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"BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Gone To Lunch » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:19 pm

Article in the Independent HERE
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Steve Hill » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:36 pm

After today's ruling Bt said in a statement: "This is a helpful judgment, which provides clarity on this complex issue.

"It clearly shows that rights holders need to prove their claims and convince a judge to make a court order.

"BT has consistently said that rights holders need to take this route.

"We will return to court after the summer to explain what kind of order we believe is appropriate."


Yeah right, no spin there then: because they just love chucking £1 million down the drain with every such case on a contested High Court action where, when they lose, they end up paying both sides' costs.

Next time anyone waves a lawyer's letter at them, they'll fold - and rightly so. Their shareholders will expect nothing else, and won't want to be associated with trying to defend the indefensible.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:51 pm

As noted above, BT has for some years operated a system intended to "block" access to a limited number of websites / URLs containing images of child sexual abuse. Sometimes known as "Cleanfeed", this is an attempt to reduce the likelihood of innocent people accidently stumbling across such material.

Now, some Rights Holders have asked a court to order BT to use the Cleanfeed system to "block" access to the Newzbin2 website.

This development is both stupid and dangerous:
  1. Bona fide activities may be slowed down and sometimes break altogether (e.g IWF / Wikipedia incident)

  2. What will be blocked next? Sites involving religious hatred? Sites "of use" to terrorists (ie. almost anything)? Stuff embarassing for the govt of the day? Next round of MPs' expenses??

  3. Meanwhile, the pirates will simply continue as before, as such "blocks" are trivial to work around.

  4. However, some methods of bypass open up other risks (including viruses, malware), so encouraging people to do such things is really not the cleverest plan. The result will sadly be more lawlessness on the Internet, not less. Much bad activity which is currently traceable will cease to become so. Not to mention likelihood of more people being unwittingly exposed to kiddie porn.
This is an arms race, and it can only end one way - badly
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:07 pm

Oh yeah, and I forgot - dunno about others, but I'd barely heard of "Newzbin" until this case. Newzbin have just been handed a huge amount of free publicity.

I am reminded of the time the BBC attempted to "ban" a then obscure band called Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Most of us recall the results...

( yikes - was that really 27 years ago...! )
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Penda » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:12 pm

chris... wrote:
[*] What will be blocked next? Sites involving religious hatred? Sites relating to terrorism (ie. almost anything) ? Stuff embarassing for the govt of the day? Next round of MPs' expenses??

This case has been taken up as a breach of the 1988 Copyright, Design and Patents Act (CDPA). It only sets a precedant in cases where there has been Copyright infringement.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:02 pm

chris... wrote:
This development is both stupid and dangerous:
[LIST=1][*] Bona fide activities may be slowed down and sometimes break altogether (e.g IWF / Wikipedia incident)

Surely adding one more site to the list that is already blocked by Cleanfeed won't make any difference?

chris... wrote:
[*] What will be blocked next? Sites involving religious hatred? Sites "of use" to terrorists (ie. almost anything)? Stuff embarassing for the govt of the day? Next round of MPs' expenses??

Ah, the old 'slippery slope' argument. Does anyone really believe that this is the first step towards widespread censorship of legitimate investigative journalism?

chris... wrote:
[*] Meanwhile, the pirates will simply continue as before, as such "blocks" are trivial to work around.

Well, maybe. Or maybe at least a few people will be deterred. Either way, should copyright owners simply do nothing to protect their property?

chris... wrote:
[*] However, some methods of bypass open up other risks (including viruses, malware), so encouraging people to do such things is really not the cleverest plan.

So people who continue to attempt to break the law are now open to greater risk of virus infection? My heart bleeds!

chris... wrote: Not to mention likelihood of more people being unwittingly exposed to kiddie porn.

Er... that seems like a slightly tenuous extrapolation based on the banning of one web site!
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Steve Morley » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:30 pm

Great judgement, ALL ISP's should be ordered to block piracy sites and those site owners made to pay damages and be jailed. Piracy is theft and should be treated like it, no excuses! I actually can't believe that anyone in this industry would make allowances for piracy. Just makes me wonder how many of you defending no action against those criminals actually make a living of their music. I bet none really....
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:38 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Surely adding one more site to the list that is already blocked by Cleanfeed won't make any difference?

Hi,

This case involves "Newzbin2", the site set up after the operators of "Newzbin" got into hot water. What are the chances the site owners will work around the block by creating Newzbin3, Newzbin4, Newzbin5 etc etc. Unfortunately, the Cleanfeed system doesn't scale very well.

Also, the incident I referred to involved collateral damage where editing of Wikipedia pages was broken entirely for many people.


Sam Inglis wrote:Ah, the old 'slippery slope' argument. Does anyone really believe that this is the first step towards widespread censorship of legitimate investigative journalism?

It sets a precedent of using the Cleanfeed blocking system for things other than images of child sexual abuse.


Sam Inglis wrote:Either way, should copyright owners simply do nothing to protect their property?

Ah, the old 'we don't have a good plan, so we'll opt for a bad plan instead' pitfall.


Sam Inglis wrote:So people who continue to attempt to break the law are now open to greater risk of virus infection? My heart bleeds!

Your computer and your personal data are constant under attack from other computers infected with viruses. As I said, creating more of these and hindering existing helpful efforts to mitigate them might not be great news.


Sam Inglis wrote:
chris... wrote: Not to mention likelihood of more people being unwittingly exposed to kiddie porn.

Er... that seems like a slightly tenuous extrapolation based on the banning of one web site!

Simply that people will shortly be deploying workarounds (VPNs, proxies etc etc) to bypass Cleanfeed - a system which was intended to reduce likelihood of accidentally stumbling across images of child sexual abuse.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby ElecTrika-MixTek » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:47 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
chris... wrote:
What will be blocked next? Sites involving religious hatred? Sites "of use" to terrorists (ie. almost anything)? Stuff embarassing for the govt of the day? Next round of MPs' expenses??

Ah, the old 'slippery slope' argument. Does anyone really believe that this is the first step towards widespread censorship of legitimate investigative journalism?

Of course not, legitimate investigative journalism died out over thirty years ago. I think the question here is, is this the beginning of fast tracking site censorship? Unfortunately, this was on the agenda at Bilderberg 2011 and it was agreed that the time had come to censor.

I don't have the full list but you're looking at: anything seriously criminal, copyright violations (though it was agreed that website certification would need to be introduced later), anything politically radical and so on.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:31 pm

chris... wrote:Your computer and your personal data are constant under attack from other computers infected with viruses.


Is it really? So too must be everyone else's. From whom, I wonder... There are a huge number of personal computers in the world compared to the number of people, let alone systems, dedicated to hacking them. Forgive me, but I was under the impression that whilst you might be unlucky enough to be targeted by a virus or hack attack, it's not exactly true that everybody's computer is under "constant attack from other computers infected with viruses".

My own PC at home has never once contracted a virus or been hacked from externally. My laptop was, just once, hit by a Trojan maybe 5 years ago. The origin of it turned out to be one of those 'dodgy' emails with attachments that you get sent from your friend. That's about it. So from my personal experience, at least, this seems a rather sweeping statement

Edited to add: Of course I am aware of the THREAT of virus attacks and suchlike, that's why we all (should) have virus protection etc. on our computers. But that's rather different than saying it's all under attack all the time.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:58 pm

There are agents running around the web lookin for open doors all the time. Have a look at your firewall logs.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby feline1 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:46 pm

Jennifer, the internet is a mass of hostile pinging, port-inspection, and a dozen other more elaborate things. Most of them you'll never notice - it's not dissimilar to germs and insects whizzing around through the air outside your front door. They're really only a problem if your default place to store perishable food (raw meat, etc) is uncovered, open to the air on a table beside an open kitchen window... which is how most Micrsoft OSes used to be, pretty much
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Rockrooms » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Jennifer Jones wrote:
chris... wrote:Your computer and your personal data are constant under attack from other computers infected with viruses.

Is it really? So too must be everyone else's. From whom, I wonder... There are a huge number of personal computers in the world compared to the number of people, let alone systems, dedicated to hacking them. Forgive me, but I was under the impression that whilst you might be unlucky enough to be targeted by a virus or hack attack, it's not exactly true that everybody's computer is under "constant attack from other computers infected with viruses".

My own PC at home has never once contracted a virus or been hacked from externally. My laptop was, just once, hit by a Trojan maybe 5 years ago. The origin of it turned out to be one of those 'dodgy' emails with attachments that you get sent from your friend. That's about it. So from my personal experience, at least, this seems a rather sweeping statement

Edited to add: Of course I am aware of the THREAT of virus attacks and suchlike, that's why we all (should) have virus protection etc. on our computers. But that's rather different than saying it's all under attack all the time.


Try taking a look at any router log. Port scans are a constant, looking for common and not so common unprotected ports. It's easy to scan large IP ranges , especially if you have a botnet to do it.

As for whom, well, other infected machines looking to expand their botnet.

Viruses and the people behind them have changed considerably over the years. You may or may not have had a virus in 5 years, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Few anti virus programs cope with root kits and unless you know the function of every process running on your PC and what ports it has open, you can't really say.

Anti virus programs are far from infallible. All they can really do is tell you that of the infections they know about, they didn't find anything. Even then processes can be hidden and so never get scanned.

Run a netstat on your machine during a browsing session. Do you know the end points of all those addresses? Are you really sure your DNS server is what it says even if the addresses were seemingly valid.

The reason botnets are so successful is that the owners of the infected machines are unaware that they are infected. Some even have their own AV to protect the host from being infected by other botnets / viruses.

Want to send spam? A small smtp engine on your machine can be limited to sending a few emails every hour, interleaved with legit traffic and be hard to spot.

Want to take down a gambling website for hours? You can hire a botnet to do it at a modest price. Whilst there have been a few high profile botnet take downs recently, they have limited short term effects.
Botnets are big organised business. Stuxnet is arguably nastier and now anonymous claim to have the source, with some pointing to the USA as part author.

Underestimating determined hackers didn't work out so well for Andrew Crossley of ACS "Law". HB Garry didn't do so well either.

Every connected PC is a powerful resource. Tens of thousands of them are a saleable commodity and market forces, whether good (grid projects such as Cancer research) and bad (Zeus et al) do the rest.



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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Steve Hill » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:47 pm

This is not a serious threat to freedom of the press etc. There is a working system which blocks kiddie porn. 99.9% of people are contnt not to be able to access illegal content, and thus risk arrest, and a few nutters will try increasingly desperate measures to circumvent the ban.

Copyright is just the same: I was talking to the IT-savvy managing parter of a London law firm last week. She has no idea what her three teen daughters are accessing, or when, or why. She does know they've all watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4 without going to the cinema.

If her internet gets cut off it affects her ability to serve her clients and could lead to professional embarrassment including (if she were convicted) possible disciplinary proceedings by the regulators leading to her being struck off as a solicitor. It's an accident waiting to happen. She, like 99% of responsible parents, wants the ISPs to remove the risks for her. Her kids, like 99% of kids, will not go the extra mile to find workarounds. They will buy music and films instead.

US jury trials are awarding damages of $1.5 million for 24 music downloads. Once some innocent(-ish) parents go bust and lose their house over this stuff, people will start to wake up.

The internet did not rewrite any laws. Governments do that.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:01 pm

Steve Hill wrote:There is a working system which blocks kiddie porn

Hi,

As I said, the Cleanfeed system was designed to reduce the likelihood of accidentally stumbling on such material. The copyright situation is quite different - as the aim is to stop people who are actively and deliberately trying to get the stuff. The Cleanfeed system is not up to this job.


a few nutters will try increasingly desperate measures to circumvent the ban.
[...]
Her kids, like 99% of kids, will not go the extra mile to find workarounds.

The workarounds are trivial. Many kids will use them. You'll find that 90% of school kids know how to get around the school's "block" on facebook - even if their teachers / parents don't.

That said, for what it's worth, some of the "parental control" type software available to install on on your PC itself is actually somewhat harder to bypass than anything an ISP can do in the network core. Responsible parents might want to consider it. Perhaps someone (ISPs even?) should be advising her on it.


The internet did not rewrite any laws. Governments do that.

Governments cannot rewrite the laws of physics, much as they might like to.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby ezza » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:21 am

It seems that the government have intervened on the side of BT. Vince Cable has declared that blocking websites is 'cumbersome and unworkable'.

Full story here: guardian article

/e
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Phil O » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:43 am

ezza wrote:It seems that the government have intervened on the side of BT. Vince Cable has declared that blocking websites is 'cumbersome and unworkable'.

Full story here: guardian article

/e

Once again the government has failed to 'grasp the nettle' and lost the opportunity to take a positive step forward. Surely the introduction of a measure that, whilst not perfect, it does offer some protection for rights holders.It's got to be better than doing nothing. Can it not be introduced as an interim measure?

"protection that's proportionate to needs and based on evidence" I am not sure what evidence Vince Cable is talking about here but the recorded music industry is going to disappear altogether if the current status quo is allowed to continue.

The creative industries are possibly one of the few where we still have a real influence and opportunity to make a positive contribution to the UK's balance of payments.

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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby ElecTrika-MixTek » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:47 am

When you think about it, the broadband providers have made fortunes off the back of copyright infringement because one of the great drivers has been young people. Don't know if it still goes on but last year I was looking for a new broadband provider and was told that one of the advantages of a particular company's service was I could download so many movies and so many songs. How do you do that I asked? Just go to a filesharing website and download I was told. Is that legal I asked... you get the idea. Same goes for portable media players, though wisely the new law will allow you to make copies of a CD you have already bought for personal use which is, I think, reasonable.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:21 pm

ezza wrote: Vince Cable has declared that blocking websites is 'cumbersome and unworkable'.

Good that they've recognised that. But sadly this recognition of reality is too late for the high court - see the judgement being discussed in this thread.

Last year, web-blocking provisions were sneaked into the DEA (s17) without debate or scrutiny, but, like the rest of the DEA, have not been activated yet. Today's announcement suggests they aren't going to activate those DEA provisions, at least for now. However, this has nothing to do with the Newzbin2 web-blocking injunction obtained last week under CDPA (s97A), of which we'll very likely see more.


Phil O wrote:It's got to be better than doing nothing.

Again, the old 'we don't have a good plan, so we'll opt for a bad plan instead' pitfall...

Continuing to pursue this will simple involve a pointless waste of time and money.

Blocking simply doesn't work. Easy to work around. And not just for determined geeks - easy for the masses too. Pretty much all access to infringing material involves the use of tools (to access torrents or whatever). These tools will simply be extended (by the clever people who write them) to bypass any blocks. The average clueless teenager using the tools won't need to know about this. They will not even know that the hurdles were there, because the tools will jump the hurdles for them.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:47 pm

Blocking simply doesn't work.

Hmmm - demonstrations of failed intellectual property protection don't get much better than this: The DCMS have provided a neat illustration in their publishing of the OFCOM "site blocking" report…

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8365.aspx

which says “The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has redacted some parts of this document where it refers to techniques that could be used to circumvent website blocks. There is a low risk of this information being useful to people wanting to bypass or undermine the Internet Watch Foundation‟s blocks on child sexual abuse images. The text in these sections has been blocked out.”

In their infinite wisdom, the DCMS have (like many others before them) attempted to black out the text they consider sensitive. But it's trivial to recover the text. On my Mac, I can simply cut'n'paste the black bits from Preview into Notepad - and see the redacted text.

Quite likely they'll fix this (at the above URL), but already non-redacted versions are circulating e.g here. The non-redacted versions will probably be seen by more people than the original (everyone likes to see something they shouldn't). And the people who look at these non-redacted versions will not be technically competent, and they won't even need to use copy'n'paste from Mac Preview. They'll simply see the material itself.

So the DCMS have kindly made the point in the simplest of ways… the argument that small hurdles make any difference is just wishful thinking.

Life isn't so simple.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:47 pm

Or as someone else put it, a department which is unable to censor a single PDF does not exactly inspire confidence when it proposes to censor the entire internet.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Frederick » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:50 pm

Steve Hill wrote:...If her internet gets cut off it affects her ability to serve her clients and could lead to professional embarrassment including (if she were convicted) possible disciplinary proceedings by the regulators leading to her being struck off as a solicitor. It's an accident waiting to happen. She, like 99% of responsible parents, wants the ISPs to remove the risks for her. Her kids, like 99% of kids, will not go the extra mile to find workarounds. They will buy music and films instead.

They will buy music and films?. Unless they are 16+, I doubt they have more than £15 a week to dispose of. From memory, kids also buy sweets, food, clothing etc.

Sure, some probably are spoilt rotten by their parents, but I think it's specious to say once a small measure has been taken against piracy, they'll start buying music and films with some imaginary stash of money from somewhere.

It costs £12+ to go to the cinema (inc drinks/food etc), new dvds are around £15, cds are a bit cheaper granted. Ultimately though, these purchases are too expensive for your average child. Most of the musicians and studios (film and music alike) that are of interest to youngsters are making huge profits, you'd think if they wanted youngsters to legally buy music they'd offer some kind of subsidies for under 18's, but it's easier to point fingers from their ivory tower.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Phil O » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:42 pm

Frederick wrote:Most of the musicians and studios (film and music alike) that are of interest to youngsters are making huge profits.....


Really ??? EMI, Warners by any chance?

The patient is 'bleeding to death'. Can we not, at least, put a tourniquet on for now?

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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby feline1 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:31 pm

the basic point is:

- the people in charge are technically-incompetant wankers

- they can't save us from climate armageddon, collapse of the global banking system or thermonuclear war, never mind illegal filesharing.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Wimek » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:25 pm

I remember being 16 and only having money to buy 1 record in a few months. All of us recorded each others records and radio shows on compact cassette. Then after listening to them, the decision to buy a certain album was based on the recorded songs. So I guess we were pirates too

On the other side now I'm one of the few in my neighborhood who still buys CD's...

And then again... more and more people around me are buying songs in iTunes! I also read an article that pointed out that the biggest downloaders also buy relatively many songs on-line.

Just: in the end I don't think blocking sites is going to bring anything good.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby johnny h » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:16 pm

Frederick wrote:
Steve Hill wrote:...If her internet gets cut off it affects her ability to serve her clients and could lead to professional embarrassment including (if she were convicted) possible disciplinary proceedings by the regulators leading to her being struck off as a solicitor. It's an accident waiting to happen. She, like 99% of responsible parents, wants the ISPs to remove the risks for her. Her kids, like 99% of kids, will not go the extra mile to find workarounds. They will buy music and films instead.

They will buy music and films?. Unless they are 16+, I doubt they have more than £15 a week to dispose of. From memory, kids also buy sweets, food, clothing etc.
WTF? Were you even born before mp3s existed? Music actually WAS bought by 16 year olds before mp3s, you know. If you don't know, I suggest you do a little reading.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Frederick » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:13 am

Johnny, you remind of a song by The Maytals, Johnny Cool Man....so cool Johnny.

What I said was they will buy music AND films, implying that they hardly have enough money for one, let alone both, not at the kind of levels expected by the industry at any rate.

The idea that downloads are 1:1 with purchases is nonsense, as someone further up replied, when we were poor kids we just taped off one another or the radio, unless of course something was really worth our pound. Did we have lax morals, were we pirates or just disenfranchised, you tell me.

If Warner et al are truly struggling, I have little pity. One should make hay whilst the sun shines. I remember seeing a behind the scenes extra on the Rush Hour 3 DVD, it was basically an exercise in "look how much money and toys we have, aren't you jealous". Hardly endearing...
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby chris... » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:26 am

Frederick wrote: I remember seeing a behind the scenes extra on the Rush Hour 3 DVD, it was basically an exercise in "look how much money and toys we have, aren't you jealous". Hardly endearing...

There is that aspect, yes. But it's by no means the whole story. Much of the music industry IS struggling. But please can we discuss that side of things in a different thread (if haven't already discussed it to death).

The question here is, will blocking a bunch of URLs make any significant difference. And also, will it f**k other things up in the process.

To which the answers are "no" and "yes".
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:20 am

Frederick wrote:
They will buy music and films?. Unless they are 16+, I doubt they have more than £15 a week to dispose of. From memory, kids also buy sweets, food, clothing etc.

I was spending about £20 (anybody want to work out what 17 years of inflation puts that at in current terms?) a week of my own well earned money at the age of 14 on vinyl, so the suggestion to anyone at the age of 15 who uses that one as a arguement is sort your work ethic out and get a part time job.
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Re: "BT ordered to block piracy site"

Postby Steve Morley » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:55 am

feline1 wrote:the basic point is:

- the people in charge are technically-incompetant wankers

- they can't save us from climate armageddon, collapse of the global banking system or thermonuclear war, never mind illegal filesharing.

Totally agree with you:)

However I fear that will never change but in the mean time we will have to at least try and protect ourselves from the thieving idiots ripping our music. For that reason I think every little helps LOL
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