Business piracy Regs

Freedom of the internet

Last Thursday the Minister of Communications, Ed Vaizey, chaired a round table on music licensing and the internet.

Present were the largest consumer ISPs, ISPA, Google and Yahoo together with senior figures from the Internet, music, film and sports sectors. Issues discussed included the development of the Digital Economy Act, the complexity of music licensing (scalability, costs for both ISPs & rights holders) and whether ISPs could do more with respect to sites that promoted illegal downloading (e.g. search engine rankings, blocking).
The Minister encouraged participants to further discuss and work on these issues and encouraged ISPs and rights holder to explore the possibility of bundled music deals as this would be the easiest way to satisfy consumer demand and provide an alternative to pirated music downloads. It is likely that a follow-up meeting will take place in the new year to update the Minister on the process that may have been made by this time.

Business piracy Regs

Irish Judge denies Rights Holders 3 strikes injunction against ISP UPC

[2009 No. 5472 P]
JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Charleton delivered on the 11th day of October, 2010

I’ve never read a High Court Judgement in detail before, be it British or Irish. This one is about an injunction sought by the above referenced rights holders requiring Irish ISP UPC to implement a three strikes policy against alleged file sharers.

The judge goes into 78 pages of detailed analysis of the problem, technical measures that may be available and the law in respect of this issue.

This is a guy firmly in the camp of the Rights Holder industry. I’m not going to comment on the individual arguments he makes and whether they are in my judgement right or wrong. He has probably spent weeks researching it all and summing up. In fact as I’ve mentioned before to some extent I sympathise with the RHs plight.

The problem again comes down to the old innocent until proven guilty human right that we have all been brought up to respect. I could find no discussion in the document regarding the issue of proof of guilt of the broadband subscriber.  He just assumes that the probability is that a family home PC has been used for the infringement.

Instead the judge concentrates on the proof that the ISPs network was being used. Moreover on page 38 he dismisses a UPC response that the individuals alleged to be file sharing “may or may not be our customers” as “not an honest answer”. Saying this he clearly does not understand the proof issue.

Fortunately Mr. Justice Charleton was unable to offer injunctive relief to the plaintiffs on this occasion because the law did not allow for it. The only thing he could offer under the law was to order a take down of any copyrighted material hosted by the ISP. This of course is not how the file sharing system works.

The judgement is worth a read if you have the time. My copy was provided via EuroISPA. I couldn’t find a link to it online so here it is. I will take it down if required.

Business internet piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Website blocking is not a good idea – petition

As part of the Digital Economy Act the goverment is potentially going to ask the ISP industry to block access to websites that perpetrate or encourage Copyright infringement.

There are two points to make here:

The first, which is one that has been repeatedly made, relates to the inefficacy of the methods used to block access to websites. It is very easy for people to get around a blocking system.

Business piracy

£636758.22 £191,027.47 £500,000.00

£636,758.22 is apparently the amount of money ACS Law claim to have made out of hounding broadband subscribers for payment for “alleged” Copyright Infringement.

Based on a commission of 30% £191,027.47 is what the firm would have made out of these unsavoury antics.

£500,000.00 is the fine that ACS Law could be hit with for revealing their victims’ details on their website.

It is easy to see why ACS Law wanted to keep going after its victims. Shed no tears. Feel compassion for the many people whose lives have been affected by ACS Law. I wonder whether the firm will survive.  Their website is down as I write…

Others have written intelligently about ACS Law so there is no point in my regurgitating it.  Broadbandgenie has been close to this one all along – see their commentary here.

Business piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

BT TalkTalk judicial review results expected this week #DEAct

Andrew Heaney of TalkTalk tells me that they are in theory expecting to hear the result of the Judicial Review into the Digital Economy Act  this Thursday.  He didn’t seem hugely optimistic that this date would actually be met.  I guess considering the obscene haste with which the DEBill/DEAct was rushed through we should reasonably expect the judge to take his time on this one and make sure he gets it right.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Education, education education??? #DEAct

A recurring theme of today’s DEAct conference is the fact that this whole exercise is seen by government and Rights Holders as a process of education. They are trying to influence behaviour (target is 70% reduction in file sharing) and not specifically going after individuals.

The issuing of Copyright Infringement Reports and notices to ISP customers suspected of unlawful activity is intended to be a shot across the bows.  A message to say “this is not a good thing that is going on”.

The problem that RHs have historically had is that the cost of taking suspected infringers to court has not only been prohibitive but also fraught with risk in that the chances of them losing the case are quite high. Proving certainty of

Business piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Digital Economy Act – problems lie ahead #DEAct

With all the current debate going on regarding cost sharing and the Digital Economy Act it is interesting to look into the future to try and see the mess there is going to be when people start getting warning notices and then wanting to appeal against them.

Ths clip below is from The Herts Advertiser24 a local paper in St Albans. It concerns a teenager taken to court for downloading indecent images of children and animals. The teenager had been using Limewire to download porn but had not realised that his PC was being seeded with other images and did not in fact know they were there.

Business internet piracy Regs

BT TalkTalk ISPAs Judicial Reviews and Feargal Sharkey

Much in the news yesterday was the request from BT and TalkTalk for a judicial review into the Digital Economy Act. Nobody I spoke to from the ISP industry had any further details of this other than to say that Sky and Virgin were notably absent from the story line.

This is likely to be because the latter two are far more closely aligned to the content provision industry with BT and TalkTalk being really just (or largely in the case of BT) connectivity providers.

People should not get too excited at the prospect of a Judicial Review. This is just a process of checking to see that the legal process was followed. Did it receive the required number of readings in Parliament? etc.etc

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Mandelson’s Uncertainty Principle – evil genius at work or just plain incompetent? #DEAct

Mandelson’s Uncertainty Principle states that the costs to an ISP of processing a Copyright Infringement Report can only be known when that ISP knows how many CIRs it is going to have to process and that Rights Holders will not disclose this number until they know the costs.

If it was as simple as that we might be able to come to some arrangement but of course it isn’t.

The BIS consultation on Costs under the Digital Economy Act is not scheduled until October 2010. Work is going on now to prepare for this and yesterday Ofcom held a meeting with ISPs to take on board their views on the subject.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Ofcom Draft Code of Practice for the Digital Economy Act #DEAct

Just ploughing through the 73 pages of the Ofcom Draft Code of Practice for the Digital Economy Act.

There isn’t much time for the industry to respond here and I’m certainly not in a position to give it a comprehensive review after 10 minutes of scan-through reading.

A few points do immediately jump out of the page at me though.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

#DEAct costs should be borne by rights holders – Ofcom meeting 1st June

The next Ofcom stakeholder meeting on the Digital Economy Act (DEAct) is taking place next Tuesday June 1 at 3pm at Ofcom. The meeting will be looking at Ofcom’s work in relation to cost sharing under the statutory instrument, on which BIS is currently consulting.

The DEAct was heavily weighted in favour of rights holders and we should be seriously concerned that the Code of Practice does not adopt a similar bias.

ISPs are intermediaries that pass packets of information over their networks. ISPs neither benefit from, nor

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

ofcom #deact market benchmarking

Section 8 of the Digital Economy Act requires Ofcom to report on the provision of lawful services, education and information campaigns, levels of copyright infringement and legal proceedings against infringers.

By January of 2011 the regulator must have set up an independent monitoring system so that there is data available to measure the success or otherwise of the Act.

Ofcom is proposing that monitoring should consist of three types of input: collation of existing data (eg existing industry reports, ISP traffic data and existing consumer research), consumer research and direct measurement of activity on file sharing networks.

Independant partners will be commissioned for the consumer market research and the direct measurement work with the tendering process beginning in June.

The market research will be conducted 4 times a year on samples of 5,000 persons each time. It will be interesting to see how accurate this research is. Will people tell the truth? I guess it will just be a contribution to the overall dataset.

The baseline data needs to be in place for the start of next year.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Ofcom goes quiet on #DEAct Code of Practice

Ofcom seems to have gone very quiet since the initial flurry of consultation meetings following the passing of the Digital Economy Act. This is somewhat concerning in my mind.  Ofcom has to produce a draft Code of Practice by the end of May.

The DEAct is such a contentious subject that the last thing we want is to find  that this CoP is not objective and is bisassed towards one set of stakeholders over another. It is a lot easier to get changes made before the initial draft than afterwards.

It is also hugely important for Ofcom to remain transparent here and it would make sense to me for the regulator to be asked to identify how many contacts and inputs have been had with each set of stakeholders during the compilation of the draft CoP.

Ofcom responsibilites in respect of the DEAct can be found here. There is one meeting planned for 20th May to present these duties. Doesn’t seem to be to do with the CoP subject matter.

Business internet piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Why copyright needs reforming #DEAct #ge2010

The difficulty of implementing current copyright legislation has been highlighted during this election campaign. In the first place both Labour and Conservatives appeared to use a copyrighted image in their campaign without permission – reported in the Telegraph.

Secondly BPI spokesman Adam Liversage was allegedly caught advising his wife via twitter on how to infinge someone’s copyrighted images.

Thirdly today twitter is chirruping away like crazy about how the French Hadopi organisation is having to rebrand because its logo uses copyrighted font.  The Hadopi Law, if you are not familiar with the name is the French three strikes equivalent of the Digital Economy Act.

I’m not an expert on copyright but it seems to me that if the organisations and individuals mentioned above find it hard to not break the rules then what hope everyone else.

We could do with a repository to collect similar stories to build up a body of knowledge in respect of this.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Ofcom #DEAct definitions meeting – more work needs doing

Ofcom held a DEAct definitions meeting with ISPs yesterday afternoon.  Although I couldn’t make this one I have discussed the progress made with some of the attendees.

My view is that Ofcom has been given a task, the generation of the draft  Digital Economy Act Code of Practice, that is impossible to fulfil to everyone’s satisfaction in the three weeks that the regulator has left to complete it.

The meeting did not nail the major issues in terms of definition of who is and isn’t an ISP or Subscriber. Some of the definitions are highly complex and subject to different interpretations. The natural order of these things, believe it or not, is to brush the problem areas under the carpet and assume that this will be ok.

However in this case using the “carpet technique” potentially leaves huge holes in the legislation that will make it completely ineffective. 

For example nobody believes that the intention of the Act is to kill off the  WiFi hotspot market.  Is a WiFi hostpot operator a subscriber or a Communications Provider? The latter potentially as it is selling/providing services to custmers.  It is impossible in a many cases to be able to identify the subscriber on these hotspots so infringement notices go to who? 

So whilst it isn’t Parliament’s intention to kill off WiFi hotspots if they don’t do so then these connections will become defacto standard targets for those wanting to continue to download copyrighted material.

Marry in haste and repent at leisure (or words to that effect).

Also good luck to the people at Ofcom because they are, in my experience, by and large intelligent and able folk. We only have to wait 3 weeks to see what they come up with.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Digital Economy Act appeals meeting at Ofcom – notes #DEAct #debill

I went along to the Digital Economy Act appeals meeting at Ofcom today. I did so partly out of concern that smaller ISPs were not being given a voice at this important stage of the post DEAct game.

The Ofcom Boardroom (R11.01) was hardly big enough for the 35 or so people there. Organisations represented included ISPA, Timico, Which, Consumer Focus, Ofcom, AAISP, DCMS, Alliance Against IP Theft, UK Music (Feargal), BPI, BT, Mobile Broadband Group, Sky, Premier League, Orange, HSBC, Post Office, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, T Mobile, Communications Consumer Panel, Open Rights Group, Nintendo.

The scope of the meeting was to discuss the Appeals Process for subscribers accused of unlawful copyright

Business hosting internet piracy Regs Suspended Following Universal Music Removal Request

Doing the rounds today is news of the removal of the site. The italicised text is from their temporary holding page. was suspended by its German hosting company after removal request from law firm representing Universal Music, although we never hosted any files or copyrighted data on our server. Our site is strictly informative.

We found a new host and moved our site, but it wasn’t powerful enough to handle the site.

We should be back tomorrow on more powerful server.

Check our forums in the meantime:”

Now I’ve never been on A quick “Google” tells me this about it:

Links. RSS | IRC | Contact · New releases | posts · · · NTi forums · Leecher’s Lair · PornLeecher · Rapidshare King …

It doesn’t look like my kind of site. I then did another quick Google on “” and it came up with about 1,950,000 results. That’s a lot of sites promoting free availability of copyrighted material (presumably).

The Government was naive in the extreme to think that filtering websites would go anyway towards solving the problem of unlawful copyring infringement. It is a complete waste of time, effort and money that also establishes a very dangerous precedent.

If this ludicrous law somehow sticks I’d like to see the Government take on Google, Bing (Microsoft) et al and  We are all accessories to unlawful activity here.

Business internet piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

BT support call highlights extent of Digital Economy Act problem #deact #debill

A friend of mine works in Tech Support for BT.  He gets a lot of consumer support calls for broadband. This brief transcript is of one of his calls recently:

Customer: I can’t get my wireless to work
Tech Support: Is your wireless light on the hub holding colour or not?
Customer:I don’t know it’s next door
Tech Support: Oh right could you go back home and check?
Customer: Oh no sorry its my neighbours hub and they are at work
Tech Support: Oh so do they know you use their internet connection?
Customer: No he told me his password once when he was drunk
Tech Support: Do you know that is illegal (long pause). Phone goes dead.

Lets hope that the “customer” hasn’t been using his neighbour’s broadband for unlawfully downloading copyrighted material. Who needs enemies eh?…

DEAct DEBill

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs surveillance & privacy

Digital Economy Bill–Act–Farce continues beyond Parliamentary grave #DEAct #DEBill

In a continuation of the farcial speed that the Digital Economy Bill was rushed through into Law I’m told that Ofcom has already conducted two meetings with the 5 largest ISPs to discuss the implementation of the Code of Practice with a third planned for next Wednesday.

I’m also told that Ofcom has also met with 9 Music Industry Rights Holders and 5 from the movie making industry. Perhaps Ofcom could elaborate on this? If this is the case it seems hugely disproportionate in terms of representation. Hugely unfair in fact and feels very familiar with the way the Law was rushed through in the first place.

Despite what seems on the face of it to be a substantial consultation with Rights Holders no attempt appears to have been made to involve any small ISPs, the ISP Association, ISPA, or the London Internet Exchange, LINX. In fact the majority of the organisations that stand to lose out under the Digital Economy Act.

A threshold is likely to be applied in respect of which ISPs must comply with the DEA. This however has not been set yet and without it seems reasonable that all ISPs likely to be affected by it get a chance to participate in the discussion.

Being a reasonable minded person I am able to look at it from Ofcom’s perspective and observe that they have very little time to put together a Code of Practice around a hugely complex and controversial subject.  You might say Ofcom has been stitched up just as the ISPs have been. However in this case it just isn’t good enough. I think everyone concerned here should complain to Ofcom in the morning.

The Ofcom Switchboard number is 0300 123 3000 or 020 7981 3000. Ask for Ed Richards, Chief Executive.

Follow on note – check out these posts from Andrew Cormack, Chief Regulatory Adviser, JANET . He was at one of the meetings.

broadband Business internet ofcom piracy Regs

Ofcom Terms of Reference for Tackling Online Copyright Infringement in Digital Economy Act #debill

Check this Ofcom announcement. It basically covers their terms of reference for the Copyright Infringement piece of the Digital Economy Act (was Bill – feels kinda final).

There is going to be a lot written on this between now and the end of the year.  There are no surprises at this stage though the statement does confirm that the process has to take no more than 8 months including 3 months for the Code of Practice to be approved by the European Commission.

The draft CoP also has to be in place no later than May.  There is an option for stakeholders to jointly propose a draft within this timeframe but I can’t see it happening.  I may be wrong.

broadband Business internet ofcom piracy Regs

Digital Economy Bill: Business Already Starting to Worry about the Effects #debill #digitalbritain

Customers want to know effects of Digital Economy Bill. Don’t we all?

I’m off to a meeting with a customer the week after next.  Nothing unusual in that of course.  In fact I like meeting customers. It gives me a chance to find out how we are doing.

This particular customer however provides in room internet services to hotels. They want to know how the Digital Economy Bill will affect them. The reality is that we won’t know until Ofcom has completed its work on the Code of Practice. It is right that they start looking at the subject now though because it does have the potential to harm them in a big way.

Customers downloading copyright material from the internet will be long gone by the time Rights Holders catch up with the ISP. In fact who is the Service Provider in this case?  Timico, who owns the infrastructure, or Timico’s customer who has the relationship with the hotel? Or is it the hotel, which has the relationship with the paying guest?  Hmm!

Business internet piracy Regs

Social Networking in action #debill

#debill actually made it to a trending topic on twitter today.  This reflects the huge amount of interest around the country on the subject of the Digital Economy Bill.

I watched it both on iPlayer and via Tweetdeck where I could see real time comments on what was being debated.  MPs inside the chamber were also following twitter – you could see them referring to their mobile phones whilst others were speaking.

I’ve actually changed my view on twitter since getting involved in #debill.  It is a hugely powerful medium and one that can spread messages globally very quickly.  For example one of my blog posts was retweeted by Jeff Pulver who has somewhere in the region of 355 thousand followers.  If you have a message to get across and push the right buttons twitter is huge.

Interestingly because #debill was a trending topic on twitter, ie one of the top topics being followed by people it also attracted its fair share of spam – people jumping on the bandwagon – notably today by people trying to flog iPad.

We are all still finding our way in this connected world.

PS there can’t have been more than 20 MPs in the house debating such an important subject – democracy in action. It is getting harder and harder to decide which way to vote.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs

Stop UK Government From Breaking the Internet on April 6th #DEBill #digitalbritain

As a general principle and in support of the rule of law, nobody involved in the campaign process against the implementation of the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) supports the theft of someone else’s property as is the case when downloading a pirate copy of a music track. However, before we examine the history of the legislation, let’s take a reality check about where we are.

The cat is well and truly out of the bag. The downloading of copyrighted material is now so widespread and with faster and faster broadband and bigger and bigger hard drives it is never going to stop. Infringers will just move on to alternative means – encrypted P2P for example. On this basis all the hard work on the DEB is likely to be a complete waste of time. It is also very difficult to prove who has used a specific broadband connection to indulge in this copyright infringement; what’s more the burden of proof in this bill lies with the accused to prove themselves innocent. This is totally wrong and goes against all the principles of modern UK society.

Business internet ofcom piracy Regs

Report from “Bring Democracy to the Digital Economy Bill” reception at Westminster #debill #ldsavenet #digitalbritain

Just got back from the “Bring Democracy to the Digital Economy Bill” reception kindly sponsored by “Consumer Focus”. There was a great speaker line up. My shorthand is non existent but this is pretty much what was said. If not verbatim then it provides the gist and I’m happy to modify and if I have any of it wrong – but I don’t think I have.

Tom Watson MP
Opening remarks. Not against change per se – just against doing it without adequate scrutiny. DEB is a bad law.

John Grogan MP
The probability is that the PM will go to the Queen to seek dissolution of Parliament on the morning of 6th April. This is likely to be before the 2nd reading of the DEB has started in Commons!. There is no precedent for this!

Noted that at a similar event sponsored by BPI 5 or 6 lobbysists claimed ownership to clause 120A. There was clearly a lot of effort being put in. It is reasonable to expect that things are not considered in haste.

Stephen Timms and Jeremy Hunt have apparently agreed to a clause 18 amendment today but word is the Lib Dems are not going to sign up to it.

The process is going to be concertina’d to 1 hour in the Commons and 1 hour in the Lords.

Not many MPs will be around during the wash-up. Most will be out on the campaign trail. It is important to garner as much support as possible against this bill at this last minute. It won’t be end of world if this bill is delayed so that we can have a proper debate.

Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group
20k people have written to their MP. 2 k people have emailed Harriet Harman. £12 – £14 k raised in one morning to pay for an advert protesting overt the lack of scrutiny in this bill. MPs should be asking themselves whether this bill is legitimate

Simon Milner, Director of Industrial Policy, BT
BT wants to see reduction in piracy – after all BT sells music online. However the company wants to see that the law is balanced and proportionate. In this case the Government views have been too influenced by the music industry. For example people will be cut off because they haven’t taken suitable steps to stop music piracy. This isn’t right and could be unenforceable in law. Consumers could be left with an unholy mess.

Andrew Heaney, Executive Director of Policy and Regulation, TalkTalk
Used the example of his mother. If one of mum’s neighbours hacked into her broadband connection she could be cut off without being able to resort to legal aid. She would have to prove she has taken reasonable steps to stop it. This would cost her money perhaps a few hundred pounds? This is disgraceful / shameful.

Andrew had spoke with Stephen Timms about this. His reply was “But we have to do something don’t we?”.

Scott Taunton, Managing Director, UTV Media GB
Future of local radio is at stake here. There is not enough time to scrutinise the bill properly. The Secretary of State will have the ability to turn off AM and FM frequencies & move people to DAB. There are 120 m analogue radios around the country. This debate has come late in the day. Up to 120 local radio stations could be left behind in the switch off. DAB was 1st broadcast in 1988 radio technology has moved on to better things. Ofcom records only 3% of population has dissatisfaction with radio so why are we doing this?

(Note I haven’t given the non ISP bits of the bill any thought but it does seem outrageous that the Secretary of State seems to be awarding himself powers left right and centre)

Lord Whitty, Chair, Consumer Focus
Lord Whitty had lost his voice and his place was taken instead by that would be Adam Scorer, Consumer Focus Director of reputation and impact, or short, campaigns.

“This is a wholly unsatisfactory process. The idea that consumer interest is served by ISPs policing by decree is more than a shame in what is otherwise a good DEB.”

To finish off I was told this evening that Stephen Timms and Jeremy Hunt (cons) have apparently agreed to a clause 18 amendment today and that the Lib Dems are not going to sign up to it.

At this point I don’t know which way it is going to swing. Watch this space.

PS both MPs speaking were impressive individuals – you should vote for them.

Business internet piracy Regs

UK Gov to block access to Google? Chinese to follow suit?

I note that Google has stopped censoring Chinese searches and is routing its traffic via servers in Hong Kong in order to be able to do this. One wonders whether the Chinese will take measures to block access to these servers!?

I wonder also whether the UK Government has considered blocking access to Google within these shores.  After all millions of people will be using the search engine to find out how they go about indulging in a bit of Music Piracy.  How to avoid detection.

When I do a search for anything using Google I get a list of websites that match my search criteria.  If I was a naughty boy and wanted to download free music in breach of the copyright laws, that Google search would probably contain information as to where I can get this music and probably a link to the relevant song/page. Surely this is wrong! Isn’t it?

Will the Home Secretary be using the new found powers he is awarding himself through the Digital Economy Bill to block UK access to Google and thus prevent this miscarriage of justice from happening?

This might sound a bit extreme but I think the scenario shows the absurdity of what UK gov is trying to do with the Digital Economy Bill.

Business internet piracy Regs

120A kicked into touch but Digital Economy Bill still likely to cost ISPs half a billion #digitalbritain

The Digital Economy Bill passed through the House of Lords this week after completing its Third Reading. During the debate the Government kicked Lib Dem amendment 120A into touch.

This was the one on blocking of websites illegally containing copyright content and which caused an uprising of the internet industry last week. Lord Young speaking for the Government commented that “the clause was not enforceable and was incompatible with the Technical Standards Directive”.

The Government did commit to proposing a compromise clause that could give the Secretary of State power to “consult on blocking measures”. The debate in full can be found here.

In laymans terms this potentially gives Lord Mandelson (or whoever sits in that seat in a couple of months time) the ability to take power into his own hands… hmm… Not much better than 120A was suggesting in many people’s minds. These things are best handled by court judges, as indeed is the current position in Law.

The First Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons also took place this week and the date for the Second Reading is yet to be confirmed. As I have previously mentioned on a few occasions now due to the shortage of Parliamentary time before the election the Bill is likely to undergo very little scrutiny at the Second Reading before the front benches consider the Bill during wash-up (stitch-up).

Interesting to note that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has also updated its Digital Ecomomy Bill Impact Assessment. The report estimates a cost to ISPS of £290-500 million with a benefit to rights holders of £1,700 million.

The report also admits that the costs and benefits of Clause 18 have not been subject to prior consultation due to the limited time between the introduction of the clause and the finalisation of the impact assessment. In laymans terms what this says is that they haven’t really considered whether this part of the DEB is worth the effort.

A recently leaked Music Industry letter to Rights-Holders discussed the fact that when it comes to pursuing online copyright infringers any cost sharing that might be agreed would be split 75% Music Industry/25% ISPs. I can now see where they got this figure from. Foot – Gun – Bang.  They are after 50/50 share of the costs which on the face of it doesn’t seem fair. In fact if the RH benefits is almost £2Bn as suggested and the costs to ISPs are £0.5 Billion there seems to me to be a strong case for RHs to pay all the costs as is, (and I might be wrong here) currently the law.

The perceived benefits to Rights-Holders has also to be taken with a degree of caution here. What they are saying is that if you stop people from downloading music (& movies etc) illegally they will start paying for it instead. It also presupposes that the measures under consideration will actually stop copyright infringement. During the Panorama programme on the BBC this week it was clearly suggested it wouldn’t.

Meanwhile the UK Performing Rights Society for Music, which represents songwriters, composers and music publishers, announced this week a 2.6 per cent rise in annual revenues to £623m and a growth in online revenues from legal licensed digital music services from 72.7 per cent to £30.4m.


End User internet piracy Regs

3 strikes has resulted in increased illegal downloading #digitalbritain

I caught this article in Sam Knows telling us that in France the number of people downloading content illegally has increased since the 3 strikes law was introduced.  One wonders if it has encouraged people to do more of it,  knowing that they can get away with it twice even if they are caught!!

End User internet media piracy Regs

Music Industry piling on the punches in final round of DEB big fight #digitalbritain

In the press today is a report that says “The growth of illegal file-sharing could cost European countries 1.2m jobs and 240bn euros (£215bn) by 2015”.

“the UK’s creative industries experienced losses of 1.4bn euros in 2008 because of piracy.”

Really, so where did that 1.4bn go? It certainly didn’t go into bank accounts (otherwise the ratios would be really healthy), it hasn’t been spent in the shops (or they wouldn’t be suffering) and its not been invested in anything (because that amount of investment would have been noticed?).

The basic maths works something like this:

Business internet piracy Regs

Lib Dems Spring Conf Emergency Motion against amendment 120A carried unanimously #digitalbritain

People closely following the Amendment 120A debate at the Lib Dem Spring Conference will already know that the Emergency Motion was carried unanimously (apart from one vote I understand).

I am reporting it here for the record and following on from yesterday’s short post announcing it. You can read a bit more on the Lib Dem website here.

The Digital Economy Bill is going right to the wire I feel.

Business internet piracy Regs

Lib Dems to vote on Digital Economy Bill amendment 120A at spring conf this weekend #digitalbritain

An Emergency Motion against the Digital Economy Bill amendment 120A has been tabled at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in Manchester this weekend.

Obviously I’ll keep us all updated but it may make next week quite interesting on the Parliamentary front if the motion is carried.