So it seems our all knowing, all seeing Government have come up with a plan to tackle piracy by putting a stop to illegal file sharing on the internet. Spearheaded by Lord Mandelson, the plan is to employ a three strike strategy to cut off the internet connections of those sharing files over P2P networks. Read more from The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/oct/28/mandelson-date-blocking-filesharers-connections
It Won’t Work!
There are several flaws in this strategy. One being that connection monitoring can only prove that you are sharing files. It can’t prove who owns the copyright on those files or even what format those files are so if like myself you are a content creator and you share your own intellectual property, you too could find yourself facing a block and losing your internet connection. All hope is not lost, though as you will be able to appeal should you get shut down. The problem there being that appealing is after the effect and the whole process, administration and all will take time. Knowing good old British administration… Lots of time… So if your connection is used for business purposes you will lose money, your ISP will be footing the bill for your shutdown so they will lose money, internet connection prices will rise and of course the tax payer will foot the bill for the appeals process. So that could be rather costly all round.
It Will Save Those Affected By Piracy, Won’t It?
No it won’t. If the Government think that teenagers doing the modern equivalent of home taping (those were the days) think that’s what’s denting profits they really haven’t done their research very well. Kids sharing files with their mates wouldn’t buy the media in the first place so nobody is losing money there. If anything, this kind of activity is actually good for marketing because it increases fan base and captures an audience for other revenue streams. For the rest of us it’s so easy and cheap to buy or stream media on demand thanks to services such as iTunes & Spotify that piracy just isn’t worth the hassle these days. What’s really hitting the pockets of the copyright holders is the vast business of shady DVD sales from dodgy market traders and wandering salesmen (I choose my words carefully) who don’t even use the internet as their stock is mostly either imported pirate goods or the real thing but stolen from the shelves of retailers.
Of course there are those that download files, burn discs and sell them and these people should be targeted BUT these people are the ones that will fairly easily (and I could tell you how) circumvent the monitoring put in place. Kinda makes the whole thing pointless, doesn’t it?
And The Outcome?
The upshot being that those prosecuted will not be the ones causing the problem, those paying for it will be us taxpayers and those committing the real crimes will still be getting away with it.
Nice one, Mandy. You really thought this one through…
What Can We Do About It?
Not a great deal really but if we make enough noise, maybe someone will hear us. If you blog, blog about it. If you use Twitter, tweet about it. If you use Facebook, I’ve set up a group where we can all rant together:
And don’t forget to sign the petition here:
It’s important that we act on this ASAP as Mandy appears to really want it. Do your bit and write to your MP:
Let’s not put up with this lunacy!