I won’t repeat myself about my objections to the DEB.  Whilst my articles and opinions are strongly anti-piracy, I think that there is so much wrong with the implementation and current copyright laws, that there are issues on both sides.

What I want to look at is it is now reported that Clause 18 has been removed in the final throes of the DEB debate. Before I do that though, many sites report:

Copyright holders will be able to apply for a court order to gain access to the names and addresses of serious infringers and take legal action.

In respect of the DEB (and this article is found here)  its reported like its some new piece of legislation or right.  Listen people, you put a civil case together in regards to someone infringing on your copyright, you can go to court to get an order for the ISP to disclose the details of the alleged infringer.  This is nothing new and its what law companies are doing to get these warning letters to you.

So clause 18 has been removed? Great? Well it doesn’t matter because clause 8 of this ambiguous piece of legislation allows the secretary of state to “block locations” on the net.  Of course pro-piracy opinion which for the most part seems only to be consisted who support file sharing because they want something free, would want/have you believe that sites such as Wikileaks et al would be blocked and would like to bring people into the anti DEB argument on the basis that this in some way will lead to infringement of the right to free speech.

Let me go on record now (and please hold me to this) Wikileaks will NOT be banned in my opinion, this legislation which appears to be led by the commercial sector (who coincidently are making more profit now than ever before if reports are to be believed) what we will see will be the blocking of tracker sites, Im sure in the spirit of copyright infringement many of the orphan works used to illustrate these articles will have a copyright owner who in theory, could use legislation to block the site.   If anyone thinks that this bill is about anything other than file sharing I would love to hear from you.

Now what people have missed are the two targets in the DEB.  Should legislation be passed and remain, there will be less gold for the firms who go after file sharers.  As soon as sites are blocked and the average user can’t file share then the moneypot in the main disappears. To be fair, I suggested the blocking of sites an alternative to civil cases and I think its a far more proportionate response.  So whilst it appears 18 has been replaced by clause 8 in a rather bad example of stealth tactics, I have no issue to that at all.

Another quote from the article Ive linked:

In the past the lawyers had to go after the infringers, with actual proof. Now, the holder of the Internet account (Mum, Dad, Grandparents and the small startup that can’t afford the legal fees) will be held to account for what happens over their connection.

Im sorry? Lawyers will still have to go after the infringer if they wish to seek recompense from the courts, thats not changed.  A civil court will not grant damages against an individual if evidence of that individuals guilt can’t be proved.  What it is saying is that forgetting any civil case for a second, there will be three chances for the owner of the connection to remedy a common defence…ie secure the connection, before disconnection is sanctioned.  Good idea in theory, but in practice again opens the flood gates to a logistical nightmare of paper trails and resulting challenges.

I’d suggest if users are convinced they cannot secure their connection or prevent family members from file sharing then they should consider getting rid of the connection and using an internet cafe instead.  For any parents out there, how do you stop your children from accessing unsuitable material on your sky box?  Simple you put the parental lock on.  It’s called being responsible.

And here’s some more from Techcrunch

Parents who have no idea their teenage children, neighbours, or even someone parked outside their house, has been slurping their WiFi and downloading the latest movies and music, will now be up in court.

Really? So that hasn’t happened before?  Look at the Copyright and Patents Act 1988 then comment again.  The DEB is not about changing the burden of proof if the matter goes to court the DEB is about remedies to the problem of copyright infringment and lets face it at the end of the day, we are talking about the internet, not your ability to feed your family.  Lets put this into perspective, the world will not come crashing to an end if your internet is cut off.

I am hoping with the finalization of the unworkable DEB, the matter will be laid to rest on this site.  Unfortunately what we will continue to see is a migration to IRC or the binaries and the element of sharing removed.  Unless there is a part in the DEB which Ive missed where it says DPI is authorised so interested parties can go on fishing trips to see if their material is being downloaded and what of recording material off TV?

If anyone objects to the DEB, I think the best way to get the legislation you want discussed is to generate the same amount of revenue as the entertainment industry.  You’ll get all the attention you want then.

I wonder how many (out of the 20 that attended last night to discuss the bill) actually had any real clue about file-sharing and the technologies involved.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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