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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Filed Under: file sharing, music, recording industry, uk

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  1. identicon
    Easily Amused, 19 Mar 2009 @ 8:58am

    Good to see that the us gov. isn't the only one bought and paid for buy corporate interests at least.

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

  2. identicon
    some old guy, 19 Mar 2009 @ 9:18am


    What amazes me tho, isn't that we are so fascist.. it's that the ENTERTAINMENT cartels are the ones that made us into fascists!

    Democracy didn't fall to the need to compete industrially (as was always predicted and feared), no, no such luck... democracy fell because we had too much time and money. So much excess time and money that we placed a higher value on entertainment than anything else.

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

  3. identicon
    SteveD, 19 Mar 2009 @ 9:31am

    The business angle is missing

    Its strange how they start off talking about changing consumer demand, then suddenly switch tracks to explaining how the public might be 'managed' to consume in the correct manner.

    A digital rights agency isn't a bad idea if its going to try and mediate between all the interested parties and find a real way forward. That way maybe issues such as those between the PRS and Google could be avoided.

    But if its just going to be a '3 strikes' system in different cloths...what's that point in that?

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

  4. 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.

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

  5. identicon
    Some IT Guy, 19 Mar 2009 @ 10:59am

    Legal Alternatives

    When you have sites like,, and it's very hard to justify illegally downloading songs/albums.

    I'll admit I still occasionally download songs from but I first check those other sites.

    Let the free market decide!

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

  6. identicon
    robin, 19 Mar 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Legal Alternatives

    i don't know anything about the three music sites you've mentioned (i'm way too old :) ), but i am vaguely aware that there are in fact a bunch of sites trying to establish viable internet based selling businesses. i do wish them all the very best as the marketplace makes its decisions. i'm going to quibble with your final statement about downloading songs from the pirate bay. as an i.t. guy, surely you know that t.p.b. does not host music files. all they host are bittorrent files (an advanced meta-data file) put there by 3rd parties (users).

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

  7. identicon
    Mr Big Content, 19 Mar 2009 @ 3:03pm


    Good to see another step taken towards the complete privatization of law enforcement. The less involvement the Government has in our lives, the better, I say.

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

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