ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

Summary: In a first-of-its-kind deal, Universal and Virgin Media have agreed on a U.K.

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TOPICS: Piracy
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In a first-of-its-kind deal, Universal and Virgin Media have agreed on a U.K. plan that makes Universal's entire catalog available - DRM-free - for a monthly subscription price, while Virgin will take a more active role in identifying unauthorized downloading of the label's music, The New York Times reports.

(I would have described "unauthorized downloading" as "piracy," for the sake of simplicity, but a forthcoming book by William Patry convinces me that words matter, and that "piracy" is the wrong metaphor.)

Offending users could find their Internet access cut off.

British officials praised the deal.

“Government has a role in creating the right legal and regulatory framework for rights and copyright,” said Stephen Carter, the British communications, technology and broadcast minister, in a statement. “However, the market will flourish through innovative commercial agreements between companies, and agreements such as this will help significantly in reducing any demand for piracy.”

There's nothing innovative about making ISPs into police dogs for the copyright industry. The industry simply must stop treating people who want their products into criminals. I think the monthly subscription deal sounds attractive, but ISP spying is simply a gross violation of the contract between ISPs and consumers.

Topic: Piracy

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  • You say words are important

    From the article you linked to
    [i]In return, Virgin Media, the British cable television and broadband provider, agreed to take steps to reduce piracy on its network, something that other broadband providers have resisted.

    The measures could include temporary suspensions of offenders? Internet connections, the company said.[/i]

    Where did you see mention of spying? From another article I read (sorry, can't find it now), I was under the impression that Universal was using torrents to find users sharing music and would then report those IP addresses to Virgin who would then cooperate with suspensions. Do you have information that contradicts this and suggests that Virgin would be the one doing the spying? If the article I read was correct and these people are going to be caught through torrents by Universal, do you think this is still a bad thing or do you think people should be free to trade commercial music via torrent without any consequences?
    NonZealot
  • RE: ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

    "Offending users could fine their Internet access cut off."

    ?
    relativityboy
  • RE: ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

    Vote for "Pirate Bay UK" in the EU parliament!
    sjp22
  • RE: ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

    Vote for "Pirate Bay Uk" to join the EU parliament as in Sweden.
    sjp22
  • RE: ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

    Good ita about time the industry got serious about piracy, if they actualy had the content available at a reasonable price it would be interesting to see how many people kept pirating.
    jdbukis
  • Cautious Optimism

    "deal ... makes Universal?s entire catalog available - DRM-free - for a monthly subscription price,"
    I am cautiously optimistic about this development, indeed would like all rights holders to combine to provide a global emporium of digital wares.

    "William Patry convinces me that words matter, and that ?piracy? is the wrong metaphor"
    I would say that 'unauthorised downloaders' have boarded the copyright holders digital ships and removed everything above deck, on deck, below deck and even from the bilges ... despite the protestations and actions of said holders and contrary to the law.
    Attempts to thwart the entry of new words into the language will likely be shipwrecked on the rock of common usage ;-)

    As they say in Sweden ... Tela Paro Benigne ... 'the web supplies generously'.

    Presumably Patry has also advised M$ to rechristen 'netbook' as 'small notebook' ;-)

    "Offending users could fine their Internet access cut off."
    I get the joke in this deliberate error ... 'find' transformed to the appropriate 'fine', words matter ... doubly ironic, right ;-)

    "The industry simply must treating people who want their products into criminals."
    Should there be a STOP between 'must' and 'treating'?
    In which case I agree. [in which CASE, get it, oh never mind] No, I see I've got it wrong, 'treating' should be 'turn' :-(

    "ISP spying is simply a gross violation of the contract between ISPs and consumers."
    Would you be so good as to point out the clause numbers in Virgin's current contract upon which I may take legal action should such gross violations occur? Thanks.
    Have you played that game with your children? I spy a spying ISP.

    Seriously now. I like the sound of the deal but I think it needs a full business model and buy in from all concerned. For example I'd like to know what cut everybody is taking. Lots for the author, enough for the ISP, enough for Universal, practically nothing for the money collector. Everybody has to be happy.
    jacksonjohn
    • typos

      Yah, it was late at night. ... fixed now.

      What I want to see is industry providing the product consumers actually want, without gouging, and without holding litigation over their heads to force them into the models they want.
      rkoman9
  • First Mover Advantage?

    More optimism: let's hope people move to Virgin.

    Then the other ISP's will have to look for deals ... then everybody will have to sign a deal (competition: motivation to do the right thing for the consumer and business).... then all the rights holders and ISP's will be engaged ... then we'll have all the music, all the videos, all the TV broadcasts, all the digital media .... economies of scale

    ... and The Digital Emporium will be written in history to follow the Library at Alexandria as a point in the progress of civilisation.

    The Pirate Bay will be rightly relegated, but acknowledged, as a catalyst for advancement.

    Or we can continue ******* each other up.
    jacksonjohn
  • RE: ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal

    what makes you think its the ISPs who were refusing to come to the table?

    It has always been the Music Industry that was stalled/thwarted/fought/sued/spied and demanded DRM.

    Non-Drm subscription smells more like the Industry fearing a momentum shift toward file sharing
    Bodazapha
  • ISP's should not be content providers.

    Even if all pirating stopped these ISP's would find
    another way to limit use. This is fraud to their
    customers and goes away from any quality of service.
    clynx