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Copyright news - Fresh study from France

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A brand new study from Rennes University has some interesting findings.

Although they only asked 2000 people in 1 region (Brittany) from september to december last year, the results may point towards a larger trend in France.

The 3-strikes law that was adopted at the beginning of this year (although not actually codified yet) is one of the first around the world, with other governments thinking of following.

The overall copyright infringement has increased by 3%, but the most interesting figure is how people get their content: Usage of P2P has dropped, while other methods that are not covered by the law (or make it more difficult to detect due to encryption etc) has gone up.

Some may say that this was inevitable - but the study also points out that amongst those that do consume copyrighted material without paying for it, half of them also purchased digital content - so if they were to be removed from the internet, there would be a loss of revenue on behalf of the copyright holders.

Hopefully sooner rather than later, the big music companies will realise the answer is not legislation, but an improved content delivery mechanism.

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A French study done in the UK? That sounds weird.

Where did I say that? Maybe you confused Brittany? Bretagne is the French name.

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...Hopefully sooner rather than later, the big music companies will realise the answer is not legislation, but an improved content delivery mechanism.

This is one of the sanest things I have read on the Internet. The government in the UK seem hell-bent on skipping merrily down the legislation route, holding the hands of the copyright holders without any though or understanding of the technology they so fear.

Access to the 'illegal' content isn't the issue, make the content affordable and accessible and there wont be the demand for DVD rips, it seems to me that the distribution and financial models are so far out of touch with the way the web works the publishers are grasping at straws in a blind panic, throwing their corporate weight around.

While I'm on a rant, why can't the fucking 'piracy' ads be more accurate with their legal definitions. Long John Silver didn't routinely infringe copyright, web users don't tend to get involved with piracy, I suppose it's a little more emotive, but as we are bluring legal definitions why are they not calling the filesharers terrorists, rapists or murderers?

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Guh. I find it really stressful that this new study will be ignored either way and that the large music and movie corporations will still use strong arm tactics and government payoffs to get everything they want to fight for theoretical money they think is rightfully theirs.

I mean, it is rightfully their money, but they are still always operating on the stupid assumption that because someone stole intellectual digital content, they wouldn't have done so if they had no access in the first place. Being a big bully and getting the government to allow a giant corporation to financially ruin or jail one individually for such petty things is no way to solve the problem either way. My personal feeling is that would just make more people want to steal from them and not care about their well being, since almost everyone seems to know the money doesn't really flow directly to the artist much anyway.

One thing the major music companies for sure have never tried hard enough on is just drastically reducing their prices. I'm sure they would still make a profit if a music CD were generally $7 retail and DVDs maybe $11.

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Speaking of which, a controversial amendment got stripped out of the digital economy bill today, and will be replaced by something worse.

The government’s latest proposed replacement will be added to the bill in a kind of legislative dead zone, after the bill leaves the House Of Lords for the last time on Monday and before it goes to House Of Commons scrutiny.

The latter angers cross-bench peer the Earl Of Errol. He told the house: “It’s going to be inserted somehow between here and The Other Place. We’ve got no idea what it looks like ... it’s a complete and absolute abuse of parliamentary process - I’m not sure why we sit and debate at all.”

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Oh jesus.

I was in the middle of penning an email to my MP to try and get this to be debated properly, then I checked here.

Nice one David.


Here's my letter. Feel free to copy it, but change it if you decide to send it to them, as they tend to react badly to form letters.

Dear Mr. Truswell,

I am writing to you today to express my concern over the Digital Economy Bill. As a constituent I am writing to you today to ask you to do all you can to ensure the Government doesn't just rush the Bill through and deny us our democratic right to scrutiny and debate.

As an IT security professional, I'm very concerned as to the contents of the Digital Economy Bill that is currently being considered to become law before the next general election.

The way the Bill has been structured deserves proper scrutiny, and the speed with which attempts are being made to codify the bill is concerning - why is there no time for proper debate about the Bill's contents?

Particularly concerning is the leak of a memo last week from Richard Mollet, the Director of Public Affairs for the British Phonographic Institute, where it is quite clear that the interests of the BPI are behind the DEB with no real thought to the more general citizens of the country who don't make their living from selling music.

The memo is definitely not intended for public consumption, and it appears to be a round-robin update on the progress of the bill to parties interested in the formation of this law - namely major record industry executives, the international record industry lobby, PR agents and so on.

He also identifies Members of Parliament as being 'resigned' to the fact that they will not be allowed to debate the bill or give it 'detailed scrutiny'.

While the contents of the bill are quite disturbing (draconian measures for forcible disconnection being amongst the principle), what I find more disturbing is Mr. Mandelson allowing himself to be wielded so completely by private interests that will clearly benefit from a law brought in which will reduce the British Citizen's right to privacy.

There has been a recent study from the University of Rennes which has indicated from a limited sample of 2000 people in Brittany that since the introduction of the '3 strikes' law in France (adopted but not officially codified), there has been an actual increase in filesharing. Sure, P2P use has decreased, but that has been more than balanced out by an increase in the use of other methods which are 'safer' (i.e. methods that are not covered by the law). These methods tend to use strong encryption - a concern which out security agencies have more or less publicly stated that will their jobs harder to track real criminal behaviour on the internet.

I am not against the introduction of a Bill of some sort - however I believe the record industry needs to seek different models of distribution, and not rely on the old streams. There are other studies out there which show a clear wish of people to buy music digitally if that was available. this though, is a different argument, and one that will run and run.

I urge you to call upon your colleagues to allow time for the contents of this Bill to be debated properly.

I enclose a link of the French study for your convenience.

In French: http://www.numerama.com/magazine/15210-une-etude-indique-que-la-loi-hadopi-augmente-le-piratage.html

English summary: http://torrentfreak.com/piracy-rises-in-france-despite-three-strikes-law-100609/

Yours sincerely,


P.s. I have just seen a new amendment to the Bill where Mr. Mandelson will be given his own powers to enact disconnection. This is an affront to our nation's democracy.

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