Lord Mandelson – Battling Piracy With Lunacy

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!

7 thoughts on “Lord Mandelson – Battling Piracy With Lunacy

  1. Labour will not be around to oversee their bright plans, as Lord Carters paper shows they don’t have a clue. What may happen is that offshore VPN suppliers will make money providing the serious pirates with pipes and file transfers will continue, ordinary customers will be taxed for the pleasure of being cut off. It’s not about piracy it’s about control. As with most labour wheezes it will be up to you to prove you are innocent, the other way around is harder to prove. e.g. right to remain silent, proceeds of crime, DNA retention etc. etc.p.s. what other industry gets the government to be it’s policeman at public cost?p.p.s. In any decent country Mandelson having been caught with his fingers in the till x2 would be locked up, in this country he makes the laws! WTF

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  2. Yes, this is outrageous and as you rightly point out will not work. I’ve already written to my MP over the issue, and the Open Rights Group (ORG) has a handy primer and links that make it easy for anyone to do the same (but you need to act quickly): https://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/ask-your-mp-to-help-protect-our-freedoms-on-the-net 38 Degrees is also running a petition that I’d urge all those concerned about these proposals to sign as well:http://38degrees.org.uk/page/s/mandelsonorg Twitter hashtag is #threestrikes for anyone who want to follow developments.

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