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Leaked: File Sharing in UK Could Bring Jail Time

Today the UK's Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is expected to present a modified Digital Economy Bill to the public. However, many bits and pieces of the bill were leaked onto the Internet last night, and has now frightened many file sharers and anti-government enthusiasts alike.

Why? Because the bill is attacking illicit file sharers by cutting off their Internet access without any kind of judicial process. It will also allow Lord Mandelson to amend the provisions of the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act of 1988. BoingBoing reports that the bill will give an unelected official the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight and debate.

The new Secretary of State supers powers were broken down into three abilities:  the power to create new remedies for online infringements, the power to create procedures to "confer rights," and the power to "impose such duties, powers or functions on any person as may be specified in connection with facilitating online infringement."

Lord Mandelson is also going after websites that offer storage, forcing them to make all files public. Ultimately, the bill will create a digital police state where private companies will be able to go after file-sharers directly. While jail time was mentioned, the information didn't provide any specifics, only that copyright "militias" could be formed to police copyright on the Internet.

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    They will never win lol
    Just like the war on drugs, people just find new drugs to do or create :)
  • microterf
    Taking the fight to court over piracy is dumb.

    I am so tired of hearing the "Piracy is stealing" arguement.

    If you don't want people to pirate stuff, don't make your content digital. I believe that people will pay what they feel is fair for things.

    Adjust your prices to what they're really worth. People will buy them.
  • marsax73
    Just boycott the movies and music for a good few months, and I guarantee they will finally make things affordable so you don't have to download it from P2P's. Ultimately though, it is out of hand. People just grabbing whatever they want. It does cost money to make albums and movies. As a musician, I have no incentive to even bother releasing an album. It will just end up as a torrent.
  • microterf
    but if people care about your music, they will buy it. They will support what they care about. The problem goes back to the 90s when the undustry would charge whatever they wanted b/c to get a "good digital copy" of a song, you had to pay $15. It's not the artists faults either, it's the labels. They don't even give them the choice of what's on the album. They will spread out "Hit" songs over a few albums to sell more copies even if they're available to put on the current album, and instead leave you with 12 crappy songs and 1 good one.
  • microterf
    You have to remember, they are only losing money when someone who would buy it, pirates it. So for people who wouldn't buy the album/movie but would pirate it, it gets the artists free exposure. That in turn creates fans, which will sell tickets, and sell more albums.
  • lvlouro
    "Lord Mandelson is also going after websites that offer storage, forcing them to make all files public."

    Good luck with that!!! Every major software company is trying to convince people to switch to the cloud if this goes forward it's bye bye to the cloud!!!