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Movie and record labels are overjoyed at the support they're receiving from the British government

Late in October DailyTech reported on the new three strikes piracy legislation proposed in the United Kingdom by Britain's majority Labour Party.  Under the legislation those caught pirating would receive two warnings, then would be cut off from the internet.  The real headache, though, is how to police the traffic and enforce the provisions on ISPs and consumers.

Despite mass objections from telecoms, citizens, electronics experts, law enforcement officials, and members of the minority conservative and socialist parties, Labour Party officials have blazed ahead with a framework to allow the legislation to be enforced.

According to Labour Party leaders, the government is planning on handing the expense of the Digital Economy Bill down to taxpayers.  That expense is estimated to be approximately £500M (approximately $800M USD).  On average, that works out to more than £25 more a year ($40 USD/year) per internet connection.

And that's considering that the government is counting on the bill reducing piracy enough to increase media revenues by £1.7B ($2.72B USD), leading to £350M ($560M USD) extra in VAT tax revenue.  If that increase isn't realized, British taxpayers could find themselves on the hook for over $1B USD in enforcement expenses.

The initial letter writing campaign is predicted to cut off 40,000 citizens from the internet and cost £1.40 ($2.20 USD) per subscription.  The government appears to have purposefully neglects to include possible economic losses based on citizens being taken offline in its estimates.

Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, whose subsidiary TalkTalk is the biggest consumer provider of broadband in UK, is flabbergasted at how the punitive bill is gaining so much traction.  He states, "Broadband consumers shouldn’t have to bail out the music industry. If they really think it’s worth spending vast sums of money on these measures then they should be footing the bill; not the consumer."

Still the media industry is cheering the British government's decision to obey their commands, despite the taxpayer expenses and objections.  Writes the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, an industry trade group, "The overall benefits to the country far outweigh the costs."

They argue that movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek have been pirated millions of times, amounting to millions in lost revenues.

And it certainly helps their argument that in the UK, like in the U.S., the media industry spends enormous sums on legal representation and government lobbying efforts.  As the growing conflict in Britain is proving, if there's one lobbyist power in the UK and U.S. that's perhaps greater than telecommunication firms, it's the media industry trade groups.




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RE: I'm glad
By Sonikku13 on 12/29/2009 2:41:21 PM , Rating: 5
Keep in mind that in Canada, you get free (or cheap) health care, you just have to wait months to get it. Thats why I prefer how the US syatem is, it may be expensive without health insurance, but you get instant health care if needed. If you have a headache, you can get a doctor to look at it for you instantly. This may be biased, but this is what I've seen in the USA.


RE: I'm glad
By GaryJohnson on 12/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: I'm glad
By phattyboombatty on 12/29/2009 3:15:09 PM , Rating: 5
-or-
C) wait for an hour at the emergency room in a hospital (where nobody can legally be turned away).

Also, based on the comments here, it seems that non-Americans are oblivious to the fact that the poor in the United States do get free healthcare.


RE: I'm glad
By Solandri on 12/29/2009 3:34:45 PM , Rating: 4
That's one of the arguments for government-run health insurance though. Since we insured folks are paying for healthcare for the uninsured anyway, what difference does it make if we just formalize it and have the government handle it? Right now the extra cost is just being passed on in the form of higher bills the hospital charges the insured people.

But I agree, too many clueless people outside the U.S. think the health system here is from the middle ages or something. The problem isn't one of quality of care, the problem is cost of care per person per year. Based on what I've read up on this debate, I think the U.S. has the best treatment for health care problems in the world, but its preventative care is woefully lacking. Most people in the U.S. won't go to the hospital for a small cut because they don't want to pay for it or (if they're insured) pay for the deductible. Then it flares up into full-blown infection requiring hospitalization and maybe even surgery. In other countries, the person would've just gone in for the small cut, gotten it cleaned by a professional, taken some antibiotics for a few days, and that would've been the end of it.


RE: I'm glad
By sprockkets on 12/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm glad
By weskurtz0081 on 12/29/2009 8:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
This is only a small part of the overall problem, there is much more to the over inflated health care costs in the US than just this. Because of that, changing who pays for it won't fix the problem of high costs.


RE: I'm glad
By Spuke on 12/29/2009 4:31:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Also, based on the comments here, it seems that non-Americans are oblivious to the fact that the poor in the United States do get free healthcare.
And you don't have to go to the emergency room to get it either. Since I was in the poor part of the population for half of my life, I can attest to the "free" healthcare that the poor get. There are tons of clinics and even programs that the poor can get on to get healthcare. When growing up, we even had our own "family doctor"!!! The problem with US healthcare is BS lawsuits and those that make too much money to qualify for the free programs that the poor get.

But even the people paying ridiculous amounts of money ($700 a month average) for healthcare aren't interested in government run healthcare. They don't mind paying for it, they just want it cheaper and making it "free" for everyone won't make it cheaper. Taxes will be raised. Would you rather pay $700 a month to the gov and hope that money goes to your healthcare or pay $700 directly to your doctor?


RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 7:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
Emerge != free clinic. If you are in need of serious medical attention, you don't go to a clinic, you get brought the Hospital.

The reason most clinics (free or not) exist is to take the stress off of hospital ER's for people who shouldn't be going there in the first place.


RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 7:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can't be turned away, but you are stuck with a massively overpriced bill that you more than likely won't be able to pay.
quote:
Also, based on the comments here, it seems that non-Americans are oblivious to the fact that the poor in the United States do get free healthcare.
Ha free.. by free you mean you are liable for the expenses incurred... yes.. free...

Unless you are going to a free clinic, its not free, so going to the emerge does not fall under this category.


RE: I'm glad
By Hoser McMoose on 12/29/2009 7:47:54 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Ha free.. by free you mean you are liable for the expenses incurred... yes.. free...

No, free as in many poor individuals in the U.S. are covered under Medicaid. And in a sad bit of irony these people often get BETTER health coverage than your average working Joe on the street.

These are not the people that suffer most under the U.S. health system. The worst off are those that are working full time for little more than minimum wage and who have a health plan but their plan is crap. Unfortunately, for a very large variety of reasons, there are TONS of useless health plans in the U.S., full of deductibles and co-pays, limitations and fees.

An absolutely obscene amount of money is wasted on administrative overhead in the U.S. health insurance system and somehow I'm sceptical that the recently passed health reforms will do much to change this.


RE: I'm glad
By phattyboombatty on 12/29/2009 10:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ha free.. by free you mean you are liable for the expenses incurred... yes.. free...

Free, as in a nice chunk of each of my paychecks is withheld to pay a Medicaid tax, which is used to pay for poor people's healthcare. And no, Medicaid recipients are not liable for the expenses incurred.


RE: I'm glad
By zxern on 12/29/2009 11:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
An hour that must be nice. I had to wait 6 hours to see a doc when I broke my arm and since I had waited so long they had to re-break it. And 2 months later I got a nice $1200 bill in the mail after insurance.

Great system we have here.


RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 3:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Keep in mind that in Canada, you get free (or cheap) health care, you just have to wait months to get it. Thats why I prefer how the US syatem is, it may be expensive without health insurance, but you get instant health care if needed. If you have a headache, you can get a doctor to look at it for you instantly. This may be biased, but this is what I've seen in the USA
Heh its not bias, its just the misleading and flat out wrong information you have been fed by those that don't agree with health-care reform.

Everyone always praises the US for their 'low' wait times, yet most studies being released don't show this as being true. US wait times are on or below par of many other industrialized nations which currently employ socialized medicine. (for reference average Canadian wait times for elective surgery is down to 3 weeks)

That being said, this is not true with many specialized physicians, Canadians for example will without a doubt wait longer for this kind of care. But ... this only accounts for a fraction of health care visits every year.

Of course this also doesnt take into account that in places like Canada, you cannot be denied care. No worrying about being pre approved, no worrying about tests, no worrying about preexisting conditions.

Socialized Medicine does cost more, but many of the other facts being presented against it are in fact false.

P.S Do people really believe that you will be waiting on considerable longer amount of time to see a doctor about a headache in Canada over US?


RE: I'm glad
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 5:30:58 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You apparently just don't get it. The Canada system is just like the European system. It's government RATIONED health care. Not provided, but rationed.
Please, how are the two mutually exclusive? Please stop regurgitating this kind of BS, as it does not even make sense. Just nonsense dribble that anti reformists came up with. For example I can provide everyone on DT with candy, it could be one candy per person, but I'm still providing everyone with candy.
quote:
There are MANY better way to reform health-care than by destroying 1/6 'th of our private economy by having the government take over health-care. Key word ; reform. Reform implies it will be made better. Fact is, yes FACT, for the huge majority of the United States citizens, this type of "reform" will lead to worst health care than we already have.
Don't you get it? It should have never been 1/6 of your private economy in the first place. Its just a circle of greed, your hospital will charge 25$ for a cotton swab who will in tern charge 25$ + 1.25$ handling fee to the insurance company, who will in tern raise their rates because of rising 'health costs'. My job is to maintain drug pricing and information for pretty much any drug you can buy in Canada. I know exactly how much we pay for drugs and have done the comparisons many times to average US pricing. FACT is, health-care reform will result in reduced care for a small percentage of people in exchange for much better care for a heck of a lot more people.
quote:
1. More expensive - WRONG
2. Less choice- TRUE (Can't argue here, but if less choice means more overall coverage for more people, then I'm all fore it)
3. Less accessible - WRONG/TRUE (More accessible for most, less accessible for those that had/have more money to pay for it)
quote:
You cannot be denied care in the United States either. What was your point ?
Oh really? So if I have a condition in which no Insurance company will cover me (whether that be at all, or for an acceptable price), does not not constitute as denied coverage? Or perhaps I am covered but only to a certain amount? I require specialized surgery and my insurance will only cover a percentage of the five-six figure bill?

It happens every day, so please wake up as it could happen even the average Joe that pays his insurance every month.

This can't happen in UK or Canada (just using your example)
quote:
Canada has, what, some 30 million odd citizens ? And you spent 170 billion last year on health-care. The United States has 330+ million citizens. Do the math.
Lets make this simple, Canada's current health structure = 10.1% of GDP (or 16% government revenue), existing US health care, 16% of GDP (or 18.5% government revenue). So yes, please, do the math..
quote:
So I called my doctor and the next day, the NEXT friggin day, had an appointment to see him so we could try a different medication. I had NO wait time, I walked in a few minutes before my scheduled time and was promptly seen by my doctor. No wait. And I paid 20 bucks and my insurance, as usual, picked up the rest.
Thats what family doctors are for, they are required by law in Canada to leave a certain amount of time per day for the kinds of appointments. I've never once had a problem booking my family doctor within a day or two. You don't go to the hospital emerge and wait to see a doctor.. oh and guess how much I paid...
quote:
It's this simple. I'm glad, overjoyed, that you like your system. That's great. But I live HERE, and I have to deal with how this so called health-care "reform" will effect me and my family. So don't hand me this shit sandwich and tell me it tastes great. How dare you preach to me about it.
Hey buddy I understand your reasoning's, but in the end perhaps you should think about the bigger picture. Perhaps your grandchildren and their kids. Medical costs in the US have soared in the past few decades, and the end is nowhere in sight as long as profit remains the main drive.

I'm also not trying to impose anything, the system we have employed in Canada/UK will never work in the US, but reform is needed, and a mix of public/private healthcare seems like the answer (Heck I wish they did that here in Canada). That way each the public sector keeps the private sector in check, and vise versa, but what exactly do you think you are doing with all your posts? You preach your personal feelings just as I preach mine..


RE: I'm glad
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm glad
By Hoser McMoose on 12/29/2009 8:08:44 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
In fact, you are being completely dismissive of the massive financial burden your system places on it's population to cover such a small number of people.

In Canada each and every one of the 33M citizens pays approximately $3,200 (U.S. dollar equiv.) for the public health care system and another $1,350 for additional private health care (dentist, eye glasses, company drug plans, etc. that are not covered by the public system).

In the U.S. each and every one of the 310M citizens pays approximately $3,650 for public health care (Medicare, Medicaid and other State and Federally funded programs) and another $3,700 for private health care.

Feel free to interpret those numbers anyway you like.


RE: I'm glad
By eddieroolz on 1/3/2010 12:07:10 AM , Rating: 1
I recently had a painful boil on my face that needed intervention.

I went to an walk-in clinic, where I do not need to make appointments. Went there early in the morning, and the doctor took one look and referred me to the emergency.

Now, in the US that would have cost you some cash. In BC, all I had to do was show them my CareCard and it was done.

Then I went to the Emergency ward. I was served in 10 minutes, and referred to a specialist in a further 10 min. I waited in the room for another 10 min and the doctor drained the boil in question. I was then told to come back for a week for daily IV, and prescribed medicine.

Now, that in the US would have cost you additional money. Here in BC, all I did was show them my CareCard. Deja vu.

All this is covered by taxing the population no more than what you get taxed in the US.

So being a citizen in this "socialized medicine" land, I would say that it is YOU that does not have a clue how the system works here. No, I was not rationed health care. I was given care as was everyone else waiting at emergency. The government does not allocate me certain number of visits and then outright refuses to see me after I exceed it. No. They care for you when you need it.


RE: I'm glad
By MarcLeFou on 12/29/2009 7:00:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You apparently just don't get it. The Canada system is just like the European system. It's government RATIONED health care. Not provided, but rationed.


Yes. Only one hearth attack per year or you die in the gutter.


RE: I'm glad
By Hoser McMoose on 12/29/2009 7:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now I freaking dare you to look me in the face and tell me that's how it works in Canada on the public system.

My dad recently had a heart problem here in Canada and our public health system. He saw his doctor the next day. They arranged for a specialist a few days later. He was in the hospital for further diagnosis the next week and had surgery less than a week later.

End-to-end between first problem and surgery: 2 weeks.

This was an important operation, but not an imminent-life-threatening sort of thing. If it had been they would have moved quicker. Could this have happened faster in the U.S.? Probably, my parents have money so if need be they could have pushed things through in probably 1 week.

This is real health care in Canada, not what gets fed to so many on some horribly biased commercials and news programs. It's by no means a perfect system (FAR from it), but a lot of the supposed problems either don't actually exist or, at best, are blown horribly out of proportion.


RE: I'm glad
By Solandri on 12/30/2009 2:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is real health care in Canada, not what gets fed to so many on some horribly biased commercials and news programs. It's by no means a perfect system (FAR from it), but a lot of the supposed problems either don't actually exist or, at best, are blown horribly out of proportion.

A co-worker friend of mine who came from Canada always complained about the public health system there. His brother had knee problems and got put on a 6 month waiting list to see a specialist, by which time the problem had gotten so much worse the doctors were seriously considering amputation. He ended up coming to the U.S. for treatment.

The plural of anecdote is not data. I don't consider my friend's case to be representative of Canada's health care. And neither should you consider your father's case to be representative.


RE: I'm glad
By SlyNine on 12/30/2009 3:06:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
There are MANY better way to reform health-care than by destroying 1/6 'th of our private economy by having the government take over health-care. Key word ; reform. Reform implies it will be made better. Fact is, yes FACT, for the huge majority of the United States citizens, this type of "reform" will lead to worst health care than we already have.

1. More expensive
2. Less choice
3. Less accessible


You do not qualify your statements with anything, you say its more expensive, yet the numbers say otherwise. Why do you think your numbers are valid while others are not.

Less choice, really? So if the if the emergency room doesn't think you need something even tho a specialist told you that you do need it. Guess what, you don't get it. Sounds like LESS choice to me.

I had to wait 2 months to see a dentist, don't tell me we are that freken accessible.

quote:
You cannot be denied care in the United States either. What was your point ?


Absolutely positively false, you do NOT have a right to health care, your privet physician can dismiss you at any time for a number of reasons. Health care in America is NOT a right, I took a college course in medical ethics buddy and the first thing they teach you is health care is NOT a right.

Again you have the emergancy room, an overpriced system that can deny you by simply saying its not needed. Can you get a second opinion, nope its up to that hospital.

quote:
Excuse me ?? I think this needs clarification. You must be comparing walk-in hospital wait times. Because when I make an appointment with my doctor, I most certainly have no wait time. Same with my dentist, chiropractor, optimoligist, etc etc.


Yea, and I had to wait 2 months to see the dentist, just because YOU didn't have any wait time doesn't mean others do not. YOU are not a big enough sample group to determine whether or not Americans in general have to wait. Some studies show otherwise.

quote:
Canada has, what, some 30 million odd citizens ? And you spent 170 billion last year on health-care. The United States has 330+ million citizens. Do the math.

Again, let me repeat, Americans are NOT against health-care reform. The problem is, what's being proposed is NOT reform. The premise of your argument is idiotic. If our health care is so shitty, why would we be against it being made better ?


Really? and yet with a much larger GDP we pay a higher % of that GDP for our health care.

Yes we need health care, hopefully one that works. But don't think our way of doing health care is worth a shit or that other people not wanting a certain health care plan means that plan is no good, Most people wouldn't know the difference and base everything they do on very fallacious reasoning.

quote:
Funny you should mention it. Recently a medication I was put on by my doctor started causing long and severe headaches. It was listed as a potential side effect and the drug information said to call my doctor if it happened. So I called my doctor and the next day, the NEXT friggin day, had an appointment to see him so we could try a different medication. I had NO wait time, I walked in a few minutes before my scheduled time and was promptly seen by my doctor. No wait. And I paid 20 bucks and my insurance, as usual, picked up the rest.


You are so sure that this is how it works for most in America. Also you are so sure that Canadians don't get anything like this, I've talked to Canadians that would tell you you;re wrong.


RE: I'm glad
By Reclaimer77 on 12/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: I'm glad
By SlyNine on 1/1/2010 11:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
I was just stating problems I have with your stance. You're afraid of government healthcare no matter the form it takes. Fine, but don't pretend ours is so much better then other countries, that's one area we fail at.

But I challenge that if it were done properly it could be great.

The problem BOTH of us have, is faith in our government to do it properly. In that area I'd agree with you. But that doesn't mean we don't need complete overhaul of our health care system.


RE: I'm glad
By eddieroolz on 1/3/2010 12:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
It has been said that people who resort to defaming others when posed with a valid reply, are merely attempting to mask their own lack of intelligence.

You fit the description nicely.


RE: I'm glad
By Lerianis on 12/29/2009 4:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
Cut the bull.... I have friends who live in Canada and the U.K..... their waits on getting into doctors to have tests done are BETTER than the waits that we have in the United States, considering that MY FATHER, who has health insurance from a fricking HOSPITAL (Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland) had to wait 6 MONTHS to get a MRI done on his shoulder. 6 GOD-DAMNED MONTHS!

Not acceptable, in the slightest.


RE: I'm glad
By phattyboombatty on 12/29/2009 4:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
What caused the wait? I had an MRI done on my shoulder in February earlier this year. I saw my doctor at a regular appointment, she ordered the MRI, and the next day I had the procedure done.


RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 5:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
General surgical wait time is around 3 weeks, about the same as the US (some even say that for general surgury, US is higher). The more specialized, the more the wait times differ (in favor of the US). That being said, most surgical procedures are not specialized.

MRI's really depend on where you go. If I go to a crowded downtown hospital that serves as the main hub for the area, then yes, you may wait as those in critical condition will always take precedence, but my girlfriend for example had an MRI the same day her doctor ordered one at our local hospital a few months ago.

I would assume its a tiny bit bitter in the states, but there is not some kind of huge deviation.


RE: I'm glad
By omnicronx on 12/29/2009 6:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
In other words it can take long depending on where you go in either country.


RE: I'm glad
By KCjoker on 12/29/2009 6:56:25 PM , Rating: 1
It's not FREE you pay for it in taxes.


RE: I'm glad
By Hoser McMoose on 12/29/2009 7:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you have a headache, you can get a doctor to look at it for you instantly.

I live in Canada. I haven't bothered to find my own doctor in this city so I've gone to free clinics. The last time I went to see a doctor it took approximately 30 minutes because I went to one of the busiest clinics around. The time before that it was under 5 minutes. Walk into the clinic, show them my health card, take a seat and wait for your name to be called.

Canada's health care system does have some problems but the wait time argument has been HUGELY exaggerated in the U.S. press recently. There are a few specialized procedures that don't happen as fast as they might elsewhere, but it's not like they make you wait for a heart by-pass while you're in the middle of having a heart attack or anything. The wait times are more of the "I've had a chronic pain in my leg for a year and a half, I finally went to the doctor yesterday and he/she said I should get an MRI but I'm booked in for 3 months from now" variety.

The fact that we insist on unionized, government employees to run all health care is dumb. The fact that most MRI's sit unused from 6:00pm to 8:00am the next morning when there is a wait time is dumb. The massive amounts of incompetence and waste by government bureaucrats in some of our medical systems (see Ontario's eHealth scandal, as an example) is dumb. Yeah, Canada's health system is FAR from perfect, but it's MUCH better than many have portrayed it to be in recent U.S. political press.


RE: I'm glad
By DOSGuy on 12/29/2009 9:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
If you have a headache in Canada, you go to the walk-in clinic and a doctor will see you in 20 minutes. The wait times are for non-critical surgical procedures (hip replacements, etc.). Obviously, if you've been shot or hit by a car, they rush you to the emergency room for immediate surgery.

Most Canadians are okay with the wait time, given that the surgery is free. Medical expenses are a major cause of bankruptcy in the United States, but it's almost unheard of in Canada. It's a shame, because bankruptcies hurt everyone. Maybe you're a small business owner and major surgery causes you to declare bankruptcy. You have to close your business and lay off four employees. Seems like it might have been in the public's interest to have some kind of public option that the fellow could have used.

If you don't believe in socialized medicine, don't use it, but don't try to take it away from millions of uninsured people who need it. Having more options is never a bad thing. Give it a chance before giving into the insurance companies' fear mongering.


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