Feeds

Filesharers petition Downing Street on 'three strikes'

BPI, government and ISPA should be first to sign

High performance access to file storage

Money talks

There are obvious and serious problems with this system that ought to be debated in public. How will an appeals process work? Will disconnected users have any redress in the courts? Will the rights holder body or the ISP be liable? What if the accusation comes from abroad? How will a voluntary system work within the bounds of existing laws? The key point is that they are instead under discussion by corporate lawyers and bean counters behind closed doors.

It's telling that on these questions the ISPA and the BPI already speak with one voice. A self-regulatory scheme is preferable and still in the works, both say, and these details can just be ironed out.

For consumers the proposals raise justified fears about fair treatment, personal data and rights to internet access. We live in Gordon Brown's "knowledge economy", do we not? Yet the nub of all these matters for ISPs and the rights organisations is cash, not principles. The Downing Street petitioners would do well to bear that in mind.

That the decisions are being made without public input suits the government down to the ground. It knows better than anyone that laws are formal, thorough beasts, and must be consulted upon.

Everyone who cares about this needs to realise that telling the record industry "three strikes" won't restore its 1980s business model or that it is in an unwinnable arms race is pointless. That side-argument is boring, often childish, and in 2008 is best left to the pages of Digg.

Rights holders' successful Westminster lobbying has not been about stamping out illegal filesharing. The BPI et al are not stupid enough to dream that would ever be possible. Their aim is to change the mainstream perception of it as a normal online activity with no consequences. And the government now backs this aim wholeheartedly.

Nobody at any of the six ISPs that now control more than 95 per cent of the UK broadband market would dare disagree. In truth, spreading ludicrous suggestions that heavy users could be targeted simply for heavy use or FUD about deep packet inspection (DPI) suits the ISPs' negotiating goals at the moment. Their aim is not to lose any money on the deal, as ISPA conceded earlier this month when it said its primary concern is to ensure its members are indemnified against lawsuits.

For the UK's internet public, the battle over whether online copyright infringement will be more tightly controlled is already lost. Filesharers are left with the dim hope that financial squabbling between ISPs and rights holders over the next few months call the government's legislative bluff. It's the only way they'll get a say in the matter.

You're welcome to share your thoughts in our comments section, of course. Freetards, pigopolists, and everyone inbetween. ®

Bootnote

One futher piece of misinformation being spread is that the UK government got the "three strikes" idea from the French, who are indeed further ahead in implementing it.

The reverse is true. As Lord Triesman told El Reg in January, it was a meeting with our government last year that inspired Sarkozy's bunch to crack down.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.