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Broadband Is Now A Legal Right In Finland

from the won't-see-three-strikes-there... dept

You may recall that, last year, Finland announced that broadband access should be considered a legal right. And, as of today, it's now official that every Finn now has a legal right to 1Mbps broadband. If you think that's going to make it difficult for the entertainment industry to get a "three strikes" policy in place in Finland, you're correct:
"We will have a policy where operators will send letters to illegal file-sharers but we are not planning on cutting off access."
According to the music industry, of course, this makes the Finnish government radical extremists. How dare they want to make sure everyone has broadband connectivity and the ability to communicate freely. How could that possibly be more important than one industry's increasingly obsolete business model?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 2:39am

    Teach Rogue States A Lesson

    We need to teach these Liberal-Socialist extremists a lesson. We should do what we did to Allende.

     

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

  2.  
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    Technofreak, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 2:48am

    ...

    Is that Broadband Filtered or un-Filtered?...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 3:12am

    Re: ...

    Probably unfiltered when I hit proxies in finland, sweden and other countries like that my bandwidth with TOR goes up to hundreds of kilobytes per second, they have true broadband over there.

    I'm blacklisting the France, U.K., U.S., China and Russia those countries have the worst bandwidth when transit goes through them.

     

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  4.  
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    Panu Horsmalahti, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 4:01am

    Cutting off the net

    Actually, the court can already order the internet access to be cut off, however it's rarely used. What the copyright "mafia" is proposing is to have the power to cut off the access without a court order.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 4:30am

    Re: Teach Rogue States A Lesson

    Thundercats Unite !

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:02am

    How is broadband a legal right?

    So who pays for this right? If I don't have that kind of connection, is the government going to give it to me? Rights are free, not fee based, so if I have a right to broadband I shouldn't have to pay for it.

    I agree that nobody should be kicked off the net, especially for something like file sharing. But making it a right makes no sense either.

     

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  7.  
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    Panu Horsmalahti, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:39am

    Who pays for it?

    John Doe, the government will not pay for it, everyone has to pay for the broadband themselves. This just means that the ISP's will have to provide the broadband as an option to everyone.

     

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  8.  
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    kstahmer (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:20am

    Finland knows

    Am reminded of a line from Earth Girls Are Easy: "Finland knows what you want."

     

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  9.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Re: Finland knows

    Win!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Who pays for it?

    So this is a right that private business has to fulfill? That makes even less sense. Rights are God given and do not depend on others to fulfill them. While I have the right to free speech, I don't have the right to get my opinion in the newspaper. So why is it up to the ISPs to fulfill this right?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Whoo Hoo! Love it!

     

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

  12.  
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    Caine (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Obviously Finland is not the US and not guided by the same principles we are, but this is a dangerous road to go down. Broadband should not be a "right".

    John Doe made a good point, fee based services are “rights” now? If you start down this road, aren't you just watering down what a "right" ought to be? I'm certainly not a lawyer, so if anyone is please chime in, but isn’t that a bad precedent to set when a "right" is sometimes this, but then its sometimes that? Not sure how all the systems work in Finland, but doesn’t this open the door for companies or organizations that currently provide other “rights” to start charging now?

    I certainly think no one should have the right to arbitrarily drop your connection, especially on some trumped up file sharing charge, but last I checked you still can’t run into a crowded chat room and yell “fire”. Making broadband a “right”, so that the tool with which you broke the law remains in your hands is illogical. If you’re a Finnish pirate and it gets proven in a court of law, then you should lose your privileges to the internet.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:21am

    mike, have you watched any hollywood movies? i know you have, you have a netflix account. why do you continue to support an obsolete business model? shouldnt you lead by example and only watch independent movies that you can download on torrents? why are you still supporting hollywood with your money?

     

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  14.  
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    hxa7241, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    You are perhaps interpreting this in an overly narrow way.

    The government wants to ensure the public all have access to a particular service. Leaving the implementation aside, the basic concept seems wholly reasonable -- it is just the sort of thing governments are for.

    This use of the term 'right' may offend various technical definitions, but it communicates the basic idea.

     

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  15.  
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    John, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Who pays for it?

    @Paul, His point is, it is not then a right. Nor should it be.

     

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  16.  
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    hxa7241, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Still some room for oppression

    They could still have a 'three-strikes-'lite''. The government intends for everyone to have at least 2Mbps, and 100Mbps in a few years, but neither will be a 'right' it seems. So the 'third strike' would just knock you down from 100 to 1.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    I disagree. Words have meaning.
    Incorrectly naming something a right that cannot be actually be a right lessens the impact of arguments for actual rights.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    WHAT!? Mike is a hypocrite?! TAM, you finally convinced myself and the rest of the people reading this blog that we have been lied to, cheated of eyeballs, and told lies about the content industry, patents, and copyrights. We are all leaving now, never to return. Feel no need to monitor Mike's blog anymore since you won't need to protect us from blindly following him into the abyss. We are deeply indebted to you for you diligence.

    Footsteps...getting fainter...fainter still...door shuts...silence... ...

    Hey everybody...is TAM gone yet?

     

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

  19.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    You have the right to get your driver's license, do you not? Does the government give you a free car?
    You have the right to live in a house (one of the basic human rights even), but you still need to pay rent/mortgage/taxes.
    You have the right to an education (also one of the basic human rights), but do you have free schools?

    All this does, is give you the right to have unfettered access to the Internet. Even the most remote areas of Finland should now get access to the Internet.

     

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  20.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Cutting off the net

    " What the copyright "mafia" is proposing is to have the power to cut off the access without a court order."

    Thats going to kill three strikes in every country with due process. The court order part makes this three strikes scheme non-cost effective.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    "I disagree. Words have meaning.
    Incorrectly naming something a right that cannot be actually be a right lessens the impact of arguments for actual rights."


    What do you think of the word "copyRIGHT"? Or is that different?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    But using the word "right" here has major implications. If I have a right to a 1MB broadband connection, then where do I go to get that? The government? A private corporation? Who pays for it? Me? The government which in turn gets the money from taxes which comes out of the citizens pockets?

    Broadband is not a right, the right not to have our connection severed based on accusations is a right, but actually having the connection is not a right.

     

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

  23.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: How is broadband a legal right?

    You have the right to free speech in the US. Does that mean that mutes need to be operated on so they can speak?

     

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  24.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    Lots of rights require a fee. If you're American, your right to bear arms does not mean you get a free gun. Your right to drive on a public road still requires you to obtain your own form of transport. Your right to free speech still requires a fee if your chosen medium is the, for example, public airwaves or the printed press.

    Also, a right does not mean that you automatically have to *do* the thing you have a right to do, just that you have the right to do so if you please. Lots of Finnish people will still choose not to have broadband. It's just there as a guaranteed right should a Finn choose to exercise it.

    "last I checked you still can't run into a crowded chat room and yell "fire""

    FIRE!

    Sorry, couldn't resist, but you either have your cliches mixed up or you're confused about what that means.

    "the tool with which you broke the law remains in your hands is illogical"

    Criminal vs. civil law is still an important distinction. The damage potentially done by removing access to broadband (and thus access to free speech, employment and communication) far outweighs whatever slim profits were jeopardised by downloading a few songs.

    "If you're a Finnish pirate and it gets proven in a court of law"

    Emphasis mine. The problem everyone has with the "3 strikes" rules is that this is not a consideration. When the industry decides to play fair and allow due process and actual evidence less flimsy than IP addresses to come into play, then we'll talk.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    If rights are God given, why are they always given through governments. Are all government leaders divinely appointed?
    When AT&T was a monopoly they had to supply a phone to a person with a medical need.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Panu Horsmalahti, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Rights are not "god given", as the concept of religion should not interfere with secular state rights. Anyway, lots of rights require money, like the right to a free schooling and the right to free healthcare. It's true that in extreme far-right socities you may not get these rights. The word John here is looking for is freedom, which is a different concept from a human right. Of course, far-right Americans do not understand the concept of rights, since they don't have many of them.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    "why are you still supporting hollywood with your money?"

    TAM, why are you still supporting Mike with your traffic that helps him improve his ad revenue and exposure here? Shouldn't you leading by example and going somewhere else, maybe somewhere you might be mistaken for an intelligent human being with an actual point?

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    MK, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Finnish communications regulatory authority press release

    The finnish communications regulatory authority has published an english press release on the subject:

    http://www.viestintavirasto.fi/en/index/asiointi-info/ajankohtaista/lehdistotiedotteet/2 010/P_27.html

    Basically, certain telecommunication firms (26 in total) are named responsible for providing a certain minimum level of service within some municipalities of Finland as part of their license, and 1 Mbps Internet access is now one such minimum requirement. Customer will have to pay for the access, with 30-40 € given as reasonable example price. The 1 Mbps Internet requirement is for a fixed place of residence or business.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    Rights are not and cannot be given. They are inherent in our being. Other individuals, including government, can only respect or violate rights, not grant them.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Panu Horsmalahti, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Nope, that's American thinking, and refers to only fundamental rights of the 18th century. More rights were invented after that. John, like all Americans, has a single-minded and biased view of the world. If something is true in American politics, it must apply to the rest of the world. Your definition of a right is simply old-fashion and not relevant anymore.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    I agree that religion should not enter the discussion. Rights are inherent in our being. Whether a person believes in a god or not has no bearing on their rights.
    The rest of your comment I disagree with. Schooling and healthcare are not rights, they are services provided by another individual. You have the right to trade with that individual for the service provided, but you do not have the right to that individuals service.
    Freedom, or liberty, is a right. It is not a different concept, it is subsumed in the concept of rights.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    Yes, all rights are God given and all leaders divinely appointed, read your bible.

    AT&T may have had to give phones to people with a medical need, but that was probably due to the fact they were granted monopoly rights and not due to the right of people to have phones.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    Not even trying to hide your non sequitor this time, TAM?

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Maudit, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 10:40am

    no mafia please...

    Finland is a good country, no lobby mafia here.

     

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  35.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    I do read my bible and I don't see anything about rights in there.

     

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  36.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    Rights are not inherent in anything. There is no way to rationally say "rights are inherent in our being"

     

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

  37.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    In that sense remote areas of Finland already have robust access to the Internet by and large and build out to what's left shouldn't be too expensive I'm told.

    I chat, every now and then, with people on high speed from fairly near the Arctic Circle so I'm taking on face value what they say.

    We need to remember that this is a small, fairly populous and wealthy country by global standards.

    The telephone network was built out to most of Finland prior to World War II in anticipation of a Soviet invasion. So that part of the infastructure has been there since then and has been followed by cable. Satellite providers are available all over Finland.

    Cost, in this case, is minimal.

     

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  38.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Hi TAM, Just What Does This Have To Do With The Topic?

    nt

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Moron.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    Ah, the Gentile bible. How about the Jewish Torah or Islamic scriptures or any of the other holy books that attempt to explain the universe accord to god.

     

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  41.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    No, actually, LEGAL rights are not "god" given. They are granted by LAW.

     

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

  42.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Is (straight) marriage a legal right in USA? Is it "inherent to your being"? Is the state forced to give you a free marriage service?

    If the USA wants to call everything "freedoms", and only consider rights those that are in the original Bill of Rights, that's their prerogative. It's also merely arguing (regional) semantics and irrelevant to what the rest of the world considers rights, which may just very well be "something that nobody can keep you from doing or getting".

    Are "visitation rights" inherent? That means that custody of kids during divorce inherent, which would make divorce inherent too. Or visiting your family at a hospital?

    "nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb"

    Does that mean that double-jeopardy rights are inherent? How come? That doesn't make any sense.

     

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  43.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Also, I guess then you consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights invalid, since it clearly states that there is a Right to Education.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Sanjeevkumar G Chillal, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 10:03pm

    Finland highly appreciable decision of making broadband internet a legal right

    I wish to congratulate deeply & respectfully, the Hon'ble Govt of Finland and I also respectfully & humbly request all the countries to follow FINLAND

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Ski, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Who pays for it?

    DO you think it's your right not to starve to death? Why do you have to pay for your food?

     

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

  46.  
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    DanVan (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    How dare the government try to better their people! They should let EVERYONE who can't pay for the best internet all starve like we do! Screw everyone but me!

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    AC & You SUCK, Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    "John, like all Americans, has a single-minded and biased view of the world. "

    NEWS FLASH: "Panu" reveals itself to be an ignorant BIGOT

     

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


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