gone, no one would be stupid enough to risk sharing their connection with 'EVIL MUSIC PIRATES'!.

    The EU recently announced that Internet access is a human right. If you disconnect me from the internet then you are violating my human rights, and I will sue you for lots and lots and lots of money :)

    Oh and finally, can you guess what I've started doing since this bill came to light!? Yeah I downloaded the soundtracks from YouTube videos that the record companies put up themselves.

    To be brutally honest, the music that is coming out the music industry today is terrible. I feel ashamed that when I look back on my teen years in several years time, I am going to have to somehow explain to the people younger than me why people listened to this ear-poison.

  • Comment number 35.

    This is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to start, where were the democratic systems to make this huge piece of legislation debated properly? They used the same tactics as they did for the EU treaty.

    This is censorship under another name, the lobby groups winning again, the politicians yet again representing the lobbyists instead of the people, particularly Peter Mendelson, who was lobbied by the Phonographic jobsworths and clearly reacted to their wishes.

    Ministers and M.P's should be banned from having any other job, if they have more than £1 million in the bank, they should be banned due to conflict of interest, they place money above representing the people, only people who have lived in an area for at least 15 years can be elected to represent that area and that area only.

    No politician should be allowed to say no to an interview or answer a question, saying that they are "not doing interviews" just doesn't wash, they are there to represent us and are paid for by us.


    The arrogance is astounding.

  • Comment number 36.

    What a joke.

    There are two types of people who download media, those who download media and also purchase media they have downloaded (using it as a way to make sure they want the media) or those that wouldn't actually purchase the media anyway.

    So basically this law, which is apparently going to "save" the industries money will actually do nothing. They are losing fantasy money, those who downloaded online will not now go and purchase the media.

  • Comment number 37.

    The BBC use peer to peer tech for the iPlayer, Will that traffic be considered as piracy?

    The agency who enforce the legislation will have no way of telling what is legit and what isnt because the technology is used in so many ways by so many different providers

    Are the government going to create a new agency to investigate these so called crimes because the police are busy doing other things? like solving real crime

    I think I will just purchase a virtual machine in another country that does not have this law do my downloading from there and just download with encrypted connection

  • Comment number 38.

    #16 notfooledsteve

    Well your analogy of the neighbour's car proves that you have been fooled.

    When you buy a car it is yours. If you want to tear it apart and rebuild it in a different order you can. If you want to paint it a different colour you can. If you want to build the body out of different material you can. If you want to change the engine you can. Get the point yet?

    When I buy music or any other piece of digital software I do not own it or even a copy of it. I buy a license to play my copy with many restrictions imposed. I must be careful who handles my copy or even plays or hears my copy and I cannot, legally, sell my copy to someone else. I cannot change my copy material to something that suits me better. I am stuck with what the copyright owner provides me.

    Even a book or a work of art has better luck than that.

    As a software engineer who knows what intellectual rights means I have used other people's work to help me to construct something better or something different. Sometimes I have to pay that other person for their work but often I do not. It helps everyone concerned with creativity to develop ideas and, crucially, to get people interested and involved.

    Linux costs nothing and yet is improving all the time. So why is this law so damned important? Give me one good reason.

  • Comment number 39.

    The law is retarded, all these figures of money being lost from industries are completely bogus. The simpleton's arithmetic carried out by the Government and the BPI is every illegally downloaded album is £12.99 lost to the "creative industries". Obviously most people would not buy an album if they were unable to "pirate" it first to see if it's any good. Let's have an honest debate about file sharing (which is a completely legal method of information swapping) rather than the mendacious rubbish bandied about by ministers who have no clue about the technologies they are blathering on about. Why is the BPI writing laws for the UK anyway? I dont remember anyone electing them...

  • Comment number 40.

    The legislation just rushed through is not the answer. Within just a few minutes I can spoof an IP address and create a situation that would appear to have Mr Brown or Mr Cameron downloading music and films all day.

    Should piracy be fought? Yes it should be. It is theft and takes money from the pockets of artists, content producers and retailers. Now that does cost jobs.

    But there is just not enough meat on the bones of the legislation passed to make it clear how this is going to take place in practical terms. A waste of an opportunity.

  • Comment number 41.

    All I hear when this is discussed is that it will mean that the music industry loses less money. What has this got to do with the government, the music industry business model needs to change. I don't buy music because it is too expensive. People only download the music of big acts, popular acts. I really do not feel that their riches should be protected at the expense of emerging talents which activly use free file sharing to get known. The only people which benefit from this are music producers which do nothing more than pimp out artists for a quick buck and dump them once the profits stop. Maybe the artists should think about making less money doing something they love and represent themselves making music cheaper for the masses.

  • Comment number 42.

    Do the laws give artists more protection and consumers a fairer deal?

    Consumers a fair deal? Thats a laugh, there are two reasons that this Bill has been rushed through, firstly the Labour Parties supporters will no doubt have shown their gratitude by donating even more money & secondly the Government have failed to come up with a way of taxing file sharing!

    Isnt democracy wonderful?

  • Comment number 43.

    #25 Pea Eye

    I wouldn't call the law of the land a 'petty definition' there is a reason copyright is called copyright and not theft, its because under the law it is not the same thing.

    How could it be? It is a huge assumption that because sombody downloaded some music they would of otherwise purchased it.

    And yes music has been destroyed by money. I would be happy when the day comes that record labels no longer exist and when fat talentless celebrities no longer fly around in private jets and driving supercars whilst people who actually do things of value get the minimum wage.

    Take sombody who is involved in say child care. They make minimum wage at best yet what they do is far more important than what any musician does.

    So let the 'poor musicans' go fourth and multiply if they were true artists they wouldn't care about the money. They would do a regular job like the rest of us and make music for pleasure at the weekends and share it on the internet. A bit like when i write. Are the BBC going to reimburse me for the gems of wisdom i bestow upon them? Afterall i know for a fact information i have posted in blogs has been directly used for research for TV programs.

    And you know what? REAL artists would be happy that people downloaded there music they would be happy that people wanted to listen to it.

  • Comment number 44.

    This is nothing to do with protecting artists. This is about attempting to protect revenue (public and private) and more control as requested by media moguls sitting in boats in Corfu.
    This act has been passed despite evidence from some countries which indicates that illegal down loaders actually purchase more music and media.
    The original internet was set up for noble reasons to freely share information between universities around the world this & this grew into the www we see today.
    The WWW has good and evil aspects just like the societies who use it.

    The one great aspect was that it was free for a time. Free from over commercialisation, monitoring and overbearing government control (just like society).

    Sadly that time is gone - now the internet is becoming nothing more a tool to be used by businesses & politicians for their own gain -to propagate their propaganda, monitor activity, cutback on front line services and ultimately convince people that when they email their local MP with a petition or No.10 they can effect change. (You can’t)

    This legislation simply re-enforces the idea that politicians on the left and right want to control and manage the population like cattle whilst pandering to big business.

    Please think carefully the next time you hear an MP speaking about China’s “awful” firewall as the UK appears building its own, one brick at a time led by the chief mason Peter Mandelson.









  • Comment number 45.

    PEA EYE wrote:

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?
    ****************************
    yes thats exactly what we are saying, the only person who has responsibility is the person downloading material. Should i sue Thames water because i left my bath running and flooded my house? Please do not write nonsense if you do not understand what you are saying.

  • Comment number 46.

    The worst thing about this is that once again, big business has managed to influence government policy and legislation. This is really no different than the "Cash for Questions" scandal - only bigger.

    This is not about having the right to steal copyrighted material. This not about getting freebies from the internet. This is about the right to challenge an accusation and rely on a fair and unbiased decision with evidence given from both sides. In other words, this issue of copyright theft should be dealt with by the court system we already have in place.

    The TV & record - and to a lesser extent - the gaming industries haven't got the intelligence and innovation to come up with to ways to compete fairly in the internet age. I certainly have no faith in them being able to accurately identify copyright infringement. They blame piracy for flagging sales yet never consider that people just think what they are putting out is total crap. Piracy has become an excuse for every terrible film maker and songwriter to blame their own failings on.

    A week or so ago, a boy who was placed on an ASBO, with one of the conditions of that ASBO being not able to ride his bike in certain areas, went to court and successfully overturned the ASBO conditions as it infringed upon his human rights. Right or wrong, that boy had a legal option to challenge that decision.

    What rights will we have under this corporate legislature?

    (I think Pea Eye works for EMI ;) )

  • Comment number 47.

    Caution is requried here. You have to consider that there are levels of concern with regard to file-sharing.

    Clearly, someone who buys a thousand blank DVDs and rips and copies a movie to sell at the local car boot sale is just plainly in the wrong but we have for a long time had the notion that personal use of copying is ok.

    So if someone buys a DVD and chooses to copy the movie to their PC to allow them to take movies with them on their laptop, are we saying that this should be an absolute criminal offence now?

    Then if I go to a friends house with my DVD collection in a bag and we watch them, then I go to another friends house and another or even if I just invite different friends round every night for a week to watch that same movie, am I guilty of another absolute offence?

    The problem is where to draw the line, what constitutes absolute offences and what punishments befit the breach of those laws.

    I would suggest that if the bill is made law as it stands then every household in the land could very easily be criminalised. Certainly every rebellious teenager could leave the householder open to serious charges with potential criminal conviction as the outcome, all over the sharing of a movie.

    This is clearly not a good policy. In fact I would go as far as to say that this bill is a further example of how law in this country is now being drawn up so that there is no grey area, no room for interpretation, no room for leniency, no way for anyone to be given a chance to repair the problem. But that is a matter for the government and how it choses to manage us, the population of the country.

    I for one will not stand idly by and allow freedoms to be eroded because some jumped up CEO of a big movie company thinks his bonus might be less than 10 gazillion pounds this year.

    Fair use policies are the answer but that requires someone to look at each case with care and attention, not to just apply the same rules regardless of circumstance. But you just try and explain that to MPs today. Almost all of them are unable to understand the issues regarding technology and the attendance at the reading of the bill shows that they could not care less as long as they can still claim their expenses.

  • Comment number 48.

    And this is for Pea Eye:

    Im really glad your talking about morals on this issue, I take it you think it is morally ok that someone who can sing a song can be made rich by getting millions from hard working people. Why should they be rich and then look down on us, it would be far more MORAL if the music was cheaper and music artists made a modest living, not hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    Watch the up coming program on BBC3 regarding morals, exploiting the third world for our products, morally that is what should be chaning, not protecting the right for singers to be rich. That even sounds rediculas when said loud. Im ashamed profit comes before anything else.

  • Comment number 49.

    I see my local Labour MP voted for this.

    She won't be getting my vote again. However, neither will the Tories, now that they've changed their minds about retaining the DNA of innocent people.

    They're all as bad each other. I wish there was a "none of the above" option on my ballot paper :(

    While I'm here : Pea Eye - stop peddling misinformation and do some homework. Copyright infringement does not come under the Theft Act, no matter how much you wish it did. It isn't a matter of opinion - it's a matter of fact. If you can't even understand the law, you really have no business commenting on it. I will continue to take no notice of such ill-informed viewpoints.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think this a sensible move. People seem to believe digital piracy is ok because it appears that nothing physical is stolen. Digital Piracy is theft plain and simple and in my view, the perpetrators should be locked up.

  • Comment number 51.

    I wonder how many of those who oppose the Bill have ever created anything worthy of copyright?

    You can't defend theft of copyrighted material - and that what those who oppose the Bill are attempting to do. Bunch of freeloaders who have probably never paid for anything in their lives.

  • Comment number 52.

    Strange, i didn't think that I was living in China...
    Seriously though I am concerned that MP's either have no idea what they are voting on, don't care, or are getting paid by the media businesses who desperately want to hang onto their outdated sales model (possibly a combination of all three).

    Let's say this law actually works and everyone who is downloading for free stops, do they really think these people will rush out and buy everything; I don't think so. All it will achieve is the copyright holders can go after anyone with minimal evidence, punish them with a 20k fine and go home happy that they have raked in some more profits.

    I always find it odd that drug dealers and physical thieves (as opposed to copyright thieves) often get a few hours community service or a £50 fine, while people who actually work for a living and happen to pay for a Wi-Fi service who get caught up in this fiasco will be punished far more severely, why... because they work and pay taxes, pointless fining an out of work criminal isnt it...

    I can safely say that anyone who actually knows what they are doing on the internet will avoid detection but the OAP who is unaware how to secure his connection will know doubt get nailed and dragged through court before (hopefully) being found innocent.

  • Comment number 53.

    So now that the music and video industry are going to make back their hundreds of millions that they are apparently loosing to piracy, will they be lowering the cost of their products?

    I think not this will just go to line the fat cats and politicians supporting the bill.

  • Comment number 54.

    Is it wrong to down load legel content, which people are trying to sell to make a living fund their art, well yes it is.

    Does this mean that the record companies (Those which seek extensive profits) should have changed and adapted to the new world, yes they should have, if they met the needs are the consumer, then surely the issue would not be so bad.

    Even though i believe the above statements to be true, the quality of music has increased since illegal file sharing began. When there is less money to be made, you generally find that people create music for the love of doing so than as a job

    The bill however seeks to punish people without conviction for a crime they may not have commited. Thankfully Talk talk have agreed that they will only impose the law if a court finds the individual to be guilty. After all, should there really be laws where people can be convicted without a fair trial?

    If the music/film industry are so interest in resolving the issue , then why have they not chosen the Virgin Model, which has been sitting in the wings waiting to assist in the resolution of the issue?

    By the way if you have not already noticed, this bill came from the States, which they have taken around the world encourgaing countries to sign up.

  • Comment number 55.

    Anyone who supports this bill supports the greed and tyranny of industry fat-cats and opposes progress. For too long consumers have been tricked into shelling out to for sub-standard products through advertising, and frankly I'd prefer to try before I buy so I can make a fair assessment of the product's value.

    Essentially what we're looking at is a tool that puts control of the consumer experience back in the hands of the executive who, if we're honest, generally doesn't care about about creative content or artistic integrity, but rather how much money they're likely to make.

    It's plain to see that this sort of profit-driven process is extremely unhealthy as it only serves to further de-value an already cripplingly cheapened industry.

    But then again, what's new about about politicians scratching the backs of big companies?

  • Comment number 56.

    Debating the second reading of the digital economy bill in the House of Commons it has been quoted that the 200 million pounds is being lost each year due to illegal downloading. This is a false claim which is based on the assumption that shared content represents a loss in revenue. The data does not show this with revenue from the music industry actually increasing since 2007. There is however a trend away from recorded media towards live performance which means those who contribute towards the industry are gaining more power (mainly thanks to the availability due to the downloading). However those who wish to control the music industry and profit from the work of others seem to have the government working for them and not the people they were elected to represent. I would like to think MPs are simply out of touch and misinformed but i recent events suggest otherwise.

  • Comment number 57.

    It's a complete wash! Once again, the government fails the citizens and marches, lobbying a legislation that was threatened by the rich minority: the record company. Not thinking about any implications, performance degrades or mass inconvenience this will cause. There are plenty other countries who freely pirate and admit to piracy, and even sell their pirated material to the west at a discount, but the normal Joe has to be discriminated for having a 20mb connection.

    Pea Eye, do you even realise what the full implications are?

    > No YouTube - Plenty of artist, including the higher than Mighty Lilly Allen used to promote their own career
    > No MySpace - Again, loads of artist use this service to promote
    > Monitored streaming - so everything I watch is being surveyed and reported from my own home now.
    > Slower connections - due to the monitoring programs intercepting any stream I download to my machine
    > TV and Radio - Did you just think that it was the internet? Nope, every form of digital entertainment received domestically will be tagged and monitored like the criminal they perceive us to be.

    And a whole host of other new regulations from domain registration to stronger OFCOM powers that will make this country another Canada. You can find some of the details on the wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Economy_Bill

    But to be honest, this is exactly what this interfering government is after: to make us feel more like prisoners in our own homes, as if the taxes we face in future from this unstable economy we've been left with isn't enough to feel depressed about. I for one is fed up, and will protest against this bill from ever coming into effect, as countless others will also.

  • Comment number 58.

    The Digital Piracy law is irrelevant and already obsolete. Anyone can get around it with a bit of know-how and common sense.

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't have a problem with digital music piracy. Most of mine is on back plastic.

    I do have a problem with turning off analogue radio though. Just how many otherwise useful radios will be rendered obsolete? That's not very green. And dab at current bandwidths sounds worse than analogue and portable dabs eat batteries.

  • Comment number 60.

    This is typical knee-jerk legislation from a technically illiterate, authoritarian Government
    It will be a bad law that will prove to be just about unworkable and will punish the poor fool who left his Wi-Fi Security settings on default, rather than the person sitting outside, hijacking his connection and dowloading copyright material.
    I hope that, when this incompetent grouip of bunglers is thrown out of office in four weeks' time, the incoming administration will repeal it and bring in some properly thought-out and workable legislation.
    Whilst they're at it, they might do something about repealing most of the rest of the past 13 years'-worth of legislation

  • Comment number 61.

    This whole debate just shows how archaic our attitudes towards digital media are. I don't expect to gain a copy of something for free. I can see that there is a line to be crossed there. That's why I use services like iplayer, spotify and 4OD. I can watch and listen to what I want, when I want, but I don't have the freedom to replicate that media and I have to put up with a few ads. However, criminalising a person for being suspected of downloading something that they shouldn't without any conclusive evidence is a violation of human rights, ad it is perfectly obvious that this will happen. I have no problem with people being fined for stealing content, as long as a) the fine is reasonable (e.g. if you get caught without a bus ticket they fine you £20) and b) that the person being prosecuted is actually the person that committed the crime, not their housemate, landlord or parent!

    Another issue I find really hypocritical is the way people in the UK are being intimidated about this (everyone has seen those pointless 'you wouldn't steel a handbag/ burn a house down/ rob a granny ads they put on the beginning of DVDs that people have bought and paid for) when you have a massive country like China completely ignoring any copywrite laws and distributing anything and everything through download sites. Maybe if the entertainment industry wants to recoup some lost revenue they should start in the places where absolutely no one pays for legal content rather than picking on a country where people do buy non pirated DVDs and CDs and use legal downloading sites?

  • Comment number 62.

    Whereas piracy of DVD`s CD`s etc is wrong. I`m a bit worried about where this new bill is going.
    It smacks of Big Brother again.
    The music industry is in for a shock when people simply stop purchasing DVD`s & CD`s.
    How long before they (the music industry) go bust?
    And the government will lose all the tax from this same industry also.

    Just like the smoking ban in pubs and clubs - NO thought went into the livelyhood of the publicans and their staff - and they are closing at an alarming rate. And what does the government do? Raises the price of beer and spirits.

    And now this.

    is the there no end to their incompetence & Ignorance.

  • Comment number 63.

    49. At 12:27pm on 08 Apr 2010, Mark wrote:

    While I'm here : Pea Eye - stop peddling misinformation and do some homework. Copyright infringement does not come under the Theft Act, no matter how much you wish it did. It isn't a matter of opinion - it's a matter of fact. If you can't even understand the law, you really have no business commenting on it. I will continue to take no notice of such ill-informed viewpoints.

    ----

    I've carefully read both your comments and those of others who are complaining bitterly about being asked to stop taking material they have no right to.

    To me they all read 'I'm a thief & I wish to keep on stealing without the risk of punishment'.

  • Comment number 64.

    Im sure I heard somewhere that Labour was the party of the people ,nah I must have been dreaming

  • Comment number 65.

    48. At 12:24pm on 08 Apr 2010, betucant wrote:
    And this is for Pea Eye:

    Im really glad your talking about morals on this issue, I take it you think it is morally ok that someone who can sing a song can be made rich by getting millions from hard working people. Why should they be rich and then look down on us, it would be far more MORAL if the music was cheaper and music artists made a modest living, not hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    --

    and you seem to be saying that if someone makes something that a million people want to buy that person shouldn't become rich?

    now that sounds a lot like communism.

    What i'm saying is that if you don't believe that something is worth the asking price then do without.

    Don't try to justify your theft by saying 'i stole it because i didn't think it was worth the asking price'.

  • Comment number 66.

    "I also fail to see how piracy = stealing. Stealing is taking a physical object that doesn't belong to you. Piracy is making a copy. If I bought a car, and made an exact copy of that car, have I stolen anything?"

    It is arguments like this which undermine the anti-DE camp. This issue is not about the morality of pirating music/films etc. (which, whether you consider it taking or copying, is not providing renumeration for the efforts of the creator).

    As many have said already, the problem with this bill is that it was rushed through without sufficient debate by those who knew enough about the subject. Several valid points about net censorship and the balance of industry vs the consumer were raised (and not just by Watson); the reaction of Stephen Timms, who presented the bill to the house, was to either simply ignore them or to refer vaguely to these 'non-threatening' letters that will be sent to all infringers. For ministers to force the voting to follow party lines on such a controversial issue during a wash-up despite the very vocal opposition of MP's from all parties is quite frankly a joke.

    I feel even more sorry for all the self-employed photographers out there...

  • Comment number 67.

    45. At 12:22pm on 08 Apr 2010, marv wrote:
    PEA EYE wrote:

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?
    ****************************
    yes thats exactly what we are saying, the only person who has responsibility is the person downloading material. Should i sue Thames water because i left my bath running and flooded my house? Please do not write nonsense if you do not understand what you are saying.

    ---

    You leave the taps on - thats your responsibility.

    If i allow someone to use my internet connection to do something illegal then that is at least partly my responsibility. Or do you think the law pertaining to being an accessory to a crime is wrong?

    Why don't we all just do whatever we like in this cyberspace utopia and never take responsibility or face consequences for any of it.

  • Comment number 68.

    20. At 11:16am on 08 Apr 2010, Pea Eye wrote:

    9. At 10:34am on 08 Apr 2010, Gordon wrote:

    That the person who provides the Internet connection is not necessarily the person downloading? The current free WiFi available to everyone maybe be reduced or removed as retailers think that they may be punished due to someone using their service for downloading? Not such a good idea now my friend...

    ----

    So are you saying that the person who provides the internet connection shouldn't have any responsibilities as to how that connection is used?

    Should anybody have any responsibility in your Brave New World?

    Or is nothing ever anybody's fault?
    -----------------------

    Are you suggesting that a kitchen shop that sells a knife to an adult should have some resoponisibility if that person uses the knife to stab somebody else?
    Would that be reasonable?

  • Comment number 69.

    They wanted this to be a digital election, and on our side it has been.
    Politicians were contacted by phone and email, various online petitions were set up, and I imagine that more people watch parliament live than ever before.
    And it didn't matter. Thousands of people spoke to their MPs, and their MPs ignored them, just because the Whips told them to.
    This is not a democratic process, and the MPs do not represent the people's views.
    I'm hoping that all of the "reform" we've been promised, might include a destroying of the whips, and a rule that anyone wishing to vote on an issue has to listen to a minimum of 50% of the attached debate.

  • Comment number 70.

    We keep hearing from representatives of artists and record companies about the vast income loss caused by 'illegal' downloading and file sharing. I don't hear them saying a word about all the airtime they get from our overpriced public broadcaster when they appear on various shows to advertise their new 'works' for free.

    If these millionaire artists want to penalise the consumer, then lets have a charge for them too.

  • Comment number 71.

    So, rather than pass laws on things that matter and would improve the 'common' Briton's life, our Lords and Masters have rushed through a law that essentially could screw us over but more importantly secures the £££ for some big businesses.

    By this point i shouldn't be suprised or even annoyed at my government anymore.

    Britain is fast becoming like a parallel universe in sci-fi where the government makes it easier for law abiding, employed citizens to be locked up while rewarding criminals and parasites.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think films cost too much at the moment to buy, music is better value though and worth paying for but not films, especially as you can pay per song for music and not the whole album. I would only watch a film once then usually never again, so it would be 10-15 pounds for 2 hours entertainment. If they charged an amount people were willing to pay they would find sales increased. Also i don't want my house cluttered with DVDs stacked up high and the associated environmental impact of that. I can't pay 1-2 pounds to download it online but i can download it for free - the choice has been made simple for me by the film companies. The record companies have got it about right though with itunes etc.

    Saying that piracy costs the industry X million per year is misguided and probably inaccurate because most people who download content for free would not do so if they had to pay the full retail price - they just wouldn't watch / listen to it. I know i wouldn't bother. Regardless of all that you can use encryption to download stuff that would not be easily traceable by the ISPs so this bill is fairly pointless anyway. There's also all the other issues with shared internet connections that would mean enforcing this bill would cost us, the tax payer, money.

  • Comment number 73.

    This bad rushed bill isn't about just about downloading music/video/whatever, it's about net neutrality or 'open internetworking'

    http://www.isoc.org/pubpolpillar/usercentricity/20100222-Inter-Networking.pdf

    You pay to connect to the Internet; if you pay for 8Mb you should get 8Mb. Bandwidth costs ISPs and current P2P protocols make up the largest proportion of this bandwidth. Because of this bill, ISPs now have an excuse to throttle this 'illegal' channel; you pay for 8Mb but only get 3Mb.

    This breaks open Internetworking and opens the door to the next cost reduction limitation, maybe your ISP won't like the costs associated with Face book or iPlayer.

    P2P is more than downloading entertainment content; it's a legitimate distribution channel.

    On music; everywhere I go I get music shoved into my head whether I want it or not, I can't escape it, it's everywhere. Why would I value it?

    This was posted through an un-authenticated public hotspot, free for anyone to use.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm fed up of people always comparing copyright infringment to theft. They are two completely different things, to steal something you have to deprive it's original owner of the ability to use it e.g. If I steal a bicycle I am depriving the owner of the ability to use it whereas if I download a song the I am not depriving the owner of the ability to use it.

  • Comment number 75.

    Very clever of the entertainment industry!

    They moan bitterly to the government about breach of copyright but copyright goes to the song/score writer/s so what they are really complaining about is loss of THEIR income! They refuse to change the form of media THEY prefer (CD/DVD) when the public want computer based formats, why? Because at £8 to £20 per CD/DVD, most can't affort that level of pricing especially when trends move so fast that today's purchase is in tomorrow's waste bin. All they had to do was set up websites where music or films could be downloaded from high speed servers and charge a reasonable sum for downloading but no, they stick their heads in the sand and follow their outdated dogma. Not only that but the completely innocent ISP's will now be commanded to ferret out filesharers and punish them by imposing download restrictions or even cutting them off just at a time when competition is at it's greatest among the ISP fraternity. Grossly unjust (I do not have any association with any ISP by the way).

    So it would be reasonable to assume ISP's will turn a blind eye, to do otherwise will hurt their income so they have no incentive to conform. In fact one ISP has already declared it will not participate in such underhand legislation.

    Until the entertainment industry wakes up to the public's wants and needs, they will continue to decline and the Digital Economy Bill, sponsored by no less a character than Lord Mandelson, (a non-elected government senior advisor whose remit is to foster business but enough said on that subject as educated people have enough nowse to figure out where he is coming from) whose record in politics is, to say the least, tarnished. The public will see this as yet another closure on our freedom as individuals and respond accordingly.

  • Comment number 76.

    28, paul tapner:

    "I don't download. So I don't care."

    You'll care if someone who does download spoofs your IP address.

  • Comment number 77.

    The content of the bill is largely irrelevant. The simple fact is that a bill with wide-reaching effects of a technical nature was 'sneaked' through Parliament without proper debate in the House of Commons. Everything else is secondary to this.

  • Comment number 78.

    I am utterly offended by this. The rhetoric of the campaign, and the underhanded manner in which it was pushed through are a terrible reflection on our government. Say hello to group punishment without trial, violation of privacy and spying on citizens and the removal of a utility "as important as water or gas".

    The least we can do now is vote out the corrupt criminals who pushed this through.

  • Comment number 79.

    The piracy bill is an interesting one, one the one hand, if you download for free you are breaking the law, fair enough.
    However when will production companies (be it TV, Film, music or indeed Games) stop charging astronomical amounts for there products?
    If people are ever actually stopped from file sharing downloading etc, the artists still won't be paid more, it will all go to the corporations producing the material.
    Personally I think everything should be availible to download at a reasonable price so that those who do not wish to pay for packaging (which is a waste of resource) can do so.

  • Comment number 80.

    I thought the Internet was created and is based on file sharing?
    How will a copyright holder be notified of an infringement?
    I agree there needs to be something to stop individuals profiting from others intellictual copyright but using the law like this is wrong. This smacks of the entertainment mogals 'having a chat' with their 'friends' in politics! The entertainment industry is a victim of technology and needs to drag itself into the 21st century.

  • Comment number 81.

    66. At 1:11pm on 08 Apr 2010, des1113 wrote:

    It is arguments like this which undermine the anti-DE camp. This issue is not about the morality of pirating music/films etc. (which, whether you consider it taking or copying, is not providing renumeration for the efforts of the creator).

    As many have said already, the problem with this bill is that it was rushed through without sufficient debate by those who knew enough about the subject. Several valid points about net censorship and the balance of industry vs the consumer were raised (and not just by Watson); the reaction of Stephen Timms, who presented the bill to the house, was to either simply ignore them or to refer vaguely to these 'non-threatening' letters that will be sent to all infringers. For ministers to force the voting to follow party lines on such a controversial issue during a wash-up despite the very vocal opposition of MP's from all parties is quite frankly a joke.

    I feel even more sorry for all the self-employed photographers out there...


    I fully understand why this bill is wrong. It undermines the basis of innocent until proven guilty. Why should you be disconnected and then have to appeal to have your disconnection overturned? It undermines the idea of a unmonitored and uncensored internet. It threatens the British people's Human Rights and its being rushed through parliment regardless of what the British people have to say about it.

    However you have only quoted an extract of my post, I have been attempting to explain that people will only find a way around the law, just look at what happened in France, P2P usage dropped but piracy still went up.

    Perhaps I may not have been clear with what I was saying, but the point I was trying to make is, why make a law that bans one thing, when another alternative will be found within a few months (like what happened in France). The record industry needs to find a new business model that works in the Internet Age.

    I do agree with you, however, the Tories and Lib Dems can say over and over and over how many times they do not like the bill, or parts of the bill, but saying something is a lot different to doing something.

  • Comment number 82.

    I have no problem with the bill. I'll just finds new ways to make what I do on the net 100% anonymous. This will result in the government having less control than they do now. This is easily passed if you know how... and oh, they legal stuff I did buy? That'll come to a stop.

  • Comment number 83.

    "or are only available in restricted DRM formats that make them difficult to use without buying additional hardware (e.g. a Sony eReader)."

    Sony have now changed their entire library in the US to ePUB (eBook standard) it's only Amazon and the kindle that use their own format for their device.

    The way this Bill has gone through parliament is a disgrace. The incompetance shown by those discussing home networks on the front bench was jaw droppingly bad and they had no right to be passing a law that would affect the entire country without first making sure they picked up "Networking For Dummies".

    The anger expressed on twitter at the moment is shocking (#debill) but not without it's merits. A badly thought out exercise that should be dealt with in the private sector and public funds should not be used to combat digital piracy when the companies wanting this law could fix things by bringing prices in line with what a digital copy is actually worth.

    New ebooks cost the same as a hardback book despite no production costs to create a physical product, or shipping costs. Then on top of that ebooks are subject to VAT so may end up costing MORE than the physical product.

    Don't get me started on music and movies... I'll just hulk out and go all geeky. Piracy could be lowered if they looked at their own pricing structures for digital media, not treating the entire country as criminals straight off the bat.

    One MP said your network would be secure with a password... not so!! I've had my network hacked numerous times now and even had a copyright letter as a result but the ISP accepted my explination and it went away... I WOULD be the criminal from now on since the broadband bill is in my name.

    To be honest I think Mandleson want's to cut the country off from the internet so he can convince himself that he's actually liked... he should check Twitter and Internet forums. HOw this man has SO much power over this country I will never know. He's unelected and it's about time labour put the boot in before it's too late. With mandleson on their team I know where my vote WON'T be going.

    Bet Mandleson gets a job in the Music/BPI industry when Labour lose to the conservatives this time around... if so then maybe an investigation should be launched into the man...

  • Comment number 84.

    These new laws have been rushed through, it's disgusting!!!! They will not have any effect!!! All they will punish innocent people - music lovers. It has been proven time and time again that 'pirates' actually spend MORE money on music etc than those who do not. I was one of the 20,000+ people who sent a letter to my local MP, this had no effect - they still rushed the bill, most of the MPs who could have been at the debate weren't!!!

    Downloads != Lost sales, this is what people don't understand.

    When you start sending letters and suing people, you LOSE fans!! The music/film industry are so slow to move with the times.

    Legalise sharing!!, the music industry is not losing any money, don't believe their lies and propaganda. There is simply no good music being made, just look at the charts, it's all talentless rubbish.

  • Comment number 85.

    I do not see how this law will work. Will ISP's really be able to suspend the accounts of those believed to be offenders?

    Personally I would love to be cut off in this way. I have never made an illegal download, because I am not sufficiently interested in popular music to bother, and would expect to be able to extract substantial damages from whoever was falsely accusing me of being a criminal.

    In the meantime, I expect I would be able to continue to use the internet through a friend's account.

  • Comment number 86.

    The government do not have the right to go through your mail, they dont have the right to rummage through your parcels being delivered to your house. They have now just given not the police, not even a civil servant but your ISP the right to judge your browsing habits! I wonder how "balanced" they will be? Im sure if you download legally at 8mbs (as advertised) for 20 hours a day you will soon find out. Its a con. An internet tax, doubled up with restrictions on a service that your already paying for! We were assured after the expenses scandal that the pigsty was shut and the troughs empty, why is it that all we hear from parliment is squeels of delight, must be lunch time.

  • Comment number 87.

    When will the government realise that they, in collusion with record/film companies, are powerless to do anything about this problem. Those involved in file sharing sites are always ten steps ahead. Persecuting the innocent along with the guilty is not shocking, it is symptomatic of this wretched government.

    This bill will only serve to make the situation worse.

    Western democracy is like Houdini, now you see it, now you dont.

  • Comment number 88.

    In defence of Pea Eye I agree with the opinion that you are responsible for what is downloaded through your internet connection. If I allow my children / partner to download illegal content I (and they) should suffer the consequences - which is why I will not be downloading music anymore despite the fact that I did buy most of the cds I tried out first - and yes I know it is stealing.

    It is my responsibility as the person who organised the internet installation at my home to ensure that my wifi is secure and that the people using it understand the consequences of illegal downloading. If my wifi is hacked then someone has taken a deliberate action to use my internet without permission - the blur in the line there is how do I prove my wifi was hacked and that I did not give out the password?

  • Comment number 89.

    It's not the downloaders that should be targeted, it's those who upload the material! Common sense tells you if the material isn't there, you can't download it ! I realise that asking MP's to have common sense in their approach to the problem is probably asking too much. They like to take the easy route.

  • Comment number 90.

    I should have added that my family doesn't tend to buy the new cds anyway and almost always waits until the CD's cost £5 or less at the supermarkets or in charity shops. (Is it legal to resell music in charity shops? The record companies make no money out of it then do they?) The music I did download and did not buy the CDs for tended to be live stuff taped by anyone other than the artist or their record company - which I suspect is illegal too - so I will just go without listening to live versions of hits on CDs and will buy records 6 - 12 months after their release date as I do now anyway.

  • Comment number 91.

    Without doubt, Internet industry will be in great disbenefit as many people use illegal services to download audio and video files. I agree with the quote of TheHandsomeMan who stated that a number of people (from a number of countries) download music, video and movies free of charge. What is more, people there think that it’s legal and that there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a point for dispute and further consideration. No haste, just general discussion and confirmation that this law is for benefit of all parties.

  • Comment number 92.

    Very well balanced if you are a corporate fascist!!

    Without a doubt its time for the Revolution!

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    @jono-been

    Apologies, I used your paragraph as it very succinctly put into words the position of a substantial number of arguments. I happen to agree with your other comments! Piracy will stop either when a suitable business model for the 21st century is found, or when other means of generating revenue are relied upon (in which case it will not stop as such, but be considered a viable form of marketing). Then again, prohibition has always worked before...

  • Comment number 95.


    Clause 31 is my biggest hatred.
    Government figures suggest consumers will need to spend £800m to upgrade to digital radio. This is based on each household replacing all of their hifi's boomboxes, radio alarms, portables etc with a single £25 nasty cheap DAB radio. Of course, this bottom of the range radio won't provide all of the fancy features that they are trying to sell us. You'll need to spend £150-£250 for pause/rewind, an EPG etc.

    I calculate consumers will need to spend around £18billion to replace the average of 6 radios per household on a like for like basis. Just so the broadcasters can save a few million on transmission costs.

    Oh, perhaps another reason for this switchover farce is the £3bn the treasury will raise in VAT alone (on sales of new sets). Plus corporation tax on sales of radios. Plus money from selling off some of the vacated frequencies. No wonder the tories are in favour of it too. It's a great way for the government to take more of our money.

    It's scandalous

  • Comment number 96.

    Soon we'll have to have implants (tracked my 'creative industries') which will allow you to hear or see 'products' only if you have pay. Can you imagine having to click a button to allow your ears to let you listen to a song? Only after you've clicked another button to transfer funds though.

  • Comment number 97.

    65. At 1:09pm on 08 Apr 2010, Pea Eye wrote:

    Thanks for commenting on my post, thats never happened before, quite chuffed.

    If you read my earlier posts you'd realise that I don't download music or anything else for that matter, and I don't buy music because it is not moral that people are rich at the expense of others. May sound like communism to you but thats because you are profit driven. Democracy basically means I can have more things than you because I can either exploit more people than you or because I had more money than you to start with, go figure.

    As previously mentioned there are two types of pirates, those that make money, by selling copied digital media cheaper (that should tell you something, if people will buy it cheaper). And those who download it because they wouldn't buy it at all and those who download and buy because they like it. In this respect punishing the second group of people will reduce revenue. By all means punish the first group.

    Also Pea Eye, should I be able to download for free what I bought on CD years ago? Or should I have to pay again for another copy on a different format which I will still not own? Please answer that as I am confused

  • Comment number 98.

    The only reason the government are SO concerned about this issue is that for every cd/dvd/software/game that is illegally downloaded, the government lose VAT.
    And we all know just how ruthless the government can be when it's out to get what they think is rightfully theirs! If only us Joe Bloggs had the same powers at our disposal....

  • Comment number 99.

    #88 Caster_of_Shadows

    so you're ok about your local library being taken offline because of what someone downloaded while they were there?

  • Comment number 100.

    luskentyre wrote:
    I wonder how many of those who oppose the Bill have ever created anything worthy of copyright?

    You've obviously never heard of the Featured Artists Coalition;
    www.featuredartistscoalition.com/index.html


    luskentyre wrote:
    You can't defend theft of copyrighted material - and that what those who oppose the Bill are attempting to do. Bunch of freeloaders who have probably never paid for anything in their lives.

    You don't appear to follow the news either;
    Illegal downloaders 'spend the most on music'
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/illegal-downloaders-spend-the-most-on-music-says-poll-1812776.html

 

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