Insult To Injury: Mandelson Wants Those Wrongly Kicked Off The Internet To Pay To Appeal

from the guilty-by-association dept

As if Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill proposal wasn't bad enough, Dave sends in yet another problem with it. While it does include a process for appealing if you are cut off for accusations (not convictions) of unauthorized file distribution or reproduction, you will have to pay up to appeal. So even if you are innocent, it will cost you money to make your case for why you shouldn't have been cut off in the first place.


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  •  
    identicon
    :), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Sue for expenses.

    I hope the U.K. have laws that give people the chance to sue others for cost incurred and damages.

     

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    John Q. Public, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:23am

    Doesn't sound like due process to me

    If the government is that hard up for the cash, why not just raise taxes. Or better yet, stop wasting the revenue they already take. I know, - that is asking for way too much.

    Warning - car analogy:
    If I get a speeding ticket and appear in court to contest it, I only pay court costs if I lose. I do not have to pay for the privilege of the appeal. That's the way it works here, ymmv.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:40am

      Re: Doesn't sound like due process to me

      UIf I get a speeding ticket and appear in court to contest it, I only pay court costs if I lose. I do not have to pay for the privilege of the appeal. That's the way it works here, ymmv

      Unfortunately in the UK it doesn't always work that way now - even in the case you quote.

      See

      http://driversalliance.org.uk/press/view/368

       

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    When it comes to legal action in the UK, things like filing fees are not unusual:

    http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/publications/guidance/statutoryinstruments/index.htm

    Perha ps you might want to get better informed, rather than just swallowing a story from a website whole.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      Maybe you should try a bit of reading comprehension yourself. Mike does not suggest that this is unusual, only that it's an injustice to have to pay to regain your internet connection after having it removed due to a baseless accusation. Whether or not such a charge is unusual has nothing to do with Mike's post.

       

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        The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:38am

        Re: Re:

        It doesn't matter if it's your internet connection or poorly done home repairs, the logic is the same. If you want to go to court, you pay the fees. It's not unusual.

        Also, and this is VERY important, the internet connection is going to be cut "due to a baseless accusation", it's a 3 strikes law, not a "one and done" deal. A user would have to be the most unlucky person on the planet to have three seperate and unique complaints over time that were all baseless. I mentioned some points in that other thread, things like open wireless, stay over visitors, other users of the computer, etc. Often "innocent" people aren't as innocent as they claim, and they would be very unlucky indeed if they were "innocent" three times in a row.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          it's a 3 strikes law, not a "one and done" deal. A user would have to be the most unlucky person on the planet to have three seperate and unique complaints over time

          If the three strikes genuinely had to be independent I would agree with you but it is unlikely that genuine statistical independence will be a requirement. It is quite plausible that 3 strikes could come from a common cause.

          As the people over at freedom to tinker will testify if you run certain perfectly legal programs in certain perfectly legal ways you still seem to attract multiple strikes.

          Plus the fact that you have to be very unlucky does NOT of course mean that it won't happen to anyone. There's a one in 52 chance that the top two cards in a deck are same number and colour but if you search through the whole deck you find such an instance most times.

          After all winning the lottery is unusual - but that does not mean that all lottery winners are cheats.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Also, and this is VERY important, the internet connection is going to be cut "due to a baseless accusation", it's a 3 strikes law, not a "one and done" deal."

          OK, so 3 baseless allegations then. The 3 strikes only lowers the chance of being incorrectly accused, they does not remove it.

          "I mentioned some points in that other thread, things like open wireless, stay over visitors, other users of the computer, etc"

          ...but you ignore the other possibilities, such as IP and MAC address spoofing. I remember a case a while back where the ISP had gotten mixed up due to time zone differences and identified the wrong user as having performed the infringement.

          Are you really OK with innocent people being forced to defend their innocence in court due to incompetence or having been the victim of a crime themselves? Oh, and you might want to read more about this yourself. The way I'm reading it is that there is no direct court involvement. It's an appeals process set up by OFCOM, the government communications watchdog, and I don't believe a court will be involved.

           

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Igtor, for shame! Think before you speak.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Like I said before, do not expect the anti mike to debate the issues, that is not his MO.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Here's my best impression of TAM:

            "Fuck off and die. Does your mommy know you're using the internet?"

            Pretty good, huh?

             

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you want to go to court, you pay the fees. It's not unusual."

          I don't know about the UK, but in the US, you don't pay for defending yourself against a criminal charge unless you are found guilty. There's no part of the Miranda rights that a police officer has to read that says 'You are required to pay court fees to contest your innocence.' You want to discuss civil/criminal differences? I'm game, lets talk punishments when guilt is proven. Criminal charges are the only ones that have wide-ranging restrictions on freedoms (in additional to monetary penalties), while civil charges result in fines, restitutions and occasionally extremely narrow specific restrictions on freedoms. Cutting off someone's (more specifically, an entire household's) internet access is a wide-reaching punishment.

          Also, I highly doubt that the people being accused WANT to go to court - the ones that WANT to go to court are the content owners.

          "Also, and this is VERY important, the internet connection is going to be cut "due to a baseless accusation", it's a 3 strikes law, not a "one and done" deal."

          I agree that's absolutely important. It is important that someone's freedom is being restricted on the basis of accusations and not convictions, no matter how many there are.

          "I mentioned some points in that other thread, things like open wireless, stay over visitors, other users of the computer, etc."

          So you are admitting you want to punish someone who is not the actual guilty party? If your roommate gets pulled over for drunk-driving, do you lose your driving license as well?

          'It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.' - Voltaire

           

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          Sneeje (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet.... it happens. So unless part of your personal philosophy rejects the presumption of innocence (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2003/01/12/153/23800) then it would seem you have a problem.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "A user would have to be the most unlucky person on the planet to have three seperate and unique complaints over time that were all baseless."

          Or they would have to have an enemy.

           

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          Trails, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ZOMG!! You've just put my mind at ease. It requires three baseless accusations before someone's internet connection is cutoff?

          Phew, much better. Now let me write my parliamentary rep to support this wonderful piece of legislation.

           

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          Dom S, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Every report/feed/complaint/observation Mike makes, you have a counter-argument.

          not that you shouldn't have an opinion but you are repeatedly misreading what points he (and others) try to make.

          Mike makes no suggestion that things are unusual or should be the way we all want them. Just that there are many injustices being brought out from this DEB.

          The loss of internet connection for being sent 3 letters ACCUSING you of breaking the law is a ridiculous concept in itself. it seems that it is only being suggested because the greedy, crook scandelson has been bribed (through money/dinner/whatever, baseless accusation maybe) by industry lobbyists who want him and the gvnmt to do the hard work for them.
          concerns have been raised by many many people about other users sharing/hacking wi-fi connections of other users who are not tech-savvy enough to adequately secure their connections.
          There will be no-one to police these accusations (i.e no-one to come out and check your network for unauthorised users when you contest the accusation) and average users are unlikely to know how to prove it wasn't them.

          No-one can justify piracy but we can all justify the right to share information/creations. If a small (incredibly wealthy BTW) group of people dictate to us that we shouldn't share the wealth of knowledge/art/so-called copyright material, they should expect those of us with a bit of common sense to oppose the schemes.

          add to this now that there is the distinct possibility that we will have to pay just to defend ourselves from these extremely wealthy copyright-holders (mostly large corps and recording industry execs) and you have something else for us to be upset about.

          my main point(s) about this entire DEB situation and about the proposed anti-piracy laws is that the people trying to enforce these things are doing them for the wrong reasons.
          FIRSTLY, the government/House of Lords/MPs/etc are in place to protect, assist and govern (in a non-dictatorial way) the PEOPLE, not solely individuals with lined pockets and wealthy corps.
          SECONDLY, MP's and the government have been voted in by us to work for us... therefore shouldn't they be asking how we (the people) see piracy (and the management of piracy) without conditioning us to believe its outright wrong??
          I make no suggestion that we would all suddenly be pro-piracy but most average people out there have based their opinions on the information they have been force-fed by the media (also owned by the lobbyist-related corps) and the government propaganda (again displayed through news funded, with the exception i think of the BBC, by lobbyist-related corps)

          Im probably going to get lots of tin-hat comments about this but there IS a complex infra-structure of elite/elitist individuals out there who make sure that they remain at the top of the proverbial food-chain. there is a massive wealth gap in this country (UK) which is frequently denied existence by the wealthy government officials. laws like this impose the potential for poorer people to be fined obscene sums for minor infringement/copying/sharing which they cannot afford to pay.

          RANT over

           

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          IP Holder, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A user would have to be the most unlucky person on the planet to have three seperate and unique complaints over time that were all baseless.

          I quite agree. If you are accused 3 times you should be considered guilty until proven innocent.

          By the way, TAM, I noticed you infringing on a copyright of mine the other day. This is your first warning, two more and you're obviously guilty.

          Does anyone else have any infringement accusations to make against TAM? Come on, we just need two more.

           

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      Modplan (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:26am

      Court Fees

      Nothing in that link precisely stated who or why you'd have to pay. The fee information appears to be directed towards those within the court system.

      http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CrimeJusticeAndTheLaw/Thejudicialsystem/DG_066863

      http://w ww.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/7770.htm

      Reading further, it only seems to talk about fees for filing a case against someone, not a defendant who disputes a claim (so far, haven't gone through it all yet).

       

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:49am

      Re:

      "When it comes to legal action in the UK, things like filing fees are not unusual:"

      That kind of sophistry is silly. Pointing out the injustice in another nation's actions against it's own citizens is a staple of commentary. I'm sure I don't need to invoke Godwin's Law here to explain why not excepting what is common practice in other nations is important....

       

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      btr1701 (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:52am

      Re: Idiocy

      > When it comes to legal action in the UK, things
      > like filing fees are not unusual

      > Perhaps you might want to get better informed

      Where did Mike say it was unusual? Quote it back to us, please.

      [He said it was wrong, not rare, genius.]

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      lol, I love the silly arguments you make. Although you seem to throw out sound argument none the less.

       

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Legalization

    This just sounds like a legalization of the extortion racket to me. I would not be surprised at all to find that some of the fees somehow end up in the hands of the copyright nuts.
    It would certainly be hard for them to pull it off, but I would not put it past them to try to include that in the bill as well. Nothing like hiring the government to do most of the work for you, and have them pay you back for the little you do do (which is baseless to begin with).

     

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    Bradley Stewart, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Just About Anything

    that I have gotten in my life that I really wanted or needed required a Lawyer. The balance in the Universe is to get these things required fighting Lawyers on the other side of the issues. That's why God created blood pressure pills.

     

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    Dave, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Honest Question

    So, after a person showed they were wrongly cut off would they have the option to sue the government for the court costs?

     

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    Jon, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    What This Fails to Address

    This 3-strikes system has one large logic-gap, which is that ordinary citizens are unlikely to have the technical skills to be able to prove their innocence, nor the money to hire experts to investigate and testify on their behalf. The government (or the industry groups who created this proposed law) do have the personnel and money to prove guilt, if they wanted. Why then should ordinary people be required to prove their innocence?

    Isn't "innocent until proven guilty" the backbone of most justice systems in the developed world?

     

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    jilocasin, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Sounds like traffic tickets in NY

    Sounds eerily similar to traffic tickets in the state of New York.

    Some cop or state trooper pulls you over and writes out a ticket for some claimed infraction (speeding, running a red light, not obeying a traffic device, whatever). The ticket does _not_ tell you what the fine is. Your only options are to plead guilty, or to plead innocent and contest the ticket to a judge. If you plead guilty, a judge will tell you what you owe at a later date.

    Here's the best part, if you plead innocent there's a _mandatory_ $85 court fee. You have to pay that fee _even_if_you_are_found_innocent.

    The police are free to write tickets indiscriminately. If they write you a ticket for failing to obey a traffic sign in Buffalo, and you've never actually _been_ to Buffalo it will cost you at least $85 to get the chance to explain that to a judge. If the typical penalty is $50, then it's cheaper to simply pay the ticket than the $85 fee to contest it.

    See, bad copyright laws aren't our only export to the U.K.

     

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      That's why I dont live there, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

      Re: Sounds like traffic tickets in NY

      It is a good thing that NYC cops are not allowed to issue tickets outside their jurisdiction.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Legal fees should be recouped if the government was found to be wrong.

     

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    DaveL (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:46am

    Just guessing but...

    I'm guessing that if this goes into law, Peter Mandelson is going to be "accused" of a lot of copyright violations. What do you bet?

     

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      :), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:52am

      Re: Just guessing but...

      I think people should get the names and address of all his family members, friends, associates and co-workers and denounce them all.

      Mandelson could find a way to scape but all the people he know?I doubt it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

      Re: Just guessing but...

      I'm sure that he and his cronies will be on the list of those who are not subject to this law.

       

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    :), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Defamation lawsuit.

    When a person is cut out without being proven is that not defamation after all it is tarnishing someone else reputation and integrity public no less, should they be innocent could they not sue for that and ask reparation?

    The U.K. is the paradise for such lawsuits.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Can anyone else smell what's coming?

    While it's relatively easy to send out letters telling people to pay up or face the consequences, it still involves getting the names attached to the IP addresses and then a lawyer preparing and sending individual letters. With the three strikes plan, it involves three letters with a list of IP addresses.

    With the costs to the copyright idiots dropping like a rock, they will kick up their campaign against piracy and start sending massive amounts of accusations. I'd guess that within a year most of the current internet users would be cut off. We already know how accurate they are at sending the current letters, how will they react when they don't have nearly as many consequences and can bully many more people. We also know that these people don't think logically, they have a win at all costs mind set. They'll see what they think is a hint of piracy and send three letters just to force it to stop.

    Now, we all know how this will end. The law will be revoked for fear of a nation wide riot and the sales of little plastic disks will not go up.

     

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    ant anti mike, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    ITS a travesty of justice

    so anti mike how is a poor income earner to pay those fees and thus vindicate himself
    YEA i see
    you rich fucking asshole goofs are gonna be the first to go when the revolution starts

    THAT'S RIGHT ANTI MIKE TROLL GOAT FUCKER

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:57am

    Mr. Mandelson and his family members have been illegally downloading files I own the copyright on. If you can cut him off that'd be great. kkthxbye

     

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    MAC, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:00am

    Government Legal Fees...

    What in the hell do we pay taxes for? I thought it was for among other things, the court system.
    The current infatuation with 'fees' is going to get far more expensive over the long run; just look at the banks.
    What we really need is some plain old common sense. Why, why do I have to pay for something that I have already paid for again?
    I can tell you why, because politicians and the like are just as greedy as the banks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    If the bill passes, if three people accuse him, he will see how stupid it is.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Line from the linked article

    I haven't been following this Digital Economy Bill as much as I should but this line from the linked article struck me as insane:

    It [the digital economy bill] proposes that those downloading over a certain level a month could have their internet connection suspended,...


    Did the article get this right? Is it not just downloading infringing content, but how much you download?

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:53am

      Re: Line from the linked article

      Wow, well spotted... Imagine the nightware it will be if that is the case!

      Would they differentiate between P2P downloading and other uses? If so, people would just use other methods to download infringing content. If not, people who choose to stream their HD movies on the Xbox 360 would be cut off for watching too much legal content... Also imagine the nightmare if an actual cap is written into the bill - too big and it's useless, but whatever they specify will be too small in a few short years.

       

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    Duffmeister (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Businesses and Legal Status

    If a business is a legal person under law does that mean we could apply this law to them? If so the copyright holder organizations may find themselves kicked off the internet for alleged violations.

    Wouldn't it be funny to see a company get kicked off for 3 accusations? I think so.

    It also demonstrates how unusable the idea is. If an employee from a work computer commits a violation the company as a legal person would be liable and thus get thrown off the inet.

     

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      ChrisB (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:56am

      Re: Businesses and Legal Status

      But who can make these accusations? Will the general populous have the ability to make accusations or will it be written into the law that only certain groups can make accusations.

      To me it smells like only certain copyright organizations will have the ability to make these accusations.

       

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        duffmeister (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: Businesses and Legal Status

        There is the problem. Not enough details to make any realistic expectations. If it can only come from a list of organizations then they have established a tiered copyright where the individual is not represented as well as the money bags fuel politicians.

         

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    taoareyou (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    A "new" business model?

    Vinney knocks on your door.

    "So hey, Mister, ya see we's cut off your Internet, and If you ever wanna see it again, your gonna have to pay us and we will let you ask us to turn it back on. Capiche?"

     

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    isaacthek, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    To TAM

    So if I accuse TAM of murder, rape, and armed robbery, who here agrees he should be locked away?
    TAM - you must prove your innocense of these three charges AFTER you have already been locked up and denied the freedom and ability to readily research your options. WE MUST PROTECT THE INNOCENT PUBLIC FROM THE ACCUSED.

     

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    Richard Corsale (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    WHAT ABOUT THE CORP GIANTS!!!

    Since Corps are now "people" does that mean that when their employees violate three strikes that their Internet will be cut off?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:49pm

      Re: WHAT ABOUT THE CORP GIANTS!!!

      Since Corps are now "people" does that mean that when their employees violate three strikes that their Internet will be cut off?

      No, because they're specially privileged "people". See Corpocracy.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Mistakes are not random

    The comments about someone having to be unlucky to get 3 strikes accidently sounds wrong to me. I would bet that a person who in not downloading illegal content but get a notice is very likely to get 2 more because either some other activity they are doing is getting flagged incorrectly or because activities of others are being incorrectly attributed to them. I am not staying it will never be random but I would bet the false positives group around a small number of people and are not evenly distributed.

     

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    Henry Emrich, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

    Why bother?

    After Reading TAM's idiocy for a while now, I'm actually starting to think that maybe he's smarter than he comes off: his gibberish almost reads like a parody of IP apologist clap-trap and recycled RIAA talking-points.

    Has anybody considered the fact that he's actually a sensible person (In other words, an IP skeptic) who is simply here to "play" at being an RIAA lapdog?

    Certainly, his "arguments" are excruciatingly bad at the best of times. What makes me think he's actually a sock-puppet or something is the fact that he descends into periodic bouts of almost Zen-like verbiage: "And...but...unless" --- a literal "fill-in-the-blank" objection to anything and everything.

    If I didn't know better, I'd compare it to the tendency among FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open-source) computer folk to enjoy self-referential humor and elaborate put-ons.

    In all likelihood, TAM is basically the Techdirt equivalent of "Jeff K." -- a gloriously inspired parody of just exactly how abysmally shallow and ultimately self-defeating IP apologist trolls actually are.

    http://www.somethingawful.com/hosted/jeffk/

    Either that, or he's Jack Valenti's bastard step-son, who hides under his bed at night, shaking uncontrollably because his idol compared the VCR to the "Boston Strangler".

    Or maybe he's just "Sam I Am's" other personality.

    In any case: why are any of you bothering with TAM at all (other than to treat It like the tragically un-funny joke It really is.)

    Just Sayin' :)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

      Re: Why bother?

      Has anybody considered the fact that he's actually a sensible person (In other words, an IP skeptic) who is simply here to "play" at being an RIAA lapdog?

      Kind of like how Hitler was actually anti-Nazi, but nobody got the joke?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

      Re: Why bother?

      the anti mike is just a very poorly implemented madlibs

       

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

    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 2:52am

      Re: Why bother?

      I'd go with Occam's razor on this one: if someone sounds like an *ss all the time, chances are he is one.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dave, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Dinner, anyone?

    All this springing up after Mandy had contact with a music industry big-wig? Dinner or something, wasn't it? All seems highly questionable to me. It couldn't possibly be that Mr. M. (I refuse to use the term "Lord") is trying to make a name for himself and ingratiate himself with said industry?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    TFP, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    MentalSlavery

    Privilege: Private law.

     

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


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