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Proposed European law may decimate broadband users
Monday 07 July 2008 13:57:38 by Andrew Ferguson

An amendment has been proposed to new legislation covering broadband services across Europe. This amendment takes the French three strikes and your broadband connection is no more policy and potentially makes it law across the whole EU. The Register looks at new proposal in its usual style.

To police such a law it would effectively turn broadband providers into Internet police, and require a great deal of resources to manage all the aspects involved. Most worrying is that if providers simply take as gospel complaints from a copyright holder, mistakes in things like timezones on various computers could lead to the wrong people having their connection ceased.

The reality is that those who are the most prolific at breaking the existing copyright laws, will probably be those creating bootleg DVDs and thus will simply find other ways of obtaining their material.

We talk of the worries of a digital divide in the UK, ceasing broadband connections could create a new divide, with a sub-class unable to access online services. A year of no Internet connection could have serious a impact on the ability for young people to do school work or apply for college places, not to mention the affects on other members of the household. For people who work from home, it may bring a return to the daily commute, and lots of probing questions at work.

Perhaps the future of the Internet is a series of walled gardens with just a few content providers providing the content, rather than the current system that allows almost anyone to publish what they wish.

Comments

Posted by haydnwalker over 8 years ago
I really can't believe that the EU should make such a narrow-viewed decision about something like this! I don't download much, and never have, but I feel that this is way too OTT for the Internet. Its back-pedalling in my opinion. Free speech would be no more if there were a list of approved content providers. Will they stop us creating our own webpages next? Makes me want to cease my internet connection... then I won't have to have the pleasure of having to obey this law
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Well, we'll be seeing routers with the ability to completely block media files as a one-press setup option then.

I mean, I've done it allready but it's too hard for the general public right now.
Posted by RiClious over 8 years ago
@haydnwalker
Why can you not believe it. The EU specialises in narrow-viewed decisions. It's what they do.
The Internal Market and Consumer protection committee(IMCO) are responsible for this proposal. I fail to see how spying on our internet is protecting consumers.
The IMCO sent a delegation to America for three days in July last year. No doubt they met up with the MPAA. Another example of a 'non-profit business and trade association' affecting government policy as they did with the Pirate Bay in Sweden.
Posted by SimpleRules over 8 years ago
Typical EU. What do we expect when we let unaccountable pansies from the continent run our country? It's hardly shocking that those who have made world wars, or in the case of the French surrendered to them, would want total control of our internet.

If we were an independent country, we wouldn't have this problem.
Posted by dgcarter over 8 years ago
Well, I've seen some moronic comments n these forums, but SimpleRules, yours is the most moronic yet.

We are an independent country, we chose to join the club that is the EU. You may not like it, the majority of voters in this country voted for it.

However, I do think that this whole approach (3 strikes and you're out) is unmanagable. But having sadi that downloading copyrighted material withotu paying is theft. Perhaps we should look at a law where if your neighbour accuses you of theft 3 times you go to jail.
Posted by Time over 8 years ago
What a bloody stupid idea. This will never see the light of day imho.
Posted by bsdnazz over 8 years ago
I thought collective punishment was against the Human Rights act.

If I'm banned from the internet for a year will my wife and son also be banned?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
This is nothing to do with the EU per-se, and everything to do with the major media companies who are lobbying for it. The EU is just their present attack vector.

bsdnazz - I can see this failing under several sections of the HRA, and in addition it's going to need to give ISP's some VERY VERY broad exemptions to a lot of laws. Or ISP's are going to be between a rock and a hard place, legally.
Posted by RiClious over 8 years ago
There seem to be some knowledgeable folks on this forum. Could anybody enlighten me on the legal aspects of running an unlocked wi-fi router? Is the owner legally responsible for all traffic? Can a MAC address be resolved through the firewall? If not there is no evidence of any individual or computers wrong doing.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"Is the owner legally responsible for all traffic?" contractually yes. You might also struggle to convince someone it wasn't you after they kick your door down at 5am for downloading kiddie porn.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
Which definition of decimate are we on here "The word decimate comes from the Latin word decimare meaning to take or destroy one-tenth" ?
Posted by e102gamma over 8 years ago
We're not in Roman times you know. Language evolves. :)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The latin defnition, as in 1 on 10 broadband lines may vanish due to suspensions
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
ah we have a grammar nazi!! :D
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decimate
3a: to reduce drastically especially in number..


Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
but back to the subject... its a bit like smoking, drinking, driving, etc.... they are all very expensive mostly due to tax, but as a 'user', it is difficult NOT to use them!! and the govmt wont stop them, they are the main source of money!!

Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
Merriam Webster
1: to select by lot and kill every tenth man of
2: to exact a tax of 10 percent from <poor as a decimated Cavalier — John Dryden>

they're Merkins anway.

I was seeking to clarify if we were on the 1/10th killed or 1/10th remaining usage.
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
All it will do is shift the goalposts...
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
Fantastic result! More privatised administration of NuJustice, by businesses on behalf of other businesses, increasing shareholder value and missing out all those messy and onerous burdens on business like evidence, due process, justice, proportionality etc etc! Brilliant!

Frankly, 'decimate' is entirely appropriate, as the process will be just as random as the original Roman usage.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carrot - Actually, bad research again! The party keen on this stuff is the Conservatives. Labour have basically said "yea piracy bad, now go away we have real concerns".

(srsly ppl, read up)
Posted by RiClious over 8 years ago
Carrot thanks that was the point I was trying to make re unlocked routers. Thanks for the help herdwick I'm not stupid.
The meeting has now concluded and you can read the minutes here if you can translate eurospeak.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2004_2009/organes/imco/imco_20080707_1900.htm
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
@Dawn_Falcon - Actually, poor analysis again! 'NuJustice' merely refers to the modern penchant for removing both 'justice' and 'process' from the judicial process, and is entirely party-agnostic. I loathe them all equally.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Oh no 3 strikes and you are cut off....... thats 5 quid a month to the neighbour then to share their connection or a 2 min walk to the nearest wifi hotspot LMAO clueless law again by clueless idiots
Posted by Guzzo over 8 years ago
Actually the majority did not vote for the joining of the EU. It was the " Common Market" and the voting was a minority. Just like this current lot of criminals got in via a minority of counted votes due to clever boundary lines.
Hitler poled more votes than Blair's actually.


Posted by Guzzo over 8 years ago
As usual the Unelected Totalitarians in the EU working for Big Business as always, start the next generation of control mechanisms.

Its laughable talking about free speech in here have you all forgotten how Blair dismissed all this years ago?
Don't any of you read the Laws drafted and published from HMSO. I think not.

Posted by Guzzo over 8 years ago
Actually I do not own a CD player and prefer the real sound of analogue LP's. No one ever downloaded one from the Net did they?

As to the comments it will never get into Law perhaps people should actually read some of the Laws Blair and Co brought in to remove free speech. Like it or not people are being jailed for "speaking"
Posted by Guzzo over 8 years ago
Perhaps I am imagining things? Perhaps you only get tried once for a crime? Perhaps you are allowed to see and question your accusers in court?

Slowly but surely and with covert intent 1984 is looming over us.
But then its easier and less risky to put your head back in the sand and say its all paranoid nonsense. I think they did that back in the 30's in Germany and we saw where that led.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
wow I never seen this one coming, I am well aware the france are more protective of copyrights than britian but never expected the EU to adopt such a policy. If this ever became reality then it is sa din two ways, a sign of times to come for EU in general and that the freedom of internet is coming to an end for the sake of a few media companies.
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
dgcarter said: "But having said that downloading copyrighted material without paying is theft"

No it's not - no matter how many times people keep saying it. If you don't have the permission of the copyright holder then it is "copyright infringement", not "theft" (nor "piracy" come to that).
Posted by scragglymonk over 8 years ago
if going to block all piracy, no need for fast and expensive adsl services that "can download all you want" or maybe buy a vpn service to a torrent site that uses SSL encryption ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I have no idea why so many are so worried, 3 strikes and your out, errr so what just go to another ISP. Most ISPs in the UK cant even communicate between each other when you migrate a connection let alone pass on details you have been a naughty boy or girl, and as for the government here they will just loose the database that has the information (if they have one at all)... Infact how are they gonna cut you off from a wireless service at all??? Laughable joke as usual, all government spin..... NO thought!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote Guzzo "Perhaps I am imagining things?"

Yes you do, more than the odd weird thing also. My god get help, whenever you popup you sound like a complete anarchist or just completely mad and watched one too many pieces of Sci-Fi weirdness. Go fire bomb something, unless you having a thoery petrol prices are also some type of government mind control or paranoia... Get help!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - er... central database with BT, most likely. At the very least a cease order can mean a month+ with no broadband.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - er... central database with BT, most likely. At the very least a cease order can mean a month+ with no broadband."

Of people go to cable, LLU, wireless or even satelite (in dire situations)then... Seriously this has not been thought through, cutting off a few people due to piracy or copyright offences is not gonna stop a thing... Even if it did all it will do is create an even bigger boom for pikeys selling rubbish at bootfairs and such like.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
Doesn't matter if it's not been thought through, if it gets good headline in the Daily Mail. Just like keeping paedophiles off the Internerd by banning their email addresses gets good headline

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/04/smith_social_networking_email_register/ You know it's daft talk, I know it's daft talk *.

And who needs bootfairs when there's eBay to hide behind? There's no way they'll take on eBay.

[* Assuming that you don't need your ID Card to identify you as you log on to the Internerd, for "public safety and crime prevention" purposes. They wouldn't do that. Would they?]
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
LOL c_j totally agree, about the press thing.
Also that register link i dont know whether to laugh or cry at how shot in the mind Jacqui Smith appears from that to be, i shouldnt be shocked though the last paragraph that mentions the Byron Review is another thing i shot down and shedded to bits when that story appeared on here also, i must go now i need to be re-wrapped in cottenwool and photocopy my backside see i can log on.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
.... opps im already logged on, how did that happen without my ID card that doesnt exist? As to the paedophiles and them registering emails, wouldnt it just be more simple to not allow them to use the net at all? Opps darn im thinking like an MP and have stepped into the world of make believe.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Yea Carpet, it was noticed you rubbished the Byron review which I'd note was recieved extremely positively by the games industry. Heh.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Postive by the games industry???
Oh thats why we have just had GTA 4 complete with swearing, violence and sexual scenes.... How silly of me, that Byron review really was worth it.
Come on dawn you normally seem very intelligent here, surely you can see government based things like this story and that Byron one are a waste of money. The games industry as an example already give age guideance on games and have done for years.
Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
"The reality is that those who are the most prolific at breaking the existing copyright laws, will probably be those creating bootleg DVDs and thus will simply find other ways of obtaining their material."
The people who make money out of this dont fileshare as a norm they distribute through the post should we be stopping all postal access to those caught ???
ISP's should not be able to share information on customers due to the data protection act but i am sure they will.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"ISP's should not be able to share information on customers due to the data protection act but i am sure they will."

Yep and lets not also forget someone may be wrongly accused and with sharing of that information your name is blacklisted but you may be entirely innocent. I kinda touch on this in one of the virgin threads about naugthy people getting a letter.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
It also wont stop the pikeys that sell pirated material anyway even if you could ban them from the net for life, all the enterprising pikey would then do is go rent films, copy and sell them.
Like you say Aqualung whats this stupid government going to do then, ban them using the postal service, to so called stop their shady dealing..... Complete and utter non thought out typical UK and Euro law.
Posted by MHMertens over 8 years ago
"walled gardens with just a few content providers"??????

Ahh yes, they once tried to register every single typewriter to control the speed of publishing. Actually, a bit earlier Gutenberg was attacked by monks when he invented typesetting/printing. Wake up copyright holders, you got to change your distribution methods substantially. This is 2008 !!!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"...a bit earlier Gutenberg was attacked by monks when he invented typesetting/printing."
I wish the likes of the BPI were like more like monks and stayed silent. Atleast we wouldnt have to listen to their tales of woe and get the violin out every time they have a whinging, crying, voice about piracy. :D
Posted by tiggerrmummy over 8 years ago
This new rule is soo unfair.We have already had a letter regarding illegal downloading so I guess thats a strike? We didnt get a chance to defend ourselves or anything, and as it happened we didnt do the said offence, it wasnt even our isp, IP address and it was for something we already owned on cd! the time stamp was wrong and so was the country info, but the ISP didnt care enough to back us up and say sorry theres been a mistake.So with another 2 like that we would loose our net link and a valuable link to the outside world.
Posted by tiggerrmummy over 8 years ago
Oh and ps, before anyone says it,I didnt vote to be a member of the EU I was too young!
Posted by bizimonki over 8 years ago
I wouldn't worry too much about those comments.

If something like that came about, then users would just adopt more VPN servers to get content. Through an encrypted channel like that, it would be futile for ISPs to investigate.

Heck it sounds like a good stance now, and there are plenty of proxy services out there now.

Besides if the ISP did cut you off, unless they can prove it, you can take them to court for breach of contract and possibly the Human Rights Act.
Posted by Faplock over 8 years ago
SNIP>> "we chose to join the club that is the EU. You may not like it, the majority of voters in this country voted for it."

Actually, DGCARTER. we did not vote to join the EU or anything like it. I think you'll find that we actually voted to join the European Common Market, which was a totally different concept to the European (Political) Union.
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