ISPs slam Digital Economy Bill's multi-million pound price tag
Why should broadband users bail out the music industry?
Internet service providers have grumbled that the anti-piracy measures proposed in the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) could cost consumers up to £500m.
According to the Times, ISPs have claimed that their subscribers would be saddled with charges of around £25 each to help pay for warning letters, slowed down web connections, and eventual cut-offs meted out to illegal file sharers, if the Bill gets the thumbs up in Parliament.
Meanwhile, various press outlets are reiterating findings in the government's DEB "impact assessment" that was published in November, which suggested that the initial letter-writing campaign could cost £1.40 per subscription to execute the proposed crackdown on internet pirates in the UK.
According to the report, such an implementation could lead to between 10,000 and 40,000 ISP customers ditching their web connections.
At the same time the government's assessment found that the DEB could plump up £350m in extra tax for the Treasury, as well as bring in around £1.7bn in sales to content owners.
But the likes of BT and Talk Talk aren't happy with many of the proposals contained in the Bill. Some ISPs have declared that content providers should foot any charges associated with what will effectively be open season on illegal file sharers, if the DEB does indeed come to pass ahead of 2010's General Election, which the Tories are widely expected to win.
“Broadband consumers shouldn’t have to bail out the music industry. If they really think it’s worth spending vast sums of money on these measures then they should be footing the bill; not the consumer,” Talk Talk CEO Charles Dunstone told the Times.
BT also put the boot in about the government's anti-piracy plans.
“Put yourself in the shoes of a small businessman who has a rogue member of staff. Your internet access could get cut off because of the actions of one individual. It really feels like the UK is out on a limb with these proposals compared to the rest of the world,” said BT Retails' consumer division managing director John Petter.
The Bill is set to be scrutinised by a committee on 6 January. ®
Why oh why oh why oh why...
Unlawful (not _illegal_) copyright infringement (not _theft_) already has appropriate legal process. Find the sharer, grab the sharer, sue their ass off.
Why is the government being expected to _criminalise_ copyright infringement, whilst handing us the bill? Has the government been duped/bought, or is this just noise to cover something much more insidious?
Between you and me, if a music industry inspired action added £25 to my ISP bill, I'd damn well go and find £25 worth of songs to _steal_ to make the unwanted expense worth my while.
Of course, this presupposes I can actually find that many songs. <google "uk top 40", link to Radio1> Riiight. Silly season. Tell me, is Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" as cheesy as my imagination is telling me it should be? <sigh>
We KNOW why...
This - of course - has very little to do with law, justice or copyright protection.
It's about a bent-as-a-9-bob-note government in thrall to a media industry increasingly reliant on restrictive practices to protect their shabby overpriced products. Copyright has already gone from a civil matter to a criminal offence. People who know it's a waste of time phoning police after a burglary or an assault can rest assured that manpower is always available to kick in doors in the early hours whenever media moguls' profits are threatened.
So who even CARES what the latest exercise costs? Not the politicians - their palms are already heavy with silver. Not the media companies - they're in wish-list heaven. Judges, police and the rest of the Brethren all well on-board. So just the man in the street left to care, I'm afraid. And in New Labour Ripoff-Britain Plc, he just doesn't count.
1700 mill gain over 7 years,cost of 500Mil/year
GBP1.7 billion gain over 7 years, at a cost of GBP0.5 billion per year. So how is this not a bailout to music execs to maintain there bonuses and punishing lunch schedules of caviare and dope. So in essence this handout is free money. Why not give them the money then license downloads like the radio. Then at least you get something for your bailout.
Oh, why is legislation only supporting one industry with capital, what about the war vets, even though no one steals from them if you are giving billions away surely you would pick a sector of the community that has actually contributed something?