Is The UK Turning The Policing Of File-Sharing Over To The Copyright Cartel?

from the inmates,-asylum,-etc. dept

The UK released its "Digital Britain" report a couple of months ago, and it was derided not just because it was very vague, but also because it caved to the interests of the recording industry. The extent to which that's the case is slightly staggering. The British government has now released some details on part of the plan that would create a "Digital Rights Agency" -- a government-backed industry body to tackle file-sharing. The government says that the group wouldn't have any enforcement power, but that it could be "backed up by legislation." That sounds an awful lot like giving the copyright cartel the ability to set the rules on what people can do online, which will certainly only benefit them, and not the public -- just in case you wondered whose "rights" a Digital Rights Agency would seek to protect. The justification for such an approach is pretty appalling. The report says that consumers' attitudes towards content has changed, and that they're not willing to accept limitations on how and where they access it. Smart businesses would see this as an opportunity to change their business model and create new products and services that fit consumers' changing attitudes. But instead, the likes of the recording industry go looking to government to get a legal stick with which to beat customers to fit their outmoded business models.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2009 @ 9:59am

    Not the main problem

    It might make sense to do this kind of thing if stopping piracy fixed the recording industry's problem. The unfortunate thing is that even if the industry group was 100% effective in stopping piracy, they would make, at best, a tiny dent in industry profits.

    The recording industry wants to return to a model where they sell teenagers albums at $15 each. I work with teenagers and young college students, and I can see that is not going to happen. People don't realize how different this generation is from previous ones. Today's young people are not going to put nearly as much money into music as they used to.

    I think the recording industry has moved a little bit. They might be realizing that selling individual tracks at $1 - $2 each with essentially no marginal cost would allow them to rake in the same amounts of money they used to make. However, their model still involves the assumption that they control the channels for music distribution and promotion, and that genie is going to be the one that is very hard to keep in the bottle.

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