We will make stuff people do actually want, but sell it in a format they canít use, through a service they donít have, at a price they hate, and they will buy because we have used corrupt politicians to criminalise all the alternatives.
What deeply disturbs me about modern governments is that we can clearly demonstrate that these legacy businesses are lying, time and time again, - not just wrong, but being wilfully misleading - and it appears to have no effect on their influence over our politicians.
The UK government (and I guess most others) is so ideologically focused and faith based, that they will do something that will have exactly the opposite effect of what they intended, just because of who tells them to do it.
Itís like the old democracy, butÖ better. And trademarked.
We didnít get to be rich and powerful by letting "the public" tell us what to do. No, we told them to vote for us and accept this law and that law, or there would be child porn. Just child porn everywhere.
Is that what you freetards want, Mike-Glyn? Terrorist child porn and cupcake bombs? Because thatís how it looks from way up here. And those things are totally unNewDemocraticô.
It's not just limited to these industry groups though. I have met people (even young people, in their early 20s!) totally unconnected to these industries who unequivocally believe that stronger copyright law is a) an effective deterrent against file-sharing, b) utterly essential for an artist to make any money from their art, and c) a moral imperative that governments must heed, at any cost to personal freedom or speech.
In their minds, this is not and has not ever been a debate about defunct business practices. They actually view all unauthorised file-sharing as literal theft.
In my experience they are significantly in the minority, but they are still numerous enough to represent a significant obstacle to copyright reform. Letís not forget that a lot of them seem to have made it into our governments.
Legal lobbying give massive advantages to the wealthy and to established groups.
Without lobbyists and corporate donations, the main driving force behind political decisions will be voter opinion. While the voting majority might not always want whatís best for them, at least they could get what they want.
In the UK, along with the data caps, the big ISPs (with the possible exception of Virgin, the cable/fibre network operator) also throttle internet speeds at peak times.
Ostensibly this throttling is to ensure heavy users donít hog bandwidth while there are a lot of users online. I see two huge problems with this:
First, the providers have oversold their network. They have sold more bandwidth than they are capable of providing at any one time. This is blatantly dishonest. We pay for an 3.5MB BT connection (the fastest available in my postcode) but rarely see speeds of even a third of that. A recent OFCOM study found that most UK internet users get speeds well below what they signed up to.
Second, the result of this throttling is that at the time when most people are online, the experience is at itís worst. In the evenings on my connection it is often not possible to stream a 1 minute YouTube video in its entirety. If other users are similarly affected, the ISPs will have a lot of peeved off customers.
The rate at which the big ISP networks in the UK are being updated is also abysmal. BT have only recently started offering 20MB (though in reality this is closer to 8MB) fibre connections in heavily built up areas.
Meanwhile the smaller Virgin, whose customers actually do get the advertised speeds, and sometimes even higher ones, are rolling out 100MB connections in cities. Four years ago, when I lived in the centre of Belfast, we had a 20MB Virgin connection. It will be another two years before I can get a 20MB BT connection the large town I live in now.
Even here where we have greater competition, there is very little to differentiate between any of the providers. The prices are much the same, the speeds are much the same and the throttling and caps are all much the same. Iím not sure how this situation came about, but I find it problematic.
The only exception is Virgin. Their service and support seem to be pretty great but they are not widely available outside urban residential centres.