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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 7:47:54 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.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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