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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 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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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