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Three Strikes Law out in France

Internet piracy is a hot topic issue.  Across America and other industrialized nations, millions of people are file sharing, illegally transferring copyrighted works.  While this behavior is certainly illicit, the record labels have struggled with exactly how to prosecute so many people.  Meanwhile, plagued with mismanagement and poor releases coupled with a bad economy, corporate record labels like Sony, EMI, and BMG have seen their revenues plunge.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), parent organization of RIAA, believed it had finally found answer -- lobby for the enactment of anti-piracy laws that would force ISPs to sever the internet of those sharing copyrighted works.  The only problem was no one opted for such laws that would potentially cut millions of internet-using citizens from the internet.

At last, France became the first to officially make headway towards passing such legislation, thanks to personal support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  The bill passed through the French Senate and only awaited the National Assembly -- France's equivalent to the House of Representatives.  The bill would create a "three-strikes" policy for file sharers. 

The government would pick up the tab (at taxpayers' expense) to police the internet and search for file sharers.  If someone was found file sharing, they would be sent a warning email.  This would be followed with a letter to the internet service provider (ISP)-provided address.  On the "third strike" the ISP would cancel their service, and they would be disallowed to purchase services from other ISPs.

A major obstacle was European Union laws that prevented such policies.  However, in a special EU meeting of Prime Ministers and Presidents, President Sarkozy bullied the other leaders into agreeing to overturn the ruling, essentially throwing out the European Parliament's consensus.

However, the bill has been struck down by the National Assembly, ultimately undone by a variety of opposing views.  One major sticking point was the reaction from ISPs who were concerned about potentially losing millions in revenue by being forced to sever large number of customers.  Then there were concerns voiced over increased government surveillance and the fact that hackers or internet squatters could usurp innocent users’ connections and lead to their ouster. 

The record industry has struggled in court over proving that file uploads and downloads originated from a specific person's hardware -- a particularly thorny issue for colleges and other locations where multiple people can use the same IP address.

Socialist parliamentarian Patrick Bloche cheered the rejection of the bill, which he called "dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky for us citizens."  Two members of Mr Sarkozy's own majority government party broke party lines to vote in opposition to the bill.

Beaten back, President Sarkozy still has plans to punish the pirates.  He and his ministers are working on revised legislation with softer terms, which they will try to reintroduce later in the year.

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RE: welcome to last week
By ayat101 on 4/16/2009 11:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
What TV stations SHOULD offer are regionally coded and perhaps personally tailored ads slotted in HIGH quality downloadable files. The ads would be glued in the file when the download is requested. Even offer a player that will check if each ad is watched and upload that info to the server (WITH USER PERMISSION!). You could slot web links into the ads, etc... and so on, and so on. There are various possible schemes for designing systems like this, but whatever and to each their fancy...

Then there would be NON NEED for torrents or illegal P2P, but the advertising revenue system could be maintained.

Of course the two side effects of this would be the canibalisation of hardcopy sales (DVD and BluRay), and the death of classic tv stations.

I am not entirely sure if the death of hardcopies would reduce revenues and if so by how much? Or if targeted advertising would actualy increase the money earned through its higher value? Either way keeping hardcopy market around is artificial and not needed for the consumer.

The death of tv stations in favour of on demand viewing is the BIGGIE. Not unlike newspapers and magazines are already dying. There are LARGE sums of money involved and the tv industry will fight this.

Of course there are new opportunities to reinvent tv stations or networks are content servers and advertising sellers... or if they do not reinvent themselves, somebody else will move in and take up this business niche.

So this whole anti-P2P and anti-piracy IS NOT about stealing and people not getting paid for their work as a result. It is ENTIRELY about OLD INTERESTS unwilling to change the way they do business. The illegal downloads scene is a symptom of TPTB in a way unwilling to get paid for their work in a consumer friendly system. Sooner or later what I describe is the future of entertainment delivery, it's just a question of who of the existing players will adapt and how soon and how well they will do it. For me I say: FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE! :)

An annoying side-effect of this conflict is that the social group most likely to use P2P to get entertainment is the most desired advertising demographic. This group likes to watch certain type of shows, and then these shows have lower ratings because they leak viewers to downloads. The end result is shows get cancelled. For example how many sci-fi shows are getting axed in recent memory? How hard is it for them to survive these days?

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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