Yes, Three Strikes Laws Have Unintended Consequences That Even Music Industry Execs Hate

from the surprise,-surprise dept

As noted earlier, I'm at the Midem music industry conference this week in Cannes, in the south of France. France, of course, has been at the forefront of many of the debates over copyright issues, with its Sarkozy-backed push to be one of the first countries to implement a "three accusations and you're off the internet" policy (despite Sarkozy's political party's own long history of infringing). There really hasn't been that much discussion this year about the whole three strikes thing (last year, it was one of the main topics), which seems a bit odd. However, I did randomly see a twitter message from the guy who runs a travel rental business here in Cannes, Lao Watson-Smith, pointing out that all these music industry execs are complaining about all their accommodations having locked down WiFi (even when it's offered free), and noting that the only reason why these connections need to all be locked down is because of the three strikes laws that they pushed through. And, indeed, it is rather annoying. My hotel has "free wifi" (which seems to go down regularly) but you still need a user name and password, and once you log in with one device it will not let you log in with any other device. You must use that one device exclusively. When the official WiFi went dead, I went in search of other networks, including one called "Free WiFi," but when I accessed that, it still asked me for my username and password (which I obviously don't have). It certainly is somewhat amusing to find out that the music industry execs are annoyed by the consequences of the law they so desperately claim they need.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Turns out

    music industry execs are people too. :)

     

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

  2.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    Re: Turns out

    lies!

     

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

  3.  
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    KnownHuman (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: Turns out

    Don't you mean "recording industry"?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    let the show begin, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Annoyed

    They will be more annoyed when some obscure songwriter with a beef throws 3 quick ones to take down itunes.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:29am

    Recording industry representatives should get a master password that will open any wifi security.

     

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  6.  
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    scott mc laughlin (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    can you clarify the connection

    Maybe I just have the afternoon dumbs, but can you clarify the connection between three strikes and wifi being locked down for me: apart from the general notion that 3-strikes is anti-open.

    thanks,
    scott

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Have sales of shiny plastic discs been rising in France as well?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    DH's love child, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: can you clarify the connection

    Sure. In order to identify individual users on a Wi-fi network, they needed to lock it down and issue username and passwords. Otherwise, there would be no way to tell who swung and missed...

     

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  9.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: can you clarify the connection

    Maybe I just have the afternoon dumbs, but can you clarify the connection between three strikes and wifi being locked down for me: apart from the general notion that 3-strikes is anti-open.

    Sure. Even though the WiFi is "free," due to the law they need a way to track back who the user is, so they end up having to limit it in order to know who you are.

     

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

  10.  
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    scott mc laughlin (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    ...and the law is the strikes law. I get it, I hadn't considered that aspect of the three strikes law.

    Thanks.

     

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  11.  
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    dwind (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Do you make up the username and password or is it assigned when you check in?
    I never figured out how the 3 strikes could keep a person off the internet. Make it a little inconvenient but keep them off when there is free wifi all over.
    Maybe the next step will be to assign a user name at birth.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Pundit, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    This is a requirement of data retention policies all over Europe, due to the date retention directive approved back in 2006, and it has nothing to do with three strikes. Nice try, though.

     

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  13.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: "At Birth"

    More like the serial number on your implanted RFID chip will be your permanent SSN/Username for all things...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    martyburns, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    lol

    I like the bit about how it is locked to one device. Where have I heard that before..

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Some Other Guy, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Typo

    ...a "three accusations and your off the internet" policy...

    _your_ ought to be _you're_

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Erik, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Free Wifi

    Just a note regarding the "Free Wifi" connections. One of the major French ISPs is named Free, hence the name. They have a tit for tat service for their users where you sign up and your router publishes a separate network under the name "Free Wifi", and you can login to any Free Wifi network from any other participant. Users are assigned fixed IP addresses so that their activity can be tracked back to the original user account.

    It's a handy service that has made a major dent in most of the public pay for Wifi services.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Other Pundit, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    The recording industry had lobbyists working overtime on that policy as well.
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/itmanagement/0,1000000308,39238422,00.htm

    Nice try, though.

     

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  18.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    Apparently, the execs didn't either. :)

     

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

  19.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    So now, the execs are up in arms over soemthing that they put into place?

    Insane.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    So if three people accuse the "Recording Industry" execs in france, would they loose their connection? Logic dictates that they should.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    Pundit, data please. Anything you can cite to back that up?

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Three strikes?

    It seems to me the greatest antagonists of "three strikes" law should be everyone on the internet NOT selling music/media. Think about it, banning someone from the greatest market on Earth because you got busted for stealing apples from Jambabi's cart? THAT, is simply a different load of "apples."

     

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  23.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    I have to laugh on this one. Mike, you make it sound like all these recording industry people are so damn frustrated that they are tearing their hair out or something, rather than just getting the WEP key and enjoying the free wireless.

    In all of my travels, I can say that wide open wireless is becoming less and less available. Where I do see unlocked wireless systems, they are protected by payment systems inside (boingo style). Even hotels and such that offer free wireless will activate accounts for the period that you are staying, not open ended.

    I have to think that if you asked the executives which is more annoying, having to get the WEP keyword or piracy, they might say piracy.

    Nice stretch Mike. Did you hire someone else to write for you while you were on the road?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    So a handful of record executives are annoyed by hundreds of millions of pirates?

    That's cool because hundreds of millions of pirates are annoyed by a handful of record executives.

    I wonder who will win?

     

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

  25.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: "At Birth"

    If we're lucky. Knowing the clown in charge of the U.S. government, they'll probably tattoo it on our foreheads.

     

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

  26.  
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    InfoBus (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Merde!

    This is so funny! But there are a few things I'd change in the further interest of complete compliance with the recording industry's weirdness: 1)No more free - they must pay like everyone else; 2)put at least six services, distributors, advertisers and other middlemen in the wireless delivery queue to pump up the prices; 3)keep the original wireless service provider enslaved by lousy royalties and arcane agreements while spending millions on lobbying and ads; 4)make them pay royalties to every intellectual property they load up while online; 6)introduce at least a dozen competing media formats, each of them required for a complete surfing experience; 7)randomly insert ID packets into the download stream to ensure honest compliance; 8)finally, make all online content available only in French and interrupt it every so often with promo ads, dire warnings about copyright infringement and bandwidth brownouts.

     

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  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    My favorite comment from that article is ...

    "If copyright infringement became a criminal offence then perhaps we'd see fines and punishments in line with reality. The million pound fine and 10 years in prison promised on those big signs in cinemas is a joke when you consider what people get for much more serious offences.

    If the police start raiding people for things like breaking the copy protection on CDs or similar minor offences - when so many minor offences are ignored due to lack of police time and higher priorites - can you imagine how much bad press the government will get?"

     

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

  28.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    "can you imagine how much bad press the government will get?"

    Yes, zero. What would be the point of printing bad press on a government that had already been overthrown for being collectively hated by nearly all their constituents?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Lt Govenor Pappy Johnson (PJ), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    "You must use that one device exclusively."

    The problem with giving free wifi is that it breeds. You see, 'dem wifi units will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. We gots to get them to walk to the Maître d' and pony up a few euros for a second account and a greasy pizza recommendation.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Mikester, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Connectify

    You can get around the once device limit by installing Connectify on your Windows 7 laptop. It will turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot for your other devices.
    http://connectify.me

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    I have to laugh on this one. Anti-Mike, you make it sound like all your ability to read stops at the title.

     

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

  32.  
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    Skout (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    You can also usually set windows computers up to fake the mac address, too, so not really all that big a deal for anyone who knows wtf they're doing.. but the point is, it inconveniences the fucknuts ruining the world one dumb law at a time, and that's just fun. :)

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Sam I Am, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    @24, Anon Coward, "I wonder who will win?"

    With freedom and privacy comes accountability, including legal accountability. No accountability? No freedom and privacy. Ask a guy in jail about his so-called "right" to freedom and privacy. Rights can't be taken away, only privileges can.

    Pass protected wifi is a simple first step towards online accountability, to mirror the accountability in all well sorted civilizations. You wonder who will win? I'd say with accountable wifi in France and likely part of the ACTA, we are already seeing the trend toward our answer.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    Exactly! In the end it will be the pirates who win because there are no passwords to be protected with sneakernet and FedEx.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    No accountability? No freedom and privacy. Ask a guy in jail about his so-called "right" to freedom and privacy. Rights can't be taken away, only privileges can.

    Hmmm. Except you failed to answer "WHO" holds the person accountable. Seems it's a computer. And surely human behavior been properly modeled in the computer so it can apply a uniform set of rules that take into local idiosyncrasies and culture, yet harmonized on a worldwide scale just as the robber barons desire.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Peasant's Revolt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peasants%27_Revolt

    Is history repeating itself all over again.

    Why the U.S. independence occurred? Was it not because of perceived injustices committed?

    Maybe a new imperfect system will come out of the "sharing" movement like so many other movements like the beatnik generation, punks, cynics and etc.

    The funny thing is people thinking that this will go away if they can "control" it, which is fuelling even further civil disobedience.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Peasant's Revolt.

    I may be revolting but I ain't no fucking peasant.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re:

    TAM can read?!?

     

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

  39.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re:

    If you are using sneakernet or worse Fedex, you are paying probably more to be a pirate than it is worth. Would you really pay fedex $25 to ship a retail $15 music CD? Would you spend 2 hours on the cross town express to meet someone to give them a CD?

    Sneakernet would also be slow enough that the rights holders likely wouldn't bother with it.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Huh? Who would FedEx data the equivalent of one CD. Think bigger. Much bigger. There you go again, thinking inside the little box.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    $25 for one CD? Wow, you must be the most gullible shill around! Especially with USPS flat rates being what? 1/5th that? For a box big enough to send probably 50 CDs wrapped in bubble wrap.

     

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

  42.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Heh, you think small...

    "Would you really pay fedex $25 to ship a retail $15 music CD?"

    No, but you'd pay the same amount to ship a DVD containing 50 albums, or a 1Tb drive containing thousands.

    "Would you spend 2 hours on the cross town express to meet someone to give them a CD?"

    No, but you'd definitely meet up with friends at work and swap data for nothing.

    "Sneakernet would also be slow enough that the rights holders likely wouldn't bother with it."

    Yeah, they were blind to it when it was happening for 50 years before Napster. They only panicked about individual "piracy" when the internet made it more visible. Shame they don't realise that "piracy" was a factor in their success in previous eras. Yet again, piracy is there and the recording industry needs to adjust their model to address this reality. Their failure is the last 15 years, where they have tried to stop something that cannot be stopped, and tries to run its business according to realities that died in the last millennium.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    im thinking hard drives would be more likely then each cd

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    whgeiger, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:33am

    Message to MIEs

    "qui gladio ferit, gladio perit"

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    rlsimmonsjr (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:50am

    re: record execs

    fuck `em

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Rasmus, Mar 2nd, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: can you clarify the connection

    Actually it doesn't. The data retention directive doesn't request that anyone accessing the net has to be identified, it just request that any traffic information be archived by the ISP for a fixed time.

    So this is entirely a result of three-strikes.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Rasmus, Mar 2nd, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Re:

    Hahaha, you have obviously never met real life recording industry executives.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Rasmus, Mar 2nd, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Merde!

    You forgot a yearly property tax on all intellectual property.

    It could be like:
    You have to pay $1.000 in federal tax for each recorded music song you own copyright for. Or pay 10% in federal tax of the generated revenue of that song if the revenue is over $10.000
    Exclusive licenses should be regarded as equivalent to ownership for the purpose of this tax.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    wlan_expert, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:18am

    Try http://wlancontroller.com to turn windows 7 into hotspot

     

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


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