Will The Recording Industry Pay For ISP Monitoring In The UK?

from the come-on,-pay-up dept

Recently, as the BPI was arguing yet again that ISPs were exaggerating how much it would cost to implement a three strikes type regime in the UK (which would be required under Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, aka DEB), we wondered if BPI would be willing to foot the bill, since it's so sure that it'll be cheap. After all, since the whole law is designed to prop up BPI's own business model, it seems to only make sense that BPI should be the one paying for it, right?

Turns out that we're not the only ones to think so. In a recent post about the DEB, Jeremy Silver (who I had the pleasure of meeting at Midem) points out that BPI is in the troubling position of trying not to make it sound so cheap that it's expected to pick up the bill, while still arguing that it's not so burdensome for ISPs to pick up the bill. But, various proposals actually are suggesting that BPI should pay the cost:
The Digital Economy Bill that is wending its glacial way through the UK parliament has produced an interesting row between the BPI (representing the interests of the major record labels) and the ISPs, telco's and mobile network operators. They are arguing over who should pay how much to fund remedial measures to clamp down on illegal file-sharing. The BPI is in a tough place since the cheaper they argue the cost will be, the more the ISPs respond by saying "well then you can pay for it." Minister Stephen Timms recently suggested the split should be 75/25 (with the BPI paying the greater amount).
Honestly, I fail to see why BPI shouldn't have to pay 100% of the cost (or, perhaps in conjunction with other copyright industry organizations) if such a plan goes through.

Silver recognizes the bigger issue of course, which is that almost no one actually thinks that a three strikes plan "will make a blind bit of difference," and that this whole game is really about rights holders "wasting their money by trying to control file-sharing." On that we agree. However, I have to disagree with his suggestion that the answer is a collective licensing regime, because I think that introduces way too many questions where it's not needed. A collective licensing scheme puts yet another bureaucracy in the middle, just for the music industry (well, not for long, because then suddenly everyone else wants one too: the movie industry, the software industry, the video game industry, the newspaper industry, etc. -- and why should it stop there, new industries will jump on board too: don't we need a collective license for people who view blogs too?). As it stands, I just think that we're finally seeing free market business models that are working, and it's way too early to jump in and distort the market with a collective licensing scheme.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Don't forget the porn industry!

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Two things...

    1. "and it's way to early to jump in and distort the market with a collective licensing scheme." needs a typo correction on the "to" to "too" (to two too toooooo!)

    2. "the BPI was arguing yet again that ISPs were exaggerating how much it would cost to implement a three strikes type regime in the UK" This is going to be REALLY fun! It's like a battle of the lobbyist douchbags! Who can throw the most money/hookers/cocaine/free-dentist-visits at British lawmakers to sway their votes? Llllets get ready to ruuuuuummmmbbblllle!

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:55pm

      Re: Two things...

      1. "and it's way to early to jump in and distort the market with a collective licensing scheme." needs a typo correction on the "to" to "too" (to two too toooooo!)

      Oops. Fixed.

      2. "the BPI was arguing yet again that ISPs were exaggerating how much it would cost to implement a three strikes type regime in the UK" This is going to be REALLY fun! It's like a battle of the lobbyist douchbags! Who can throw the most money/hookers/cocaine/free-dentist-visits at British lawmakers to sway their votes? Llllets get ready to ruuuuuummmmbbblllle!

      Ah, politics.

       

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    There is no proof that 3 strikes style laws won't work, as they have never been tried anywhere.

    So I think it is premature to make any assumptions about it.

     

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    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    YOU OWE ME FOR EVERY DOOR YOU USE

    thats right i want WORKERRIGHT 95 years plus life of the maker
    ME
    every time you open a door i want me money and if you dont pay YOU WONT be able to open your doors cause were putting DRM LOCKS on them. THAT'S right noobs i want my cash too so i can be a lazy good for nothing jerk.

     

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    The Anti-Anti mike, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    proof it don't work

    0 tolerance in schools has worked out well acccording to Anti mike right?
    Interesting concept this copyright...
    We citizens giving you authors and creators a right to make a buck, and what are you fuckin doing kicking us off the net cause you can't figure out that its capitalism and if you can't do it cheap DONT FRAKING DO IT.

    you could sell a cdr a music to a 5 megabit user at cost of about 4-5 cents per download A WHOLE CDR
    so 25 cents a movie sound ok. MY father always told me of business if he could make ten percent returns he'd be happy.
    YOU PEOPLE wants thousands of percents and imperial star empire made on thoughts and imaginations of BS.

    WE the people are going to rise up and declare NULL and void the laws pertaining to copyright. WATCH AND see after ACTA comes out lil Anti-Mikey boy. As i said better get back to that table quick and get rewriting what i have seen or these folks all around you are gonna eat you for breakfast and i wont lose no sleep over downloading everything i can get my hands on.

    I have seen ONLY how the labels abuse the musicians and actors , NOT US folks. IF YOU over priced sacks a shit suits would get on that iranian rocket program we might actually advance as a world.

     

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      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:19pm

      Re: proof it don't work

      First, I have to say "you people" as you refer to them doesn't refer to me. I am not a movie or music producer, nor am I part of the MPAA, RIAA, or any of the (hated) *AAs.

      you could sell a cdr a music to a 5 megabit user at cost of about 4-5 cents per download A WHOLE CDR
      so 25 cents a movie sound ok. MY father always told me of business if he could make ten percent returns he'd be happy.


      That would be fine, if you ignored the 100 million it took up front to produce the movie, and that a large number of the movies produced every year lose money.

      Only looking at replication costs without looking at all the fixed costs up front is truly a fail.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        You know, one doesn't have to make a $100 million movie. And if you do are you also magically expected to see a return on your investment? Just because?

        Still waiting for Hollywood's first $100 billion movie. If they can make a $400 million movie and get over $2 billion for it, worldwide, then a $400 billion movie would earn them at least $2 trillion, worldwide, right?

        Isn't that how it works? With that fancy Hollywood accounting?

         

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          Hephaestus (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 6:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: proof it don't work

          AC - There was a guy in a couple months back that did a hollywood level CGI flick for $500 USD. He was hired on the next Spiderman movie. Watch the flick

          It doesnt require $100 million USD to make a movie. He did a 5 minute movie for $500 USD. That equates to $100 USD per minute or the movie independance day for $14,500 USD at 145 minutes.

          The sooner people realise that the movie industry pads the books the same way the recording industry, the sooner this copyright bubble will end.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: proof it don't work

            Sorry to correct you, but he wasn't hired for the Spiderman movie (the director of that will be the appropriately named Marc Webb, director of 500 Days Of Summer). Federico Alvarez's project is as yet untitled and probably an original work.

            Your point is taken, but I don't think anyone is unaware of Hollywood's accounting techniques. I'd like to think that the successes of lower budget movies like District 9, Paranormal Activity and Zombieland last year will start a trend toward lower budget, but I also hoped that in 1999 when The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense were big hits. After all, most people admit that the script of Avatar was a big mess and Transformers 2 was awful and at least 30 minutes too long with a bloated script. Don't think that will help good writers get work though, even if they are desperately needed.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 4:10pm

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        Oh, the tragedy, terrible movies and/or over-budgeted movies may not make a profit. THE HORROR (Movie).

         

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        AdamR (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 5:02pm

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        “First, I have to say "you people" as you refer to them doesn't refer to me. I am not a movie or music producer, nor am I part of the MPAA, RIAA, or any of the (hated) *AAs.”

        If it looks like a duck, walks like and a duck and quacks like a duck guess what. You are solely to blame for that.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 5:13pm

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        That would be fine, if you ignored the 100 million it took up front to produce the movie, and that a large number of the movies produced every year lose money.


        Please plot the numbers you see in this link here and tell everyone what you did find.

        It is the same pattern for every year listed and that is not counting DVD revenues, so if they are in the RED maybe is because of some dubious accounting habits. Because the numbers listed public point to another story completely.

         

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        Richard (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:50am

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        "if you ignored the 100 million it took up front to produce the movie"

        Successful films cover their upfront costs in movie theatres - after all that used to be the ONLY source of revenue and plenty of good films were made.

        Also - who says we need such expensive films?

        Also - how much of that cost goes on overpaid stars (not to mention movie executives etc etc)?

        My guess is that most of that 100 million is fat that could be lost if the need was there. We all have to make efficiency savings these days - why should the movie industry be exempt?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: proof it don't work

          If you look at the movies that made the most money this past year, not a lot of overpaid stars. Some, but who was the major star drawing power in Avatar? Or Twilight?

           

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            Richard (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: proof it don't work

            who was the major star drawing power in Avatar?

            Forgot to add "money wasted on inefficient special effects rendering".

             

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        Richard (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re: proof it don't work

        Only looking at replication costs without looking at all the fixed costs up front is truly a fail.

        True you have to consider both- but you are putting them in the wrong order.

        Spending fixed costs without having worked out how you can recover them is the fail.

        If the economic and technological environment doesn't allow you to recover those fixed costs then you don't make the investment.

        Simples

         

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    identicon
    pay cost, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Bengie

    The record industry should not only pay the ISP cost, but any lost wages to online business lost due to a customer no longer on the internet.

     

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    The Mad Hatter (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    BPI paying the costs

    I just don't see them being willing to pay. And if they do pay, and compact disc sales continue to drop, they are in a Catch 22 situation.

    That would be hilarious. Totally hilarious. BPI must be terrified that they end up having to pick up the bill.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 11:50pm

    IP addresses

    lets look at how IP addresses are alocated in the UK Most people are on a DYNAMIC IP this means that your IP changes (I guess everywhere is similer). But depending on ISP how often for example Virgin may change monthly. Pipex/ Bulldog change every few minutes. I really dont see how a track on who has what address can be kept on the later.

     

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    jilocasin, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    We don't need blanket licenses, what we need are no copyrights.

    Yep, you read that correctly. We don't need more bureaucrats, collection societies, or other leaches draining the collective culture dry.

    If the purpose of copyright was to encourage the creation of creative works, I think it needs to be retired. More works are being created by people that won't collect a penny directly off their works than by those that do. Guess what? That isn't stopping anyone from creating. All that copyright is doing these days is keeping our collective culture from us. The only one's winning are large companies that have gotten way too fat suckling at the public teet. Well them and the lawyers.

    If you can't figure out a way to make money from creative works without copyright, then you really need to be in a different line of business. Funny thing, most of the people creating actually are. Creative works should be attributed (assuming the author wants to be known) and downstream uses should be credited. Obscurity is and has always been a worse fate for a creator than anything else.

    There you go, simple. Let us enjoy our culture and get back to actually doing things. We've wasted too much time/money/effort thinking that we can 'own' ideas and performances.

     

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