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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 Hoser McMoose on 12/29/2009 7:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
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.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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