UK: Sex Offenders More Deserving Of Internet Access Than Infringers

from the double-standards dept

Does the UK really have stricter punishment for copyright offenders than sex offenders? It appears so. As part of a ruling concerning kicking people offline for sex offenses, a judge ruled that to be unlawful (hat tip to MD1500 for sending this in). The ruling clearly states:
A blanket prohibition on computer use or internet access is impermissible. It is disproportionate because it restricts the defendant in the use of what is nowadays an essential part of everyday living for a large proportion of the public, as well as a requirement of much employment. Before the creation of the internet, if a defendant kept books of pictures of child pornography it would not have occurred to anyone to ban him from possession of all printed material. The internet is a modern equivalent.
I don't know enough about UK law to know if this acts as a precedent that could apply to copyright cases as well, but it would seem to undermine a big part of the punishment set up by the Digital Economy Act there...


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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    But, we must protect the children from all these nasty infringers!

     

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  2.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:50am

    The cynical side of me isn't surprised.
    Of course the politicians are willing to bend over backwards for the big media company, because the latter can pay the former.

    The people hurt by sex offenders can't.

    I just hope that there are some politicians out there, who aren't in it for the money, but actually care about their constituents, but I'm not holding my breath. And yes, I know, I could maybe step into politics myself, but we already have enough one issue and one man parties.

     

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  3.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Freetards don't deserve human rights.

    (Conveniently, there is no precise definition of freetards.)

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Of course, you understand that there is a huge difference between being able to have internet access in your home when compared to a whole blanket ban.

    Infingers can still go to a friends house, or the public library, or any public hotspot and use the internet.

    Don't let facts get in the way of a good rant!

     

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  5.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    I propose a new law

    We need a new law for copyright infringers.

    We will have a mandatory registration to a national infringer database. Those registered are barred from the internet. They are barred from living within 300 feet of an open wifi connection. They are barred from living within 1000 feet of and entering any school or library. They are only allowed to work in coal mines or other similar vocation. They must wear at all times a yellow copyright symbol, no smaller than 3 inches in diameter, upon their person at all times and in plain view.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    You can't be serious...

     

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  7.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    "Of course, you understand that there is a huge difference between being able to have internet access in your home when compared to a whole blanket ban."

    Depends on the person and the local area. A disabled man who depends on local buses to the local town may as well have been cut off from everywhere, for example.

    "Infingers can still go to a friends house, or the public library, or any public hotspot and use the internet."

    *Accused* infringers, remember, which is the major issue. I'm also still waiting for a good explanation as to how the loss of something that's been deemed a human right and can be vital for home workers & businesses is a just punishment for potentially losing someone some money by sharing some songs.

     

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    jimbo, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    just about sums up what the UK laws are like and how dumb the UK politicians are. how the hell can the two be compared in terms of seriousness of crime is beyond me! goes to show where the 'incentives' are coming from tho' and which of the two, in politicians and law makers eyes, is the most harmful!

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re:

    To be fair, it's a valid point. There is a substiantive difference between a blanket ban on internet use and 3 strikes policy. The key difference being this ruling said you can't keep a person off the internet entirely whereas 3 strikes doesn't go after the person at all, it goes after a single connection.

    That said, there is still a problem with blanket disconnects for folks that are employed from home, self-employed, etc. etc.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    There is no "law" in the UK: they're serfs under a monarch.

    And in any case, gov'ts excel at schizophrenia, so no effect on copyright.

     

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    Beta (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: I propose a new law

    "This collar will stay on permanently. Don't bring it within 300 feet of an open WiFi connection, or it'll-- well, just don't."

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    *Alleged* infringers

    Mike, please fix the headline. Note that the "X-strikes" laws are all about *alleged* infringements, not convictions.

     

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    DogBreath, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: I propose a new law

    Of course the only logical way to enforce the wifi ban is to set up special radio signal free "farady cage" type camps to put the accused in just to be sure. I've heard they already have a banner for the camp, "Urheberrecht wird euch frei machen" (Copyright will make you free).

     

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    Alien Bard, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    That's right, movies can be downloaded from anywhere. Whereas kiddy porn is a lot harder to obtain from those alternative locations. Unlike ordinary people, child molesters need their home access to the internet - it's a vital part of their chosen lifestyle!

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    Here is my problem with this. I have an internet connection at home. I have a room mate who gets his three strikes and my internet connection is lost because he infringed on my network.

    I lose my internet connection for something I did not do.

    Or better yet, I have a home wireless internet connection. I have secured it, but someone manages to hack it and use it anyway. I get these 3 strikes for something that someone else did and I lose my internet.

    Here's another one. Someone spoofs their IP and uses that to infringe. Unfortunately, that spoofed IP is the same as my IP. I get 3 strikes and lose my internet connection.

    Now these are three cases where it is not my fault and I still lose my internet connection and am inconvenienced.

    Now even if I was the one who infringed, whose to say that my infringement was not fair use? I would have to go through an expensive and time consuming process to prove my fair use and in the mean time, I am unable to have a home internet connection.

    None of this is fair. Nor is it proportional to the offense.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: There is no "law" in the UK: they're serfs under a monarch.

    for once i agree with blue...i need a shower

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Re: *Alleged* infringers

    and change the sex-offender part to "convicted sex offender"

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Florida housing sex offenders under bridge

    Florida housing sex offenders under bridge

    http://articles.cnn.com/2007-04-05/justice/bridge.sex.offenders

    The sparkling blue waters off Miami's Julia Tuttle Causeway look as if they were taken from a postcard. But the causeway's only inhabitants see little paradise in their surroundings.
    Five men -- all registered sex offenders convicted of abusing children -- live along the causeway because there is a housing shortage for Miami's least welcome residents.
    "I got nowhere I can go!" says sex offender Rene Matamoros, who lives with his dog on the shore where Biscayne Bay meets the causeway.

    Sex Offenders Forced To Live Under Miami Bridge
    by GREG ALLEN
    May 20, 2009
    In Miami, a causeway in the middle of Biscayne Bay has become home to one of the county's least desirable populations: sex offenders.
    What began a few years ago as a stopgap solution has become de facto public policy. For sex offenders with few resources who want to stay in Miami, there's just one option: an encampment of tents and shacks on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    Paul, in a three strikes type setup, you don't think that perhaps your "disabled man" might reconsider his love of download gay bestiality porn before he gets shut down? Perhaps he might turn off his P2P software and stop seeding out the latest bawdy house videos?

    What you are assuming is that entirely innocent people will randomly be kicked off without any notification. That just isn't the case. You are also assuming that someone who is disabled wouldn't have recourse via various disabilities acts already enacted in law.

    Home workers would be wise to (a) not pirate stuff on their work line, and (b) perhaps have a "business" internet connection installed rather than sneaking around on their home connection.

    More than anything, it gets back to not pirating stuff. It solves so many of your arguments if people secure their equipment, don't pirate, and don't share their connections with strangers.

     

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  20.  
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    Ken, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Unless you are talking about an East Texas court room I doubt any judge is ever going to hold up banishing people from the Internet.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    That explains it!

    Why the Vatican still has a web site.

     

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  22.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh, wait, you were serious.

    As an aside, what would happen if a prison computer was founf to consistenly infringe? Would it be arrasted on copyfraud charges?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Paul, in a three strikes type setup, you don't think that perhaps your "disabled man" might reconsider his love of download gay bestiality porn before he gets shut down? Perhaps he might turn off his P2P software and stop seeding out the latest bawdy house videos?"

    Presumption of guilt, how typical.

    "What you are assuming is that entirely innocent people will randomly be kicked off without any notification. That just isn't the case."

    Wrong. It is not only possible that it will happen it's inevitable. It's already happened in France and they just started banning people!

    "Home workers would be wise to (a) not pirate stuff on their work line, and (b) perhaps have a "business" internet connection installed rather than sneaking around on their home connection."

    Again with the presumption of guilt and, wait this can't be right, are you honestly suggesting that business lines are (a) available to every private residence and (b) exempt from the digital economy act?

    "More than anything, it gets back to not pirating stuff. It solves so many of your arguments if people secure their equipment, don't pirate, and don't share their connections with strangers."

    No, more than anything it gets back to the fundamental problem of this law and others like it: the presumption of guilt. Your arguments would make much more sense if there was a presumption of innocence but because there is a presumption of guilt the idea that 'just don't break the law' solves so many of the problems just falls apart. Furthermore, why should an open network be illegal? That makes no sense at all. Why should I be fearful and mistrust people around me just because it pads some companies bottom line for me to behave that way?

     

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  24.  
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    Duke (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    If you read the judgment, one of the alternatives considered was restricting people to accessing the Internet on specific computer (i.e. at public libraries, police stations) or for specific purposes. This was also rejected as still being too harsh. The same would apply (to some degree) to saying individuals just cannot use their home connection. Incidentally, that very argument ("they can just use a friend's connection") shows how stupid disconnection would be as a punishment in the first place.

    For the record, the Court opted for restricting access to devices that store history, a ban on tampering with the history and a requirement to show the history to a police officer on request.

    As for being a precedent, the statement is unlikely to be binding on any Court concerning copyright, but some of those statements are likely to be highly persuasive. That said, it looks like disconnections are still a few years away in the UK for copyright. At the moment the focus is on web-blocking.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or.. get a secured VPN to an out of country server.. cheap, easy, and safe.... IF they manage to break your encryption, they have broken the law and you can sue them...

     

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  26.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Paul, in a three strikes type setup, you don't think that perhaps your "disabled man" might reconsider his love of download gay bestiality porn before he gets shut down? "

    Ah, ridiculous hyperbole, I see. Pick a better example. That's one of the few things he won't be shut down for, since it's illegal.

    It's also something worth being shut down for since someone is actually harmed. Unlike the loss of a hypothetical purchase.

    You also (deliberately, I assume) make your regular mistake of assuming that "accused" means "guilty".

    "What you are assuming is that entirely innocent people will randomly be kicked off without any notification."

    No, they can be notified that they need to stop doing whatever it is they're not doing, and then get kicked off when they continue not doing it.

    "You are also assuming that someone who is disabled wouldn't have recourse via various disabilities acts already enacted in law."

    ...which can be expensive and doesn't take into account other non-disabled people in the same position.

    "Home workers would be wise to (a) not pirate stuff on their work line, and (b) perhaps have a "business" internet connection installed rather than sneaking around on their home connection."

    So, business connections are exempt from this? Cool, all you have to do is work at somewhere with an incompetent admin (i.e. the home worker) and pirate all you want for you and your friends. Neat.

    "More than anything, it gets back to not pirating stuff"

    I already don't, but you're trying to make it so that all it takes is 3 false accusations from you to get me kicked off anyway.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "That said, there is still a problem with blanket disconnects for folks that are employed from home, self-employed, etc. etc."

    There is a problem with blanket disconnects for anyone. Just as in the example they state -
    Before the creation of the internet, if a defendant kept books of pictures of child pornography it would not have occurred to anyone to ban him from possession of all printed material. The internet is a modern equivalent.
    - if someone copied books three times, leading to three strikes, one would not be banned from books or reading.

    Information is necessary to life and liberty. Cutting someone off from the internet, either by banning them from using it or cutting a single connection, is akin to kicking someone out of school for plagiarism. Yes, there are ways to learn everything you need to learn outside of school but it does not help anyone to have someone cut off from information and the rest of society.

    Go for a week without the internet, See how well that goes.

     

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  28.  
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    hobo, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    that was from me.. name fields are not my strong suit.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    Infingers can still go to a friends house, or the public library, or any public hotspot and use the internet.

    Oh, I see. So it would also be reasonable to ban sex offenders from having any printed materials at home. After all, they could still go to a public library if they wanted to read something.

    Yeah, I see how that works.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's why any 3 strikes deal is not a blanket disconnect, only a "local" disconnect - aka, you cannot get service from that ISP.

    Blanket disconnects would mean that people couldn't work in an office with a web connection, or for that matter even operate a cash at McDonalds (they are all using tunnelling back to the head office to track sales and inventory issues).

    My original point is that a three strikes disconnect is nothing like a blanket court order for an internet ban, so comparing the two is pretty meaningless.

    Well, meaningful if you are trying to "work da FUD", if you know what I mean.

     

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  31.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dear AC:

    Cease and desist immediately from downloading gay bestiality porn.

    This your first notice.

     

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  32.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dear AC:

    We continue to find traffic indicating continued downloading of "gay" "bestial" "porn" at your site. You must cease and desist immediately.

    This your second notice.

     

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  33.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dear AC:

    Since you continue to download gay bestial porn, we have no choice but to require your ISP to cease providing Internet access to you indefinitely. This action should be completed in the next 72 hours.

    Wouldn't it have been nice to force me to reveal myself as your accuser, have me provide actual proof of my accusation, and be able to defend yourself against my accusations in a court of law before this action was taken?

    Nah...

     

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  34.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    > Infingers can still go to a friends house, or the public
    > library, or any public hotspot and use the internet.


    So let me see if I get this right.

    It's okay to punish other (innocent) users of a connection, based on the mere accusation of infringement.

    Also it's perfectly fine for an infringer (perhaps a real actual infringer) to use another internet connection.

     

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  35.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: I propose a new law

    ThinkGeek used to have t-shirts with a large glowing WiFi signal strength indicator on the front of the t-shirt.

     

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  36.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    Any RIAA owned courtroom will be happy to banish the internet, er, um, I meant, banish people from the internet.

     

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  37.  
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    thedigitari, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    I take pictures around my town, and I let folks look at them, so they would be in your cache, therefore, seeing as how I "automatically" own copyright to the pictures I have taken, I can "accuse" anyone that has looked at my pictures of copyright infringement.

    See how easy that is???

    I can't wait for protect IP to go into affect, I have my list of infringers already.

     

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  38.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    This whole situation with copyright just clarifies the waters on the corporate mentality.

    Let's take a very hypothetical situation and let's look a the likely result.

    Situation:

    A technology has been discovered that allows a person to use clean water to fuel their vehicles. This requires only a reprogramming of the EPROM on the car and 'bingo' it runs on water - 100% clean, no emissions other than hydrogen and oxygen.

    What do you think would happen? Would the world be happy that we no longer pollute the environment with fossil fuels? Would the world be happy that we likely just eliminated even the possibility of 'global warming'?

    Sure the people would be ecstatic. But oil and power companies all over the world would be in court immediately. Suing to try and block this technology. All sorts of 'theft' accusations would be brought up and other spin like this.

    And don't say it's different - because if the recording industry still had it's way, we'd be stuck with **PLASTIC** (made from petroleum) CD's and DVD's along with all the packaging and other landfill waste that was required to sell discs in stores.

    But now, no oil is needed to distribute media - and they bitch about it. So the next time you hear the 'green spin' from one of these corporations - think about it...

     

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  39.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can see that there is a technical distinction there - but I don't think the judge would think it significant.

     

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  40.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ie I don't think that a "ban on printed material at home" makes any sense.

     

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  41.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    gay bestiality porn

    AKA a natural history documentary about bonobos...

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ie I don't think that a "ban on printed material at home" makes any sense.

    Of course it does. You must be a freetard.

     

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    Jimr (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    cruel and unusual punishment

    The whole strike process is cruel and unusual punishment as clearly indicated by this judge. I like the analogy that if you violate a books copyright you are not banned from every owning, using, or reading books again.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You said: "Wrong. It is not only possible that it will happen it's inevitable. It's already happened in France and they just started banning people!"

    Me: Incorrect. This guys connection has been used to download pirated material. End. He isn't innocent. Stupid, ignorant, and foolish, perhaps, but not innocent.

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    I know you're being sarcastic, but some people actually believe that to be the case.

     

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  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    If you're American, perhaps you should take a look at your own, as well. We know our politicians are fuckwits.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Me: Incorrect. This guys connection has been used to download pirated material. End. He isn't innocent. Stupid, ignorant, and foolish, perhaps, but not innocent.

    Yeah, everyone's guilty.

     

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  48.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Me: Incorrect. This guys connection has been used to download pirated material. "

    Wrong. His ISP received accusations that his IP had been used to download copyrighted material. He did not do it, and no conclusive evidence has been given to show that it was even his router involved (do you want me to list all the times false notices have been sent?).

    "He isn't innocent. "

    He is innocent of the crime of which he was accused (not convicted, as no court has seen the evidence). He is suffering the punishment, while the perpetrator (assuming there was one) just moves onto the next innocent victim.

     

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    athe, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    Not to mention the DMCA implications of reprogramming the EPROM. . .

     

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  50.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What's your hard, incontrovertible proof? Is it simply, "Because I say so!"?

     

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  51.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I prefer dolphins myself. Far more interesting animals.

     

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  52.  
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    arcan, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:03pm

    Re:

    Senator Ron Wyden seems to care about his constituents in fact he is the only politician that i think should not be charged with corruption

     

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  53.  
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    arcan, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    yes he is a freetard. nice job coward you use words that do not exist to support a position that is based on idiocy. it is a like a fool leading a group of idiots. has anyone seen the movie idiocracy? that is what we are heading to at this time.

     

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  54.  
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    A Guy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps your sarc detector isn't working?

     

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  55.  
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    jimbo, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    'entirely innocent people will randomly be kicked off without any notification'. makes no difference whether these people have notification or not. they are accused, not proven, to be guilty of downloading/file sharing. they are then expected to pay a lot of money to prove their innocence rather than the accuser pay to prove guilt. meanwhile, the whole household/family suffers even tho there may have been no wrong doing on their part. the 'guilty unless able to prove innocence' was abandoned decades ago and was only brought back by the entertainment/copyright industries because of them being unable to supply indisputable proof of guilt! and there is no way that the harm that can be caused, both physically and mentally, by being sexually abused can be likened AT ALL with sharing digital copies of files. but then i suppose you are more concerned with the money side than with anything else!

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re:

    When the hell did fairness and proportionality ever mean jack shit in any court of law? All cases involving corporations against individuals are almost never settled fairly, or proportionately, and the corporations almost invariably prevail, and thus will inflict the maximum damage on their opponent. This is how things work these days, and if you want justice, you are never, ever going to get it in the courtroom, here in the US, or just about anywhere else. Matter of fact, there's only one or two ways I can think of where you can get justice, but then they can come after you for that, too. Many judges are owned, most juries are brain dead, and most lawyers are mendacious. What a formula for justice!

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Believe me, ours suck ass just as badly, and most everyone knows it, except for the IP Nazi who posts here relentlessly. But then, there's very little he actually does know, but that doesn't stop him from posting his opinions as incontrovertible fact, without a shred of supporting evidence. He is, of course, a legend in his own mind, but is as completely full of shit as a Christmas turkey. In the old days, before the internet, people like him got beatings until they understood the inappropriateness of their conduct. In some ways, I miss those days.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Too bad he isn't in the UK.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Androgynous Cowherd, Jul 31st, 2011 @ 12:43am

    Does the UK really have stricter punishment for copyright offenders than sex offenders? It appears so.


    Do sex offenders scare the living daylights out of big corporate lobbying interests?

    Do copyright offenders?

    Any questions?

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2011 @ 12:07am

    Response to: DannyB on Jul 26th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    sexe.set

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re:

    Gall.sex

     

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


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