Poll: Do you think the government will have success combating illegal downloads in the UK?

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General Chat Thread, 7m in UK 'use illegal downloads' in General; ...
  1. #1

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    7m in UK 'use illegal downloads'

    Source: BBC NEWS | Technology | 7m in UK 'use illegal downloads'

    Around seven million people in the UK are involved in illegal downloads, costing the economy tens of billions of pounds, government advisors say.

    Researchers found 1.3m people using one file-sharing network on one weekday and estimated that over a year they had free access to material worth £120bn.

    The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) warned it may be hard to change attitudes.

    The government says work must be done internationally to tackle the problem. [...]

    An alliance of nine UK bodies representing the creative industries recently joined trades unions in calling on the government to force internet service providers to cut off persistent illegal file-sharers.

    They said more than half of net traffic in the UK was illegal content. [...] Internet service providers say it is not their job to police the web. [...]
    So an 1/8th of the UKs population illegally downloads. Why does that sound like an underestimation?

    and the lines "it may be hard to change attitudes" and "internet service providers say it is not their job to police the web" says it all.

    I wonder how much money the government are going to spend on a strategic plan to come out of it with the statement:

    "It's happening, our country very much illegally downloads. But we don't as of this time have a solution to combat the problem. We must work with our international colleagues in order to address the problem further".

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    Only seven milion! I was expecting much more! Besides, they can't lock up 7m people!

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    and its not like its costing the UK economy. Most of the downloads are american TV shows which dont get aired over here until much much later. Music is a tiny fraction of piracy these days with all the cool cats downloading legally from itunes. And with movies continuing to break records on openings week in week out I dont see movie piracy as a big loss earner. As has been said a million times before... 1 illegal download does not equal one lost sale

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    I love the way people get so defensive over this, and try to morally justify it to themselves. "Everyone does it." "It doesn't really hurt the companies." "The artists don't get any money anyway (kind of flawed justification there, but I've heard it used)" and so on.

    I'd like to think that the figure given is accurate, but I suspect its not. Personally I'll just continue to actually buy DVDs, music and so on rather than doing any sort of illegal download. Every time I see this issue mentioned, I feel more and more in the minority.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    I buy music and go to the cinema a lot. I dont buy DVDs, apart from music dvds. I also go to a lot of gigs where the artists make the majority of their money. Im not defending either side. I download a lot of TV episodes. I dont watch broadcast TV anymore except for football.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser-09 View Post
    Only seven milion! I was expecting much more! Besides, they can't lock up 7m people!
    they've got plenty of room over in holland apparently.

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    Fuzzz's Avatar
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    I don't know about the UK, but downloading media (not software!) is legal in the Netherlands. It is illegal to upload anything, so you can't (legally) use bittorrent, but usenet isn't a problem (yet) .

    I agree on '1 (illegal) download does not equal one lost sale', if i really like something, i usually buy the CD/DVD.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I will risk the wrath of the RIAA in admit that I have previously illegally downloaded music Was it right, probably not. Could I afford any of the legal alternatives at the time, definitely not. But not being able to afford does not excuse my actions.

    But then we are talking about life before iTunes. When Napster then Grokster were big. These days, to be honest, I find it harder and more hassle trying to download music illegally.

    To date I have purchased 779 songs or music videos from iTunes. It'd cost me over £100 to replace my DRM content with non DRM versions! I have largely replaced my illegal downloads with higher quality legal downloads. I have also been to 17 Concerts (my 18th is on the 6th June) - as a direct result of the music I've discovered one way or another on the internet.

    I'd say the music industry, taking a long term view, has gained more from me thanks to illegal downloading in my younger years than it would have other ways. Had I not been exposed to such a wide range of music and listen to only to Radio 1 then I'd never have gone to a gig, never have bought an iPod and would have had a half dozen cd collection.

    1 illegal download does not equal a lost sale!

    Artist such as Radiohead who embrace the internet, give back to their fans, and view free music as an opportunity have more to gain in the digital age than those who cling desperately to the vinyl sales figures of the past - IMHO.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzz View Post
    I don't know about the UK, but downloading media (not software!) is legal in the Netherlands. It is illegal to upload anything, so you can't (legally) use bittorrent, but usenet isn't a problem (yet) .

    I agree on '1 (illegal) download does not equal one lost sale', if i really like something, i usually buy the CD/DVD.
    sorry, you weren't in on the joke. here you go...

    Netherlands runs out of criminals, closes Prisons

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    The only way that this "problem" will ever be fixed is by the content producers finding an alternative business model that the buyers feel is equitable.

    For example, I'm happy to pay ten quid for a new album/film, lots of costs involved in making and distributing it. Lots of A&R costs etc. I am NOT happy to be charged £15 for a back catalogue album, where all the costs (bar pressing and distribution) were recovered 30 years ago!

    I'm content that the artist continues to earn money; if there were a way to buy direct I would.

    Big Bossiness are happy to "off-shore" all their costs, but don't they grizzle if the consumer tries to buy abroad (allofmp3.com etc)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I buy a lot of movies, rent a lot of movies (both physically in a shop and via things like BT Vision), but one thing I do not buy directly any more is music. I use sites like youtube, or services like last.fm and spotify (both of which I am a paid subscriber to).

    Now, should something I want to see come on in a cinema, it is pretty much not possible for me to see it unless I want to spend £20. This is due to our nearest cinema being 25 miles away, my not driving, and it not being on a bus route. So, to get there I have to spend a tenner on a return ticket to that town, then get a taxi from the bus station to the cinema and back (another tenner). Add in the cost of the ticket, and any nibbles/drink, and the cost of seeing a single movie could hit £30 for me. So, I will admit I have downloaded a few cinema releases online. So, yes, they are losing out on the sales of tickets at the cinema, but who else would spend that much to see a movie?? Instead, if I like said film then I will more than likely either buy the movie as soon as it comes out, or rent it multiple times (the quality of an original disc is so much better than any download). So, my conscience is clear, as the movie companies still make a fortune from me.

    Music - I refuse to buy CD's or DRM ridden files. CDs are expensive, and in this day and age out dated. I also refuse to have to pay over the odds for non-drm music. So, instead I use services which I can play music on. No need to download them when you can simply fire up spotify and find the song.

    TV shows - this is an odd one as you could see the download of a show which hasn't been broadcast in the UK as a victimless crime, but it isn't. Think about it, a company in the UK usually buys the rights to play a show, they then get advertising to fit into the breaks and make money from that. If you don't watch it on TV, and don't sit through the adverts, advertisers are going to buy less airtime, and less decent shows will come to the UK, which will affect the amount of shows actually produced in the USA.

  12. #12

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    I think that the music and film industry and Government has always looked at the issue from the wrong angle. Rather than embrace new technology the industry has resisted and clung on to old models of distribution, which is just not working.

    From a technological point of view, I can't see them ever getting on top of the issue. If they manage to close off a channel a new one replaces it and everyone moves to it. The hardened file sharers will always come up with something new that gets picked up by the mainstream. Plus, if the file sharing system uses encryption I can't see that any ISP can pick up on what you are doing. Can they?

    The emphasis needs to be on providing a legitimate and attractive alternative. As noted above, music/films need to be at a sensible price that means the (possibly) better quality is worth eschewing the illegal download.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    This illegal download = lost sale is nonsense.

    Most people 99.999% would not buy a song if they could not download it. It cots the same to download 100,000 songs as it does 1 illegally so people will download thousands and not even listen to some of them. You can't translate that into lost sales at a 1:1 ratio.

    If anything illegal downloads are encouraged by Apple et al. IF you were to fill an ipod classic 120GB it would hold 30,000 songs. Now do people spend £30,000 on itunes? Do they buy 3,000 CD's and rip the songs? No!

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    Most people 99.999% would not buy a song if they could not download it.
    So I am very much in the minority. Apparently in 0.001% of the population. I feel special.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    So I am very much in the minority. Apparently in 0.001% of the population. I feel special.
    There are people who illegally download and buy NO music. There are people who illegally download and buy SOME music. There are people who buy music and DO NOT illegally download at all (like yourself).

    But there is NOBODY who illegally downloads and then buys a legal a copy of everything they download!

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