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Broadband pipes leak too much
Monday 23 February 2009 12:12:52 by Andrew Ferguson

Broadband providers being told to fix their pipes is something consumers will be used to when connections are running slow, but Elio Leoni-Sceti of EMI has re-used the illustration that broadband connections are like a water utility to illustrate his view of the effect broadband is having on firms like EMI.

"Internet service providers play a significant role because they own the pipe,... In England we know there is a lot of water and content filtering wastefully through the pipes across the country. The pipe owner has a responsibility to close the holes."

Elio Leoni-Sceti (Chief Executive), EMI Music

We don't think the illustration works fully and it seems the rest of the article in the business section of the Times Online is calling for content filtering, which is more akin to sticking a massive Brita water filter into the mains. With sites like Spotify appearing, the ability for consumers to effectively create their own radio playlists is increasing, and sites like this may be more useful in getting people to reduce the amount of tracks they download in violation of copyright rules. What no-one appears to have asked is how often people listen to the tracks they have downloaded. There is a real possibility that most people are still buying the music they like and enjoy, but sampling new and unknown acts, or using peer to peer networks as a way of obtaining a copy of an album they have on vinyl.

If the music industry were to get its way and broadband providers were to filter digital content it would be a massive undertaking. How does an ISP differentiate between a track shared with the owners permission and an illegally shared one, particularly when this becomes even more difficult due to the use of encryption. The most likely solution is that providers will assume all newsgroup and bit-torrent traffic is in-violation of copyright law and block it.

For too long the corporations would seem to have been distant from the music buying public, and many of the statements coming from the music industry are not helping to close this gap. We hear of restriction, punishment and enforcement, but little in the way of providing content in a way that the consumer has got used to.


Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
" little in the way of providing content in a way that the consumer has got used to." - do you mean for free ? AFAICS the only reason people bother with the likes of Limewire is as a mechanism for avoiding payment for content, if it was legitimately free on an online store they would use that but they won't pay.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
pfft, news artical is wrong. Everyone knows the internets is a series of tubes!
Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
Posted by herdwick about 2 hours ago
"if it was legitimately free on an online store they would use that but they won't pay."

Well I guess that explains why there is no free content ever downloaded via p2p or newsgroups. Oh wait...
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
If Elio Leoni-Sceti would like to bung a few bob to the Labour party I'm sure they'll have it legislated for the summer.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
The water analogy is nice. For the other side. A water pipe is precisely what the net should be, a dumb pipe feeding the consumer. Leaks (taps from 3rd parties) are bad and need to be closed off.

herdwick - Depends. Often "free" content involves jumping through hoops, it's STILL easier to p2p it.
Posted by billford over 8 years ago
<Broadband pipes leak too much>

Is that why we have a bit bucket?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
pshaw, so another dimwit at EMI has started moaning again...
"this internets thingy is bad, my mate at MPAA told me so..."

I'm betting they remember when they could just climb up a phone pole, and connect a rig to make a phone call... :)

Come on, all you 'cable modem hackers'!! :) tell us how you would get 'internet' while you are up that pole???

Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
Its not the consumers' fault that the media companies haven't worked out how to tap the market yet...

While there are unfortunatly a large number of cheapskates that would be very hard to get money out of there are also a huge number of people who are prepared to pay - but the products on the market just don't appeal to them.

Instead of moaning and wasting a lot of time and money trying to filter content they could put that time and effort into ways to make a revenue from the product(s) they have.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Why anyone would buy such a low quality product these days is beyond me. A CD (or any format for that) is such poor quality these days, even a re-release of an older album sounds much worse, due to their lovely re-mixing to make it sound "loud". Bring back proper mixes.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
the basic answer, is that it is the music that is wanted, for showing off, etc... most joggers and teenagers would not care about the quality, until is starts sounding like a dalek!! :D

I'm afraid the 'hifi nuts' are quite a minority... the only positive way to 'stop piracy' is to reduce the price of *new releases*..
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
while we are talking about the music industry, I've got a good quote...

"they were right that home taping was killing the music industry in the 80s...
Oh, um.. its still going in 2008...."

And some wag said.. :D
"Car sales were down 11% year on year, just like DVD/CD sales...

"perhaps what is causing the crisis in the motor industry, is too many people illegally downloading cars... " ROFL..
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Here comes the PR offensive from music companies, oddly it coincides with the story on lack of filtering of child pornography.

They got their way in Ireland I guess the rest of the British Isles' turn now.
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
Clearly the wages at EMI aren't what they used to be if the best analogy they can come up with is water pipes.

To rehash the old joke:
How do you know if a planeload of music industry execs has landed at Heathrow? Even when the engines are switched off the whining doesn't stop.
Posted by TheBaron over 8 years ago
Well, I've used Spotify for a couple of weeks now, (after following a link in FC), and gone and bought about 4 CDs since, so it works both ways :)
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
It certainly does, they should focus their attention on educating people that piracy is wrong and getting reasonably priced, convenient legal sources online, rather than going after people directly and making it overly complicated for law abiding clients - which history has showed us only results in alienating your customer base and scoring an own goal.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
I thought this was going to be an H2O networks article. Never mind.

Meanwhile, across the water in Ireland, it seems their local RIAA clone has managed to persuade Irish ISPs to block access to sites such as PirateBay???
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Dixi - That's a charity whining that not everyone uses the same "approved" filter. It's piss and wind...

And the IWF, in any case, have precisely zero interest in IP enforcement. That's a civil matter which falls entirely outside their remit.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
True but it got quite a bit of PR light shining on the evils of the Internet IYSWIM.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
a multitude of linux/unix distrobutions actually have the ability to make use of bit-torrent to update currently installed open source software packages aswell as using bit-torrent to distribute the OS itself! so by blocking a protocol OR claiming that torrent is ONLY use by those who want to circumvent payment for content is out of order & un-educated stab at everyone who legitimatly uses it.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
i actually admit to downloading copyrighted content along with open source content BUT if i like what i see/heear/install/etc then i GO AND BUY it.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
educate yourselves and look at the bigger picture.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
the music industry will refuse ALL the way to the court so that they do not have to spend more money on a new business model to accomodate torrent/p2p/sharing.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago

i say lets start a wave of change in the music industry and get some high profile acts to start their own torrent tracker that track thier own content which will serve as a direct connection to thier fans & they will also be able to see what songs are populare & which is not there by giving them the means to tweak thier own lyrical smelter to fit the bill thereby allowing the music industry to back off & keep the money rolling in whilst keeping their most valuable fan base HAPPY
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
the irish ISP we FORCED to block sharing content
so the irish ISP buckled under the pressure!
no court was involved & no police were either & the whole shebang is a blatant breach of civil liberties to access ANY website YOU want
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
as well as being classed as pirates & thievies we are ALL being called POSSIBLE terreorist's too so watch what you do or say because if you get accused then it's game over!

welcome to the new world order,
where you can do what you want;
so long as it's ok with the man at the top!
but don't quote me on that,
coz nobody will beleive you.

Then you wake up & you realize you need PERMISION to protest!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
t0m5k1 - Or you can stop buying music. I did, some years ago.
Posted by Groovehound over 8 years ago
Why can't the resources go into blocking child porn and tracing its source instead? Oh yeah, no one really gets paid any more or less if child porn is blocked... :-(
I'd be happy to pay for music online if the offensive extra charged to UK users vs. USA users was put towards a fund to combat the above. But no, it's GREED instead! Funny coincidence how someone major in the music industry was convicted of paedophilia now, isn't it?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
the sad fact is that these execs live in their own closed business world.. I doubt if they even know the current state of media, except in a 'business report'...
and that reality is further mangled by the reporting...

'stopping illegal acts' is the police forces job.. they have recently 'shut down' an organization in Poland..

Posted by fox-uk over 8 years ago
Just a little point.

All Films and TV made before the advent of DVDs and VHS were financed without taking into account DVD, VHS and BlueRay sales.

The profit on these and the additional releases when the technology updated from VHS to DVD to BlueRay is a WINDFALL (AND vinyl to cassette to CD).

The time for a windfall tax is well and truly overdue.

As good ol' Gordo' is a canny Scot and in need of Money, I wouldn't be getting in his face if I was an Entertainments Moneymaker.

Posted by Vibration over 8 years ago
Folks are driven to download tracks these days witrh the dimise of the "traditional record shop" most places now only stock the top 50 cd's or dvd's and few will order back catalogue or "non mainstream new releases"
I proud of the fact I have thousands of guenuine originals but it is difficult to avoid downloads. Most people will also continue to look for the best deal for the given quality ... you can't improve on free though if it is on offer, particularly for obscure items not avalable via legitimate sites
Posted by otester over 8 years ago
There seems to be another motive for censoring the internet than against Copyright Violations.

The Big 4 (music labels) are taking a downturn due to the increase in the video games industry and current economic situation along with artists distributing music themselves.

People don't want fillers in albums anymore, instead of 10-20 songs, they mostly only want 1-2.

I feel no empathy, they have sown the seeds of their own downfall, failure to take advantage of the internet in the first place and replace their aging business model.
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