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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the a-kinder-gentler-copyright-industry dept.

Piracy 93

New submitter echo-e writes: "A deal has been made between groups representing content creators and ISPs in the UK concerning how the ISPs should respond to suspected illegal file sharers. In short, the ISPs will send letters or emails with an 'educational' rather than threatening tone, alerting users to legal alternatives. The rights holders will be notified of the number of such alerts that have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identity of the offenders. Only four of the UKs ISPs have agreed to the 'Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme' so far, but the remaining ISPs are expected to join the programme at a later stage. The debate between rights holders and ISPs has raged on for years. This agreement falls short of the of the proposals put forward by the rights holders groups, but the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users and that a legal process already exists for going after individuals."

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Avast! (2)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 7 months ago | (#46959403)

Those bits are mine, walk the plink! You scorvy hampole? It was toast and gratis all the front bolowwo to the jemibigifilligasts of your mon, it LENIN

Re:Avast! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959593)

Dear Mr Pirate,

It would seem apparent that you may have been, shall we say, somewhat ill-advised in your choice of sources of entertainment. We would like to let you know that if you wait, oh, only a mere couple of years, you will probably be able to view Game of Thrones Season 4 on NetFlix, at whatever rate NetFlix has gone up to by then, so with such a great option at hand, it's hard for us to imagine why you would want to download an illegitimate copy now. So please do reconsider your ways, have a cup of tea, ra ra, tally ho, God Save the Queen, and all that.

Yours Most Sincerely,
Polite UK ISP

Re:Avast! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959627)

Day 1: While walking around the alleys in my city, I spotted my next target. I made a note of my target's location. It's beautiful; I can't wait to see what comes of this. I quietly departed.

Day 2: I returned to the same location I saw my target at yesterday, and found that it was still there; maybe it goes to that alleyway often? I snuck in closer and made note of some characteristics that I did not notice yesterday. I quietly departed.

Day 3: I returned to my new favorite alleyway and found that my target was there again. Man, she's gorgeous; I can't wait to make my move. I'll do to her what I did to all the others. I can't wait. I quietly departed.

Day 4: I found myself at the alleyway again; I couldn't resist. I noticed that my target has pinworms, which excited me greatly. My target still hasn't realized I've been stalking her. I vowed to make my move tomorrow, and I quietly departed.

Day 5: Today's the day. I returned to the same alleyway as usual, spotted my target, and got ready to make my move. "You're all mine," I thought. After observing my target for a few minutes and imagining all the fun I'll have with her, I charged in with a pocket knife, held her down, put it up to her throat, and told her not to struggle or scream. "You're all mine now, you slutty bitch!" I screamed.

Now, where shall we begin? I took out my pregnancy rod and started rubbing it all over the bitch. I want to do more, but it's always more fun to play with them first. "We're done playing, slut!" I screamed, as I smacked it around. "The real fun begins now!" I positioned my cock just right, and pushed in.

I shoved my cock all the way inside, and didn't stop until I reached its womb. "Oh, yes! You're going to be a mother soon, you piece of shit!" I shouted in delight. My cock mercilessly pumped in and out of the pinworm-infested piece of feces, and the urge to orgasm rose every second.

"You're not the first one I've done this to, so you're not alone. You're neither the first, and nor will you be the last." I whispered to the feces, as I continued moving in and out. Man, she was plump. This is the best feces I've ever raped. I'm almost at my limit, and my hips won't stop moving!

"Hahahaha! You fancy being impregnated, slut?" I screamed, as I was almost about to come. "I'm coming! Get pregnant, you piece of shit!" I shot out my seed into the deepest reaches of the feces's womb, and a shock wave of pleasure went through my entire body! "Make good use of that seed, got it?" I said, with a disgusting smile on my face. "Well, I've gotta go. Don't be a stranger, alright? I'll always be watching you." The emotionally-devastated piece of feces didn't utter a word. I triumphantly departed.

Day 6: While scouting the alleys in my city, I spotted my next target...

Re:Avast! (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about 6 months ago | (#46970083)

Oh fuck off. Movie piracy is in no way comparable to physical rape. Cunt. You are one sick fucker to be able to conjure up such a story in such detail, anyway.

Re:Avast! (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46960037)

More like...

Dear Valued Customer,

Please try not to be noticed, but do continue to use a lot of bandwidth to protect our revenue stream.

There's a good chap.

Cheerio,
Your ISP

PS If you do get noticed we, most regrettably, shall be forced into the position of writing a stern letter to your mum.

Re:Avast! (2)

morgauxo (974071) | about 7 months ago | (#46960623)

Nope. Your not cynical enough.
Did you not catch the part "alerting users to legal alternatives"

This will be a whole new stream of advertising revenue for the ISPs.

Re:Avast! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46960803)

Nope. Your not cynical enough.
Did you not catch the part "alerting users to legal alternatives"

This will be a whole new stream of advertising revenue for the ISPs.

I .. I suddenly have the urge to buy all the soundtrack music played over the tannoy at Tesco.

Re:Avast! (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 7 months ago | (#46961331)

Please try not to be noticed, but do continue to use a lot of bandwidth to protect our revenue stream.

ISPs don't generally want you to use bandwidth. Just pay for it.

Arrrrrrrr (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 7 months ago | (#46959419)

And then I said, " ...

Re:Arrrrrrrr (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959467)

It's driving me nuts!

Re:Arrrrrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959847)

LOL! You owe me a new keyboard. Well played, sir!
I heard that in the voice of my sister, who absolutely excels at telling that joke.

Re:Arrrrrrrr (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 months ago | (#46959633)

And then I said, " ...

That's what most recipients will likely say - nothing.

So what happens after that?

Re:Arrrrrrrr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959907)

According to TorrentFreak.

...rightsholders say that if Vcap doesn’t achieve results, they will call for the “rapid implementation” of the harsh measures promised by the Digital Economy Act.

There's a 99.9% chance they're going to pull that shit on day one.

Re:Arrrrrrrr (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46960835)

I used to get emails and letters from Virgin begging me to download less. They advertise an "unlimited" service so they can't force me to, they just begged. I asked them to stop sending them and they did.

If that doesn't work you could ask for the letters to be printed on toilet paper so at least you could get some use out of them. Failing that just write "return to sender" on the envelope and shove it back in the box.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959431)

What does that do?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959475)

It'll make all those people downloading episodes of Game of Thrones quake in their boots, that's what!

That or it's some weird subsidy scheme for the Royal Mail.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#46959551)

I see it as basically advertising. ISPs agree to "alert[] users to legal alternatives", i.e. to send them junk mail promoting some streaming services.

Not really a huge win for the "groups representing content creators", but an agreement that ISPs will send free junk mail advertising your stuff is probably better than nothing. It's also at least targeted towards people who care about films/music/whatever, some subset of whom might actually be potential customers.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46959621)

The music industry is even paying for it £750,000 to set it up, and then £75,000 a year every year afterwards. I can't help but think the ISPs may even be profiting from this.

I don't know what happened, it's like the industry has realised it can't win, that even if it did push through what it wanted - the ability to extort money from people and block them from the age old right to trial and has basically just conceded on every point that matters.

There did seem to be a suggestion that if it didn't work then they could go back to the drawing board but that's a long way off, and if they couldn't win harsher penalties or the ability to bypass the right to a fair trial or the right to privacy this time then I'm not convinced they ever will. I suspect they've conceded that their business isn't in fact above fundamental human rights after all and that no court would let that stand in the long run.

This seems to be extraordinarily good news for once on this front, effectively one of the two most controversial measures in the Digital Economy Act has arrived 4 years late after numerous delays and now that it has has been well and truly gutted.

Maybe Google's closeness and lobbying of the current government and funding for their pet projects like Silicon Roundabout has finally paid off? Maybe the fact tech companies have far far more money than the music and movie industry is finally bearing fruit? Maybe the move of Ian Livingstone from BT to government trade minister has had an impact? Has tech finally learnt how to outplay the music industry at the great lobbying game in the UK?

Re:Why? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#46959859)

It might be that after a decade of trying hard-line tactics with them working little at best, changing to the "using honey instead of vinegar for attracting flies" method might be better.

Push too hard, it doesn't take much for UK users to move to a VPN service, and after that, there would be no hope of copyright enforcement outside of blocking VPNs like Pakistan or passing a law require all endpoints have a program installed to scan for copyrighted material [1]. I wouldn't be surprised if these Draconian measures are waiting in the wings (all it takes is one severe break-in causing a disaster or another ACTA-like treaty), but for now, those are not on the table.

[1]: Think an AV scanner with signatures, coupled with VAC-like bans, except the local ISP doing the banning.

Re:Why? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46960789)

Silicon Roundabout

Why is everything we do so shit... so British? Maybe I answered my own question there, but the Olympics were pretty un-British so I know it's possible.

Re:Why? (2)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46962973)

I have no idea. I still to this day do not understand why our attempt at a silicon valley was done in London when we had an astoundingly good research base in Cambridge and that is far more easily accessible to the rest of the country to boot because it's much closer to the centre of England than London is.

Hell, Cambridge even has more than it's fair share of hipsters so it even ticked the hipster box.

I can't for the life of me understand why they came up with silicon roundabout in a shitty part of London when Cambridge actually exists. It just seemed a nonsense to invest in that there when we have such an amazingly better choice. If it's about investors then even that is a non-issue, rail links to London are quick and convenient from there too.

We already had a cutting edge research area that was world class, and has spawned many successful startups like ARM and Autonomy. Why not just invest in that than try and make a new one in a shitty, inconvenient part of the country that wasn't exactly known for drawing in technological geniuses like Cambridge is?

As an aside a year or two back I spent some time in Sheffield and met a lot of tech workers there, it's amazing how many startups there are - Sheffield has turned itself around and it's economy is impressively made up of something like 80% small businesses now, many of which are tech startups. Even Sheffield, the old mining and steel works city would've been a better candidate than silicon roundabout they chose. Sheffield is even in a valley so they could've even gone for Silicon Valley UK and not had to involve roundabouts. Even Sheffield is only a 2hr train ride from London.

It seems like Cameron was desperate to make an area to make startups, when in practice it would've been better to just take the areas that are already spawning startups like no tommorrow and invest in them - the fact they already spawn so many tech startups is evidence that they have the formula right so why dick around trying to artificially recreate the formula in an area where you've no fucking idea if it's ever going to work?

Re:Why? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 7 months ago | (#46961121)

The music industry is even paying for it ã750,000 to set it up, and then ã75,000 a year every year afterwards. I can't help but think the ISPs may even be profiting from this.

£750k and £75k/year _or_ 75% of actual costs, whichever is lower. So no, the ISPs are taking a loss of at least 25% of the cost of implementing this stupid scheme.

Re:Why? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46962929)

I guess it depends how they invoice. It's quite easy for them to cost something up for more than it actually is - assign 100 days of project time to a member of staff on it but only have them working on it in a half-arsed manner so that they're 90% working on their normal actual job.

It's not unusual for someone being billed to an external client's work at 100% of their time only working on it 75% of the time or less in practice.

Re:Why? (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 7 months ago | (#46963809)

The entertainment industry is easing the ISP's into this. They have convinced the ISP's to set up a monitoring system, with a database of infringers. The next step is the entertainment industry gets the educational letters converted into warning letters. That will be the easy part, as the ISP's have already gotten everything set up to handle the job. Then the three strikes system is implemented.

Re:Why? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46965319)

That's my concern and what I wonder, but it's not like the ISPs are oblivious to what the entertainment industry wants, the entertainment industry isn't exactly smarter than they are, so the ISPs must have grounds to believe that can't and wont happen.

Re:Why? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46960011)

I expect most ISPs will set up their own streaming services or at least do a referral deal with one so they can use the alert letters as high value targeted advertising.

Re:Why? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46959723)

It establishes a history of notification that is usable as evidence in court and obviates attempts by copyright violators to claim ignorance while placating concerns about abuse by copyright owners by protecting identities and supposedly not terrorizing innocents. Should the violations continue the legal consequences escalate. Did you miss that last part? They don't just send love letters. They send letters first, then they get rough.

The same scheme is in the works for the US, if they're not already doing it. I've seen this discussed several times in the last few years on CSPAN by copyright pressure groups. Right or wrong it's coming.

Re:Why? (2)

BronsCon (927697) | about 7 months ago | (#46959901)

Well... I think it's perfectly reasonable. You'd be completely amazed at the number of people who think it's perfectly legal. Those people will potentially become paying customers as a result of this. And for people who don't care? Well, you're not gonna convert them, anyway; best not to waste time and money trying.

Implies Tracking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959583)

OH...what's that....a court order you say....incremental introduction of corporations as Police in civil matters???

I think this may violate harassment laws in the UK anyway

Like TV licensing vans (2)

advantis (622471) | about 7 months ago | (#46959589)

If piracy is actually a problem, this may be as effective as the TV detection vans they (used to?) have roaming around, supposedly able to detect if you're watching live TV without paying the TV licence (which makes you a criminal in the UK). Apparently the high tech of those vans is... a list of people who don't have a licence. Nobody knows if they have a remote listening device like in spy movies that they point at your window, and apparently they don't even bother sending the vans out these days - they just tell you they do, and it's just as effective.

Using that logic, just the appearance of threats can get most people to comply with the law, or demands from the law that you don't have to comply with (like in "can I search your car please?"). Since an IP address doesn't identify a person, that's pretty much all they can do: send educational material, which makes people think "we are watching you", which makes them subscribe to Netflix and give up on 0-day TV shows (freshly ripped off the air).

I'd like to see "piracy" and "loss" numbers a year after people start getting these letters. My belief is that the piracy numbers will go down, but the revenue of content creators will not follow suit.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

Brandano (1192819) | about 7 months ago | (#46959733)

I believe that in "the olden days" of analogue TV the vans could detect the frequency emitted by the local oscillator of the TV set, essentially the bit that compares a fixed frequency to what is received by the antenna and by making a difference between these obtains a signal. The principle of operation i of radio sets is still the same (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superheterodyne_receiver), but modern receivers probably are better engineered and won't leak as much of the local oscillator signal.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959945)

but modern receivers probably are better engineered and won't leak as much of the local oscillator signal.

Consider the how strong the TV-signal has to be to reach out to the houses. The van crashed trough your wall and they put the spectrum analyzer in next to your TV they aren't going to see the local oscillator compared to the TV-signal and they have never been able to do that.
The thing is that the threat works because it is theoretically possible. (But not practical.)
The idea that you can see the local oscillator in a van across the street is pretty much on the same level as the pseudoscience some "audiophiles" think about.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960385)

It would be fairly simple to create spurious RF emission signatures for various devices, from PSU to plasma, and use that to automagically identify which devices are likely to be operating close-by. As a ham, shitty consumer electronics - much of which is nevertheless approved, thanks to regulatory capture - is the bane of my hobby.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (2)

RadioTV (173312) | about 7 months ago | (#46960021)

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46960751)

Yes, but if they were using these techniques they would have used them as evidence in court. When asked to provide evidence they have always failed to do so. It isn't clear how they would prove it was your TV they were detecting either, rather than someone else's.

If they had real detectors they would demonstrate them. They don't, they just rely on intimidation.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46960059)

They use a much simpler method these days: The agency just has a list of every home in the country without a license. While there are some people who actually have no TV, this is actually a very rare thing indeed, so they just pick addresses at random and send someone around to check from time to time. If you've got no TV license, you can expect an inspector to drop in every couple of years to make sure you have no TV either.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46960179)

how does that work, if you don't have a tv with TUNER but you have a computer monitor and you watch content that is not over cable or sat or over the air?

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960229)

They send you a letter about every two years and you go to the website and press "I don't need a TV licence." If someone comes around, which is extremely unlikely, you just tell them the same. You only need it for watching live TV anyway. Streaming stuff via iplayer as it's shown requires one, but watching it an hour later is fine without.

Of course, the tabloids would have you believe the BBC has death squads ready to roll when you watch a youtube video on your phone...

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46961181)

The BBC would like to close that loophole, before more people start using it, but that can only be done at charter renewal.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960259)

You're allowed to have a TV and just not use it for live television without getting a licence. If you have a freeview box plugged in and LIVE DOCTOR WHO PARTY TONIGHT scrawled in giant letters on your calendar then if you're unbelievably unlucky and get a visit then you might have to pay, but for the most part it's based on the honour system.

I'd happily pay if I actually watched live TV, or TV. There's just nothing on that I really care about, so I don't.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 7 months ago | (#46960411)

And you can also write to them withdrawing implied right of access and your personal details.
They are the 3rd party company only. No need to deal with them.

http://www.bbctvlicence.com/Wi... [bbctvlicence.com]

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960507)

If you've got no TV license, you can expect an inspector to drop in every couple of years to make sure you have no TV either.

At which point (in the unlikely event) they get a generous choice of 2 options:
1. Get a court order to enter my premises
2. Go fuck themselves

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959765)

My belief is that this won't affect a damn thing. People get sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few copyright violations, and this hasn't stopped. It will never stop or even really be reduced all that much because of how easy it is.

The only thing that I could see putting a dent in some of these numbers is for the copyright holders to make it easy to buy and download DRM-free content online. It has to be as easy or easier than the 'illegitimate' route for it to work, and fairly cheap. That's just the reality.

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960827)

Cue episode Soft Glass from The Young Ones, loved the episodes where the TV Detector man shows up!

Re:Like TV licensing vans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46962015)

Hold on... you need a license to own a TV in the UK? Or is this more like an animal named Eric license?

Re:Like TV licensing vans (1)

markxz (669696) | about 7 months ago | (#46963875)

They mainly use the strategy of sending many letters to address that they think are unlicenced.

My flat has two different numbers (One based on floors, the other based on the order reached when climbing the stairs) and I received a licence sent to one address on the same day as a warning sent to the other.

For many years (until I finally told them) I received warnings to the unlicensed version of my address every few months.

What if I pirate the letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959599)

Would I get a letter about my pirating a letter about pirating?

Media companies are clueless (4, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46959711)

Legal alternatives usually don't even exist, or are completely overpriced, or months late in other countries.

Stop trying to educate, threaten or sue people. Clean up your copyright deals so that you do synchronous worldwide launches of your content. We're in the age of the Internet downloads and streaming. Try to keep up.

Re:Media companies are clueless (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46959869)

Try to keep up.

Exactly. To beat TBP, the service has to be better, or at least as good. This means:
* Timely
* Easily searched
* Good range of different qualities
* Good download speed.
* Even vaguely decent software for actually downloading the stuff.
* No mandatory streaming and/or bullshit DRM.
* A la carte purchase of individual shows and episodes.
* Sane codecs, i.e. a nice MP4 which plays anywhere.

The thing is, not a single one of the above is about price. Those are all the features that TPB offers which currently the proper services do not. Compare this to amazon music (and others). You go on, there's a huge range of stuff at a decent quality, easily searched. You pay money ang get a file which works anywhere. Brilliant. For someone who actually has money, it's not worth the effort to pirate. And besides, I would prefer to pay for stuff I feel is worth paying for.

Once they've done the above, they can make it better than TPB by:
* More consistent quality.
* Not have random channel decals pop up on the show
* Not tell me that impossibly proportioned want to date my testicles.

Re:Media companies are clueless (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46960091)

Indeed. Pirates have noticed this too. Once legal services become cheap, reliable and convenient in any region the number of pirates in the community drops sharply. It's a serious problem - piracy is a community, and it falls apart when half the members lose interest because they can get what they want quicker on Netflix.

Re:Media companies are clueless (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 7 months ago | (#46960435)

You run out of content in about 3 months in the UK. Its like an old VHS store.

Re:Media companies are clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960709)

It does not "fall apart." It never has, and it never will. It would just reduce in size, but that would not cause it to fall apart.

Re:Media companies are clueless (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 7 months ago | (#46960867)

The thing is, not a single one of the above is about price.

And yet, that is eventually what it comes down to, is it not? Everybody is apparently willing to pay if only A, B, C ... X, Y, Z. But rarely is there an amount attached.

Netflix launched in The Netherlands to much furore. We're a bit on now, and guess what? Most of the subscribers are still downloading, some even started downloading more; they found a series they liked, then realized that Netflix only has seasons 1 through 3, even though season 4 is currently airing in the U.S., so off to TPB / sickbeard it is.

Season 4 is also, however, available on HBO GO. But people are not willing to pay for the HBO GO subscription in addition to Netflix. You might say your 'a la carte' deals with that, but then it still comes back to 'how much'? After all, if they pay â8,99 (prices were increased recently) per month for Netflix which gives them 'watch any show you like (as long as it's black)', do you think they would be keen on paying â0.99 per episode of that series? Let's say there's 12 episodes per season - that's then 132% of the price of Netflix (which is still cheaper than getting the HBO package at â15,50/month - though that does of course get you all the other movies/series/etc. on the HBO channels available).

So, what are some of your suggestions as to price points for various features?

Re:Media companies are clueless (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46962773)

And yet, that is eventually what it comes down to, is it not?

No.

Everybody is apparently willing to pay if only A, B, C ... X, Y, Z.

Yeah but A-Z very rarely exist.

But rarely is there an amount attached.

Sure there is. People still buy DVDs. To series I've come to late (i.e. where timeliness isn't an issue), I've bought the DVDs instead. The DRM is so light as to be non existent.

Netflix launched in The Netherlands to much furore. We're a bit on now, and guess what? Most of the subscribers are still downloading, some even started downloading more; they found a series they liked, then realized that Netflix only has seasons 1 through 3, even though season 4 is currently airing in the U.S., so off to TPB / sickbeard it is.

Um yeah? You claimed that people are "apparently willing to pay if only A-Z exists" and then give and example where A is missing. Seriously, A. Timeliness was the very first thing on my list. It was there for a reason. If you REALLY like a show (and espeially if you REAllY REALLY like and are involved in online ommunities) the last thing you want to do is have to wait beause some suit has his head up his arse about "licensing" and won't take your money.

The whole thing about good shows is they are compelling. That is the antithesis of waiting. That is why it is The. Most. Important. Thing.

Season 4 is also, however, available on HBO GO. But people are not willing to pay for the HBO GO subscription in addition to Netflix. You might say your 'a la carte' deals with that, but then it still comes back to 'how much'?

Indeed it does. If someone wants to harge $1000 to watch the show they won't have as many takers as if they charge $20. That's why I said a la carte is important. Few people want to subscribe to 1000 channels for $1000 just to watch a $20 show.

So, what are some of your suggestions as to price points for various features?

Depends. Probably for a 20-25 episode show £1 per episode. That's about how much it would cost on DVD, and their distribution costs are much lower. For something like Game of Thrones, I'd happily chuck my £2 or maybe even £3 into the tin every week, to watch it.

And for that, I expect a plain, unencumbered file.

It's nicely at the level of an impulse purchase and involves no bullshit at all.

That is what is missing from everything but TPB.

Re:Media companies are clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959925)

Clean up your copyright deals so that you do synchronous worldwide launches of your content.

And then the copyright infringement will magically disappear!

Re:Media companies are clueless (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46963881)

Here's the thing. As others have pointed out, IP owners don't have to share their property with anyone. They can lock music, videos, art, books, whatever in a vault and deny you access. Don't like it? Tough, that's what private property is all about.

On the other hand, at least in the USA, the copyright clause begins with the preamble "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." So, if you want to keep it to yourself, or your circle of good freinds, fine. You just shouldn't rely on copyright law to help you. If it isn't made available to the public in some fashion generally deemed 'useful', it shouldn't be a candidate for a copyright.

Passive-Aggressive, thinly veiled threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959713)

Just a polite reminder that you are officially on the list of MPAA, RIAA, [whatever UK equivalents exist].

Send all thanks to Chris Dodd. After he and Barney Frank systematically shifted the cost of the US Housing debacle to the American taxpayer. He moved on the RIAA and started a global campaign of digital terror.

Best Part (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46959753)

the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users

Hey, would y'all mind exporting that attitude to us here in the US?

What happens when there is no legal source? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959763)

What happens if, say, the user is downloading shows for which there is no legal source? Let me give you an example:

There's a Japanese TV show, highly popular on various anime trackers, called Game Center CX. It's a live-action show that's been running for something like 18 seasons now where a comedian named Shinya Arino plays through hard and/or bad NES/SNES era games.. and it's also had a bit of an odd cycle of rights in the United States.

Initially, Kotaku (horrible as it is) licensed some 13 or so episodes from the show's rightsholder, Fuji TV. They overdubbed them.. poorly.. and released them online. Kotaku only had the rights to those specific episodes, and only for I believe two years. The show proved unpopular on Kotaku, because at that point Something Awful already had a fansub group together who were doing a much better job translating and didn't have an annoying English-language overdub. SA-GCCX released their work on Youtube, where it stayed for years without a problem. I should also mention that they only translated the episodes Kotaku did not have the rights to - episodes that could not be legally seen outside of Japan because they were only broadcast on Fuji TV and no one bought the rights to them here.

About a year ago, Fuji TV sent a mass of DMCA notices on every episode of Game Center CX that had been uploaded to Youtube, even though the show was not licensed (and still is not, with one exception that I'll mention) in the United States. Every single episode got taken down, and there was a massive scramble to get them all back.

There is ONE exception to the licensing - SA-GCCX actually got a commercial DVD released just before Fuji TV started sending out takedown notices, of their own subtitled versions of the episodes Kotaku had butchered. However, they only had the rights to the episodes Kotaku had previously licensed, and they were not the ones who sent out takedown notices on the Youtube videos. Fuji TV also sells DVD box sets of the show, but those are not subtitled, almost impossible to import, and cost a metric fuck-ton of money (I tried to buy one once, it would've cost me something like $300 for a set of DVDs I can't understand).

So now, outside of spending a ridiculous amount of money to buy a satellite package that contains Fuji TV (which I'm not sure even exists) and learning to understand spoken Japanese (tried it, lapsed when I got a job) or moving to the Tokyo metropolitan area and paying for a cable subscription, there is no legal way for me to watch Game Center CX should Fuji TV decide to go after torrents of the show. They haven't, so far, and I don't live in the UK, but I can just imagine AT&T sending me a "non-threatening" letter:

"Dear Customer,

You have been caught downloading Game Center CX, a television show owned by Fuji TV, Inc. This is wrong and you should consider a legal purchase instead at the following locations:

(NULL)"

Technically exists, the best kind of "exists" (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46959963)

Of course a legal alternative exists. It's called learning Japanese, entering Japan as a tourist, and watching the video. It's impractical, but nothing in the law has to be practical.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 7 months ago | (#46960441)

Indeed !

Still waiting to find season 1 of "Absolute Boy" (Zettai Shonen) with English subtitles without paying a small fortune.

Amazon has one copy of Season 1 @ $65 (with Subtitles in French and Dutch, gee NO thanks -- want ENGLISH), but for how long?

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960989)

Well obviously Fuji TV does not want to broadcast/sell *their* tv show in English/outside of Japan. That is their right as the creator of the show. Unfortunately no matter how much you enjoy watching it you don't have the *right* to watch it outside of how Fuji TV provides it.

I love how people always bring up money, not aired in their region, no good online alternative, and that is why they pirate shows. Well I'm sorry none of those reasons give you the right to pirate.

I gladly pirate, and I do it because I want to but I know its wrong. I just don't care.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 7 months ago | (#46961541)

Unfortunately no matter how much you enjoy watching it you don't have the *right* to watch it outside of how Fuji TV provides it.

No one said they do have such a right. What that person is saying is that there is no reasonable legal source from which to buy the content from that the ISPs can inform them about, so this move won't help in those situations.

Can't you read?

Well I'm sorry none of those reasons give you the right to pirate.

Once again, no one is asserting any such "right." Everyone here well knows that copyright infringement is illegal, so imbeciles like you needn't state the obvious.

Now, I would argue that free speech should take precedence over government-enforced monopolies over ideas, but I acknowledge that is not currently reality, since we have authoritarian thugs who despise freedom and the free market.

I gladly pirate, and I do it because I want to but I know its wrong. I just don't care.

You know it's wrong, but you don't care? Sounds like you don't think it's wrong, since morality is subjective, and if you don't care, you probably don't really think it's wrong.

hahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46964609)

http://beta.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5139571&cid=46959897

Hahahahaha. You fucking nincompoop.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46961057)

I'll be modded into oblivion, but...

Why are you entitled to watch this, and have you considered the alternative of NOT watching it?

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 7 months ago | (#46961191)

You could as easily ask why anybody is entitled to prevent him watching it.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46961585)

You could, if you wanted to present a strawman rather than answer the question.

Like it or not, challenging or not in a digital age, but (largely speaking) content producers (and the people for whom they produce that content) own their content, and get to decide who gets to sees it.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 7 months ago | (#46962115)

Sorry but you ask why someone feels entitled, as though there's any reason at all why they shouldn't.

Content producers do not 'own' that content. They have an artificially created legal claim to it, but that doesn't mean they own it, or that they have any entitlement to prevent anybody else from accessing it.

So don't give someone shit for wanting to experience elements of human culture. It belongs to everybody.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46962235)

They have an artificially created legal claim to it, but that doesn't mean they own it, or that they have any entitlement to prevent anybody else from accessing it.

That's EXACTLY what it means!

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46962243)

Just to be clear:
Let's pretend that I wrote a book, sold it to 5 people (my best friends), and refused to sell it to anyone else. Is this "an element of human culture, belonging to everybody" ? You claim that I do not have the right to restrict what I wrote to any subset of the world... That seems like a pretty big claim.

Let's change the numbers though. Let's say that I pay someone else to create the content (which I then own). Am I still free to only sell it to a select subset of the world, such as my 5 best friends? Let's say that I sell it to my favorite 1000? Only my favorite country? When does it become "an element of human culture belonging to everyone [and you, the content creator, may not restrict it]" ?

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 7 months ago | (#46963013)

Simply put, if anyone with the content decides to share it with the public, then that's it; you can't exactly stop it. I wouldn't say it belongs to everyone (whatever that means), but I would say that it's not wrong for people to download the data that others are voluntarily sharing.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46962707)

So don't give someone shit for wanting to experience elements of human culture. It belongs to everybody.

Except that it doesn't.

You're not entitled to use any of the software I wrote. It does not belong to everyone.
You're not entitled to see any drawing I've sketched. It does not belong to everyone.
You're not entitled to hear any of the music I've played. It does not belong to everyone.

Re:What happens when there is no legal source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46962993)

That's all completely correct. What happens is that individuals who have the data voluntarily decide to share it with others, and other people who see that someone is sharing the data voluntarily decide to accept copies. Entitlement never enters into it; if they could not download any of the data, then they would just have to go without.

It is indeed wrong to say anyone is entitled to such things.

As it applied to Net Neutrality (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 months ago | (#46959835)

>> the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users

And this is one of the reasons established user policers, particularly cable and dish companies, continue to push out traditional ISPs (and are being encouraged by content providers to continue to do so). Similarly, it's no coincidence that the same parties line up where they do on net neutrality: once you're OK with metering certain types of provider content, all you need to do is meter the hell out of any non-whitelisted providers and you've essentially banned a large chunk of the Internet.

Well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959845)

When the hysterics with illegal downloads of music started, I was buying the occasional (legal) music CD.
Now I can't be bothered and only listen to the radio when I want some noise.
I've already stopped watching most of the Hollywood crap because it's simply not worth it, but I still buy the occasional blu ray.
If they keep at it, I'll just stop watching movies. Or maybe turn on the TV once in a while. If I don't cancel cable by then.

Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959903)

Auto insurance company sent me one after several windshields, a ticket and one at-fault accident. "just letting me know" I had these claims

Tree fell on my car -- they covered it,then dropped me.

Yeah, non-threatening.

Re: Insurance (1)

gTsiros (205624) | about 7 months ago | (#46961295)

... they can drop you?

So how is this going to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959949)

Considering this is the UK we're talking about, one of the freest counties on Earth (lol, yeah right!), I'm going to assume Deep Packet Inspection is going to be involved?

Re:So how is this going to work? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46960107)

(X) Encrypt peer connections.

Legal alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46959969)

Where can I get any movies I want to watch, online, if I don't live in the US ?
Yeah, that's what I thought.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960017)

These 'non-threatening letters' will alert downloaders to the fact that they need to step up their game to do a better job of avoiding detection.

Be smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46960075)

Use you cat's name as your ISP's contract-holder.

She doesn't give a shit about mail.

Re:Be smart (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 7 months ago | (#46961247)

My ISP has pointed out to the media companies and to the government that an IP address is not an individual and that (for example) neighbours may use a wifi access point.

Given I have an intentionally open wifi access point I'm glad that my ISP understand this, and appreciate that they wont assume that I am the cause of any illicit use of their service.

My cats can't be named as contract holders because they don't have names. They can and do however use the internet. Legally the actions of a cat in the UK are not the responsibility of the pet owner, so I'm pretty much in the clear on every possible front.

I wonder... (2)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 7 months ago | (#46960079)

So, how many movie pirates have opened up a flick, seen the "WARNING!" label and words saying that this product is NOT for unauthorized viewing, and immediately closed / deleted the movie? I'm guessing..... Zero.

Actually (3, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 7 months ago | (#46960593)

Can they please send me one?

I am desperate to find someone to give money to, in exchange for unencumbered 1080p video (movies/tv).

I've stopped watching movies, but I know many in my position steal movies not for the price (we're engineers; cost is not an issue), but for the quality and user experience. Honestly, I couldn't care whether movies are $10, $20, or even $30. I care that I can wire someone money, click a button, and start a 10-20gb download of unencumbered, professionally encoded, high definition video.

In the meantime, I spend all of my media dollars on music, since there are multiple sources from which I can actually buy it.

Won't someone in the video world please take my money?

Re:Actually (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 7 months ago | (#46960731)

It seems to me like downloading movies would be easier than stealing copies of them. I would think engineers would be smart enough to realize that, and act accordingly.

Re:Actually (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 7 months ago | (#46960861)

Oh, definitely. Stealing copies is a friggin' pain, which is why I've acted accordingly, and been putting the call out!

*waves money around*

Please, someone! Take my money and provide me direct, legal access to unencumbered, copyrighted video material!

Re:Actually (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 7 months ago | (#46960983)

Wait; maybe I misunderstood. Sorry, I'm using the industry-approved(tm) term "stealing" for copyright violation. Tongue-in-cheek.

I want those making the decisions to understand that I accept the term "stealing" and may consider copyright violation morally ambiguous or even negative. However, I judge the encryption of works restricted by copyright to be so much greater a moral failing that using the even theft is the lesser crime.

legal alternatives (1)

OldSport (2677879) | about 7 months ago | (#46961403)

Like the $2.99 per episode a la carte offering for Game of Thrones HBO has on their website? Sweet! Thanks for letting me know, I didn't know such a legal alternative existed! ...oh, wait...

Threats and the law go hand in hand (1)

American Patent Guy (653432) | about 7 months ago | (#46961609)

Let's play a game: You show me a law without a threat, and I'll show you anarchy... and you can name your subject.

Legal Alternative #1 (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 6 months ago | (#46967211)

The best Legal Alternative to piracy is of course legalizing p2p-filesharing. Which the EFA/Greens faction in the European Parliament supports. And with the EP elections being this month... there you go, be a good lad, and get off that fat arse and DO something for a change.

Only 4 ISPs signed up? Bit misleading.. (1)

severn2j (209810) | about 6 months ago | (#46977425)

The summary seems to suggest that there isn't much take up of this, with the comment, "Only four of the UKs ISPs have agreed to the 'Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme' so far". I think its worth pointing out that those 4 ISPs cover nearly 94% of the market... http://www.thinkbroadband.com/... [thinkbroadband.com]
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