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UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the music-rolls-down-hill dept.
Wowsers writes "An article in The Times states that UK consumers will be hit with an estimated £500m ($800m US) bill to tackle online piracy. The record and film industries have managed to convince the government to get consumers to pay for their perceived losses. Meanwhile they have refused to move with the times, and change their business models. Other businesses have adapted and been successful, but the film and record industries refuse to do so. Surely they should not add another stealth tax to all consumers."
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UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy

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  • This makes my day. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bertoelcon (1557907) * <berto@el@con.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @01:51AM (#30579756)
    Anytime I feel bad about the current state of affairs here in America a story shows up with EU, UK, Australia, or Canada doing something that would be worse. It makes me remember that we haven't hit those points yet so we always have somewhere else to look at whatever policy in practice before we have to deal with it
    • by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:20AM (#30579856) Journal

      Actually, this is much worse than in Canada. Here, we pay a tax on recordable media [tapes/CD-Rs/DVD-Rs/etc (not HD's yet)], which is to pay for copying of copyright songs (and it only took them more than 5 years to actually pay out some of the money to actual artists). But it also eliminates the legal liability of being sued by the major labels for downloading music. It's a tradeoff, for which the major labels are fighting to change politically [so they can keep collecting the tax, but go back to being able to sue downloaders].

      But in the UK, this new tax sounds like they are paying the labels [er, I mean the artists], but the labels still retain the right to sue [so basically everybody is paying into a fund to sue individuals].

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The tax is only on CD-Rs and audio cassette media, and personal media players (as somehow wanting to play your legally downloaded mp3s entitles the record companies to an additional tax, go figure). The tax does not apply in any way to DVDs.

      • If we garantee their income then what's their incentive to produce good product?

        If their profit is guaranteed by law then they're going to make the minimum possible effort to 'earn' it.

        • by lorenlal (164133)

          They have no incentive, other than to get as much work out there under copyright as possible. In all seriousness, the foundation of the business is getting a product out there that people like and are willing to pay money to listen to.

          Now - Some people might be perfectly happy not listening to new music... So the other end of the model depends on extending the time they can draw profit from that product... Hence we now have a system where the publishers can collect on work for up to life of author + 70 y

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mhwombat (1616301)

      Yes! For instance, our Australian policy of public health care gave the American public a chance to see how such things work overseas, fortunately meaning they had ample warning about the DEATH PANELS!

      Sigh. Nevermind. You're right, I'm just bitter about Conroy. It's so embarrassing; we can't take him anywhere.

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:25AM (#30579882) Homepage

      "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me."

      Reveling in schadenfreude does no one any good. As an American, I'm truely saddened at what's happening in other nations. They can equally say the same about us too, and rightfully so. Such actions should be universally condemned.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Anytime I feel bad about the current state of affairs here in America a story shows up with EU, UK, Australia, or Canada doing something that would be worse.

      But AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) still must operate inside Australian law, which gives me protection. So I cant be arrested at an Australian airport and held without charge unless I've violated a law, which means I've been charged. This may make you feel better but AQIS and the AFP are a long way off from being a TSA and declari

      • The US already introduced an equal law - the DMCA. It places similar obligations on ISPs which US residents have been happily footing the bill for in increased internet costs for about a decade.

    • Know your enemy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Smegly (1607157) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @04:24AM (#30580314)

      Anytime I feel bad about the current state of affairs here in America a story shows up with EU, UK, Australia, or Canada doing something that would be worse.

      Dont' let that lull you into a false sense of security - The US is the main actor behind most of these laws being passed so you will probably find that it is just the boiling frog method of shafting these laws in. Know your enemy. "THEY" are the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) [iipa.com], and they have the full political clout [ustr.gov] of the US government behind them - working to subvert democratic process in just about every country in the world [iipa.com] via stealth taxes/three strikes/no presumption of innocence for the sheeple. Countries sign on to this in exchange for "Free Trade" deals. Examples:

      New Zealand Reintroduces 3 Strikes [slashdot.org]:
      "IIPA testifies in support of the initiation of negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement [ustr.gov] (TPP FTA) with Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, Peru and Vietnam."... "Specific problems in some of the TPP countries are outlined in the Special 301 reports from 2009 for Chile [iipa.com], Peru [iipa.com], Brunei [iipa.com], and Vietnam [iipa.com]".
      Where "specific problems" mean: No three strikes laws, no trade deal.

      Spain's Proposed Internet Law Sparks Protest: [slashdot.org]
      IIPA report card on Spain [iipa.com]. resulting [expatica.com] US political clout [latimes.com] result: local laws and taxes supporting mafiaa industry.

      The sad part is that even though countries that want to be in on these trade "deals" are required to implement draconian anti-internet laws and filters [wikipedia.org], obliged to extradite civil cases to the US for trial (software piracy in this case) [wikipedia.org], the resulting "Free Trade" agreement rewards generaly do not benefit [wikipedia.org] the countries involved! Which begs the question, who does benefit... perhaps just the politicians who signed off on the deal?

      The only way I can see to fight this kind of slide is to create a black list of any group/industry that lobbies any government in support these kinds of anti-democratic process trade deals. If any group supports trade deals that required destroying the internet, then the internet could become one humongous nightmare of bad press blog artices against your industry group. Seems only fair - shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dan541 (1032000)

      It seems UK residents have just payed for allot of content. I hope they download it.

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @01:55AM (#30579766) Homepage

    Now when anybody in the UK contemplates pirating from the Big Ones, he'll know they are already reimbursed for it.

    • by dintech (998802)

      And the added tax makes the product more expensive and less attractive to buy. Vicious cycle maybe.

    • Re:Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ZigiSamblak (745960) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:13AM (#30580696)
      Your post may be modded as funny, but that's exactly the way it works in the Netherlands.

      Like somebody from Canada posted above, we too have a tax on recordable media such as CD-R and DVD-R (but no HDD's) which is supposedly paid to recording artists who suffer from illegal copying. It is actually legal in the Netherlands to copy music or video from another source (neighbour, friend, internet) if it is for personal use. Naturally the recording industry association is trying to change the law, but just a few months a great move was made by our government showing that they will not be easily influenced by the media lobby:

      They ruled that copying of copyrighted material will be made illegal only when the industry makes content readily available online for a fair price and without any DRM restrictions that would limit the usage of the material. This to me seems the perfect response to the tactics the industry is employing to try to keep their outdated business model alive. If they try to block innovation the consumer will find ways to work around it, the consumer owns the government so it always seems strange to me that in western so-called democratic society the government seems to be protecting the business more from the consumer than the other way round. It also shows the Labour party is far from its original socialist roots, I'm glad I don't have to vote in the British elections!
    • by tolan-b (230077)

      Except that it seems no-one has read TFA. I know I know...

      This isn't some compensation package for the **AA, it's about the cost of implementing an anti-piracy law for persistent repeat downloaders. I don't really agree with the law myself but this is far from what it's being portrayed as here.

  • piracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @01:59AM (#30579780)

    So it won't be piracy anymore, they will just be taking delivery on the goods they paid for.

  • Not quite.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:02AM (#30579792) Journal

    Meanwhile they have refused to move with the times, and change their business models.

    On the contrary. They found that their old business model wasn't profitable enough so they switched to the far more lucrative business model of convincing the government to subsidize them. With the old model people could vote with their dollars (including piracy) but this new model removes all of those pesky market forces entirely.

    • by kurt555gs (309278)

      If the ACTA treaty passes, the whole world will pay. Isn't is a general rule of business to offload expenses that should be yours to the taxpayers?

      The "governments" will loves this as all those deep packet inspections mandated in ACTA will reveal tons of info on everyone that they can have without silly things like warrants or probable cause.

      Everyone is happy.

      This is what happens when any group gets to be so rich and powerful that thay (**IA) no longer have customers to be sold, but consumers to be culled.

    • Labels are not getting any of the money. The money is the cost, to ISPs, of mandatory anti-piracy measures, which it is expected will be passed on to the consumer. The US consumer probably paid a similar amount to their ISP cover the cost of DMCA legal actions in the past decade. It's forcing the shepherd to police the duck pond, which is an entirely different problem that this summary wonderfully distracts you from.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      The government must have decided they're too big to fail. Or, to put it more accurately, their campaign contributions are too big for them to fail.
  • I just wonder... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:11AM (#30579820)

    How much of this money will the artist see? Wouldn't suprise me if it was zero. Still, the real losses are worth $0 too so it's just another industry bailout in an industry posting record profits.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RLiegh (247921)

      How much of this money will the artist see? Wouldn't suprise me if it was zero.

      Of course it will be zero. This is the mafiaa; what else would it be?

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      How much of this money will the artist see? Wouldn't suprise me if it was zero.

      Of course they will see this money!

      In the millions and millions of sales produced by the erradication of piracy. Obviously.

      See, for each extra 25 pounds you pay to the ISP, a pirate is forced to spend 50 on music. Of those 50, the UK media company takes 20 and the artist's company, which currently resides in the United States will receive the other 30. Of those 30, the artist will see 1.25.

      It's all so cristal clear I'm amazed they didn't create the law before the ISPs even existed. After all, you could've s

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Zero, this is how much mandatory anti-piracy measures will cost the UK internet industry, not some tax fund being paid to labels.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nightgeometry (661444)
      Presumably you didn't even read the article, or think too much about the summary. This is NOT about a tax to support artists, it is the cost the ISP's will have in putting measures in place - and those costs will be borne by their customers.

      Maybe you are taking it too it's logical conclusion (if this stops filesharing in the UK, then how much of the extra revenue will artists see). So maybe I am being harsh, in which case sorry. But I don't think that is the case.
  • tax? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by phalse phace (454635)

    So if I pay this "tax," then that means that I'm free to download to my heart's content, right?

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Unfortunately, the "tax" will be used to pay for stopping you downloading to your heart's content.
    • Re:tax? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Martz (861209) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:17AM (#30580718)

      So are seedboxes going to cause entire data centers or hosting providers to be disconnected? Users in the closed tracker communities pay for seedboxes at remote hosting facilities to help boost speeds and their ratio and they could single handily cause down time or disruption to 1000s of users if this laws consequences was applied to them.

      My guess is that if this law goes through then seedboxes would become even more popular. Seed from the remote box, and VPN between the box and the home user. It has to be a much safer option already... bandwidth is cheap and disk space is always getting cheaper.

      What about public WiFi projects and airports, hotels etc? As usual there are some fringe cases where this law just doesn't work.

  • If everyone is being taxed for the "perceived loss", shouldnt that then make piracy legal? Wouldnt the pirated material being downloaded have been paid for by the people... thus making piracy completely legal?

    • by SakuraDreams (1427009) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:50AM (#30579992)
      The music/movie industry want their cake and eat it too.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Someone should have told them the cake is a lie.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        So do a fair proportion of the 'consumers' of the movie and music industries - but we aren't allowed to talk about that side of it here on Slashdot...
      • by Wowsers (1151731)

        What you're saying is that for example Sony make or made the CD/DVD writers and blank media, cassette tapes and decks, VHS tapes and decks, MiniDV camcorders/tapes, record players, amplifiers, cables etc. etc. then they moan when the very electronics they produced is used to copy the stuff their record and film production companies puts out.

        Either Sony should be forced to be a electronics manufacturer or a film/music company, not both.

        Fact remains, the politicians around the world are all corrupt.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mhwombat (1616301)

      If you read TFA they actually want to spend the money on trying to chase people who pirate. So it's not officially to "pay for the music", it's to pay for punitive measures - so the music industry won't make any money out of it unless this strategy is effective in increasing sales (which I seriously doubt).

      So in the eyes of the recording industry and the government, no, they're not going to be any happier about piracy or consider it paid for. In the eyes of the public being "taxed for piracy", maybe - I wou

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:20AM (#30579858)

    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped or turned back, for their private benefit." - Heinlein

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:43AM (#30579974)

      Heinlein was wrong. The ones who "come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped or turned back for their private benefit" don't do it by RIGHTS. They do it because the CAN.

      And yes, they "shouldn't" even if they can, because it's not "right". But they have enough resources and it is they that decides what's right/wrong and what should/shouldn't be done.

      Power always override rights and morals because in the end, actual changes are made by what has been done and what is being done, not what "should" be done.

    • Soap, ballot, ammo. So are you guys in the UK on ammo yet? Pretty goddamn close here in the US (for me anyway).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dkf (304284)

        Soap, ballot, ammo. So are you guys in the UK on ammo yet? Pretty goddamn close here in the US (for me anyway).

        I'm not very excited about this Bill precisely because we're coming up to a general election which the incumbents are unlikely to win. At that point this Bill will be dropped (because it's associated with the previous administration) and we'll be back to square one, and *everyone* knows it. Think instead about it being there to help secure a directorship at a media company or two for outgoing politicians for the duration of the next parliament...

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Sorry, but copyright law really isn't something I am prepared to go to an armed conflict and kill people over...
      • by turgid (580780)

        There hasn't been much of the "soap" part yet. Mainstream media is more interested in who won the dancing and who's "loving" who to bother with trifling matters such as this.

        Not enough people care because not enough people know what's going on, and they are not likely to find out on their own. People are lazy and stupid.

        As for the "ballot" part, most people can't even be bothered to do that either.

        We don't care. We are apathetic. By the way, who is Katie Price having sexual relations with this week?

      • by Jaysyn (203771)

        Ammo? Knives don't take ammo & aside from 3 round shotguns, they aren't allowed to have real weapons.

  • Seriously, if I were in the UK, spending money on music at all would feel like being double-charged after this fiasco. I'd feel I'd already "paid" for it through taxes. The irony is that the money will be wasted on punitive measures, so the industry won't even profit from it - and if it causes music sales to drop, they will be even worse off.

    I honestly suspect that normally music piracy encourages more music sales, not less. But now the industry has managed to shoot even that in the foot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kenshin33 (1694322)
      An If I were you I'd stop buying music/movies all together wherever I am. This is a global crisis, an we should stick together regardless.
      they may be first we're probably next.
  • by kinabrew (1053930) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:39AM (#30579950) Journal

    With piracy, a company sells a copy and the buyer makes a copy for someone else(and whether that someone else would have bought a copy without piracy is debatable). If I buy a 99-cent song and give you a copy, that is "piracy".

    With robbery, someone takes someone else's belongings. If someone takes your money without giving you anything and without your consent, that is "robbery".

    This is robbery.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by readthemall (1531267)
      And the original meaning of piracy is also taking someone else's belongings, just using ships in the sea. That is, robbery. People like Drake and Morgan did this, among many other.

      What today *AA call "piracy" is just copying. They know they would look stupid if they want money for copying, and that's why they call it "piracy". Welcome our newspeak overlords ...

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      With piracy, a company sells a copy and the buyer makes a copy for someone else(and whether that someone else would have bought a copy without piracy is debatable). If I buy a 99-cent song and give you a copy, that is "piracy".

      If you're a friend of mine, I believe that's actually fair use in some jurisdictions.

  • by Tom (822)

    "We are confident that those costs will be a mere fraction of the stratospheric sums suggested by some ISPs, and negligibly small when set against their vast annual revenues."

    This is from a recording industry spokesman.

    Funny how they never talk about themselves in this way, even though it is vastly more true. Didn't they just have a record year, despite all the "we're all going to diiiieeee" whining?

  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:51AM (#30580006)

    The content industries will NEVER accept the new world because they know that in the new world, they wont be the king of the hill anymore.
    Right now in the old world, companies like Sony, Warner, Fox, Universal, Disney, EMI and Paramount are king of the hill.

    With the new world order eliminating the huge production costs (you dont NEED a big studio full of gear to record a song anymore, you can do it in your garage with a PC, some software and some microphones to record with) and distribution costs (you can distribute your songs either for free or for pay online very easily without a middleman), you dont need the big dinosaurs anymore and they are doing everything they can to stop it from happening.

    And unlike previous times when disruptive technologies were invented, those who stand to loose the most have the ear of government and are attempting to outlaw the disruptive technologies BEFORE they become mainstream.

  • by Anonymous Froward (695647) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:54AM (#30580020)
    Can somebody from the UK confirm? From TFA:

    Mr Petter said that the Bill, which is being rushed through Parliament before the general election next year, had been poorly thought out.

    And they're not giving music guys free money (yet). The proposal is about cutting off repeated offenders from the net.

    TFA seems to imply that the cost of "identify offenders, notify them, and cut them off" procedure would amount to 500m GPB, though it is not very clear about the numbers and whatnot.

    • by Spad (470073)

      The only glimmer of hope is that they've drafted so many poorly thought out bills in the last few months, that they're now trying to rush through before May (when they'll be unceremoniously kicked out of office) that they won't have time to get them all through and so some of the really bad ones might not make it through.

      Mind you, they seem pretty determined to get this Digital Economy (aka Make Mandleson Supreme Leader) Bill through, probably to ensure themselves of cushy jobs in the media industry once th

  • by Spasmodeus (940657) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @03:40AM (#30580172)

    This bill is about requiring ISPs to shut off service to repeat copyright infringers, which the ISPs estimate will cost them (and by proxy, consumers) 500 million pounds.

    It's not a "tax" and none of the money is going to subsidise the record and film industries, that's just complete crap from the summary writer, as is the crusty old "update your buisiness model, wah wah wah" copperlite.

    The bill is also completely retarded, but you do no service to your cause by misrepresenting (and apparently, not even understanding) the enemy.

    • by remmelt (837671)

      I don't know if you're just nitpicking, but try to see it this way.

      - the recording industry lobbied for this bill
      - the government passes the bill (not yet, but hypothetically)
      - the bill forces raised cost for internet providers
      - the cost will be passed on to customers

      How is this different from a tax? And your use of scare quotes around tax makes it even more right: it definitely is a "tax".

      The point is, if there would not be a recording industry or powerful lobby, this law would not have been proposed. The

      • by hughk (248126)

        They're (the recording Industry) not making that profit because they lost the easy (government supported!) monopoly on distribution.

        Even without the ease of breaching copyright now, there are many other factors. I have only so much free time in the week and unlike my parents, there is a heck of a lot more to do with the time. Also any new producer of music isn't just competing with other music today, they are competing against the mountain of music that is out there already, selling at remaindered prices.

    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      The bill is evil, read it.

      More than half of the bill concerns giving powers to the secretary of state over ISP's. I think the sith lords argument is "future proofing" however everything the secretary wants the ISP's to do they have to do and if they don't they get a £250,000 fine from ofcom. Ofcom's roll in the bill seems to be ensuring the secretaries decrees are followed.

      There are no checks or balances in the bill and is only concerned with internet piracy rather than the "digital economy".

      I
  • Or you might get burned. It's not a far step from "the taxpayers are footing a massive bill" to "we should therefore nationalise the groups getting the money." The UK already has a television license, a music and movie license isn't beyond the pale.
  • it is where the government pays the capitalists using taxes from the workers. Awesome!

    • If you read the article you will see that no money from the ISPs will be going to the MAFIAA. It will all be spent on policing the MAFIAA's bought laws. I know it's nitpicking but these greedy fools will see nothing from this law and will alienate large swathes of the population.

  • This proposal, as described in the article, would enact DMCA-like takedown notices:

    The Digital Economy Bill would force internet service providers (ISPs) to send warning letters to anyone caught swapping copyright material illegally, and to suspend or slow the connections of those who refused to stop.

    The ISPs are claiming that this will cost them £25 per year per connection to enforce, and they want the content industries to pony up the money.

    Now, I don't know about you, but £25 per year per

    • by cheros (223479)

      £25 per year per connection seems like a lot. In the US, the process can be largely automated

      Sure, and that automation comes free of any hardware/software/maintenance/running costs, yes? Apart from the fact that ISPs should not be made into another defective police force there is also the small matter that UK Courts are in my experience, well, crap (I'm being polite here). I can't explain why judges are so far removed from reality other than that there are maybe drugs involved, and a conman with a g

    • They didn't say "£25 per household that need to receive a notice", they said "£25 per household".

      That means an extra £4 a month for every household. If you're paying for broadband now because it costs "less than £40 a month", and you get threatened with cutoff whenever you actually use that broadband (BBC iPlayer released for Wii last month, this month I get threats of disconnection), how many lower-income families are going to keep paying more for no reason when it crosses that thre

  • Thus spake a BPI spokesnoodle:

    We are confident that those costs will be a mere fraction of the stratospheric sums suggested by some ISPs, and negligibly small when set against their vast annual revenues.

    As opposed to file-sharing taking away 98% of the meagre pittance earned by the record industries annually? Riiight...

  • I was discussing this very thing with some colleagues today and suggested maybe it's time to start pre-emptive invoicing of the music industry for filtering services conducted as a revenue stream for ISP's, and every ISP can do it. If the music industry refuses to pay then filtering services stop until the invoice is paid. If they demand filtering services be conducted then they must pay for the filtering being done - why should the taxpayer.

    The way it stands is they expect everyone to pay for them. I wond

  • Piracy is what is going around the Red Sea, the Somalia coast and the Indian Ocean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy [wikipedia.org].
    It has nothing to do with copying media. What the entertainments industry are doing is called privateering - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privateer [wikipedia.org].
    The original model for the entertainment industry was: entertainers appear live and perform. This had high overheads and physical limitations.
    The recording model was: mass produce the sound and sell these copies to so many people that they
  • If they 'tax piracy' then it must be an act already paid for (i.e. reimbursed), for ANY act of piracy. Therefore it must now be Ok to conduct that piracy for which they are taxing EVERYONE, as opposed to 'taxing' the few who are actually committing that piracy. Since EVERYONE has already 'paid the tax' then by extension it must be OK for EVERYONE to now conduct piracy? After all, you ARE paying for all the piracy now it aren't you? So, now we seem to have a new business model, aka piracy as a service. It mu

  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:58AM (#30580894) Homepage Journal

    According to this fluff piece in the Times.

    What's a poor citizen to do?

    Every single UK broadband subscriber will be taxed / fined an extra £25 per year, to prop up the film and music industry.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    Why not subsidise the fax industry as well, and the cassette tape industry, and while we are at it, how about the buggy whip manufacturing industry?

    Business has a thing called "externalisation", what it boils down to is putting as much cost as possible outside the business, a classic example is a textile mill that externalises the cost of polluting, simply by dumping the pollutants into the local river. Someone else, downstream, can pick up the tab.

    The justification for this is that allegedly the latest Star Trek movie was downloaded 11 million times in 2009.

    Around 150 million visits to the cinema per year happen in the UK, if you take the alleged 11 million star treks, add in the harry potters, avatars (holds hand up) etc etc it is no stretch of the imagination to claim that 150 million movie downloads happened in the UK in 2009.

    According to this metric, and the false logic employed, if downloading was banned, cinema attendances would double.

    Bullshit.

    Here is why;

    1. There is the false logic assumption that if I had not downloaded Avatar, I would have gone to the cinema and paid to see it. This is utterly false. You would have to pay me at least £5 to set foot in a cinema, to compensate me for the travel, mobile phones, noisy bastards, no smoking or drinking, inability to pause, crap seats, etc etc.

    2. There is the false logic assumption that people like me with 46 1080p screens who prefer the comforts of our own homes would substitute the video rental shop for the cinema. Rubbish. The video rental shops don't have anything new, or anything good, or much choice of anything, and quite apart from that I have no interest in watching a Blu-ray that does not let me skip past 15 minutes of promo crap.

    3. There is a false logic assumption that the media in question (whether it is cinema or rental) is value for money, I am simply not prepared to pay £5 per head for a cinema ticket, or £5 a night for a DVD, for 90 minutes of "entertainment" It is just way too expensive.

    4. There is a false logic assumption, in short, that the 11 million downloads of Star Trek represent even 1 single lost cinema sale or DVD rental... You are reading this because it is free, would you pay £5 to read it? Stupid question. Would you pay £0.01 to read it? Stupid question.

    5. There is a false logic assumption that the decline in cinema attendance figures, record sales, etc, say compared to 1970, is due to a change in people's attitudes, we have suddenly become a nation of thieves. Simply not true. These EXACT SAME ARGUMENTS were made about the compact audio cassette.

    6. There is a false logic assumption that it is acceptable to impose a fine / tax / tariff on EVERYONE, that would be like mandating that I must buy a television licence, even though I haven't watched television for 20 years.

    7. There is a false logic assumption that the technologies that they are going to deploy are actually going to catch people illegally sharing copyright material, ONLY, and NO-ONE ELSE, and indeed this is implicitly acknowledged in the desire to fine / tax / tariff ALL users of broadband, irrespective of what they do.

    8. There is a false logic assumption that we are dealing with a static target, the ever evolving technology means that it really does not matter what methods you use to counter copyright violations (NOT copyright theft, no one is stealing your actual copyright, and no one is depriving anyone else of their use) because within the month (and I am being generous) they will be cracked.

    9. T

  • by Computershack (1143409) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:12AM (#30580958)
    This is going too far. Check through my posts and you've seen many many times I've been in favour of penalising people who pirate. I've lambasted TPB et al and the people who use them and been modded down many many times. BUT. As a UK citizen who will be paying this, if they're going to extort money out of me for something I've never done, then fuck em, I'm going to get my money back and in that case, that means jumping on the P2P bandwagon. After all, I'm now going to be paying for what I download. I reckon 3-4 MP3s a month is about fair compensation going on the average legal download service track price.
  • For once, a tax that can almost legitimately be referred to as stealing!

  • It gives the appearance that if enough cash is paid into Mandelson's pocket, a corporation can have their own state backed 'enforcers' with the sole purpose of protecting a revenue stream. All at the tax-payers expense. It rather makes a sham of the governments consultation in which people were sympathetic but clearly showed the recording industry is not a special case and should sort out its own problems.

    Phillip.

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