Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

Speaker: ACTA: Don't sell us down the river

526 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 16 17 18 19 20 22 Newer→ Last

  • Matthew Poole,

    The constitutional court ruled that the new body could only have the power to issue warnings and that any disconnections could only be ordered by a judge after two written warnings from the new authority.

    The sanctions imposed by a judge could also include fines of up to 30,000 euros ($44,420).

    Fine with the former, totally not fine (thank you, I'll be here all week. Please, no hard-boiled eggs) with the latter. Not in any way, shape or form. People who are recreational consumers of illicit downloads should never be potentially bankrupted as a consequence, ever. That is a penalty far, far in excess of anything that is reasonable in the circumstances.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That's another big concern of mine. There seems very little political willingness to engage with the serious concerns that ISPs have over the costs of monitoring (as Peter has noticed), and who will bear the burden

    There also seems to be no willingness to recognise that the ISPs are also profiting very significantly from this traffic. They have become de facto publishers of a staggering range of contents just by providing an infrastructure, and without having to engage in all the other very costly and complex operations that a publisher previously had to engage in.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    ISPs don't profit significantly, as far as I know. In fact ISPs everywhere try to limit your consumption because of the cost of provisioning bandwidth, and in particularly, they try to limit use of file-sharing technologies* where they can identify that traffic, because the few users who use them all the time consume most of the bandwidth.

    *Note that they can identify file-sharing traffic fairly easily, but not which files are being shared.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Gio, already shouted that one down here. Just because you say it doesn't make it so, sorry. Nobody in the ISP industry makes money from high-volume users. That's why there are fair-use policies and all the rest.

    Also, there's this concept of common carrier. Ordering ISPs to monitor and enforce copyright law with traffic on their network is, as per Cameron's analogy, like requiring councils to ensure that no vehicles on their roads are carrying copyrighted material. Infeasible, expensive, grossly disruptive, and using another agency's resources to solve something that is your problem.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    ISPs don't profit significantly, as far as I know.

    My ISP certainly does, seeing as it caps its traffic and has a tiered structure that gets pretty expensive if you download a lot. Uncapped Internet may be a cost but conversely you could say that the uptake in broadband itself has more than a little to do with filesharing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Gio, still not buying it, sorry. To get back on my tired old hobby horse, got any evidence? You know, numbers. Preferably something unambiguous.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    No look, you said that ISPs profit significantly "from this traffic", which I assume means illicit sharing of copyright files. That is an assertion which very much requires evidence. I do not think you can simply point to their charging policies and infer that illicit files give them a significant profit. Certainly heavy usage is not profitable to them -- that is why they go to great lengths to discourage it. So I draw the opposite inference to you.

    Incidentally, I believe that telcos quite deliberately price broad-band at discouraging levels to slow uptake, because they pay a lot upfront to provision it and only make a profit slowly. So they absolutely don't want lots of people signing on with low margin deals -- much better to have fewer people and charge them more. Broadband isn't the big profit centre people think it is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    To throw out some of those dirty numbers of which I am so fond, Telecom's 2009 annual report says that they earned revenue from "Broadband and internet" of NZD582m. If one follows the line across, we see that since 2005 revenue from this activity has only increased by 55%. Given how much uptake of broadband has increased in that time (considerably more than 55% growth), it is a fair assumption that broadband actually earns ISPs less than dialup does.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Cameron Junge,

    That's not getting into the complexity of trying to capture and assemble streams of traffic, doing matching of traffic types because you can disguise bittorrent to look at a casual glance like other types of traffic, and then the maintenance of a database of hashes of infringing files.

    Add in encryption and you've got a whole new kettle of fish. Considering services like Freenet, TOR, and bittorrent offering encrypted connections, gonna make enforcement very hard!

    Oh, and with The Pirate Bay going the DHT (Distributed Hash Table) route, there doesn't even need to be a central tracker to monitor.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Cameron Junge,

    My ISP certainly does, seeing as it caps its traffic and has a tiered structure that gets pretty expensive if you download a lot.

    If someone was downloading a lot, then they'd choose a service that supports their addiction, rather than go with low caps & high overage charges. (Which, btw, are there to limit the usage, not so much to increase revenue).

    As an example: Xnet will give me an unlimited plan (with restrictions) for $50 + peak data usage.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My ISP certainly does, seeing as it caps its traffic and has a tiered structure that gets pretty expensive if you download a lot.

    I suspect that's because they pay much of their costs based on volume, because it's the international traffic across the cable that is the real rort in NZ internet access.

    Their most profitable customers would be people who get broadband, 5GB account, but only use a hundred MB or so a month for email and some light web surfing. There'd be thousands of users across NZ who do that.

    Me, I overrun my 20 GB cap every month (fairly significantly), and only pay them twice as much as the above.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No, I don't have numbers and you are all making a pretty convincing case that I am wrong about this.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Gio, to be fair to you, the "the ISPs are raking it in courtesy of all this downloading activity" argument is almost an article of faith with major media. I've seen it trotted out before, to justify the suggestion that the costs of a monitoring solution should be borne by ISPs not by the media industry.

    The lesson here is that you should be very, very sceptical about anything major media claims unless it's backed up by hard numbers from outside sources. They're very good at coming up with theories that sound good, even plausible, and then announcing them as fact.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The lesson here is that you should be very, very sceptical about anything major media claims unless it's backed up by hard numbers from outside sources. They're very good at coming up with theories that sound good, even plausible, and then announcing them as fact.

    This thread has made me more tentative in my judgments on all of these issues.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    This thread has made me more tentative in my judgments on all of these issues.

    I will certainly be a little less scathing of the costs of the movie industry, based partly on what Peter has said and also on what I've read in researching to contribute.

    On the other hand I will be no less inclined to take the word of anyone who screams "the sky is falling" without solid evidence - such as, say, the sky landing on my head - to support their position. It was - and still is, quite incredibly - the position of big music at the start of the decade that digital music was never going to fly, nobody would buy because they could get it off Napster for free, and that the industry would disappear unless their wet dreams for legislation were granted immediately. We are well aware of how that turned out.
    Now it's the turn of the movie industry to cry that the sky is falling, that nobody will buy movies online when they can download them for free, and that the only solution is immediate statutory relief in the form of stiff penalties and maybe compulsory monitoring/enforcement by ISPs of their customers' online activities.

    Those of us who are arguing against ACTA and s92A and all the other things as an unnecessary imposition aren't necessarily careless about the fate of the arts. However, those of us who have been paying attention to these issues since before Napster was a household name are inclined to be very leery of the doomsayers because reaction from the content industries to disruptive technologies is kinda like being in Ground Hog Day: they scream and cry, they rush to the legislators for protection, the sky fails to fall, they find a way to make money from the new technology. This cycle is almost a natural law, probably at least in part because it's predicated on ordinary human responses, and it has happened every single time a new technology has come along that challenges existing purveyors of copyrighted material in at least the last century. The phonograph, the wireless, the VCR. Now it's the turn of the internet. So far the sky has not fallen, despite all the dire predictions, which makes it hard to take the latest predictions as anything other than more of the same.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The phonograph, the wireless, the VCR. Now it's the turn of the internet.

    Wait, I know this one - take it away Mr Horrocks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It doesn't particularly matter if ISPs don't rake it in from people downloading Heroes, Lost, and the Fall back catalogue if they either (a) rake it in from people downloading the latest number ones, or (b) rake it in from people who buy Internet connections on the perception that they could download Heroes, Lost, or the Fall back catalogue. Either way, they profit from the perception of downloading as easy and risk free, and will be averse to making it not risk free.

    (I don't know empirically if any of the above is true, so yeah. But it's possible for the ISPs to be making money off perceptions that aren't entirely true.)

    There are other players who do make money off infringement --- Google etc --- and they really can afford lobbyists.

    On the other hand I will be no less inclined to take the word of anyone who screams "the sky is falling" without solid evidence - such as, say, the sky landing on my head - to support their position.

    Problem is that there's a certain species of copyfight reformist who sometimes holds a very minimalist view about the effect of technology --- Valenti was wrong etc, so why listen now?, sometimes holds a hugely maximalist `the internet is like nothing ever before you can't spoil it you nasty person I bet you like people better than it!' position, and sometimes holds a moderate in between view where the internet will kill the labels but all the happy bands will dance away into the sunset*. It can be quite hard to reconcile the three positions into a coherent view unless you realise that for a lot of people the first premise is `yay the internet' and then everything follows from that. The Californian Ideology, where it really is the case that the arts can get fucked, look at my ping!

    * And it is the happy rock bands with a rather simple view of authenticity that are being thought of; the nerds of the world tend to make Pitchfork look broad minded and tolerant of different tastes in music. Speaking of which, if live performances are the way of the future, isn't that a total betrayal of the promise of the Internet's universality and same-ness? Also that chap who was Mercury (?) nominated and never did live shows, I think a few years back, pity if that sort of formalist purity would be lost.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    isn't that a total betrayal of the promise of the Internet's universality and same-ness?

    But I thought it was a promise of particularity and diversity! Bloody internet, promising everything to everyone...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Don't discount, too, that such legislation would result in thousands of malicious torrents being created with suspicious names but innocuous (or nonsense) content, just to keep the filtering authorities busy.

    What, like they don't already???

    I will certainly be a little less scathing of the costs of the movie industry

    Yeah, the movie industry SHOULDN'T keep making unbelievably expensive, and unutterably shit movies. Hmmm...

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It can be quite hard to reconcile the three positions into a coherent view unless you realise that for a lot of people the first premise is `yay the internet' and then everything follows from that.

    I'm not sure this sort of dismissive polemic from your end is any better. The internet works for you precisely because of the kind of people you seem to want to vilify. Can you try and accept that internet engineering types come to these issues with principles every bit as valid as yours?

    Google has done exponentially more for me than any Hollywood studio has. It facilitates what I do in a profound and constant way. Dismissing it as merely "making money from infringement" is really mean-minded.

    And it is the happy rock bands with a rather simple view of authenticity that are being thought of

    Like Shapeshifter, who outsold the heavily mediated Susan Boyle creation this week to post the No 1 album in New Zealand? They produce their own recordings and release them on their own label via an independent distributor. Technology aids that process all the way along.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Gio, to be fair to you, the "the ISPs are raking it in courtesy of all this downloading activity" argument is almost an article of faith with major media. I've seen it trotted out before, to justify the suggestion that the costs of a monitoring solution should be borne by ISPs not by the media industry.

    To be clear, that's not what I'm saying - Keir made my original point much better. And it still seems valid to me, but seeing as I'm unable to back it up with numbers, I'll certainly concede it's not as clear cut as I thought.

    One thing I recall quite precisely, though, and it's a friend in Canada telling me a few years ago that when the ISPs got rid of data caps over there, after they had been creaming him for his downloading habits for a couple of years, 'coincidentally' they also started a campaign against p2p.

    I will certainly be a little less scathing of the costs of the movie industry, based partly on what Peter has said and also on what I've read in researching to contribute.

    One needs to have seen just one Pixar movie in the last decade to be less scathing of the costs of the movie industry, surely? Those things have no stars yet still cost a fortune to make. And they are fucking brilliant, I think most people here would agree.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Russell wrote :

    ... the heavily mediated Susan Boyle ...

    Heh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One needs to have seen just one Pixar movie in the last decade to be less scathing of the costs of the movie industry, surely? Those things have no stars yet still cost a fortune to make. And they are fucking brilliant, I think most people here would agree.

    Yes -- and John Lassiter is one of those geeks who shall inherit the Earth (or at least a pretty damn sweet corner office at Disney) the Bible talks about. But I think it would also be fair to say that Pixar invests a lot of money and human capital in R&D, and when the result is an industry standard like RenderMan (which was licensed out to James Cameron, Peter Jackson and the Star Wars trilogy we do not speak of) then the income can be pretty impressive.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Either way, they profit from the perception of downloading as easy and risk free, and will be averse to making it not risk free

    There are two parts to the "making it not risk free" discussion, though.

    Part one is that whatever the crime, the punishment must be appropriate. Telephone-number fines for casual infringement is utterly ridiculous in the eyes of most people, both for the fact that the money can never possibly be collected (100% of a person's lifetime income from birth to death and still only 50% of the total owed? Yeah, like that's going to happen!) and also for the fact that it makes a mockery of the entire system. When the punishment is so far away from anything vaguely like reasonable and just, the only way many people can react is "The law's an ass. Why should I follow it?" Anything that causes disrespect for the entirety of a body of law is "a bad thing"[tm], and if you don't think that people are disinclined to respect the law as a result of the likes of the Jammie Thomas case I would suggest that you extract your head from your world of economic theory and get out into reality.
    A fine of a few hundred dollars is reasonable, provided that there's the avenue of judicial review. One of the most objectionable aspects of s92A was that there was no higher authority to which one could appeal. That is the realm of a police state, and made all the worse for the fact that it was vested business interests that were gunning for the easiest access to the disconnection regime.

    Part two is the technical. Whether or not you can find any point of agreement with me on economics, based on your education, I really would love to know any basis you might have for disagreeing with me on the ins and outs of IP engineering. And for this one, "I read it on the internet" doesn't cut it.
    I have summarised why it's distinctly non-trivial to implement a monitoring solution. That is technical reality, and will remain so for sufficiently far into the future that some other solution needs to be found.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One of the most objectionable aspects of s92A was that there was no higher authority to which one could appeal.

    There was also the whole element of being presumed guilty and bugger anything that resembled due process with the lights on... You don't have to have a copyright law geek to say there's an unpleasant odor around that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 16 17 18 19 20 22 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.