Reuters blog archive

from The Great Debate UK:

Who benefits from a file-sharing crackdown?

jollyroger-300x234- Andrew Robinson is the leader of the Pirate Party UK. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Draconian penalties for file sharing were threatened by the government on Tuesday. In addition to the previously announced 50,000 pound maximum penalty for "IP offences" we are now told that whole families are to be disconnected from the net if just one member is accused of sharing files.

Leaving aside the obvious injustice of this proposal and the fact that our court service which handled 2.1 million cases last year is not going to be able to handle the 4.9 million extra cases that the government's stated target of a 70 percent reduction in Britain's 7 million file sharers would would necessitate, I think we should also consider who stands to benefit from this proposed crackdown.

There are two major ways that the general public currently access copyrighted content without paying the rights holders. One is through file sharing, where information is freely shared for no financial gain, and the public participate in what is effectively a giant library where even the rarest snipped of music or least appreciated TV show is altruistically preserved for posterity.

from UK News:

Cutting off the music file-sharers

CHILE/Repeat offenders who persist in illegally downloading music from file-sharing sites such as Limewire could be blocked from accessing the Web under government proposals.

"Technology and consumer behavior is fast-changing and it's important that Ofcom has the flexibility to respond quickly to deal with unlawful file-sharing," says Minister for Digital Britain Stephen Timms.

from UK News:

Would you vote for the Pirate Party?

The Pirate Party, which originated in Sweden, is now a registered political party in Britain and set to run candidates in the next general election.  Its aim is to reform copyright law, abolish the patent system and ensure privacy rights for all citizens.

The party, with branches in more than 25 countries, argues that file-sharing and peer-to-peer networking should be encouraged rather than criminalized, based on the idea that "the Internet could become the greatest public library ever created."

from UK News:

Pirate Bay verdict: What do you think?

Four Swedish men linked to The Pirate Bay, a huge free file-sharing website, have each been jailed for a year for breaching copyright and ordered to pay the equivalent of 2.4 million pounds in compensation.

The Pirate Bay allows users to post music, movies, computer games and other files which other people can then download for free, thus depriving entertainment companies and artists of royalties. The website does not store the files themselves but does provide links so that users can find them somewhere else.

from UK News:

Is file-sharing morally wrong?

keyboardhand-sherwincrasto.jpgA woman who shared a pinball game online has been ordered to pay 16,000 pounds in compensation and legal costs to its creator.

The Patents County Court in London ruled in favour of TopWare Interactive, a U.S. computer game developer that said she had infringed its copyright.