UK Politician Vacations With Hollywood Big Shot... Suddenly Wants To Criminalize Sharing

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Calvin alerts us to the news that, just days after dining with entertainment industry honcho David Geffen while on holiday, at the Rothschild family villa on Corfu, Lord Peter Mandelson, the UK's Business Secretary suddenly returned to the office and demanded that the Digital Britain report be beefed up to include criminalizing file sharing. Even the press reporting on this seem pretty skeptical of the reasoning behind it (which is a first). While a spokesperson for Mandelson insisted the wining and dining with Geffen had nothing to do with things, someone else in the office seemed to disagree:
'Until the past week, Mandelson had shown little personal interest in the Digital Britain agenda. Suddenly Peter returned from holiday and effectively issued this edict that the regulation needs to be tougher.'
Perhaps you can't take a single anonymous quote seriously, but it's at least worth finding out why Mandelson suddenly thinks it's a smart thing to criminalize a large portion of the online activity in the UK.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Dave W (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 6:32am

    Name change

    His name is spelt MANDELSON. He is universally disliked in the UK having been thrown out of government twice, and only brought back in by being made a Lord (as no one in the population would vote for him). Check out his background here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mandelson

    You can see he has a history of spending time with wealthy private individuals and then doing them favours on his return - see "Second Resignation".

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Name change

    Yup, he is one of the most corrupt members of Government in the UK.

     

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  3.  
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    Not Surprised, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    "Perhaps you can't take a single anonymous quote seriously, but it's at least worth finding out why Mendelson suddenly thinks it's a smart thing to criminalize a large portion of the online activity in the UK."

    Being a Labour man he has probably realised that the internet is something which is not currently under the government's direct and crippling control and is seeking to rectify it. They do so hate it when they aren't in charge.

     

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  4.  
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    Richard, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    what the public really thinks!

    Look at the ratings for the comments on this story on the original Daily Mail site.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206901/Mandelson-launches-crackdown-file-sharing-- just-days-meeting-record-producer.html#comments

    It give the lie to the idea that the "real public" agrees with the likes of the RIAA as was pointed out here earlier

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20090807/0207275797.shtml

    Top comments (rated about +700) generally take the techdirt line - bottom comments (rated about -90) agree with Mandelson.

    Remember this is the Daily Mail website we're talking about a mass market right of centre paper - not the Guardian or the Independent.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Yes!

    Do that!

    Criminalize it!

    You see....if they criminalize it, it requires a burden of proof *far* exceeding that of a civil suit. MediaSentry et al. will not be enough to provide proof beyond doubt.

    Do this in the US as well, and our problems with RIAA will suddenly go away (after they get laughed out of court the first time).

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re: what the public really thinks!

    Yeah, the Daily Fail is usually the paper that's pushing a pro-censorship, pro-corporate line, usually via ridiculous scaremongering that bares no relation to reality. If their readership isn't falling for this, it's hard to imagine that anyone else is going to be swayed.

    Then again, the reporting here is as shoddy as ever:

    "Digital Britain' bill to be published next month, would target broadband users who persistently download music and films for nothing.".

    I persistently download music and films for nothing as well, perfectly legally (eMusic, AmieStreet, podcasts, archive.org, CC content & torrents of public domain movies, etc.). For once, I'd like to see mainstream reporting on this issue that doesn't conveniently "forget" that legal downloads and file sharing actually exist.

     

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  7.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    "...if they criminalize it, it requires a burden of proof *far* exceeding that of a civil suit. MediaSentry et al. will not be enough to provide proof beyond doubt. "

    Problem is, Criminal charges don't preclude a civil suit.

     

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  8.  
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    res2 (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re:

    And will give the pols a reason to pass more privacy invading laws, so they can catch the "criminals".

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:57am

    Well "Duh!"

    Hardly a surprise after hearing the side of the argument making the money! Not that I think sharing copyrighted material is the right thing to do. But like I've said here many times-copyrights must have a limited lifetime with no renewal.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:14am

    Making a Dreamworks

    David Geffen is a tool. I always wondered how Dreamworks was able to keep their doors open with crappy imported animation, and poorly scripted live films. But, having the Rothschilds as a family friend will pretty much secure a financial future.

    I'm also pretty sure it was David Geffen who told Prez Obama he was going to be prez, and asked him to do a biography about him.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/11/obama-geffen.html

    Yeah. All coincidence.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Yes!

    Do that!

    Criminalize it!

    You see....if they criminalize it, it requires a burden of proof *far* exceeding that of a civil suit. MediaSentry et al. will not be enough to provide proof beyond doubt.

    Do this in the US as well, and our problems with RIAA will suddenly go away (after they get laughed out of court the first time).



    I have been saying this same thing for a long time... More importantly than the burdan of proof, the penalties would be standardized as well so you wouldn't see any more of these $600k judgements.

     

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  12.  
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    John Barron, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Pirate Party UK

    We're not complaining, if the governments wants to *drive* voters to support us, lots of publicity and lots of voter's eyes on the story :)

    One of our officers has blogged about it, saying: 'by all means criminalise it', not least for reasons mentioned here about having to have proper proof.

    http://www.pirateparty.org.uk

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Making a Dreamworks

    But, part of the problem is that Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, And David Geffen all believe they are entitled to being billionaires, and the state should protect their distribution methods because they are a production house. They don't see a need to innovate their business methods.

    Meanwhile, they seem to overvalue such films such as "Shrek 14". And whine "But... But... We need to make billions on this to cover the next films."

    However, they fail to see the simple fact that what they've produced is a steaming pile of something called "Shrek 14", and is not entitled to patronage, just as they're not entitled to being billionaires.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Name change

    His name is spelt MANDELSON

    Ooops. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    What you are missing is that if they criminalize it it still will not do anything to negate civil disputes. Think of the OJ case, he won the criminal case but still had to undergo the civil case and lost.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Name change

    "His name is spelt MANDELSON. He is universally disliked in the UK having been thrown out of government twice, and only brought back in by being made a Lord (as no one in the population would vote for him)."

    I think one thing that needs to be avoided is power given to unelected officials. I think one thing that needs to be universally resisted is the control that unelected officials have over law and the positions of authority they are given. In the U.S. think federal agencies like the FCC, FDA, etc... they often act like tyrants acting for private interests at public expense. We also need to ensure the integrity of our voting system just as well ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090608/2201455173.shtml see my posts).

     

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  17.  
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    Thomas (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    while on vacation...

    got a very nice bribe?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    The only thing criminal here is the amount of money awarded against those who file share.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re:

    ie: cruel and unusual punishment.

     

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  20.  
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    TW Burger (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: while on vacation...

    It's not a bribe, it's a gift from a dear, dear friend.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    this will spin conspiracy mills

     

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  22.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    "this will spin conspiracy mills"

    Oh, please, we're not making it up when they do it right in front of your face. If you don't know the history of the Rothschild family, then that's your own fault, but these are straight up Bilderburg attending, Nazi Germany supporting, GLOBALISTS.

    Taking away individual rights is absolutely par for the course.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Frosty840, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 6:30pm

    I'd just like to add my voice to the chorus pointing out that Manelson is the most despised politician I know of who isn't Margaret Thatcher, and has done more to bring down the public's perception of the Labour party than anyone else; and let's face it, Labour aren't exactly blessed with the most obviously likeable bunch of evil, lying weasels in the first place.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Andres, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:08pm

    This story is not true

    Tom Watson MP claims that this is probably yet another made up story: http://twitter.com/tom_watson/status/3336547819

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 1:38am

    Infringe Everything Intangible

    "But, part of the problem is that Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, And David Geffen all believe they are entitled to being billionaires"
    --------------------

    Why exactly ISN'T Stephen Spielberg entitled to be a billionaire? Because you want to see his movies for free? Because you can't help but masturbate while reading Karl Marx?

    Stephen Spielberg's success is exactly the kind that could never exist with Masnick's CwF + RtB (T-shirts and mahogany boxes) business model.

    The next Stephen Spielberg will likely have trouble keeping a roof over his head.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 2:22am

    Re: Infringe Everything Intangible

    Stephen Spielberg's success is exactly the kind that could never exist with Masnick's CwF + RtB (T-shirts and mahogany boxes) business model.

    The next Stephen Spielberg will likely have trouble keeping a roof over his head.


    You never cease to amuse... though, of course CwF + RtB has nothing to do with t-shirts and mahogany boxes (where did the mahogany boxes come from, btw -- I don't recall ever mentioning them).

    But, funny, most of the artists that we've seen being successful with *real* CwF + RtB models (which are not t-shirts and boxes) seem to be making more money than ever before. Some of them have quite nice roofs over their heads.

    But, you know, why let details get in the way?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 3:03am

    Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

    So what you're saying is...Stephen Spielberg-level success is STILL possible with your proposed business models?

    The majority of my complaints with your position could be instantly quelled depending on your answer to this.

    However I suspect you will avoid answering so simple a question because to admit that the commercial top tier of artists would vanish with your proposals, that the scale of success would shrink, that the potential bar would indeed be lowered at the top as it is perhaps inversely raised at the bottom is something I don't think you have, or ever will, admit to...

    But please correct me if I'm wrong.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    The Idiot, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    Well, how much did this producer pay Lord Mandelson again? This is the same person who has been forced to resign TWICE for suspicious activities ragarding cash.

    This needs looking into.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    Re: Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

    Firstly, even if the premise that the guys at the top of the extremely disproportionate pile might not be able to sustain the current levels of richness and those at the bottom may start to earn more - so? Why would that be such an awful thing anyway?

    Secondly, I never understand commenters like you anyway; Mike sees a problem and is simply voicing an opinion on ways to adapt future business models to account for this. He's not responsible for the problem and not every idea he comes up with is in my opinion workable but so what? Is that really reason to get with all the shouty "ha ha ha you don't know the answer" posts?

    I would assume you have even less of an idea of the answer since that's the one thing you don't seem to attempt to communicate (apologies if you do indeed have the answer, in which case please accept my criticism that your chosen method of communication sucks)

    Why do so many of you and your ilk seem to confuse reasoned debate with finger pointing?

    Back to the topic Peter Mandelson is generally reviled in the UK as other commenters have already mentioned, it doesn't surprise me that he is behind such an idiotic legal proposal or that he has yet again been caught getting pally with the Rothschilds, he was recently caught with them and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - talk about judging someone by their friends...

    Once upon a time I would have said that such a law would stand little chance of being passed, but the damage nuLabour have inflicted on the lords and the fact that they are so out of touch with the UK populace as to place Mandelson as 2nd in line for the party leadership, stops me from being this optimistic

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Re: Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

    Stephen Spielberg seems like an absolutely terrible example to use for your case.

    I mean, do you know how much he's made from merchandise sales? He gets a massive chunk of cash from "T-shirts and mahogany boxes".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

    So what you're saying is...Stephen Spielberg-level success is STILL possible with your proposed business models?

    Absolutely. We're talking about making the marketplace more efficient, and every industry where that's ever happened, the market size has increased. It's just a question of how do you capture it.

    If we look at an "equivalent" of Spielberg in the music business, I will have to point to Trent Reznor again. With Ghosts I-IV, by giving away the music for free, but using a smart business model, he ended up bringing in significantly more money to himself than he did on any previous album. Why do you think that couldn't apply to the movie business as well?

    However I suspect you will avoid answering so simple a question because to admit that the commercial top tier of artists would vanish with your proposals, that the scale of success would shrink, that the potential bar would indeed be lowered at the top as it is perhaps inversely raised at the bottom is something I don't think you have, or ever will, admit to...

    Not at all. I do think that the pyramid gets *wider* as more people are able to make a living, but we still live in a winner-take-all society where those who make it to the top end up getting a snowball effect/viral marketing increase. The same remains true for movies.

    And, of course, the movie business has never been about selling content anyway, it's always been about selling scarcities: seats in a theater. So the business models for the movie industry are quite easy to see. In the last few decades they added a second scarcity (which they fought tooth and nail) in the form of VHS tapes and DVDs, and that business comes under some pressure, but can easily be made up elsewhere by focusing on smarter use of scarcities.

    We're currently talking to a movie studio about a project to help them do smarter business models. There's plenty that can be done. In fact, the movie business is one of the easier ones.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Dave, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Mandel......whatsisname.

    Timing, of course, is everything.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    master mandelson, Anti US rebol,the Young Communis, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 9:18pm

    master mandelson, Anti US rebol,the Young Communist League, andthe Communist Party of Great Britain.

    http://www.reference.com/browse/mandelson
    "Early life
    Mandelson was born in London in 1953, where his father was the advertising manager at The Jewish Chronicle.

    On his mother's side, he is the grandson of Herbert Morrison, the London County Council leader and Labour cabinet minister.

    He was educated at Hendon County Grammar School.

    In his youth, he briefly rebelled against his family's Labour tradition due to Labour's support of the USA in the Vietnam War

    and in 1971 left the Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS) to join the Young Communist League, then the youth wing of the Communist Party of Great Britain. This move was partly a result of disagreements with the Trotskyist Militant tendency that had just won a majority in the LPYS nationally.
    ....
    "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Kristal L. Rosebrook, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    Good Info :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Kristal L. Rosebrook, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    Good Info :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Kristal L. Rosebrook, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    Good Info :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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