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Rory Cellan-Jones

Patents, pirates and iPods

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 30 Apr 09, 12:56 GMT

Did the patent system slow down or speed up the development of the steam engine in 19th century Britain? Just one topic for debate at a conference I've been attending in Prague on the impact of patents and other forms of intellectual property protection on innovation. It might seem a dry topic - but it sparked some impassioned arguments between Europe's creative businesses and the ICT industry.

Pirate Bay logoRound One saw John Kennedy of the IFPI - the music industry body which led the fight against Pirate Bay - laying into all and sundry with some gusto. The Swedes behind Pirate Bay were "not Robin Hood but robbers", backed by a "right-wing fascist", hiding money away in overseas banks accounts and stealing from artists and the Swedish taxpayer.

But that was just for starters - his real target was the internet service providers and Europe's politicians. The ISPs needed to step up to the plate in the battle against piracy - they hadn't even blocked Pirate Bay since the IFPI's court victory - and Brussels was hesitant at a time when strategic leadership was needed. "Engaging ISPs in the battle against piracy, " he ended, "is the single most important priority for the music and creative industries today." An Italian consumer organisation fired back with protestations that it wasn't the job of ISPs to police the net - but Mr Kennedy was on the front foot.

But it was the content creators who were on the defensive in Round Two at a seminar on a subject which may shock British readers. How would you like to pay a "private copying levy" every time you bought an iPod, a printer or a blank CD? No, I thought not - but in many countries across the EU, it's the norm.

Europe's consumers are "lucky" - according to a media rights organisation at the seminar - to be granted an exemption from copyright law allowing them to make private copies of films, musics, and articles they own. But in return a price is paid by the electronics industry in the form of levies, with revenues going back to the content creators.

Apple and HP are among the companies who must exact these levies - and their representatives outlined in hair-raising detail what it meant. In Belgium, according to the woman representing HP, you can end up paying a levy on a printer which is more than its basic cost. In Sweden, countered the man from Apple, the levy on an iPod was related to its capacity - and with Moore's Law continuing to operate, that meant the cost was rising to ridiculous levels.

Each country applies the levies in a different way, and the Apple and HP executives both described the system as a "nightmare", fiendishly complex, and costly to administer. But neither was arguing for its abolition - a hopeless quest apparently - just for a bit more uniformity in its application, and for consumers to be told why they were paying.

So does it serve any purpose? The woman from the media rights organisation said the levies supported artists and media companies across Europe - and, confronted with my slightly amazed questioning, she pointed out that the BBC was a keen collector of some of the cash from countries where its programmes are sold.

But an executive from Nokia insisted it was a brake on innovation - his company had chosen to launch its "Comes With Music" service in Britain partly because the levies were not applied here.

So is there any chance that UK consumers could eventually be "lucky" enough to be forced to pay up too? Under UK legislation, copying music or video to a blank CD or an iPod is still technically illegal, and there's talk of a change in the law. The UK music industry says that if that happens an "iPod tax" should be brought in here, although it's difficult to see ministers selling that to the public.

But make no mistake: content creators who are struggling to get consumers to pay for movies or music in a digital world are on the warpath. They're telling ISPs and consumer technology firms that they must help plug the hole in the creative industries' finances caused by file-sharing or copying. And they seem increasingly confident that governments will listen to their message.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The fact is that current copy-write law and future proposals are massively out of step with the wishes of the public.

    I sincerely doubt that any of the money collected by levies are distributed in a fair way, with most of the money ending up in the pockets of over paid executives in order to sustain their coke habit.

    Content creators need to understand that when something is released into the public domain then it is no longer under their control and they need to develop new ways of being rewarded for their work.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm pretty sure we have the levy too, just not on as many types of media. Devices like iPods don't attract it, and nor do blank CDs intended for use in computers, but blank audio tapes certainly used to, as did blank CDs aimed at use in music systems. Indeed, the levy was the only difference between them and ordinary blank CDs - the 'music' ones carried a flag to say that the levy had been paid, and CD writers in music system were/are supposed to refuse to write discs without the flag.

  • Comment number 3.

    If a levy is collected this surely will legitimize copying - it certainly would in my eyes. Much as the maxim is 'no representation without taxation', would we not foresee 'no levy without Intellectual Property'?

  • Comment number 4.

    When content creators start to be less greedy they might get more sympathy. How much cheaper would a Hollywood film be if the stars, the crew etc were paid say the salary of a teacher? The salaries were based on the huge sums created by the method of delivery to the punter, eg. bums on cinema seats, over-priced dvds. This has changed, the method of delivery has moved online and the returns have dropped. Start charging a fair price and we might start listening. When will they wake up?

  • Comment number 5.

    There are issues with uniformity (ie how much is collected in which territory and on which device) but the principle of a licence or levy in return for an exception for private copying has been established in Europe for decades.

    And the principle is accepted too.

    Not least by hardware manufacturers:

    http://www.paidcontent.co.uk/entry/419-private-copying-levy-europe-wide-ipod-tax-on-the-agenda

    It's the execution they have a problem with.

    Rory is correct. The UK is the only major European territory where there isn't a levy/licence.

    And, hence, it is the only major European territory where it's still 'technically' illegal to format-shift a CD that you've purchased onto your iPod.

    Of course, there is one company - aside from the obvious one - that benefits from every iPod sale.

    That's the Fraunhofer Institute who have part-ownership on the patent of the MP3 format and get paid a per-unit royalty on every unit sold.

  • Comment number 6.

    There are two ways this is going.

    1. The music industries force us to pay more due to illegal copying eating their revenue away, people turn to illegal downloading, music becomes more expensive through various means due to increased illegal activity. A spiral of decline.

    2. The music industry gives us the right to act within the law to do what we want to do with our music. Piracy slows to a halt. An upwards spiral of revenue for the industry.


    If music was much cheaper, there would be little illegal downloading.
    If music had no restrictions, there would be no illegal downloading.

    If the music industry improves itself, things will improve for the music industry.

  • Comment number 7.

    We think about this the wrong way.

    It's not about money, because money is essentially stored time. Being fairly well paid, it takes me about 90 minutes to earn enough to buy a CD. That's an hour and a half of my life, a finite and valuable commodity, spent doing something I don't enjoy in order to be allowed to borrow some music.

    Does that seem like a fair exchange?

    In those terms, and I'm using those terms because money is becoming increasingly divorced from reality, I would much rather hand off an hour or so of my time to the artist who made the music. I don't feel like giving very much time to the middle men, because I don't see that they've done anything to earn it. Particularly in light of them asking me to hand over my time and own nothing of value in return.

  • Comment number 8.

    I suppose we should all be grateful to John Kennedy of the IFPI and "the Apple and HP executives".

    it is their like, represententing the morally bankrupt "big business" model/interests, who cause more and more people to wake up and reject the exploitation of both producers and consumers by the corporate middlemen.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's working pretty well for the "Recording Industry":
    - you buy an album, you pay the "Recording Industry", the artist etc.
    - you buy an iPod (or any other MP3 player), part of that money is going to the "Recording Industry" (and maybe artists, etc.)
    - you decide to have a backup copy of that album, you buy a CD, part of that money is going to the "Recording Industry" (and again maybe artists, etc.)

    So every time you buy something that's related to music, part of the money is going to the "Recording Industry". I very much doubt that the artist gets some of this money. And they want 95 years of copyright...

  • Comment number 10.

    People have to stop expecting that they should get digital content for free and realise that bills have to be paid like the rest of us. If your employer turned around at the end of the month and said sorry we cannot pay you this month you would not be happy, but people seem happy to let content creators go hungry and the i'm alright Jack approach has to stop.
    For me the simple answer is ISP's shutting down the websites, because if you had a store in a big shopping centre that sold copyrighted goods it would be shut down and then same needs to apply to digital content, the ISP's have had it good for far too long and must get more involved because otherwise developers will just stop developing.

  • Comment number 11.

    I buy CDs/DVDs to backup my data, documents, spreadsheets etc, not to burn music and films. Why should I pay a levy to the content creators.

    My iPod has all legal music on it. I've already paid the artists for the music, why should I have to pay again as part of the iPod purchase.

    Do we start applying this levy to disk drives, USB keys, camera memory cards...

    Where does this stop ? Should photocopy or scanner manufacturers pay a levy to newspapers and book authors ?

    The Music/Film industry is tarring everyone as a criminal. We are not all criminals but being penalised as such.

  • Comment number 12.

    Moore's law does not apply to storage it applies to the density of transistors that can be placed a microchip. So it is irrelevant in this case.

  • Comment number 13.

    @aliblal - What exactly do you suppose flash memory (used for storage in all but the largest-capacity iPods and other music players) is made up of? Flash-based players dominate the market now and double in capacity with every generation, but the prices stay more or less the same so this will definitely be hitting the manufacturers in the wallet.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Europe's consumers are "lucky" - according to a media rights organisation at the seminar - to be granted an exemption from copyright law allowing them to make private copies of films, musics, and articles they own."

    What the [expletive deleted to prevent moderation ;)]?! This, to my mind, is the big problem with the media industry at large at the moment: They treat their customers like criminals. If I legally buy the CD, then rip it to my MP3 player, then I'm either breaking the law or paying (what amounts to ) a fine for the privilege. Whereas if I download the music, I'm breaking the law. If they're going to treat you as a criminal either way, where's the incentive to give them money?

  • Comment number 15.

    Grier78 wrote:

    * The fact is that current copy-write law and future proposals are massively out of step with the wishes of the public.

    I can only talk about music here, but why should the public decide that a composer is not allowed to sell his or her own property? Most people would not walk into HMV and steal a CD. So why should they steal the same product via a pirate site?

    * I sincerely doubt that any of the money collected by levies are distributed in a fair way, with most of the money ending up in the pockets of over paid executives in order to sustain their coke habit.

    My Performing Rights earning go straight to the PRS in the UK. They take from the entire fund money required to run the society (the directors are all elected from the membership on a regular basis). The rest goes straight to the rights owners. In the case of my music for ads and so on, that is 100%. Music that is published is split according to my publishing deal. Normally between 50% and 70%

    * Content creators need to understand that when something is released into the public domain then it is no longer under their control and they need to develop new ways of being rewarded for their work.

    The problem here is what other ways? The public want to download, so we have to feed that market place. But remember, when someone downloads a track illegally, that have no got the track from a legal source. Someone, not the owner, has intentionally made the track available against the law. That has happened even before the internet with bootlegged albums. However, most people back then never came across a bootleg. Now, anybody can get illegally supplied tracks without leaving home.

    I suppose a comparison would be if someone stole your car keys and then made multiple duplicates for free and distributed them with directions on how to find your car. At the end of the day, the pirates are breaking the law - they are not very worried about how they do that. The public supply the marketplace - like they do with anything else.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think what does not help this whole argument, especially with music, is that people look at Robbie Williams, or Sony and say "they are filthy rich, this is just greed!"

    Trouble is, they are the tiny minority of the industry.

    Many artists and composers make a very ordinary living, and royalties make up an important part of that income. Without them, for some, it would be impossible to survive.

    But they are getting ripped off too, not by their own industry, but by some of the very people who say they are fans.

    It strikes me as mad that someone would say "oh, I love XX artist, and I always download their music for free!"

    Many people say it is their "right" to get music for free. Why??

    Music and other such content is not a right, it is a luxury.

  • Comment number 17.

    To take money from a CD purchase is wrong; CDs are not only used for music you know, I often backup data to CDs. Why should the "recording industry" get money from me for that?

    I feel bad for the artists who are finding it difficult to make a living doing something they clearly love but they should try a new business model.

    For example, post their song on youtube, offer it on torrent sites for free but include a "I will be touring on dd/mm/yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy" advert/jpeg along with it, nothing too intrusive though.

    Their fans will come and pay as long as it's not something stupid like £300 per ticket!

    Cut out the recording "industry" totally. Make money from touring/gigs. If you don't make a lot of / any money, then give it up and get a real job ;)

    Oh and finally, I would like to see rock solid, un-deniable PROOF from the record industry that everyone who pirates music would have purchased the CD had it not been offered free. The numbers they are quoting in "lost profits" are just a pipe dream

    Taken from a popular bit-torrent site (which incidentally offers torrents of LEGAL files such as Linux):


    "File sharers share different kinds of content. We can divide these different kinds into four types.

    A. There are some who use sharing networks as substitutes for purchasing content. Thus, when a new Madonna CD is released, rather than buying the CD, these users simply take it. We might quibble about whether everyone who takes it would actually have bought it if sharing didn't make it available for free. Most probably wouldn't have, but clearly there are some who would. The latter are the target of category A: users who download instead of purchasing.

    B. There are some who use sharing networks to sample music before purchasing it. Thus, a friend sends another friend an MP3 of an artist he's not heard of. The other friend then buys CDs by that artist. This is a kind of targeted advertising, quite likely to succeed. If the friend recommending the album gains nothing from a bad recommendation, then one could expect that the recommendations will actually be quite good. The net effect of this sharing could increase the quantity of music purchased.

    C. There are many who use sharing networks to get access to copyrighted content that is no longer sold or that they would not have purchased because the transaction costs off the Net are too high. This use of sharing networks is among the most rewarding for many. Songs that were part of your childhood but have long vanished from the marketplace magically appear again on the network. (One friend told me that when she discovered Napster, she spent a solid weekend "recalling" old songs. She was astonished at the range and mix of content that was available.) For content not sold, this is still technically a violation of copyright, though because the copyright owner is not selling the content anymore, the economic harm is zero--the same harm that occurs when I sell my collection of 1960s 45-rpm records to a local collector.

    D. Finally, there are many who use sharing networks to get access to content that is not copyrighted or that the copyright owner wants to give away."

  • Comment number 18.

    Gurubear: That post is pretty riddled with errors and misconceptions; lets knock a few on the head:

    but why should the public decide that a composer is not allowed to sell his or her own property?
    It's not property and never has been. We, the rest of us, as society, grant you some monopoly rights over things you create. They are limited in time, limited in scope, and have significant exemptions. They exist solely to make sure you have enough of an incentive to create things, they are not a property right.

    Most people would not walk into HMV and steal a CD. So why should they steal the same product via a pirate site?
    Because the latter isn't stealing. Theft is not about one person gaining something for free, it's about depriving the original owner of their property. If I steal a CD from HMV they don't have it any more, but if I copy your music, you still have it.

    I suppose a comparison would be if someone stole your car keys and then made multiple duplicates for free and distributed them with directions on how to find your car.
    That's clearly bigus. People aren't distributing instructions on how to take your music away, they're distributing the music itself, in its entirety. The correct version of your analogy would be someone copying the whole car and giving copies away, and you should be fine with that because at the end of the process you still have a car, and other people are better off.

    Fundamentally copyright is just one way to create an incentive for people to do creative work, and it's possibly not the best way any more. It's possible that the 'work for hire' model that most other industries use would be better; for example, if you want a builder to build you a house you pay him to do the work, he doesn't do it for free and claim royalties every time you have visitors round. If someone wants you to write them music for their ad they'll need to pay you, and if they don't, then just like the builder, you don't do the work.

    It's also possible that wouldn't work, but there are other models. All we can say with certainty is that the one we have now is broken.

  • Comment number 19.

    badger_fruit #17.

    great post, thank you, find myself agreeing with much of what you say.


    Gurubear #15.

    you are, apparently, a musician. well, read and think about opinions such as expressed in #17.

    your PRS and middleman publisher deal may actually work for you but we, the consumers, are badly let down by the industry and its traditional (ie. before electronic distribution) methods.

    check it out, just how many of your fellow artists have half their back-catalogue "deleted" and unavailable? consumers are *not* benefiting.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am slowly but surely reaching the conclusion that I like neither main side in these debates.

    However it may be justified by some, "piracy" is theft. On the other hand, I see the charging for devices and materials on the grounds that someone might use them to support theft as (at least) equally criminal and believe "innocence before guilt" is against any reasonable principle of law.

    Personally, with music, I'm not concerned about buying say a CD if I want one but mostly entertain myself, largely playing Irish traditional music on mandolin and tenor banjo. One might think that should be OK, but no... The PRS see nothing wrong in charging for every tune played in a pub session on the grounds something just might involve their members work. Their willingness to charge for say my (actually it would be made up on the spot by those present) arrangement of a couple of tunes written in the 19th Century is not right IMO.

    So from my perspective, I'm largely stuck in the middle of two groups of "thieves" each claiming some ground I don't believe they should have and I wish something would break.

    Perhaps the biggest hope, at least initially, would come from the "pirates"? I genuinely do not understand for example the need to download thousands of songs and be surrounded by them all the while on iPods, etc. but if it is needed, would it be unreasonable to suggest it might have a financial value to the user?

    If not, perhaps there are alternative avenues? I can assure those who don't play that even at my lowly playing standard, there is musical enjoyment to be gained in doing that can not be found in just listening, eg. I find the buzz I can get playing with others when everything is going well and I'm sort of swept along by the music quite incredible.

    Perhaps there are alternative avenues for recorded music that are not covered by these issues, eg. creative commons works? I suppose in one way, the closest I can come to this sort of thing is with open source software. I guess I could still be occasionally trying to find licence keys for software or alternatively feeling "ripped off" by the cost of some product. On this, I've no regrets in moving over to the creative work of others that is made freely available - in fact, overall, I've found I prefer it to the commercial options.

  • Comment number 21.

    "innocence before guilt"

    I meant to say "guilt before innocence" above.

  • Comment number 22.

    A few years ago a friend gave me a copy of a Helloween track. I liked it so much I gave a copy to my brother. As a result 7 tickets to their next tour were purchased as well as merchandise at the gig. Between my brother and I we also purchased 7 CDs by Helloween.

    Through getting into that sub-genre of music we discovered Dragonforce. After acquiring a few tracks for free (offered from the Dragonforce website) 4 tickets to their next tour were bought as well as 5 albulms.

    So, from the "loss of revenue" of one song transferred twice the industry gained 12 albulm sales and 11 tour ticket sales. That seems a good return to me. I can't help but feel a lot more success could be gained through a different strategy by the music industry rather than treating everyone as either a pirate or potential pirate.

  • Comment number 23.

    #22, I don't dispute what you said happened but (sort of) "I stole a Mars Bar, found I like them. Now I but them and Mars makes more money because I stole" isn't too convincing is it? Also shouldn't it be up to the company (or artist, etc.) how they want to sell their wares?

    Perhaps the music industry could be persuaded to use a different business model but I don't think "piracy" will ever be convincing, instead, it seems to give "justification" for other methods of revenue collection, etc.

    If do don't like the way a business operates, don't find "free" ways of obtaining their products. Simply have nothing to do with their products or services. If piracy reduced significantly and no "reformed pirate" bought the "items" instead, perhaps the industry would be forced into rethinking it's policy? You collectively may have power but while you are slaves to needing the goods, whatever you may think you are doing, you are still empowering them in one way or other.

  • Comment number 24.

    Jon Freeman #23.

    whilst not entirely disagreeing with the point(s) you make, I'd like to ask:

    "Also shouldn't it be up to the company (or artist, etc.) how they want to sell their wares?"

    what do you do when companies/artists delete (or otherwise make unavailable) the music that the customer wants? how to deal with this?

    particularly, it seems to be the artists/albums/tracks with "a message" (usually political) that disappear. does this not strike you as curious, to say the least?

  • Comment number 25.

    Jon #23

    ""I stole a Mars Bar, found I like them. Now I but them and Mars makes more money because I stole" isn't too convincing is it? Also shouldn't it be up to the company (or artist, etc.) how they want to sell their wares?"

    I can't help but feel that your "sort of" argument is a straw man by including the word stole.

    I did not steal a mars bar or any music. For one to steal (theft) one must not only intentionally acquire something which you know to belong to someone else, but one must also prevent someone else from having it [1]. If I stole a Mars bar nobody else could have that Mars bar and it is truly lost revenue for the producer as they have gone to the effort of producing it.

    A more correct analogy would be that "Someone gave me a perfect copy of a Mars bar and now I buy them".


    [1]Section 1(1) Theft Act 1968: A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and theft and steal shall be construed accordingly.

    (my emphasis)

  • Comment number 26.

    #25. You may be right on the technical legal terms but I'm doubtful you would convince the music industry and their lawyers that you were not committing a form of theft.

  • Comment number 27.

    #23. what do you do when companies/artists delete (or otherwise make unavailable) the music that the customer wants? how to deal with this?

    Good question...

  • Comment number 28.

    Jon Freeman #27, and also #26.

    your apparent glibness lends you no credibility.

    ;-(

  • Comment number 29.

    #28.

    re #27 and your question, I agree with you that it is a good question. I have no easy answer (other that to say I would copy in such circumsances)

    re #26. I am sorry but it is the music industry, not me that would need convincing and I do not believe they would not see it as theft.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jon Freeman #29.

    thank you for the reply. I agree there is no (immediate) "easy answer", however, given the final paragraph of your post #23, I would have thought you have a position regarding censorship and freedom of choice, and the misuse of "power".

  • Comment number 31.

    @25 - wouldn't the theft of their royalites be the "depriving the other of it" that you speak of?

  • Comment number 32.

    #30, I'm afraid not.

    The only related issue I am aware of is one involving the purchase of the catalogues of companies such as Leader by Celtic music. Apparently there is a lot of (folk) music there and as far as I understand it only occasionaly releases a CDR (which seems to raise its own issues vs pressed CDs and MCPS royalties). I've read of people wanting more released, particularly Nic Jones' material as, following an accident, he is no longer able to perform.

    I've read many a heated argument on this but I have no suggestion as to the solution.

  • Comment number 33.

    Horned_Devil #31.

    non-sequitur. if you *cannot buy* a given album/track/whatever because it is being made unavailable, obtaining a copy cannot "deprive" an artist of any royalties -- no sales, no earnings.

  • Comment number 34.

    Jon Freeman #32.

    don't know about folk music but expect the issues/arguments are much the same irrespective of genre.

    as for possible solutions, personally I'd go along with most of the suggestions made by badger_fruit in #17, ie. scrapping the "industry" and make artists earn their living by touring and (in the age of the interweb) direct sales.

    your mention of the "..the purchase of the catalogues.." clearly highlights an important part of the problems we (music lovers) experience.

  • Comment number 35.

    "26. At 4:23pm on 04 May 2009, Jon Freeman wrote:
    #25. You may be right on the technical legal terms but I'm doubtful you would convince the music industry and their lawyers that you were not committing a form of theft."

    But presumably if they took you to court they would have to accuse you of breaking whatever law says you can't copy copyrighted material.

    If they accused you of actual theft, then the case would go no-where.


    It would be comparable to:
    Lawyer for the Prosecution: I put it to you, M'Lud, that the defendent brutally murdered my client.
    Judge: But your client is sitting here in this court!
    Prosecution: Yes, but I would argue that what the defendent did to my client is morally indistinguishable from murder.
    Judge: Case dismissed.


  • Comment number 36.

    #35
    Fair comment but perhaps in a summing up, that lawyer might say "obtaining an in a manner that deprives others of income from royalties to which they are entitled is a moral equivalent to theft"?

  • Comment number 37.

    Copyright infringement is copyright infringement, full stop. This is nothing new - these laws have been around for over a century and inventing imaginary legal arguments isn't going to change that and conflate it with something completely different.

    Besides this blog post was pointing out how it's currently illegal to, for example, rip your legally-owned CDs onto your iPod. Something which is clearly not 'theft' as you've already paid the artist/music industry for the music on the CDs!

  • Comment number 38.

    I've been doing some calculations.

    I'm on a 2 Mbps connection. Consider a 3 minute mp3 encoded at 64 kbps. I can download that in 6 seconds.

    If I find such a track on the Pirate Bay, I can easily write a program to download the track repeatedly. I can download that track about 5 million times in a year.

    At £1 per track (as iTunes sells them for, I believe), then by the music industry's logic, that would be a loss to the industry of £5 million per year.

    Now, if I can find just a few thousand like-minded people to do the same, I reckon I can bankrupt any music company I like in a matter of months.

  • Comment number 39.

    #37

    rip your legally-owned CDs onto your iPod. Something which is clearly not 'theft' as you've already paid the artist/music industry for the music on the CDs!


    I might think it unreasonable but under the terms of sale I think you could have paid for one copy, not two.

  • Comment number 40.

    I guess from the recieving end's (user's) point-of-view:

    1) $10.00 for a physical CD in a store with album art cover.
    2) $0.00 for a digital CD online.

    Average users would go for (2), fans will go for (1).

    And to #38 islanderchris.. hahahah thats interesting!

  • Comment number 41.

    #40

    It might be interesting and I found it funny but, while surviving, I'd predict that they would see at least 10% of the increased downloads as further loss of income, possibly even argue that the sites broken by this traffic only demonstrate further reasons for tighter controls on the Internet, etc.

  • Comment number 42.

    My question is this:

    When do the artists NOT represented by a record company get their cut?

  • Comment number 43.

    "I might think it unreasonable but under the terms of sale I think you could have paid for one copy, not two."

    Yes, this (copying your legally-bought CDs to your iPod) is a copyright infringement. The point I'm making is that if you want to pretend that copyright infringement is the same as theft then perfectly reasonable, everyday actions like this would become a serious crime punishable by years in prison. That would be insane.

  • Comment number 44.

    The fact is it doesn't matter whether copyright infringement is right or wrong, the cat is out the bag and there is nothing anyone can do to put it back in. Unless of course we allow the state to strip us entirely of our privacy.

  • Comment number 45.

    Something is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Fact is people aren't willing to pay the price the industry wants to charge.

    Anyway the question here is should you be allowed to make a copy of an itemm you have purchased legally?

    Answer, YES.

    If the industry thinks making copies of music or video should be illegal then they should take it up with Apple, and Sony (ironic that Sony forces you to copy music to put on its portable players) becuase they make the eqiupment that needs to have copies on them to play and without those devices the music industry especially would not sell a record these days.
    The movie industry needs to stop shelling out on massive wages and expensive ad campaigns the internet is a cheap way of get the word out so us it. Home entermainment is a massive sector and those using hard drives are growing more and more popular. If the movie industry wants to go head to head with computer world let them (Sony again) but don't go after the consumer.

    Both industries need to realise that copyright is one thing to have but it is not a license to oevr charge.












  • Comment number 46.

    #3 I agree on that.
    Personally if they bring it in in the UK i'd like to see it stated in plain english as to exactly what the justifcation for the levy was. If as it is in the EU becuase the item can be used to make copiesof items then frankly in my eye's they have just given me the green light to rip anything and everything I want.

    Both movie and music industry need to stop trying to take a slice of the pie at every single stage. They may have in the past but that was the past. Its a consumer driven world these days not industry driven. technology has moved on, we live in the age of the internet.

    Here's a question:
    Everyone is banging on about spotify at the moment, and lets say they expand in to films also. What is stopping you from recording the stream? Just like when people record the radio using a tape deck and tried to not record the DJ or adverts.
    I only ask becuase after reading the DRM copyright thingy I can't find anything that says its illegal to so. I may stand corrected.

  • Comment number 47.

    Back when Napster was sued for copyright infringement, a huge fine was taken to recompense rights holders. I recently heard a high-level music business lawyer say that he was unaware of any artist ever receiving a penny of that money. That is the reality. Any proposed additional charges on technology will simply go towards making multinational companies (they're not even record companies any more...)even richer and the atists will be as under-rewarded as they ever were.

  • Comment number 48.

    The main media - video - in this case need to listen to the public on this.... people download cos this is a generation of internet users and each generation to follow will also be - until something else arises. So what cust of a DVD does a company like 20th century FOX make - £1-£2??? - skip the middle men and create a service of downloading direct with perfect quality and the inability to forward. charge £3 per movie - no packaging. problem solved - and what do you know.... I just increased their profits by 50% upwards. people would still attend cinemas, as its a different experience.

  • Comment number 49.

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

 

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