Friday, 20 November 2009

File Sharing

I don't want to pay for the individual songs anf films I download.  I want to pay for them in exactly the same way I pay for my cable TV.  One fee and I get Sky movies and sport and all the music channels.  Why should the internet be any diferent?

I also produced an interesting phone-in during the middle of the night recently on file sharing.  Something you would think would not interest anyone at 3am in the mornng? - But far from it - droves of people rang, text, emailed - 90% angry that the government were going to spy on what you and I do on the internet.

If the new Digital Economy Bill  comes into force the goverment will in turn force ISP providers into becoming cyber-police and ISP's will have a duty to check on just where your clicking in the virtual world.  It does not look a particularly popular bill except with the copyright bodies - here is one comment from the Independent story on the Bill:

What this bill illustrates is that, yet again, the people at the top haven't the faintest understanding of how the internet works. Not how they'd like it to work... but how it DOES work. Some years ago, I was present at round table discussions in Madrid where ministers were seriously suggesting legislation to oblige .es domain holders to register all published content under a "depósito legal", as the print media is obliged to do - a sort of copyright server for EVERYTHING posted on a Spanish TLD. To wit, the RIAA's continued naivety at the extortionate yet futile fees their lawyers charge them for tactics which any seasoned surfer could have told them years ago ain't ever gonna work!

Before I despair, let me try and be constructive. Lord Mandelson: I too believe in intellectual property, but your proposal cannot work. Your team has obviously failed to brief you on the steady prevalence of satellite ISPs, which will only get faster and cheaper. Any banned user will merely point their dish up at the sky and be online with a non-UK account. What do you propose? Jamming Intelsat's European footprint? Get real... please.

My parting advice - get yourself a focus group of teenagers and run EVERY piece of net legislation by them. If they scoff, scrap it. Simples.

(Steven Ritson comment) (PS If you recognise my little froggy friend above you are a very naughty person and I shall send Lord Mandelson round to sort you out)

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