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UK Digital Economy Bill


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Millions will have to buy routers to beat hackers, so says TIMESONLINE, all breathless, in reference to the United Kingdom's Digital Economy Bill about to be returned for debate in the House of Commons 5 April "when it is almost certain to be passed"

New laws to clamp down on illegal filesharing are expected to complete their passage through Parliament on Wednesday. Home owners with insecure broadband connections will be responsible for any material illegally downloaded through their network.
Now if only they would use that for cracking down on spam propagation, DDoS networks and all the rest instead of (mostly) propping up the failing entertainment industries and their out-moded business plans. Well, yes, even nicer if they could use the (unstated) forensics effort that needs to underpin the proposed GB efforts, to pinpoint and eliminate the perpetrator hackers and bot-herders but, as always, it is easier to apprehend the victim. Or the unwitting stooge.

Enough of such quibbles - many times the opinion has been expressed in these pages that *so* many people don't deserve the internet and there ought to be "drivers' test" before any are allowed to venture there/here. This is not quite the same, but the notion of responsibility is part of that and user responsibility for internet connections is the main part of the thrust discussed. If prospective prosecution for unwitting participation in illegal P2P and other copyright infringement activities does, in fact, cause people concern about the state of their promiscuous ports and other parts then the increased security of internet connections and all subvertible things attached to them will certainly raise the bar for those other cybercrimes which are important - that is, those that affect ME.

So, is the UK on the right track? Will these desperate measures (assuming they come in) in fact improve home connection security? Somehow I doubt it. There are examples elsewhere (Australian "anti-hoon" laws and "confiscation of the proceeds of crime" to name but two) where denial of natural justice and/or reversal of the presumption of innocence and/or relaxation of the rules of evidence appear to be ineffective in punishing the target group and cause disproportionate harm to others without recourse, including the total innocents. But of course only time will tell for sure - maybe they get it about right this time.

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There was a lecture that was broadcast on CBC a while back, saying if the media of the now failing print newspaper and magazine industry went after the internet with the same zeal as the various recording societies have done for music instead of embracing the new technology, that it would be likely the net itself would be illegal in most countries.

Scary thought :ph34r:

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There was a lecture that was broadcast on CBC a while back, saying if the media of the now failing print newspaper and magazine industry went after the internet with the same zeal as the various recording societies have done for music instead of embracing the new technology, that it would be likely the net itself would be illegal in most countries. ...
There's some hope for the music industry/recording studios I think (in terms of adapting to the internet) but the "film studios" are a different matter. And of course it's a small minority of misbehaving people - the 'pirates' - whose antics predicate the draconian measures that these dinosaurs of the entertainment industry lobby hard to have applied to all of us. All suffer for the malfeasance of the few - as Jeremy Clarkson pointed out in his insightful essay What a daft way to stop your spaniel eating the milkman, talking to other manifestations of this modern malaise.

The print media are in a different milieu again, I think, and better able to make the transition. Their mistake was to do things like make online versions of their print editions available at no cost. What were they thinking? They are rectifying that now. And then there's the e-books and similar renditions of entertainment-fiction (and on-line subscriptions to to journal reference sources and the like). The crime of the future might be to own long-lived paper copies of such stuff that can be shared with others that haven't paid for it. Admittedly the 'news' media have competition from Facebook and Twitter and the like which might be a little better adapted to the atrophied attention-spans and paradoxical provincialism of the 'followers' and 'fans'.

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Cheers Geek -
Producing movies in a copyright free environment is theoretically impossible. The economics don’t make sense. But in the digital era, there are many things that are impossible in theory but possible in practice – such as Wikipedia, Flickr, and PatientsLikeMe. Add to this list: filmmaking to an audience of pirates. Contrary to expectations and lamentations, widespread piracy does not kill commercial filmmaking. Existence proof: the largest movie industries on the planet. What they are doing today, we’ll be doing tomorrow. Those far-away lands that ignore copy-right laws are rehearsing our future.
Hard to argue with a market of 2.6 billion. Well, assume Bangladesh and Pakistan are in the Indian distribution area and that's 3 billion.
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