UK Politician Vacations With Hollywood Big Shot… Suddenly Wants To Criminalize Sharing

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Calvin alerts us to the news that, just days after dining with entertainment industry honcho David Geffen while on holiday, at the Rothschild family villa on Corfu, Lord Peter Mandelson, the UK’s Business Secretary suddenly returned to the office and demanded that the Digital Britain report be beefed up to include criminalizing file sharing. Even the press reporting on this seem pretty skeptical of the reasoning behind it (which is a first). While a spokesperson for Mandelson insisted the wining and dining with Geffen had nothing to do with things, someone else in the office seemed to disagree:

‘Until the past week, Mandelson had shown little personal interest in the Digital Britain agenda. Suddenly Peter returned from holiday and effectively issued this edict that the regulation needs to be tougher.’

Perhaps you can’t take a single anonymous quote seriously, but it’s at least worth finding out why Mandelson suddenly thinks it’s a smart thing to criminalize a large portion of the online activity in the UK.

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Comments on “UK Politician Vacations With Hollywood Big Shot… Suddenly Wants To Criminalize Sharing”

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35 Comments
Dave W (profile) says:

Name change

His name is spelt MANDELSON. He is universally disliked in the UK having been thrown out of government twice, and only brought back in by being made a Lord (as no one in the population would vote for him). Check out his background here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mandelson

You can see he has a history of spending time with wealthy private individuals and then doing them favours on his return – see “Second Resignation”.

Bettawrekonize says:

Re: Name change

“His name is spelt MANDELSON. He is universally disliked in the UK having been thrown out of government twice, and only brought back in by being made a Lord (as no one in the population would vote for him).”

I think one thing that needs to be avoided is power given to unelected officials. I think one thing that needs to be universally resisted is the control that unelected officials have over law and the positions of authority they are given. In the U.S. think federal agencies like the FCC, FDA, etc… they often act like tyrants acting for private interests at public expense. We also need to ensure the integrity of our voting system just as well ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090608/2201455173.shtml see my posts).

Not Surprised says:

“Perhaps you can’t take a single anonymous quote seriously, but it’s at least worth finding out why Mendelson suddenly thinks it’s a smart thing to criminalize a large portion of the online activity in the UK.”

Being a Labour man he has probably realised that the internet is something which is not currently under the government’s direct and crippling control and is seeking to rectify it. They do so hate it when they aren’t in charge.

Richard says:

what the public really thinks!

Look at the ratings for the comments on this story on the original Daily Mail site.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206901/Mandelson-launches-crackdown-file-sharing–just-days-meeting-record-producer.html#comments

It give the lie to the idea that the “real public” agrees with the likes of the RIAA as was pointed out here earlier

http://techdirt.com/articles/20090807/0207275797.shtml

Top comments (rated about +700) generally take the techdirt line – bottom comments (rated about -90) agree with Mandelson.

Remember this is the Daily Mail website we’re talking about a mass market right of centre paper – not the Guardian or the Independent.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: what the public really thinks!

Yeah, the Daily Fail is usually the paper that’s pushing a pro-censorship, pro-corporate line, usually via ridiculous scaremongering that bares no relation to reality. If their readership isn’t falling for this, it’s hard to imagine that anyone else is going to be swayed.

Then again, the reporting here is as shoddy as ever:

“Digital Britain’ bill to be published next month, would target broadband users who persistently download music and films for nothing.”.

I persistently download music and films for nothing as well, perfectly legally (eMusic, AmieStreet, podcasts, archive.org, CC content & torrents of public domain movies, etc.). For once, I’d like to see mainstream reporting on this issue that doesn’t conveniently “forget” that legal downloads and file sharing actually exist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes!

Do that!

Criminalize it!

You see….if they criminalize it, it requires a burden of proof *far* exceeding that of a civil suit. MediaSentry et al. will not be enough to provide proof beyond doubt.

Do this in the US as well, and our problems with RIAA will suddenly go away (after they get laughed out of court the first time).

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Yes!

Do that!

Criminalize it!

You see….if they criminalize it, it requires a burden of proof *far* exceeding that of a civil suit. MediaSentry et al. will not be enough to provide proof beyond doubt.

Do this in the US as well, and our problems with RIAA will suddenly go away (after they get laughed out of court the first time).

I have been saying this same thing for a long time… More importantly than the burdan of proof, the penalties would be standardized as well so you wouldn’t see any more of these $600k judgements.

Anonymous Coward says:

Making a Dreamworks

David Geffen is a tool. I always wondered how Dreamworks was able to keep their doors open with crappy imported animation, and poorly scripted live films. But, having the Rothschilds as a family friend will pretty much secure a financial future.

I’m also pretty sure it was David Geffen who told Prez Obama he was going to be prez, and asked him to do a biography about him.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/11/obama-geffen.html

Yeah. All coincidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Making a Dreamworks

But, part of the problem is that Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, And David Geffen all believe they are entitled to being billionaires, and the state should protect their distribution methods because they are a production house. They don’t see a need to innovate their business methods.

Meanwhile, they seem to overvalue such films such as “Shrek 14”. And whine “But… But… We need to make billions on this to cover the next films.”

However, they fail to see the simple fact that what they’ve produced is a steaming pile of something called “Shrek 14”, and is not entitled to patronage, just as they’re not entitled to being billionaires.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“this will spin conspiracy mills”

Oh, please, we’re not making it up when they do it right in front of your face. If you don’t know the history of the Rothschild family, then that’s your own fault, but these are straight up Bilderburg attending, Nazi Germany supporting, GLOBALISTS.

Taking away individual rights is absolutely par for the course.

Frosty840 says:

I’d just like to add my voice to the chorus pointing out that Manelson is the most despised politician I know of who isn’t Margaret Thatcher, and has done more to bring down the public’s perception of the Labour party than anyone else; and let’s face it, Labour aren’t exactly blessed with the most obviously likeable bunch of evil, lying weasels in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Infringe Everything Intangible

“But, part of the problem is that Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, And David Geffen all believe they are entitled to being billionaires”
——————–

Why exactly ISN’T Stephen Spielberg entitled to be a billionaire? Because you want to see his movies for free? Because you can’t help but masturbate while reading Karl Marx?

Stephen Spielberg’s success is exactly the kind that could never exist with Masnick’s CwF + RtB (T-shirts and mahogany boxes) business model.

The next Stephen Spielberg will likely have trouble keeping a roof over his head.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

So what you’re saying is…Stephen Spielberg-level success is STILL possible with your proposed business models?

The majority of my complaints with your position could be instantly quelled depending on your answer to this.

However I suspect you will avoid answering so simple a question because to admit that the commercial top tier of artists would vanish with your proposals, that the scale of success would shrink, that the potential bar would indeed be lowered at the top as it is perhaps inversely raised at the bottom is something I don’t think you have, or ever will, admit to…

But please correct me if I’m wrong.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Stop Fighting Technology Disperse Nuclear Weapons

Firstly, even if the premise that the guys at the top of the extremely disproportionate pile might not be able to sustain the current levels of richness and those at the bottom may start to earn more – so? Why would that be such an awful thing anyway?

Secondly, I never understand commenters like you anyway; Mike sees a problem and is simply voicing an opinion on ways to adapt future business models to account for this. He’s not responsible for the problem and not every idea he comes up with is in my opinion workable but so what? Is that really reason to get with all the shouty “ha ha ha you don’t know the answer” posts?

I would assume you have even less of an idea of the answer since that’s the one thing you don’t seem to attempt to communicate (apologies if you do indeed have the answer, in which case please accept my criticism that your chosen method of communication sucks)

Why do so many of you and your ilk seem to confuse reasoned debate with finger pointing?

Back to the topic Peter Mandelson is generally reviled in the UK as other commenters have already mentioned, it doesn’t surprise me that he is behind such an idiotic legal proposal or that he has yet again been caught getting pally with the Rothschilds, he was recently caught with them and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska – talk about judging someone by their friends…

Once upon a time I would have said that such a law would stand little chance of being passed, but the damage nuLabour have inflicted on the lords and the fact that they are so out of touch with the UK populace as to place Mandelson as 2nd in line for the party leadership, stops me from being this optimistic

master mandelson, Anti US rebol,the Young Communis says:

master mandelson, Anti US rebol,the Young Communist League, andthe Communist Party of Great Britain.

http://www.reference.com/browse/mandelson
“Early life
Mandelson was born in London in 1953, where his father was the advertising manager at The Jewish Chronicle.

On his mother’s side, he is the grandson of Herbert Morrison, the London County Council leader and Labour cabinet minister.

He was educated at Hendon County Grammar School.

In his youth, he briefly rebelled against his family’s Labour tradition due to Labour’s support of the USA in the Vietnam War

and in 1971 left the Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS) to join the Young Communist League, then the youth wing of the Communist Party of Great Britain. This move was partly a result of disagreements with the Trotskyist Militant tendency that had just won a majority in the LPYS nationally.
….

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