UK Politicians Pushing Back On Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill

from the it's-the-industry's-fault dept

Luca Leonardi alerts us to the news that at least some politicians in the UK are pushing back against Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, with Lord Lucas specifically pointing out that the real problem seemed to be one of the entertainment industry's own making:
"We need to bear in mind that the problems now facing the industry are, to quite a large extent, of their own creation," he said. "The industry has been extremely slow to listen to the demands of its customers, and has had something of an abusive relationship with them, seeking to punish them before thinking of how to serve them better.

"It has taken a decade for the industry to produce sensible alternatives to illegal file-sharing, and the fact that a generation of people have become used to an illegality comes down to the industry's sluggishness. It is still slow."
Lucas, who considers himself a libertarian, also questioned the use of IP addresses as identifying who was doing something online:
"I am not at all clear that we have the technology to go beyond the IP address, which comes into my router, to identify which user of perhaps one or two dozen who have access, has done the illegal downloading," he told the peers.

"We need to be very clear that we do not tip people into losing their internet connection, or worse, on a technically fallible basis."
Nice to see at least someone pushing back on the reasoning behind the bill.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Lobbyist, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Does anyone know what fancy restaurants Lord Lucas enjoys?

     

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  2.  
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    Brian (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:24pm

    Now he just needs to withstand the restaurant and money test and we can be assured there is at least one person standing against the industry.

     

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  3.  
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    cc, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    I have no idea who Lord Lucas is, but my hat's off to the guy---he's a straight shooter.

     

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  4.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:05pm

    Is this a fake story?

    Is this a fake story? My only reason for doubting its veracity is that Lucas sounds like a politician with a grasp of technology. A politician with an understanding of technology is the equivalent of proving that 0 is equal to 1.

     

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  5.  
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    Chargone (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Is this a fake story?

    on the other hand, that 'lord' before his name does make him nobility, and they have been known, from time to time, to grasp technology very quickly, when they stood to benefit from, or at least not loose out on, it.

    also means, if memory serves, that he's not chosen for his position based on his ability to convince people that they'll pay less in taxes, or to look good in photos. that probably helps.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:25pm

    The story sounds a little bit fake, or at least it sounds like someone has their hand up the Lord's behind, puppetting him.

    Further, his concerns are met because the idea of a three strikes laws isn't to kick anyone off the internet for no reason, but instead to give them plenty of chance to resolve the issues.

    As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable. Where he should be really going is to try to redefine every router as an ISP, so they can do the UK equivalent of yelling "230!".

    I am still thinking that this story is either a put on or a lord reading someone else's press release / talking points memo.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    Re:

    "Further, his concerns are met because the idea of a three strikes laws isn't to kick anyone off the internet for no reason, but instead to give them plenty of chance to resolve the issues."

    Right to fair trial. Due Process. Look them up. Next attempt at trolling please.

    "As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable. Where he should be really going is to try to redefine every router as an ISP, so they can do the UK equivalent of yelling "230!"."

    Where does the person come into the picture? Oh, that's right, it doesn't.

     

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  8.  
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    Big Al, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Is this a fake story?

    Lord Lucas, by virtue of the fact that he is a lord, is an unelected parliamentarian who has a permanent seat in the House of Lords (as opposed to the venal, corrupted, money-grubbing politicians in the House of Commons).
    Consequently he can afford to speak his mind (in this case very intelligently) without worrying who is going to fund his next campaign.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    Re:

    Someone told me you're a pirate. Someone else did too. Oh no, a 3rd person confirmed that! Please report yourself to your ISP for service termination immediately.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Big Al, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:56pm

    Another interesting paragraph

    Lord Lucas also said:
    "The noble Lord, Lord Mandelson, put it quite well when he talked about moving the industry forward and producing better business models. We ought not to be producing legislation that fossilises the creative industry in this unsatisfactory relationship with its customers. We ought to be ensuring that we are producing something that creates a real incentive to move it forward."
    So, Mike, how does it feel to have a real Lord agree with you?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:13pm

    For all the vilification directed to content industries and the constant hue and cry "they are taking away my rights, taking away my privacy, etc., etc.", has it ever occurred to those complaining the loudest that so-called "draconian copyright laws" are easily sidestepped by simply not downloading content that any reasonable person would know is not free for the taking?

    There are many legitimate uses for P2P. How nice it would be to see such uses become the overwhelming norm and not what is the current norm.

    Perhaps in time the current content idustries so heavily invested in business practices relying upon copyright law will begin a shift towards what Mr. Masnick advocates, but until then it is the right of those industries to rely on the law and assert their rights under the law.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:46pm

    Re:

    "For all the vilification directed to content industries and the constant hue and cry "they are taking away my rights, taking away my privacy, etc., etc.", has it ever occurred to those complaining the loudest that so-called "draconian copyright laws" are easily sidestepped by simply not downloading content that any reasonable person would know is not free for the taking?"

    Yeah, because the industry never claims that printers, dead people, elderly grandmothers and others who have never done anything illegal are guilty. No one has anything to fear! Just ignore the proposed sweeping changes. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear!

    "There are many legitimate uses for P2P. How nice it would be to see such uses become the overwhelming norm and not what is the current norm."

    So many legitimate uses that the industries still attempt to sue any tool, tool provider, or tool provider provider out of existence.

    "Perhaps in time the current content idustries so heavily invested in business practices relying upon copyright law will begin a shift towards what Mr. Masnick advocates, but until then it is the right of those industries to rely on the law and assert their rights under the law."

    I believe you mean to rely on lobbyists to get the laws changed for them at the expensive of everyone else.

     

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  13.  
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    Hulser (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:53pm

    Re:

    For all the vilification directed to content industries and the constant hue and cry "they are taking away my rights, taking away my privacy, etc., etc.", has it ever occurred to those complaining the loudest that so-called "draconian copyright laws" are easily sidestepped by simply not downloading content that any reasonable person would know is not free for the taking?

    You appear to be confusing two very different issues privacy in a digital world and copyright. How exactly would not illegaly downloading prevent my credit card company from losing my credit card number -- along with thousands of others -- on an unsecured laptop?


    Perhaps in time the current content idustries so heavily invested in business practices relying upon copyright law will begin a shift towards what Mr. Masnick advocates, but until then it is the right of those industries to rely on the law and assert their rights under the law.

    You will not find any quote from Mike that says it isn't their right to enforce copyright. What he's said -- repeatedly -- is that in spite of it being their right, they should pursue business models that are more in line with reality. So, if you're going to disagree with Mike, at least have the courtasy to disagree with something he's actually said rather than what you think he said.

     

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  14.  
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    Tek'a R (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:57pm

    Re:

    But these "idustries" are also heavily invested in Changing the laws. So forever bowing down to them, just hoping they will "begin a shift" is pointless as long as they continue to redefine Our rights, or rather, our Lack of rights.

    "gee, this mandatory tracking collar sure does chaff, but i am sure that any day now the RIAA will lobby to reverse the laws they had created. I guess until then we have to let them assert their rights.."

    Absurd, certainly, but your comment comes off sounding like a surveillance maximalist, crying out "if you are not breaking the law, you have nothing to hide!" What about "draconian copyright laws" that take away my rights to control my personally owned hardware and media? When did these business organizations obtain the gods-given right to dictate laws proclaiming their superiority over my ability to copy a dvd i own for use on devices that i.. wait for ti.. own?

    Perhaps in time the current lawmakers and public rights groups (so heavily distracted by massive amounts of cash from these businesses that pervert copyright law) will begin a shift towards what Mr Masnick advocates, but until then it remains the duty of individuals to rely on their rights and assert their freedom from laws that cement inferior businesses into positions of unchecked power.

    Its not unfair "vilification" when they are already treating everyone like criminals.

     

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  15.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:02am

    Re:

    "As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable."

    How to spoof a MAC address: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=395

    How researchers managed to get a network printer issued with a DMCA notice with a spoofed IP: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/06/study-paints-grim-picture-of-automated-dmca-notice-accura cy.ars

    How to crack WEP encryption: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/how-to-crack-wep,review-451.html

    How to crack WPA: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30278/98/

    ...all taken from the first results I found in Google in around 30 seconds. Someone can easily break into your wireless network and frame your PC for infringement. Since the RIAA and equivalents don't ever seem to be able to come up with evidence more compelling than an IP address in their initial accusations, your IP address can be faked by someone many miles away. If a network printer can get a DMCA notice, you can be cut off under 3 strikes without having broken the law.

    Get it? Nobody's supporting piracy, we just happen to think that further due process and better evidence should be required before prosecution. As it stands, all 3 strikes requires is a baseless accusation from a biased 3rd party who have shown themselves to be incompetent when gathering compelling evidence. Excuse me for wanting a higher standard.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Call me Al, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 1:21am

    This is a great example of what the House of Lords is for, to provide a check against ill thought out legislation proposed by the lower house.

    If his views get any traction then expect the government to speed up its proposed "reform" of the Lords as they try and remove all those who might disagree with them.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    Re:

    "As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable. Where he should be really going is to try to redefine every router as an ISP, so they can do the UK equivalent of yelling "230!"."

    (a) Certainly for P2P, the public IP is the only one that gets exposed and the port number controls the eventual destination. And most P2P traffic uses UDP packets anyway.

    UDP is spoofable. TCP (because of handshaking requirements) is non-spoofable.

    (b) Most consumer routers do not have logging enabled, and if they do have logging, it doesn't generally persist past a reboot of the router, without additional manual configuration.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    Re: Lord Lucas

    The story sounds a little bit fake,
    No - you can read his speech from the official source here:
    "http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/91202-0004.htm"


    or at least it sounds like someone has their hand up the Lord's behind, puppetting him.

    No - if you read the other speeches it is clear that Lord Lucas is unusual in not having someone's hand in such a place!

    Further, his concerns are met because the idea of a three strikes laws isn't to kick anyone off the internet for no reason, but instead to give them plenty of chance to resolve the issues.

    No the idea is to cut the cost of policing copyright by abandoning due process.


    As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable. Where he should be really going is to try to redefine every router as an ISP, so they can do the UK equivalent of yelling "230!".

    If you don't believe the techincal problems here then you shpuld read this link

    http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/mfreed/inaccurate-copyright-enforcement-questionable-b est-practices-and-bittorrent-specificatio

    In particular look at this point:

    "Last year, researchers at the University of Washington published a paper with the subtitle Why My Printer Received a DMCA Takedown Notice. Their conclusions were that:

    * Practically any Internet user can be framed for copyright infringement today.
    * Even without being explicitly framed, innocent users may still receive complaints. "



    I am still thinking that this story is either a put on or a lord reading someone else's press release / talking points memo.


    well you're dead wrong there. If you read his full speech it is clear that he knows what he's talking about. He addresses several other, more technical and less controvesial, issues first.

    Also he admits his own interest as follows:
    "I should declare my interest as my main activity outside this House is in producing copyrighted material and selling it in book form and very substantially on the internet, so the basic protections that copyright law offers are extremely important to me."

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    That will happen the moment every torrent site out there pulls a Minninova and goes legal. Until then, the vast majority of P2P traffic will be illegal material, and that won't go away any time soon.

    Basically, if you associate with known criminals, everyone else will assume you are a criminal. If you are for legal uses only, push to get a version of BT that is only acceptable on LEGAL tube sites and resolve the issue.

    Walk away from the pirates, stop singing happy pirate songs, and then maybe someone will take you seriously.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Lord Lucas

    "I am still thinking that this story is either a put on or a lord reading someone else's press release / talking points memo."

    Actually he is the person that has been secretly funding the pirate party for some nefarious yet to be discovered reason ....
    /paranoia

    ;)

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    “What would we ride on if we visited San Francisco?” asked the little girl Troll.

    “Why the Troll-ey car of course.” replied Pa Troll

     

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

  22.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    I suggest you read the full array of opinions given in that house. Some gems that tell us the lords don't even have a dictionary but do have a bible (even if they take liberties with the interpretation):

    "to use copyrighted material without the appropriate payment is actually theft"

    "it certainly falls under the context of the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal""

    "is a breaking of the commandment: "Thou shalt not steal""

    "It is theft-as the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, asserted-the moral equivalent of persistent shoplifting of CDs or DVDs at an HMV store."

    Some hypocrisy: "Our generation probably did it; we got away with it and the economy got away with it, but it is a different ball game now."

    Lack of perspective (or facts): "One of the films we co-financed recently was 'Wolverine', a spin-off of the 'X Men' series, released at the start of May. Shortly before release in April, a partially completed version of the film found its way onto the web. It was downloaded four million times and Fox, who are our partners on the film, estimate that it probably knocked $20 million to $30 million off the box office".

    Wild speculation: "In the impact assessment on the Bill, it is suggested that if a reduction of 55 per cent in illegal downloading took place as a result of the measures to be introduced, there would be an annual revenue increase to the creative industries of about £200 million per annum, so this would be a very significant step."

    Yes there are some in the house of lords who don't seem quite so idiotic but they are in the minority and for all the good opinions I can attribute to any one lord there are probably five others I strongly disagree with them on.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re:

    Please tell me how you create a version of a tool that psychically detects that it is being used for only legal purposes.

     

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  24.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 3:08pm

    I am not buying any music or films from corporate assholes.If I have to own a film from them I buy it used.
    They have lost me as a customer ecept for my support of TV shows I watch as I do still buy DVD TV Boxsets which help to renew a show you love.
    Fuck Off MPAA & RIAA & all your bastard stooges

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    big buck bunny, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    commercial pitacy for profit is fine then, as long as its Virgin Media pirating your content

    "Nicholas Bohm | December 8th, 2009 at 15:31 UTC
    Does using CView involve interception under RIPA?

    Yes. The question of whether a human needs to see something before it counts as interception is answered in my paper on Phorm at http://www.fipr.org/080423phormlegal.pdf in paragraphs 14 to 17. No human access is necessary - machine examination of content is still interception, and unlawful unless justified.

    It remains to be seen whether a convincing case can be made for an ISP’s need to know how much of its traffic infringes copyright - is this really required for purposes connected with the provision or operation of its service?
    "

     

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


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