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Who's winning the file-sharing war?

Rory Cellan-Jones | 17:19 UK time, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

This morning, I visited a new front in the battle over file-sharing. In a room in Westminster, a band of desperadoes gathered to launch a guerilla raid on a hated enemy - the Digital Economy Bill, and in particular measures which could see suspected illegal file-sharers cut off from the internet.

Charles DunstoneActually, that's a slightly colourful description of a lobbying session at which the leading "desperado" was none other than that establishment figure Charles Dunstone.

But the Carphone Warehouse boss and owner of TalkTalk, the ISP which has been most vocal in its opposition to the bill, was keen to stress that he wasn't here to push his commercial interests but to protect the human rights of broadband users.

He'd invited MPs and Lords to come and hear the case against the bill from various bodies, including Which, Liberty, Consumer Focus and the Pirate Party.

But I'm not sure the Parliamentarians will have come away with a very clear picture of how to vote; not all of Mr Dunstone's fellow lobbyists shared his view of the bill.

He wanted the whole thing thrown out - his advice to content owners was not to bother asking the ISPs to police their customers: "If you think someone has stolen something from you, take them to court".

But Which had brought along a couple of innocent victims of just that kind of legal action, people who'd received letters accusing them of illegal file-sharing, despite apparently being innocent of any such offence.

The consumer organisation told me the current state of affairs needed sorting out and the system proposed in the Digital Economy Bill, whereby suspected file-sharers would get an "informative" letter from their ISP rather than a threatening one from content owners, was a good one: "Most innocent people if they get one of these letters will try to sort it out," a spokeswoman explained.

The Which representative also saw no problem with the second stage whereby ISPs would have to impose "technical sanctions" on suspected illegal file-sharers.

And she had this to say about the motives of the sponsor of the lobbying event: "TalkTalk don't want to do stuff which is going to annoy their customers or cost them money."

Liberty, which campaigns for civil liberties, had a more nuanced approach.

It saw some problems with the first phase - it would require ISPs to keep information on subscribers - but preferred it to phase two, where the threat of disconnection could be a breach of the Human Rights Act.

And as for the Pirate Party, its approach was simple - file-sharing should be made legal.

So how were artists going to make money, I asked the party's Andrew Robinson, if they had to compete with "free" material? "You just need a slightly different business model," he told me, insisting that file-sharing was just "free advertising" for bands.

So what will now happen to the Digital Economy Bill, currently making its way through the Lords and then heading to the Commons amidst this barrage of lobbying from supporters and opponents?

The music and video industries seem confident that the Conservatives support their case, so that it will get through, albeit with a few amendments.

Charles Dunstone's team at TalkTalk seemed quietly confident that the Conservatives were on their side - after all, the shadow Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt had turned up at their event and listened carefully to the victims of lawsuits.

So I called Jeremy Hunt's office to check out where the Conservatives stood. "Broadly supportive," was the message.

A spokeswoman said Mr Hunt backed the Digital Economy Bill, but wanted a couple of amendments on the technical measures, making it clear that these would be a last resort and would be properly assessed by Ofcom.

If the bill doesn't run out of time before the election - and that's a big if - it looks as though its music industry supporters will win the battle with its ISP opponents.

Mr Dunstone has pursued his campaign against the bill with great vigour and a flair for publicity. But he'll be hoping that the MPs who came to today's event didn't listen too closely to what the people from Which had to say.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "So how were artists going to make money, I asked the party's Andrew Robinson, if they had to compete with "free" material? "You just need a slightly different business model," he told me, insisting that file-sharing was just "free advertising" for bands."


    -----

    Here's a novel idea - they get a job like the rest of us.

    I firmly believe the days of people penning a few songs, making a couple of apps, writing a single book etc. and then sitting back whilst the millions roll in for decades after should come to an end.

    The average joe has to work his ass off all his life to make ends meet, entertain him/herself, bring up a family etc. why shouldn't the likes of those in the "entertainment" industry do the same instead of living off the back of people who they peddle their wares to?

    Perhaps once media is 10-20yrs old it should become open source, i.e. free, depending on the type of media, music for example would have the longest term whereas video games would have the shortest due to obsolete equipment, and if the creators haven't made their fortunes by that time, well tough, I've been working for 10yrs and I still haven't made my fortune either.

    Of course that's just my opinion as a low paid average single white male in the UK who tries to keep himself entertained...

    Having sad that I don't believe Mr Dunstone has anything but commercial interests at heart, he isn't lobbying to save broadband users human rights, he's lobbying so that his company doesn't start losing paying customers because they're having to cut them off.

    Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.

    The DEB needs to be got rid of and the power put into the hands of the general public, not the likes of David Geffen and co., sadly, what with our MPs and political system being almost as corrupt as some less savoury political systems in this world, I don't see that happening any time soon.

  • Comment number 2.

    Another thing that cynics can say about Dunstone, is that he's hoping to appeal/attract customers to his ISP by his stance. But overall I'm glad someone, for whatever reason, tried to oppose the bill or get it amended.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'd perhaps feel more sympathetic if neither ISPs nor media industries didn't have such huge profit margins.

    If I download a song or album, I make sure I do it as privately as possible. If I like the song/album, I buy it. If it isn't available to buy, it's most likely old, so I download it. If I don't like it, I wouldn't have bought it anyway. No loss there.

    ISP filtering means I can't download game patches quickly, or help save websites' bandwidth, such as Ubuntu, by downloading from other people. And come on, BT even slows down YouTube on my Unlimited option from 5-10 PM.

    Lily Allen chose to fight a battle for the wrong reasons. I won't miss her songs.

  • Comment number 5.

    @Cristobal DeLicia:

    Communism is dead? Well you sound anti-communist so perhaps instead your pro free market. My own views, and I believe those of the PPUK too are that this IS an issue of the free market. Forget for a moment the idea of legalising online file sharing. Instead look at good old market forces in a free market. Old fashioned media businesses need to compete on a digital playing field and they are failing to do so. We live in a world where everything is quicker, things are far more short-lived, and yet copyright terms can last 70 years after the death of the creative individuals. What is stopping media businesses from getting off their own behinds and writing their own songs, novels or apps? I'll tell you, it's holding the copyright of life+70 years of someone else's creation. We the consumers and we the citizens of this country should demand a fair deal, we should demand shorter copyright terms so that creative material falls into our collective ownership much sooner (as it was originally intended by the first copyright laws).

  • Comment number 6.

    I provide a PC repair service to home customers. I am regularly asked to "fix" wireless connection problems. I frequently find that when repaired, customer's wireless devices can "see" and access wireless points that do not belong to the household in question but to neighbours wireless routers that are not secured by encryption. One well known telecoms provider seems to feature particularly often in this regard.
    On one occasion recently, a customer's specific problem was being caused by his PC accessing a neighbour's wireless router in preference to his own !.

    In addition to this, many wireless routers are still being set up with WEP encryption which can be cracked relatively easily by those with the know how using software freely available on the web.

    This problem will get worse as the signal strength and range of wireless devices increases.

    Until there is a universal standard for setting up all routers with the appropriate WPA-TKIP encryption (or its successor), there will be immeasurable opportunities for illegal file sharing to be conducted by law-breakers using law abiding citizens' internet access points.

    File sharing of copyrighted material is illegal, but assuming that the IP address of an access point also points to the person that illegally downloaded the file is a falsehood.

    PhilW

  • Comment number 7.

    I read about this nonsense, The War on Filesharing. It reminded me of Bill Hick's comment about The War on Drugs, ... "The problem with the War on Drugs is that the people *on drugs* are winning."

    It's the same here; and there are worrying trends.

    Ten to fifteen years ago ISPs were telecom and techie companies. They've now been gobbled up by media conglomerates. TalkTalk is actually an exception here. They're not part of The Company™ making the movies, renting you satellite TV to watch them again, running ad-supported news channels, and - as a sideline - giving you access to the Internet.

    It should not be a stupid Digital Economy Bill; it should be a fundamental statement that the UK will make sure ISPs adhere to net neutrality.

    I would have thought the BBC would be fully in favour of that too - after various attempts to stong-arm them into paying extra for *providing* iPlayer.

  • Comment number 8.

    File sharing is the greatest advancement in western music since the invention of the electric guitar. It's the great leveller against the huge publishing companies, who, you may have noticed, were silent in the 90s when they were ripping us off at 15 and 16 pounds per CD which they bought from the deistributers at around 5 pound on sale or return.

    No, what filesharing will do is remove all the lipsynchers who play before other people's talent and put those with talent to the fore. People who aren't in it for the millions, people who are there for the passion and their craft.

    As for other medium, yes I have d'loaded videogames, but nothing younger than 10 years old. I have an issue with Nintendo saying I have to buy a $250 peice of kit and pay a further $15 (in australia) for a game which they released in 1992. You want to talk about piracy?

  • Comment number 9.

    Whilst I appear to be one of a minority these days who actually still buys CDs (I much prefer the experience of listening to an album, the likes of The Wall and Scenes from a Memory come to mind) I have no sympathy for record companies. If it was unknown but talented artists who were taking file sharers to court then I would be very supportive of the artist. Instead it is large record companies who would stifle creativity to make a fast buck suing for millions. If it was labels such as Nuclear Blast, I again would be supportive of restrictions/fines but it is not. It is the likes of Universal dishing out lawsuits left right and centre. I also believe radio stations, particularly the beeb, and music channels should try and do more to promote other less well known artists but that is another story. All I can say is file sharing is so easy its unreal, especially for a kid who doesn't have access to a credit card to buy songs from iTunes or the cash to get a bus/train into town on the off chance that the album he/she wants is readily available.

  • Comment number 10.

    why should anyone get anything for free wither its a movie, song or video game. I am amazed at people thinking they have a right not to pay.Everyone always has an excuse not to pay. "cant find the song on itunes, cant find it in the store".

    The ISP should be doing more. if it was me that released a song and every tom , dick and harry was downloading it for free. i would look at the ISP and blame them. They are providing a service that allows illegal actions to be taken place.

    If peeople are only downloading material or using a servcie becuase its free then the material/service cant be that attractive and usefull.but if we are downloading becuase the material is good then its worth something.

    The problem is people have got used to getting free rides on the internet and its been happening far to long.

    TIME TO PAY UP tight people




  • Comment number 11.

    This is not about artists being paid what they deserve, this is a battle between the record companies and the public. Simply the old days of making multi-millions in profit off of a "superstar" is dead and the record industry is scared because just like any other industry, the top is worried about how much money THEY will make. Yes artists SHOULD be paid for their works and they should be entitled to everything that it is worth. However because the record business model is set up so that the artist is paid only a fraction per album sold, who really is making profit? Most bands and artists only really make some decent money after their first hit album has made it rounds, gone on tour and massive marketing attempts. The industry is for the most part giving these people a money loan with a contract ensuring this loan is paid back, that the artist sign over the rights of THEIR songs to the record company, that the artist only is paid a certain percentage per sale and they are then put to test along with sometimes a two or three album deal. If the first album is a financial success then the record company loans them more money for the NEXT album and any tours or promotional pieces that can expose this artist to more people. This model benefits the company - not the artist. Most artists signed to a label are quickly forgotten, only a few handfuls make it past the one hit wonder stage and very very few make the "superstar" status.

    What artists SHOULD be doing is taking control over their music, selling their music by themselves, marketing their music by themselves and reaping the profits of each CD or mp3 sold. While it is a task and quite honestly not creative one bit, since artists want to get into the business then they should treat their music as such. Some have and several have done more now as free agent artists with complete control than being pinned under by the machine known as the record industry. In this day and age it is not impossible to market your music is Japan, Russia, Germany or even Iran from your desk at home. With investment you can create an album, have it mass produced, shrink wrapped and set up for distribution, online orders, mp3 downloads and more again... all from your desktop. Copyrights?? That goes right to the artist anyway so there is no question over copyright as long as the artist does it themselves. Not only that but the record industry cant claim rights to your music in any way. If you get big enough (and a few have using this model) then there are options to have your music in film, games, commercials etc... but the artist NEEDS to treat their music as a business because they wont have the label to do it for them. THAT is what the money is for.

    Point is that the fight over piracy is not about artists fighting over their rights to being paid, yes they dont get paid but it is also free marketing and if someone does like your music they will go buy it. Having mp3s on your harddrive is not the same as holding a CD with all the artwork and that "new CD smell". The fight is about the record industry still trying to fight the evolution of this business they spent 50 years perfecting and making billions from. 100 years ago this model did not exist at all, we all know this and the industry is afraid that in 100 years that this model will be dead. It will be dead, there is no question about it, so they are trying every possible way to suck in as much money as possible.

    Face it - the age of the superstar is dead.

  • Comment number 12.

    I don't understand why the option of free legal TV online cant be achieved, instead of downloading Lost, Heroes etc. you watch it at a legal site. Watching shows on your schedule, when you want to, and like TV sit through 3 blocks of adverts.
    And if they analyse your profile, and search habits the advertising shown could be relevant to that consumer, so for example a 18-25 male could be shown latest game and movie trailers, cars and the latest tech on sale, whereas a 11-14 girl could be shown the latest Twilight movie trailer etc. That way your 15 mins of ads isn't wasted. And they'd make more money from advertising in the log run, as more people would have the chance of catching the show.

    A show like Mad Men that on the BBC has been shamelessly shuffled around the schedule, being pushed forward and back for tennis matches, football etc, it would gain many more followers.

  • Comment number 13.

    Pirates … mmmm let me see. I bought the single on 7" vinyl; sometimes I would pay extra for the picture disk. I bought the vinyl LP. Then cassettes came out (remember 'Home taping is killing the music industry') and I bought the album on cassette. CD's appeared and I bought the album on CD. All the time the record company (and copyright holder) took a cut for the same piece of work just on different media. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Everyone always has an excuse not to pay. "cant find the song on itunes, cant find it in the store". "

    But there are some songs/albums which even in this day and age can't be found on legal download sites and the physical cd has long been deleted leaving only a small hand-ful for sale on the 2nd hand market at prices of £50+.

    ---

    IP addresses can be masked using innocent IP addresses, fake IP addresses added into download logs to make a file appear more popular & wireless access points can be hacked (even as the most secure settings), the company sending out those "your IP address was caught downloading such-and-such" better have a bit more proof than a IP address if they go to court.

  • Comment number 15.

    If the bill doesn’t pass then no one will win. The legislation is needed so that it can work hand in hand with informing people about the effects of unauthorised downloading. Over 150,000 people work in the UK film and TV industry, they will lose out by not being rewarded for their hard work through the repeat fees and royalties they are entitled too.

    As for the public – we will all lose out in the future, its vital we realize this before we are left reminiscing about how diverse and different the UK film and TV industry used to be. Unauthorised downloading affects reinvestment into the industry, this impacts on the nature and scale of future production. If losses continue at current levels the diversity of future content is threatened.

    Felicity (on behalf of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness)

  • Comment number 16.

    @David:

    "The ISP should be doing more. if it was me that released a song and every tom , dick and harry was downloading it for free. i would look at the ISP and blame them. They are providing a service that allows illegal actions to be taken place."

    Does that mean that if a bank robber uses a Ford Focus as a getaway car then Ford are culpable by 'providing a service that allows illegal actions to be taken place'?

  • Comment number 17.

    Carphone played in no part in lobbying against the clauses in the EU Telecomms act (rapporteur was Con Malcolm Harbour) which gave rise to this attempt at a three strikes rule. Thanks to Lib dems, Greens and UKIP amendment 138 contains those wanting Henry VIII powers on this matter.

    A 'fix' is possible. Like all ISPs you get a sense of the resources in your internet package if you look at the hard to find 'fair use polcies' which allow ISPs discretion to slow traffic in order to keep all traffic flowing during busy periods.

    There could re-write and expose their 'fair use' policies to map volumes of CIRs to any action they take to protect the network.

    This would keep the bits flowing, without cutting folk off while mitigating the copyright issue.

  • Comment number 18.

    The main problem that you have when doing something like this is that, some bright spark somewhere will always find a way round it.

    It’s all very well saying “We have your IP Address it must be you” but the fact of the matter remains that IP addresses can be cloaked meaning that your IP address can be copied and used to access file sharing sites.

    The problem that this presents is that even if it was not you, even if you don’t have wireless (I hate wireless, and I don’t use it however my mother does, and she got me to setup her router, so I blocked all IP addresses apart from the static ones I had set up and set up the encryption and disabling the DHCP making it near on impossible to connect) people can cloak your IP address making it seam that you had indeed done the illegal downloading.

    It does not take a genius to figure out that this will become the norm should the bill pass.

    “Does that mean that if a bank robber uses a Ford Focus as a getaway car then Ford are culpable by 'providing a service that allows illegal actions to be taken place'?”

    Or maybe the people that made the trainers for allowing them to walk the streets in them, or perhaps we should sue the carpenter who fitted the bank doors allowing the bank robbers into the bank.

    This “where there is blame there is a claim” culture is getting right on my tits.

  • Comment number 19.

    @David

    The issue isn't people wanting to get a free ride, I totally agree with you that if you get something that is of benefit to you then you should compensate the person who created it. The issue that myself, and most people, have is that Right's Holders (The recording industry in this case) already have a perfectly adequate system for recouping lost revenues from alleged rights infringers, they can take that person to court and sue them. If they were correct and that person has been infringing copyright, then they will be awarded damages. If the allegations turn out to be false then they won't. However, this process wasn't good enough for the recording industry, so they resorted to sending out threatening letters saying that they had proof you were illegally downloading, but they wouldn't pursue the case if you paid them some money. Unfortunately, as has been commented on previously, this approach wasn't always 100% accurate, and the "proof" that they claimed to have was often spurious at best (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8481790.stm%29

    It now seems that the letter righting approach hasn't had an effect on lost business either (and was deemed to be against RICO in America, a law set up to combat Mafia racketeering, which should give you some insight into Record industry business practices!) so they are now asking ISP's to do their dirty work. Unfortunately this violates one of the internets oldest legal principles, that an ISP is a common carrier and is no more liable for their customers do than the Royal Mail is liable for the contents of letters. Removing this protetion leaves ISP's extremely vulnerable legally, and pretty soon you will start to see the "this website has been blocked" messages that you're so used to seeing at work appearing on your home computers, because the ISP's have become legally liable for your actions on the net.

    I doubt this is the intended aim, I'm not that paranoid, but it is a definite concern that our lawmakers are ignoring such an obvious flaw in their drafting of the legislation purely to serve the interests of what is, let's be honest, a relatively small industry sector. They've already shafted the majority of the population to support the minority of the banks, and now they're going to do so again. What is also very concerning is a clause in the bill that allows the Business Secretary (Currently the incredibly-honest-and never-provided-favours-for-special-interest-groups Peter Mandleson (If you don't say nice things about him the BBC mod your comments out of existance)) to ammend copyright laws AS THEY SEE FIT WITHOUT THE NEED FOR PARLIMENTARY APPROVAL

    I have not yet met anyone in favour of this bill who can explain to me why it is necessary to ride roughshot over the rights of one free market industrial sector (ISP's) to protect the rights of another free market industrial sector (The record companies). Surely the point of a "free market" is that if you can't adapt you're business model to new market conditions then you fail, and like it or not the free exchange of information (because that is all a music track is, compressed information) is a new business reality that you must adapt to. Nor has anyone adequately explained to me why existing copyright enforcement mechanisms are not robust enough and I'm afraid that you have not changed my mind either.

    Rant over!

  • Comment number 20.

    I recently stayed with friends for a week whilst between houses. I had no trouble using the internet although my friends don't have it, I found no less than three of the neighbours had unsecured wireless connections! I didn't download anything illegal, as it happens, but I could have. I could have downloaded music, films etc, or even child pornography and left the neighbours with a major problem on their hands. No wonder people keep getting these letters when they haven't done anything.

  • Comment number 21.

    A lot of posts seem to be missing the point. This is about the role of the ISP. The ISP is just an information carrier. It should not be their job to check what the contents of the data flows are and to be judge and jury to 'alleged' illegal downloaders.

    People would not accept Royal Mail employees opening every letter and parcel before you receive them to see if they contain illegal content and then refusing to provide a delivery service to you if they do not like what they have found. So why is it acceptable for ISPs to be treated differently? They are providing the same service just in an electronic format.

    This is not about who makes money from music or if file sharing is illegal or not. It is about the fundamental rights to privacy and a fair trial. No-one but a court should be able to punish or impose sanctions on an individual without a trial before ones peers at which ones guilt has been proven 'beyond all reasonable doubt'!

  • Comment number 22.

    10. At 02:04am on 27 Jan 2010, david wrote:
    "The ISP should be doing more. if it was me that released a song and every tom , dick and harry was downloading it for free. i would look at the ISP and blame them. They are providing a service that allows illegal actions to be taken place."

    Wow, so if your house is broken into, do you then ask the makers of the ladders that are used to ascend to the top floor, the screwdrivers that are used to break the lock, the gloves that protect from fingerprinting, the sneakers that allow quiet movement, the torch for them to see in the dark and of course, the batteries for making the torch work?

    Oh, then do you go after the vehicle mfr as it was their car used in the get-away? The council for providing the roads and street lighting?

    No? So why go after the ISP who are the mere conduits for the information? Oh, it's also been proven time and time again that people are still buying songs, and that it is ASSUMED that each download = a missed sale.


    Look, it's broken from the ground up.
    Artists want to get rich quick and they're not - they blame piracy, obviously, everyone's downloaded their track instead of buying it. "Obviously"? Is it really? No it's not. That is an ASSUMPTION. A flawed one at that. Have they considered that perhaps they've just released a turkey? A track with a catchy tune but no substance (see all music released as "pop" these past 10 years or more)? No, OBVIOUSLY, everyone loves their track but they're downloading it. After all, the Radio says we should buy it and people don't have any free will any more do they? We just do what the media tells us.

    The file-sharing war, like the war on drugs, is lost. The people in the "anti" teams seem to have lost well and truly on all these fronts and yet battle on pointlessly. Give it up. Embrace it, legalise it - after all, not all file-sharing (or drug taking) is a bad thing.

  • Comment number 23.

    @12. At 05:08am on 27 Jan 2010, DaveSimonH wrote:
    Watching shows on your schedule, when you want to, and like TV sit through 3 blocks of adverts.
    ___________________________________________________

    Who sits through blocks of adverts in these days of PVRs? In the unlikely event that I find myself watching live TV on a channel with advertsing I do what we used to do before we were freed from forced TV advertising - nip to the loo or put the kettle on...

  • Comment number 24.

    I do not condone illegal file sharing, but surely the old music/film industry business model is obsolete. They no longer control the optimal distribution methods in a digital environment, and hence cannot, and should not make money from it. They control content and marketing, and these to a lesser extent, as it is perfectly feasible for an artist to do this, quite easily, without industry backing now.

    If that means cuts and job losses in the industry, and for it to accept these terms and change, so be it. That is harsh, but ultimately what it will take for the industry to survive. The industry has fought every new technology that takes it to the next level, without fail over its life. It is time for that repeated mistake to be fatal. They have not learned from it, and have had enough chances.

    Rather than the assumption that 1/10th of the population is engaged in criminal activity, I think it should boil down to 1 industry is operating a fundamentally flawed business model and should take the consequences like any business has to.

    It has nothing to do with artists not being paid for their work, its the fact that distribution no longer requires the music/film industry.

  • Comment number 25.

    The industry and/or ISPs can be as draconian as they want, but people will always find a way, as the creativity and technology is more agile than those seeking to stop it. I tend not to download illegal content, but I do make use of BitTorrent for things like Linux ISOs and applications like MiroTV, all of which are legal. Filesharing sites are little more than a glorified postal service, just more immediate (and less prone to industrial action...). You wouldn't close Royal Mail because counterfit goods are sent through the post, and online content is no different. Those who want to share high volumes of copyright infringing data will just move to darknets, or given the low cost of portable storage, plain old sneakernet. Try and stop that! The experience with the pseudo-legal AllofMp3 site showed people WERE willing to pay a reasonable price for content, so why did the industry take so long to evolve their delivery methods? Why can't I access Hulu in the UK? I'd happily pay a sensible subscription fee, but I presently have no choice, so will resort to torrents if I really want to catch an episode of the latest show. I don't WANT to buy the DVD boxset, I just watch to watch one episode at my leisure, yet there is no legal means of doing so. For music, I tend to use streaming services like Spotify, Last.fm and Grooveshark. More content than I could hope to own, extensible via social media (playlist sharing, recommendations and so on) and depending on how you feel about adverts, completely free. The model is evolving so fast that there isn't really even a need to download files any more, it's more simply a question of bandwidth. Why are the industry so slow to see this?

  • Comment number 26.

    david: "If peeople are only downloading material or using a servcie becuase its free then the material/service cant be that attractive and usefull."
    The English Language is free to use, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful. Quite the opposite in fact.
    This is where the "if you didn't create it, you should pay for it" argument falls flat on its face, because the people making that argument are using the English Language to do so, in spite of the fact that they didn't create it and they aren't paying for it. It's a self-defeating argument.

  • Comment number 27.

    As this blog focused mostly on the responsibilty of ISPs to police traffic on their networks thath seems the obvious place to start and I must say, as many people here already have, that the entire proposal is uterly ridiculous! How on earth can any rational individual condone FORCING the companies who simply provide bandwidth to invest massive amounts of money in implementing techniques to scan ALL the content that passes over its network!?! It's like making the water companies carefully check every water mollecule that passes through its pipes - sheer farce.

    And on top of that this data is YOUR data, and MY data - when did people become so apathetic towards their own right to privacy!? The metaphor's been flogged to death here but are these people espousing the virtues of the DEB saying that they would happily concede to all of their mail being opened and read to make sure there was nothing potentially damaging to a private company's profit margin in it!?! We haven't conceded the sanctity of the royal mail to terror legislation, why on earth should we be prepared to concede the sanctity of our online privacy to the campaign against file-sharing!

    Then of course there is the FACT that not all BitTorrent traffic is illegal - linux distros, for example, are regularly downloaded thus. As are myriad files/folders of legal content people wish for whatever reason to distribute. So if you're going to disconnect people you have to be more thorough than simply identifying BitTorrent traffic - you need to actually identify the file it contains, requiring considerably more thorough scanning and as the BBC itself reported (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8480699.stm%29 the technology being used to do this is of dubious legality.

    Then we move on to unsecured wireless networking, and the inadequecy of some of the default (WEP) encryptions. As long as wireless internet is prevelant (and I don't see any indication of it abating any time soon) people who want to will be able to steal other people's connections and use them for illegal ends - the tech savvy will likely cover their tracks while innocents face potential disconnection. This is also the case in households where little johnny uses mummy and daddys internet to download the latest 50 cent record - If despite repeated warnings not to johnny keeps on at it do you disconnect his mum and dad?

    These are just some of the practical considerations, before you even begin to discuss the morality of filesharing and the philosophical aspects of what constitutes 'ownership'

    For Example - If you pay Sky a fortune for their top package, which theoretically allows you to record and store a TV show for as long as you like, but due to space considerations you decide to download that show you've already paid Sky for and store it on an HDD - are you breaking the law? You've paid for the content, and you are legally allowed to keep the copy on your box as per sky's T's & C's - why does it matter where that copy is sourced and where it's stored?

    I could literally go on all day talking about business model that have become complacent and refuse to adapt to the reality of the modern marketplace but frankly the debate is begining to bore me, and we all know that the government is going to do everything in its power to defend the rights of large corporations to make masses of money from antiquated systems that have no relevence to the modern era of ubiquitous data.

    And our personal privacy will once again be trampled on to acheive that end...

    Shame...

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't believe ISP's should be policing net traffic, if I choose to download something illegally then I've broken the law and that's between me and the record / movie company. My ISP had nothing to do with it so why should they be blamed? I much prefer that stance to a situation where the ISP is monitoring what I am doing, which will include my personal data.

    On the flip side the general argument posed by downloaders is utter rubbish. Firstly the thought seems to be 'Artists don't get much therefore I can download their work for free', the logical conclusion being that they will then get nothing.

    Secondly the internet has levelled the playing field for artists as much as it has for file sharers. Any artist these days has the technology to record and place their music online completely bypassing the recording companies. Are you buying their songs? Or did you download those illegally too?

  • Comment number 29.

    the thing that tends to be forgotten here is that the technology of file transfer - Torrents or P2P networking is in itself NOT illegal.
    Only the matter of whether the files themselves are copyright to another person/band/organisation.
    The Bill being put for here basically gives the rights for ISPs to snoop private communications - spying indiscriminately upon private individuals and companies! A similiar action for telephone bugging would require a judge to sign a warrant.
    Are the Post Office allowed to open 'deep packet inspection' parcels and letters to check for illegal DVD copies. NO there are not, unless they have the correct, and individually sanctioned authority by a judge.

    So why is the digital age any different?

    I am not against the artists being paid for their creative content.
    I am not against buying digital content online.

    I am against indiscriminate spying by ISPs on their subscribers.

    They know where you been, they sell the information to highest bidder and I as an Internet user have no way of know whether this is being done.

    Oh unless of course the Data Protection Act means that the ISPs have to provide it to all of their subscibers.

  • Comment number 30.

    Isn't it illegal to monitor people's phone or e-mail conversations without a court order? So how then can ISP's or the government monitor what websites you are visiting and what kind of content you download without a court order? This seems to be quite the paradox to me and I'd like to hear the government's answer to that one...

  • Comment number 31.

    Who's winning the war?! The music industry LOST the war against file sharing the moment they shut down Napster without having an alternative in place first, and in doing so giving online piracy the sort of advertising money just can't buy! They're lucky to still be in business!

    Since then, disk space has dramatically increased, and wireless has become common-place. So, here lies the new problem that, true to form, the music industry is simply too daft to spot - start cutting off internet access for this, and it'll drive people "underground" (where they can copy their neighbour's entire MP3 collection instead of individual songs).

    While this may look like a success as things start to vanish off the radar, in practice it stops nothing, except that it's harder to monitor. Others have compared it to the "War on Drugs", and they're spot on.

  • Comment number 32.

    To #31
    Ah yes, driving it "underground" means to the government, that "it's not happening" and that "they won". Crazy eh? Real people know it happens but what's important is the Gvt are seen to be doing something about it.

    Shame they don't put this much effort into catching Child pornograpers.

  • Comment number 33.

    Seeing as the article resorted to using archaic comparisions, "if you suspect someone stole something, take them to court", here's another.

    What if a musician is also a furniture maker, and instead of sharing music, the internet could make exact copies of his furniture and share them for free to an unlimited number of people online. If you're saying this is "free advertising", it's not. It's free product! That's why IP and Copyright were invented, to stop creative people from being ripped off.

    Yeah, so some artists have other avenues to make money; gigging, brand-hookups... but not all. Only the popular few get to make much money from this. The majority of artists do not, "write a song, sit back and watch the money flow in". It's hard work for not much money. Some artists didn't make much money from recorded music in the first place! And now they're not even getting paid for that.

    The whole thing stinks. ISPs should own up to their role in trafficing the goods.

  • Comment number 34.

    @ Felicityc

    "As for the public - we will all lose out in the future"

    The public lose out in ways that are seldom addressed.

    Copyright is supposed to be a deal with society. We allow a monopoly on a creative work in exchange for that work becoming public domain after a reasonable time. Both the monopoly, and crucially, its limited duration, encourage the production of new works.

    Unfortunately we have a situation where large corporations have managed to strong-arm governments (or persuade venal politicians) into endlessly extending copyrights, thus preventing works from ever entering the public domain. This results in a situation where a huge chunk of our culture is privately owned and untouchable. This cannot be right.

    Copyrights need to be cut back to their original terms. We should be having copyright reduction acts, not copyright extension acts.

    While these large record companies are bleating about piracy, they are simultaneously fleecing the very artists who create the works. If you want to know how incredibly crooked these record companies are, I suggest you read Donald Passman's book "All You Need to Know About the Music Business".

  • Comment number 35.

    How does the musician make money? The record company pays him. You don't pay a plumber every time you turn on a tap, so why do musicians need to keep getting paid for work already done?

    How does the recod company make money? They make downloads easily available, and sell them cheaply, eg 20p a pop (no pun intended)so there's little or no incentive to download illegally. They can also sell a few CDs - more expensive than downloads, but an improvement in quality. They could even charge the musicians a fee when they go on tour. There's lots of ways for musicians and record companies to make money - they just need to wake up and realise the buying public aren't playing their old games any more.

  • Comment number 36.

    3. At 9:30pm on 26 Jan 2010, Cristobal DeLicia wrote:

    ravenmorpheus2k- what's stopping you from getting off your behind and writing your own songs, novels or apps? Communism is dead, stop whining and do something creative!

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

    You know what I would have no problem with doing that if I wasn't working my backside off trying to make ends meet and had the time to do so. And if I knew that I would get every single penny from every single sale. But I would also be at odds with my moral sense of what is right 50yrs down the line when I'm still making money from something I did now whilst others are still struggling in life.




    5. At 10:31pm on 26 Jan 2010, Azrael wrote:

    @Cristobal DeLicia:

    Communism is dead? Well you sound anti-communist so perhaps instead your pro free market. My own views, and I believe those of the PPUK too are that this IS an issue of the free market. Forget for a moment the idea of legalising online file sharing. Instead look at good old market forces in a free market. Old fashioned media businesses need to compete on a digital playing field and they are failing to do so. We live in a world where everything is quicker, things are far more short-lived, and yet copyright terms can last 70 years after the death of the creative individuals. What is stopping media businesses from getting off their own behinds and writing their own songs, novels or apps? I'll tell you, it's holding the copyright of life+70 years of someone else's creation. We the consumers and we the citizens of this country should demand a fair deal, we should demand shorter copyright terms so that creative material falls into our collective ownership much sooner (as it was originally intended by the first copyright laws).
    -----------------------

    Well said.



    10. At 02:04am on 27 Jan 2010, david wrote:


    "The problem is people have got used to getting free rides on the internet and its been happening far to long."

    ------

    Really? Like the "entertainment" industry has gotten used to a free ride by cashing in on material that's basically recycled from material written decades ago.

    Wouldn't you say?

  • Comment number 37.

    Whatever happened to "Art for art's sake"?
    If you want to make music, film, painting or any other "art" piece then go ahead, no one will stop you. If you want to make money, then get a job!
    An "artist" should be flattered that someone else likes and wants to own there personal piece of drivel.
    If you are commisioned to make something then that's a different matter, for that you should be paid by the person that commisions it.

  • Comment number 38.

    "What if a musician is also a furniture maker, and instead of sharing music, the internet could make exact copies of his furniture and share them for free to an unlimited number of people online. If you're saying this is "free advertising", it's not. It's free product! That's why IP and Copyright were invented, to stop creative people from being ripped off."

    You are making two assumptions here: 1) The furniture is being sold, not given away for free and 2) manufacturers and artists are the same thing.


    If it is not being sold than no one is ripping off the producer because no one is making money. Now, an artist is recognised by the law as different from a manufacturer (artists get special subsidies and tax reductions because they work for the community, not for their own wallets). There is a difference between copyright (artists) and patents (manufacturers).

    Copyright is designed to protect intellectual property and patents are designed to protect income. The entertainment INDUSTRY is trying to get the best of both worlds (technically they can't be an industry, because they are already artists). They effectively want to have copyright will all the benefits (but not the downsides) of a patent and more. Intellectual property is technically respected as long as a copy is not sold for money and as long as the maker of the copy acknowledges that the original was not his creation. But copyright has been expanded to prohibit copying and to last longer than any patent (Jimi Hendrix has been dead for 39 years, but the copyright on his work still stands, this is much longer than any patent).

    This is absurd: you can't have all the rights of an artist (tax cuts, royalties, etc...) while you act as a common manufacturer, as if you were producing cars or furniture instead of art.
    If you want a patent on your production you should be treated as a manufacturer, not as an artist. That means that after 10-20 years anyone can copy your music as they please (even sell it), that you cannot receive royalties, that consumers buy your production, not a license (so they can do what they want with your production, including copying it), that you will be treated no differently than a car manufacturer.

    If you want to be an artist you have to accept that it may not make you rich, but that's not the issue: an artist wants to express his thoughts or emotions and share them with the world, not ask people to pay for it before they can appreciate it ("Art for art's sake"), making money off of it would be nice, but is secondary. Of course you then do deserve the benefits of intellectual property: your name will be forever bound to your work, when some kid downloads your song 500 years after you died he will be able to enjoy your work and appreciate the thoughts and emotions of its creator, you (that's what art is all about, if I'm not mistaken).

  • Comment number 39.

    @Ravenmorpheus2k - so how many artists can you name from the 20th century, that you like, that didn't have real jobs before making it?

    @PhyrexianReaper - True - in fact the dance music industry with its ridiculous double-phased vinyl releases invited piracy by refusing to sell you a favourite tune for up to two years. Even they have moved with the times now and you can get much more through iTunes than previously. Commercial and BBC Radio may compensate dance artists through the MCPS as a solution, but it would be much easier if a DJ told you "this is X song on Y Label" and then you could go and buy it if you wanted it. The BBC Radio website, part of it's been redesigned and a lot of that kind of specific information has now gone - a backward step really.



    As well as the issue of the 150 people who said other people had stolen their IPs to download illegally, I can only think of Virgin Media that was 100% raring to go with snooping on its users, many other ISPs want no part of monitoring any but the worst downloaders unless forced to by some unworkable law.

    The law shouldn't even come into it, people shout rip-off Britain because they just don't want to shop around. I just finished buying a bunch of CDs from before Christmas, up to yesterday - I was behind on one particular band, Queens of the Stone Age - their last three albums in a sale? £11. At least two new albums that were full price April last year when released (Doves, Depeche Mode) - a fiver. All brand new, you just rip them yourself and that's it. Only Peter Gabriel's last album from eight years ago was anywhere near full price at £8.99 - but I'm a fan, so didn't consider that overpriced. (Conversely PG's next album coming this year is a bunch of cover versions and no way am I paying nine quid for it - so perceived value comes into play).

    Illegal downloaders just don't want to pay one single penny, that's the point all these libertarians miss, and not all of them will "make it up by going to gigs". I really like the song Rhythm of Life by Oleta Adams, have the album on tape, couldn't be bothered to dig through my childhood home to find the cassette and an old Walkman to play it, to legally download it, 65p - and tape to MP3 is still an improvement in sound quality. That's a total no-brainer and I'm happy to pay less than the price of my paper for that classic track I want to hear now.

    If the pirates would spare me the excuses and just say "I want to steal [music/games/films/all of the above] and I don't care", I wouldn't be bothered about them.

  • Comment number 40.

    question: should internet users be allowed to downlaod material for free

    answer: Of course not. its not yours and why should you get it for free

    Question: Why do majority of people download songs, video games or films for free instead of paying for it

    Answer: becuase alot of people dont care what affect it has on the artist or the industry and the obvious reason its free.

    Question: should we be able to copy music for free if the artist died many years ago.

    Answer: dont be so silly. The record company made a deal or contract with the artist years ago and they should have the rights and why should you have the right to get anything for free

    Honestly to buy a song or even rent a movie its cheap enough. If the industry has made millions from artists or even ripped them off then its down to the artists to protect himself.

    and to be honest i am away to watch inglouris b*stards on a streaming website now

    If we agree that downloading material for free is illegal then the only question or argument that is left is who polices the web ?

    why are silly people advising artists to get a real job.also i love the comparison with the war against drugs.

    if drugs were legal then we can only imagine what it would be like. The governement would make alot of money instead of the gangsters. so if downloading music for free was legal then who would make the money ? the artists numbers would become less and less and all your tight people who probably dodge rounds at the bar would then moan about that.


  • Comment number 41.

    @21 - You are correct, this is the point entirely. Why on earth should the ISP be blamed for what people do with their connection to the internet. The process of tracking and monitoring all traffic is just going to divert their resources from our already sub-standard broadband systems.

    This bill is a total overreaction to a probem that cannot ever be solved by policing. The only way to prevent illegal file sharing is to persuade people not to do it by making your product attractive enough for someone to rather buy it.

    I do not believe by the way that 'all music should be free'. I know a lot of professional musicians and see the amount of work they put in to create, produce and distribute their music - if they decide they want to charge for it then it's up to them - at this point market forces take over and if people want to, they will buy it. Taking it for free is illegal and should remain so.

    Even with this view, the reason I appose the bill is that it is a waste of money. Illegal file sharing will not stop, innocent people will be put in an awkward position, the broadband services will slow down and become more expensive and the professional file sharers will be laughing in their server rooms!

    I wrote to my (conservative) MP to ask him to appose the bill, but was disappointed to get a reply saying that he would (in principle, with some minor ammendments) be supporting it. The whole thing has become another "Let's make it look like we are doing something, when in reality we know we can't" pointless piece of political spin.

  • Comment number 42.

    david: "If we agree that downloading material for free is illegal then the only question or argument that is left is who polices the web"

    I don't agree that's true in all cases, but even so, the law doesn't allow some forms of free downloading, but the law also doesn't allow the interception of communications, or various other acts which are currently being proposed as the next steps in the war on sharing.

    If you think that everybody should respect the law as it is and not expect it to be changed, that's fair enough, but it works both ways.

  • Comment number 43.

    "Question: should we be able to copy music for free if the artist died many years ago.

    Answer: dont be so silly. The record company made a deal or contract with the artist years ago and they should have the rights and why should you have the right to get anything for free"

    You seem to be missing the point of that, though. Sure, the contract says the record company owns the rights, but ultimately they don't really deserve to stil own something long after the artist, and quite posibly everyone else involved, has died. For an example, look at the old "Looney Tunes" cartoons. They are still protected by copyright, and a good number were made before World War 2. There is no possible way that anyone actually involved in the creation of those is still alive, so by all rights they should be public domain.

    Basically, what is needed is to reduce the copyright term to the death of the creator. I presume it got to the ridiculous length it is now through greed of the big media companies anyway, who only seem to care about their own profits and not what actually helps the world.

    Of course, digital media is even worse currently. I'd have no problem paying for an old game I downloaded if it was actually available to buy. Additionally, a game that works in a PS3, Xbox 360 and PC with the same disc would be good, since I can't see why I should pay for it twice if I want to play it on a different system as 99% of the files are the same.

  • Comment number 44.

    Who'll profit from the digital economy bill... Not the public but the profiteers probably will...

    Good song, that is. And it's free. Google "Dan Bull Digital Economy Bill" and I'm sure you'll find a YouTube link or something.

    It makes a good point, too. The digital economy bill is about protecting the lazy CEOs of entertainment companies who took too long to adapt to new technology and are suffering as a result. They are now using smart marketing to make the public believe that if you do things these multi-millionaire CEOs don't approve of, it's theft. Give me a break.

    Every time you download a song, you know what happens? You get a song. No one loses money, because that money was only ever phantom revenue - who says you'd have paid for the song, or even known about it, if you couldn't get it free?

    Alternitavely, these record companies could be a little more honest. They need to run ads saying that every time you download a song for free, you're taking a fraction of one of David Geffen's dimonds from a huge pile of diamonds in one of his houses he doesn't even know he has. That's more accurate than claiming you hurt artists - if anything, the only people doing that are the record labels themselves. Just ask all the artists that are now starting capaigns to fight against the new anti-filesharing measures and such.

  • Comment number 45.

    Do people really think ISP's can do more ? they don't have the legal right to sniff data packets or monitor your online movements without a court order and obtaining one of these is almost impossible unless your a suspected terrorist or a serious online criminal. Also the costs of employing additional technical people to monitor traffic would cost millions so why should Talk Talk and other ISP's pay for this ? it would take months to analyse data and verify the content anyway.

    Removing internet access from someone is almost impossible for many reasons , if you like in a house with more than one person does this mean they all loose access ? 90% of mobile phones are connected to the internet so does this mean you can't have a phone either ? and what about the poor family who didn't set up the WEP keys on the router ? and someone used there internet for 3 months , is the local court going to understand wifi piggy backing techniques when they cant even convict a local serial burglar.

    With solid-state memory now on market data-storage speeds will be instant and once implemented into Iphones or similar devices people will be able to share entire music and video collections with large amount of people without even using the Internet and this technology is right on our doorstep so whats the Government going to do about that ?

    Yes downloading is wrong and Artists should get recognition for work released but selling obsolete media at high prices might of worked through the 90's but take a look at all those CD's / DVD's on your wall , soon they will be worthless just like Tapes and VHS. Who wants to watch 15 minutes of adverts each hour ? also British TV shows are available on demand through BBC Iplayer , 40D Anyway.

    The Government should be setting up more cyber task forces to deal with online fraud , identity theft which is a far bigger issue that online copyright theft. I thank the boss at CPW for making a stand against these Ministers who don't understand anything besides increasing revenue through extortion the innocent ISP industry.

  • Comment number 46.

    I know people that download large amounts of files (games, applications, music, films), the impression i get is that prices are so high that if the only option was to pay for these files they would choose not to. They view it as simply paying nothing for something they would not be willing to pay money for in the first place. Personally i believe illegal downloading is good for the public, as it means artists are forced to tour more often, benefiting us.

  • Comment number 47.

    Has anyone not figured that the current way of distribution is out of date?
    If something is played on tv or on the radio the buying public is still forced to wait often for the single to be released on itunes. Sales would increase if these songs were available straight away.
    It becomes even more of a joke when i can access american itunes and download songs that takes weeks or months to hit the uk site. In some cases, not at all.
    Although digital distribution is a step in the right direction, it is still based around a 20th century business model

  • Comment number 48.

    I can see that most people are missing a major loop-hole. It's concerning encryption. It's been mentioned in other peoples comments, but for a very different reason.

    I just want to make a point - You will NEVER stop file sharing.

    If file sharing becomes illegal then people will start to encrypt the data. It really isn't that hard to set-up. ISP's won't be able to monitor encrypted data! You can do this with emails today, but most people don't bother, or are unaware.

    ...and just another point to make. If an ISP is going to stop my broadband access. What do you think the first thing is i'll do? ...that's right, you've got it. I'll buy a 3g dongle.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ SpeelingMistake
    You’re absolutely right that the music film and television industry needs to change and we are. There are already lots of legal sources for people to download film and television programmes from and this year we expect to see an uplift in digital offerings via the Xbox, PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, in addition to iTunes, LoveFilm, Tesco online, BT Vision, etc.
    For the film and tv industry – it’s very different to the music business. New talent and people trying to break into the industry, and even more established directors, producers, screenwriters etc are all affected by unauthorised downloading as it reduces the availability of funding for future films and shows. The more unauthorised downloading affects the industry, the harder it becomes for investors to take risks in backing more unconventional content, which means we could end up with a less diverse range of films.
    As an industry, we are fully aware that we have to continue to adapt and update our business models, but there is a need for people to support us in doing so – its incredibly difficult to make these business models viable (rights issues is another huge implication). The support of the ISPs means that these authorised alternatives have an opportunity to establish themselves, meaning we can all continue to benefit from great film and television programmes, and those who make them can be rewarded for their hard work.
    Felicity (on behalf of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness)

  • Comment number 50.

    Felicity: "As an industry, we are fully aware that we have to continue to adapt and update our business models, but there is a need for people to support us in doing so – its incredibly difficult to make these business models viable"

    Generally, I think people would be prepared to offer that support, were it not for the industries concerned being seemingly intent on destroying any the goodwill that exists towards them.

    Copyright exists to benefit the consumer, not the producer, but it is increasingly being twisted to work as a tool by which the consumer can be bullied, intimidated and controlled to an incredibly excessive degree. When a law is used improperly by the government to hand excessive advantages to select special interest groups at the expense of the general public, don't be too surprised if the public doesn't respect it.

  • Comment number 51.

    "39. At 01:08am on 28 Jan 2010, NethLyn wrote:

    @Ravenmorpheus2k - so how many artists can you name from the 20th century, that you like, that didn't have real jobs before making it?"


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

    I am sure I can name many. But when people like Sir Cliff Richard are pushing for copyright periods to be extended, simply to protect their million pound lifestyles, whilst there are still people in this country, let alone the third world, who cannot rub 2 pennies together because of the way the system as a whole works, I find that rather distasteful.

    Don't you.

    If you have not made enough money after a certain period of time from your "product" you come up with a new product or you move onto something different, that's the way it works in the real world, but the entertainment industry and it's "artists" seems to think they are in a totally different world.


    "The law shouldn't even come into it, people shout rip-off Britain because they just don't want to shop around."
    "

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

    So shopping around nets you bargain does it - I recently went to shop around for a PS3 controller, £29.99 give or take a few pence here and there where ever I looked on the high street and also online in places like Amazon.

    Yeah shopping around is great when there is only 1 price to pay for something.

    "Illegal downloaders just don't want to pay one single penny, that's the point all these libertarians miss, and not all of them will "make it up by going to gigs". I really like the song Rhythm of Life by Oleta Adams, have the album on tape, couldn't be bothered to dig through my childhood home to find the cassette and an old Walkman to play it, to legally download it, 65p - and tape to MP3 is still an improvement in sound quality. That's a total no-brainer and I'm happy to pay less than the price of my paper for that classic track I want to hear now."

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

    Yeah that's just it. A large proportion of people in this country are not willing to pay that price for something that is decades old and the person publishing has to do very little for in order to obtain that 65p.

    If the process actually involved some tangible hard graft then perhaps people would be more willing to pay for it.

    But it does not and people are not. And the minority is growing. It's a shame there are people like yourself holding progress back.



    "If the pirates would spare me the excuses and just say "I want to steal [music/games/films/all of the above] and I don't care", I wouldn't be bothered about them."

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

    You say that but how many people in the music/games/film industry have stolen others work? Take a certain Ms L Allen, blatantly ripped off other peoples work and yet she campaigns against file sharing.

    That OK by you is it?

    If your in a business where your customers are turning round and telling you that they will no longer pay for your work you go find another job, instead of calling for laws to be changed/introduced to protect your income for the rest of eternity.

    Music and other forms of entertainment as people have said here used to be done for the sake of it, not purely for profit, and too many people these days are looking upon the entertainment industry as a guaranteed source of quick bucks, we've only got to look at the rise of karaoke singers like those found on X-Factor to see that, that is an attitude which I firmly believe should change.

    And coming to the point of entertainment being expensive and the majority not being able to afford it, well I'm afraid that contrary to many people's thoughts here, no doubt from those that are reasonably well off, entertaining one's self in 21st century Britain is getting increasingly expensive and wages are not rising to take that into account, which is much the same issue with everything.

    We are going back to the age when the less well off majority only had marbles to play with.

    Great for capitalists, not so great for the rest of us though.

  • Comment number 52.

    If the entertainment industry is in such dire straits, then how come multi-million pound/dollar record deals are still being signed by artists whose music is being downloaded illegally in droves?

    How come Avatar has just broken box office records in a month or so?

    People will pay for what they like and people still get paid. People who download illegally either wouldn't have paid in the first place, hence no sales are lost, or enjoy what they've heard or seen so much that they make a purchase.

    And product which just isn't very good would die a natural death - except what happens now is that we have to put up with a never-ending stream of throwaway bilge, the 'creators' of which seem to end up with millions in their accounts and jobs on TV judging yet more tripe which then gets blanket airplay on the major radio stations, the absolute worst being Radio One, resulting in these 'acts' becoming pseudo celebrities for a couple of years and underservedly coining it in from yet another bottom-feeding corner of the industry, the advertising arm.

    And in this technological age is it really beyond the wit of the average singer/band to put their stuff on the net and grow a following? Remember when groups used to do gigs in clubs and town halls and grow a fanbase that way? It's not too dissimilar - in fact, it's an opportunity to build a bigger audience quicker!

    And guess what - back in the day, there was piracy then, too, and your Madonnas, U2s and such-like don't seem to have gone hungry or had to get a second job - in fact, they seem to be living in big mansions with flash cars and pots of cash!

  • Comment number 53.

    Mock The Week really has gone downhill.

    Not nearly as funny without Frankie Boyle, the little baldy one has turned into a right smartarse and they seem to have decided to have an unfunny woman on every week now.

  • Comment number 54.

  • Comment number 55.

    The music and general media companies really only have themselves to blame for churning out such talentless rubbish.
    I don't want to hear computer-generated music with a talentless lyricist who seems more concerned about who they are sleeping with. I file-share and I'm not afraid to say I do, I think it's a great way of advertising and for finding new bands to listen to.
    If I go into HMV and look at CDs, they're usually priced £12-£23, and as a 17 year old, I don't have the money to go and pay such ridiculous amounts for CDs that artists only get between 10 and 15 percent on a major label and typically 9 to 12 percent on a smaller label, which for me is disgusting.
    I will buy CDs quite happily if I like what I hear and if they are reasonably priced, but the prices in shops for CDs are extortionate and the artists are ripped off.
    I prefer to give my money directly to the band. I go to as many gigs as I can afford, and when I'm there I usually also buy a t-shirt, which are usually prices between £15-£20. I have no problem paying that at a gig, because the money goes to the artist, not some fat-bottomed middle man sitting away in an office counting his money.

    Also, it has been proven that file sharers spend more money on the music industry than anyone else, so for these money-grabbing labels to say that they are losing extortionate amounts of money to file-sharers is ridiculous.
    Maybe the reason they are losing money is because no-one wants to buy their latest talentless publicised kareoke competition winner, and that they are sick of essentially being force-fed poor music.

    The music industry need to realise that they need to update their ways and embrace and work with file-sharing, rather than attack it and potentially cut off a heck of a lot of customers. And signing people with some actual musical talent would also help.

  • Comment number 56.

    People should note that those who illegaly download the most media, actualy spend the most money on buying said media.

  • Comment number 57.

    please please stop justifying illegal downloadingg.

    its not yours to get for free. what is avatar got to do with illegal downloading .people have to go the cinema to get the 3d effect so alot of people dont want to ruin the experience and download it for free. madonnas and u2 made their money ages ago when the internet did not have a life.

    if you dont have the cash to buy the songs or films then tough luck. get a job or work overtime.

    and luke please dont say you use file sharing site as a way to find unheard bands (utter rubbish).

    you dont get nothing for nothing but in the case of file sharing we do.

    I am doing a IT uni course and most people in my class know its wrong but they dont try and justify it like some of the people here do.











  • Comment number 58.

    "57. At 01:14am on 29 Jan 2010, david wrote:


    you dont get nothing for nothing but in the case of file sharing we do.
    "

    Tell that to people like Cliff Richard who trade on records they made 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago and don't do anything now.

    And I'm sorry David but U2 and Maddonna still have careers and still rake the money in by the bucket load so your argument that they made their money ages ago does not hold water.

    Oh and might I point out that it is not illegal, it is unlawful. There is a whole world of difference.

    Whether anyone tries to justify it or not is irrelevant, the fact is that a growing majority of people have decided they no longer wish to pay for singles/albums/movies etc. for whatever reason, if that is the case the entertainment industry should be adapting to that growing trend in the same way any other business would.

    They are not. Instead they are persecuting the very people who could be and probably are potential customers, if they are not customers already.

    As has been pointed out it has been proven that file-sharers do indeed spend money on what they download.

    Oh and would you mind telling me where to get a job or work overtime when we are in a period of increased unemployment?

    I suggest once you've finished your uni course you take a good look at the jobs market and then pester McDonalds for a job because son that'll be where you end up working if your lucky in the current socio-economic climate we have in the UK.

  • Comment number 59.

    david wrote "its not yours to get for free."

    You are correct. It is from someone else and he is willing to share it with me.

    ---
    To the argument that artists deserve the money and that it is only there to help them produce new and better songs - then why do we need to pay for songs of the dead artists?! Why do we need to pay to their family members? What have they done to deserve this payment? Some maybe even never worked... I am just saying the argument is wrong.

    As for file sharing destroying the industry - i remember in the 80's when casette was the medium of choice we simply taped the song we heard on the radio. Funny how the industry just got stronger despite most of us doing that. And these days recording the greatest hists is even easier, since some stations play them non stop (kind of boring and probably even removes any wish to download this music...)

    Finnaly if you are not allowed to share copyrighted material then buying a single CD and then listening to it with you family in the car is also illegal.

    As for movies - i was going to cinema before file sharing appeared just as much. If i didn't go to see a movie i saw it later on TV. But before file sharing people used to rent movies in movie rental service or they simply shared it with a friend. Also this didn't seem to have destroyed the industry...

    I think the problem is that people want to obtain material faster than the companies are distributing it. And this is just one of the problems... Another one is pricing - PC games cost 30-35 EUR after about 2 years you can basically get them in bargain bins for 5-10 EUR. Even the Japanese cars don't have such a big price drop...

  • Comment number 60.

    Is it true that you can't copy & paste (legally purchased) mp3 files from your hard-drive to an external hard-drive for a back-up, or burn them to a CD (again for back-up purposes) without breaking the law?

  • Comment number 61.

    Kite,

    That is true. It is also breach of copyright to rip a CD that you have purchased in order to put it on your MP3 player, but like so many elements of copyright law, I think most people just view that as an unreasonable restriction in the modern world and disregard it.

  • Comment number 62.

    Does noone else realise that this is a privacy issue, not a file-sharing issue. For years P2P programs have come embedded with encryption, essentially meaning that the ISP cannot see what exactly is being shared by P2P. Now there are programs which will protect your IP too.

    The real issue is everyone else and privacy. Your ISP will legally be forced to have to track your web traffic and intercept your packets, while you are perfectly legal and legitimate.

    In any case, despite Film piracy of recent years, the popularity of Cinemas has seen a massive increase, despite the *epidemic* of music piracy, the interest in music has seen a massive increase of interest. Forgetting exceptions; pirates actual spend an average of £20 more on music than those who don't, as shown by a BBC report. Personally? I use Spotify which has become a legal way of having access to a huge library of music, assuming I don't mind the ads. To fill an iPod in this day and age, legally, you need to have purchased tens of thousands of pounds worth of CDs, as they can take ~4000 CDs, generally priced in the lower double digits worth in a device which can fit in your pocket. I can perfectly understand why not paying is attractive.

    The media industries haven't changed their model while the market itself has changed. Squashing all the legal alternatives to their own models has simply led to people abandoning them and going underground. It is hardly surprising.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ravenmorpheus2k

    (ME) "The law shouldn't even come into it, people shout rip-off Britain because they just don't want to shop around."

    R: "So shopping around nets you bargain does it - I recently went to shop around for a PS3 controller, £29.99 give or take a few pence here and there where ever I looked on the high street and also online in places like Amazon.

    Yeah shopping around is great when there is only 1 price to pay for something."

    Funny, Amazon was the first place I went to look for a PS3 controller, and the cheapest prices I saw started at £11.40, £17 and £19 - but they were licensed, wired, third party controllers. I don't doubt that Sony's own official branded pad with all the bells and whistles and a Sony logo has a fixed price around £30 but for all you know the cheapies could be just as good. So there's certainly more than "one price" for similar (not the same) items, like me with the forthcoming Peter Gabriel cover versions CD, you're just not willing to pay it. It's still not a ripoff.



    "Yeah that's just it. A large proportion of people in this country are not willing to pay that price for something that is decades old and the person publishing has to do very little for in order to obtain that 65p [For downloading one song previously owned on tape]."


    Age doesn't come into it for me if I like a piece of music. The tape at the time cost me around the same £9 as a CD now. It's not my problem if you begrudge less than a quid to someone for remastering that song digitally and saving me a journey back home and a day or so rooting through a bunch of shoeboxes for one tape. In fact I've given more than 65p to buskers on the street if I like what they're playing.


    Also, spare me the guilt trip about people starving in overseas countries if they've voted in those corrupt leaders themselves time and time and time again but think it's down to the West to dig them out of it - this debate's about music piracy but if you want to link two issues that have nothing to do with each other, Band Aid in fact attempted to work with one such corrupt leader twice in Ethiopia and use music to bring help to one such starving country. Plenty of people were helped but the overall aim failed, lots of the aid was stolen and held to ransom - and to this day Geldof & Co still get armchair critics saying they only did it for their own image. So the musicians are damned if they do and damned if they don't, we do like attacking people who are trying to fix a problem in England, rather than those who caused it in the first place.

  • Comment number 64.

    david,

    I think you'll find people were copying the likes of U2 and Madonna's music from their very early days - or haven't you heard of twin tape decks?

    And my point on Avatar was made to highlight another supposed area of fliesharing concern, re the film industry. Whether it's 3D or not is irrelevant - it's smashed box office records despite it being one of, if not the, number one downloaded movie currently.

    Jim Cameron doesn't seem out of pocket.

    (It is bloody good in 3D, though)

  • Comment number 65.

    Oh, and there's a small piece of software, freely avaialble on the net, which allows you to rip any Spotify track you wish, while you listen.

    Is that a good or bad thing? It's immaterial - it's there, anyone with the ability to type in 'spotify ripper' in a search engine can find and use it and it negates the need to fileshare altogether.

    As has been said time and time again, the corporations are fighting a losing battle and really need to come up with a better idea than trying to criminalise their customers, both actual and potential.

  • Comment number 66.

    i am amazed at this argument. People are downloading material for free and dont expect to pay. also alot of people are basing their argument on the research that file sharers contribute more to the music industry. come on people.I just dont believe that research that people download songs for free then another day decide to pay.if you believe that then you are stupid.
    Please dont blame the music industry for putting up a fight. they are losing money and so are artists. it does not matter how rich they are or how succesfull they are, its still the same crime.

    Raven

    If you cant get a job you are not looking hard enough. there is always jobs out there but the fact is people just dont want to do rubbish jobs.dont want to get their hands dirty.

    to many people complain and do very little about it. people are not creative enough with ideas on how to improve their situation. To many people have it easy in the uk with all the government benifits.

    but anyway back to the file sharing argument. we all know its wrong.

    Also when people are renting dvds the movie industry still makes money.

    And the term "people are going underground" which shows consumers are not happy. Why cant we just admit it, we love getting stuff for free.

    and people stop moaning about rip off britian.

    Can anyone give me three reasons why anyone should be allowed to download songs for free?






  • Comment number 67.

    Filesharing is not copyright theft. It is copyright infringement. If I stole copyright, then I would own the material and all the rights to it, and thus be receiving the royalties that go with it.

    And filesharing is not piracy either. Piracy is committed for profit.

  • Comment number 68.

    "Can anyone give me three reasons why anyone should be allowed to download songs for free?"

    1. Because most of them are as throwaway as the bags you get at Asda.

    2. Because less money going to major corporations who expect people to continually pay for said rubbish/endless remixes/the same stuff people paid for 30 years ago is A GOOD THING.

    3. It annoys the hell out of you.

  • Comment number 69.

    lol beyond

    3. it does come across that way iam annoyed.

    it does not annoy me people dloading songs for free. but if you are going to do it stop making up rubbish excuses for doing it.

    this is my last comment. i feel we are going in round of circles. i just hate being right all the time. :)

  • Comment number 70.

    63. At 12:54pm on 29 Jan 2010, NethLyn wrote:



    Funny, Amazon was the first place I went to look for a PS3 controller, and the cheapest prices I saw started at £11.40, £17 and £19 - but they were licensed, wired, third party controllers. I don't doubt that Sony's own official branded pad with all the bells and whistles and a Sony logo has a fixed price around £30 but for all you know the cheapies could be just as good. So there's certainly more than "one price" for similar (not the same) items, like me with the forthcoming Peter Gabriel cover versions CD, you're just not willing to pay it. It's still not a ripoff.

    -----------


    Oh I see. You failed to mention that shopping around for products that are not the same isn't a ripoff in the UK.

    Of course there are cheaper alternatives out there. Duh!

    But have a look around for those as well and you'll no doubt see their prices are remarkably similar no matter where you shop.

    And I don't know about you but I'd rather buy Peter Gabriel singing his own songs than buy some cheaper alternative by another singer. Wouldn't you.



    66. At 7:06pm on 29 Jan 2010, david wrote:

    Please dont blame the music industry for putting up a fight. they are losing money and so are artists.


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


    Erm are they losing money? The music industry expanded it's profits over the last couple of years if I recall the stats correctly.

    So who's losing money.

    Not making as much money as they think they could is more the correct term that should be used.




    66. At 7:06pm on 29 Jan 2010, david wrote:

    Raven

    If you cant get a job you are not looking hard enough. there is always jobs out there but the fact is people just dont want to do rubbish jobs.dont want to get their hands dirty.

    to many people complain and do very little about it. people are not creative enough with ideas on how to improve their situation. To many people have it easy in the uk with all the government benifits.


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


    I have a job thank you, I work for an IT company. And yes you are right there are jobs out there and people don't wish to do the dirty jobs, but that is quite often because the wages they offer are not enough to meet basic living costs for most people these days.

    But even with a job many people struggle to live a decent style of life in the UK, seeing as a large portion of employed people are on a low income and can do very little about it, no matter how creative they are.

    I'm sure in the nicely padded world of uni you're finding it quite easy, your remark about working overtime or getting a job to make up the shortfall in cash proves you have little understanding about how most of us live.

    You'd clearly make a very good MP based on that. Lol.

    Some people have more than one job and still barely make ends meet, my uncle is one such person, he works for Tesco at night and does electricity meter readings during the day for Siemens on behalf of the electricity companies in my area, he's not exactly flush with cash.

    Are you going to turn round to him and say "if you dont have the cash to buy the songs or films then tough luck. get a job or work overtime."

    People need entertainment, something which Victorian employers and government were wise enough to understand, and in the 21st century it is unreasonable to expect people to just sit and twiddle their thumbs or play "I spy" simply because they don't have any spare cash to entertain themselves.


    69. At 7:49pm on 29 Jan 2010, david wrote:

    lol beyond

    3. it does come across that way iam annoyed.

    it does not annoy me people dloading songs for free. but if you are going to do it stop making up rubbish excuses for doing it.

    this is my last comment. i feel we are going in round of circles. i just hate being right all the time. :)


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

    You are not right. Neither are you totally wrong.

    There is a point where downloading material becomes a problem, and that point is where people don't buy the material but keep on using it.

    That I'm sure we can all agree is a problem.

    But for the most part the majority of people are honest enough to download and then buy at a later date (assuming it's even available to buy, as is often not the case with some older stuff) if they intend to use what they download or they delete it and never use it again.

    Depsite what the government and the entertainment industry would have us believe.

    This has been proven by many studies and reports, one of which has been done by the BBC.

  • Comment number 71.

    Everybody loves free stuff, whether it's a 2 for 1 offer at Asda or an illegal download of music, movie or whatever. It's human nature and it's free will as to whether we take up Asda's offer or file share the latest album from your favorite artist. It's a choice we make.

    If you choose to break the law,( in this case knowingly downloading and not paying for copyright material ) then you choose to accept responsibility for your actions. So don't be surprised or annoyed if you are sent a nasty letter saying you are going to be sued for a million pounds because of your choice of action.

    What did you really think was going to happen? Nothing? That the corporate world or various governments wouldn't do anything about this and not try to protect their interests? Of course not, if you thought any differently then your living in cloud cookoo land. It doesn't matter to them if the odd innocent bystander had their wireless hacked so someone else could piggy back their signal and download Lilly Allen and it's the innocent bystander that ends up in the dock.

    But at the end of the day, does it really make any difference? Does it really matter what the corporate world or governments try to do? The simple answer is no it doesn't.

    Like the war on drugs its a losing battle, there are currently plenty of ways of bypassing detection and that type of technology will always stay ahead of any thing that is thrown against it. But just because it's a losing battle don't expect the battle to end just because you want it to.

    I've made my choices, and I love free stuff. Occasionally I'll take up Asda's 2 for 1 offer and occasionally I'll illegally download something.
    And if I find that I'm being sued for a million pounds because of it I've no one to blame but myself.

  • Comment number 72.

    I hate to rip everyones world apart, but do you honestly think posting comments on here will do anything to help? Of course not.

    Will the general public do anything to challenge the government? Of course not.

    You forget, we are british, our democracy works without much public intervention because the seniors who are more gullable are the ones who turn up to the local council meetings mostly, and usually also the ones to write in to their local councillers or even the ones usually lodging complaints against radio/TV shows.

    The majority of the public is blind, not interested, but it affects them, but unfortunately the democracy in our lovely country has bred a nation of cows and degenerates who just live with everything the goverment decides.

    Think-tanks are there to control information, mostly funded by the government mind you.

    Ask the average guy/girl on the street, "Have you heard of DEB, the Digital Economy Bill?" the answer will be NO.

    Ask them "hey what site do you use to download stuff?" the answer will be everything from P2P to public file storage sites, and usually "I dont know, my mate gives me everything."

    The point is, piracy has been here forever, it is to stay here forever, the government and the media companies have got their silly mental knickers in a twist, why? because they think this will increase public spending on material that otherwise would have been downloaded for free. How stupid are they? If I likes something enough - "I will want to buy it", otherwise you switch on the radio, or like many, you trawl the internet looking for a copy or even hit YouTube and just listen to the music-video on there (like millions do).

    We are heading for disaster IMO.

    A) the future of our nation is in the hands of our children and youngsters, yet the majority of them dont even know who leads which party, most still think Tony Blair is in charge haha

    B) the government doesnt really have a vocal public to deal with, so they do whatever fits their 'greater stupid picture', I mean come on, when did they ever get anything right? NHS? a mess. Education? a mess. Wars? a mess. So do I need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that they will ruin the beauty of the internet? Once the controls go in according to the DEB, the noose will tighten continuously... until one day the internet will only be a visual interface and there will no long be any other ports of access, just HTTP and SMTP etc.

    Remember all, everytime the government introduces something that has nationwide implications, it is not only here to stay, but the noose tightens continously... it started with taxes, and oh yes the extra bit to be added onto our phone bills to cover broadband rollout and upgrade costs? oh that tax will carry on, believe me ;) and will expand over time, and before you know it, a whole new tax here to stay....

    There are many countries where the internet will NOT be controlled, and even the US, the inventor and the biggest user of the internet has not passed silly laws to control ISPs.

    Like someone said in an earlier comment, its not about the morals, its about money... always is and always will be... the media giants of the world are finding every excuse to get control of the internet, because they know its the future for media access... but the internet is like a free country road to everywhere in the world, and to suddenly put soldiers along it and toll-booths - is a smack on human rights of freedom and speech.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think many have missed the point.

    It's not about whether it's morally right to download for free. It's not, like any service there is a cost.

    It's not about over charging or making millions off a single sale. I agree music, video etc is not worth the money asked and it may help reduce the problem if they were more sensible. But they can charge what they want, just like any other service provider. Take it or leave it.

    The problem is how they're going about this. IP addresses are no proof of who committed the civil wrong (I'm not going to say illegal, that's a media term to make it sound worse than it is). So few households only have 1 occupant, and even fewer without wireles, and fewer still who can't have their IP address spoofed. Fewer again immune to any of the millions of reasons an IP address might be wrong.

    If they want to bankrupt and stigmatise an individual, they simply need more evidence than that.


    The law firm(s) know this, the record industry knows this - but they continue anyway. This is why we don't see people in court.

    The only reasonable conclusion is that they hope to scare people into paying so they can make extra cash.


    Whether or not the ISPs are involved for business reasons doesn't matter, the question is why should they have to lose profits to stop this? It's not their fault, they're providing a service which is being misused. The end user should pay for their civil wrongs - and they must be found with reasonable and legal methods.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think the whole issue misses the point. Who is responsible for the existence of illegal files on the internet? The person who uploaded it in the first place. They are the ones who should be prosecuted. There are many internet users who don't have any idea what is legal or illegal content, after all it doesn't say on the files that it contains copyrighted material.
    Just how far is this going to go? Will the next step be to prosecute people who download a copyrighted picture or how about a story or a news report?
    The prosecution of individuals who knowingly or otherwise download copyrighted material has the potential to turn the internet into a minefield for the users.
    Prosecute those who are responsible for illegally uploading copyrighted material on the internet and not the poor dumb user.

  • Comment number 75.

    The various arguments posted here are absolutely hilarious.
    There are 2 definitive sides that have emerged with neither accepting any ground in their reasonings, yet expecting the others to be swayed by them.
    it really does amuse me to see it.

    I am a talktalk subscriber and for one i am happy that Mr Dustone has taken this vocal stance, also add to that the other lobbyists there with him contribute to a fairly good overall argument IF you could maintain one combined stance.
    as for file sharing, my own personal OPINION is that it is illegal, in simple terms it is like receiving stolen goods.
    the user however should not be the one paying out millions to BPI or record companies, that should fall on the uploader ... but i very much doubt that any of the people persuing these would have much luck.
    The user, who downloads the copyrighted material should be made to pay out for what they have received, or a fine similar to that of, as mentioned before, someone who has been charged with receiving stolen property.

    Uploaders are the bad guys here, NOT the downloaders

  • Comment number 76.

    ISPs should merely be classed as data transporters. They transfer data to and from their customers as requested. They shouldn't be forced to monitor what is being transported, only ensure it gets from its source to the destination intact. The contents of that traffic is between the server and the client and of no concern to them, with the possible exception if it is dangerous to other users of the network (e.g. denial of service attacks).
    If someone sends a copied DVD through the post are Royal Mail held responsible for transporting and delivering it? Is the Post Office supposed to look inside every letter and parcel it handles in case there are photocopied pages from a book inside (copyright infringement) or some other illegal material? No. ISPs should be treated the same.

  • Comment number 77.

    "uploaders are the bad guys" - but with P2P software you upload what you download by default, shirley ?

    Dunstone failed to mention that Talk Talk apply "technical sanctions" to all file sharing on their network, using traffic management to greatly restrict the P2P traffic. It's in the public domain, in a presentation to analysts.

  • Comment number 78.

    @#77

    "but with P2P software you upload what you download by default, shirley ?"

    it entirely depends which application is being used, in some cases yes, in others no
    based upon the circle of people i know who have used p2p applications, most are ignorant of how the software works, completely unaware that it uploads as well as downloads.
    they just take note of the download timer, not their share ratio ... i'd be utterly amazed if anyone i knew actually knows what share ratio refers to.

  • Comment number 79.

    Until the majors change their business model file sharing will grow. I object more and more to paying full price for music or film which i have already bought. CD's don't last forever, I should not have to pay the full price if I have to buy a CD that has deteriorated. Likewise when I buy a film I already have on DVD I should be able to buy the BluRay version at a reduced rate.

    A distinction should be made between purchasing the media on which a work is recorded and the work itself. Like software, music/film should be sold with a "music" key giving the right to purchase (online or off), record, convert and play on whatever media exists or will exist in the future.

    A media fee could be purchased in addition.

  • Comment number 80.

    The reason no-one is spending loads of money on so-called music is because it only just qualifies as "music". Shouting off about yourself and making painful banging sounds isn't pleasant to listen to. Dare I say it but music should include SINGING (not shouting) and have a melody to it.

    The only thing I want to buy when the usual made-to-a-formula or crop of ear-bashing comes on the radio is a set of ear-plugs, or a one-way ticket to the nearest air-raid shelter!

    The music industry seems to have run out of ideas and talent and so blames "file sharing" for its woes.

    People are "voting with their feet" by not buying this rubbish. Who can blame them?


  • Comment number 81.

    Please explain to me, back in the day and ages of music and art, were the artists looking for profit or was it passion? None of these great artists have been awarded money for providing such great achievements in their lives. Right now actors and singers perform to make money and complain that file-sharers should spend the money to buy their album! I believe most of those artists wouldn't have went as far without the use of sharing. It is people like Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Beethoven and many others like Michael Jackson who made it through passion that it made them have such a value in their life's work. I can't promise everyone will buy their work (movies,albums,etc...) but do realize this, if it wasn't for those file-sharers most of these so called artists wouldn't be anywhere by now!

 

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