UK Considers Fees For Appealing Accusations of Piracy

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UK Considers Fees For Appealing Accusations of Piracy

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Pay twenty pounds to prove you're not a pirate.

One of the unintended consequences of addressing piracy is that it can easily make victims of paying customers. Those of us who legitmately purchase every game we play are confronted with intrusive DRM solutions designed for pirates, which can make us feel like we're viewed as potential pirates ourselves. Sorting out who is a pirate without punishing legitimate users is a very difficult balancing act with no easy solution, but that doesn't stop people from trying. For example, a new easy solution has been put before the United Kingdom: "Put your money where your mouth is. Pay twenty pounds to prove you're not a pirate."

The concept is part of legislation recently presented to Parliament regarding enforcement of the United Kingdom's Digital Economy Act. Here's how it works: if an Internet Service Provider has reason to suspect you of pirating material, they will send you a letter informing you of the suspicion and details on where to find licensed material. Once you've received three of these letters within a year, copyright holders can start requesting account-holder information. (It should be noted that the account-holders name will be withheld unless the copyright holder can obtain a court order.) So far this isn't completely unreasonable, as it at least attempts to address the rights of both consumers and copyright holders.

But let's go a step further. Suppose that you're actually not a pirate; you've received the letter in error for some reason and you'd like to appeal before you reach that third notification. If that's the case you have twenty days to pay twenty pounds, otherwise your appeal won't even be heard. In short, you need to pay money to prove you paid money for something else.

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey is supporting the idea, saying "We must ensure our creative industries can protect their investment. They have the right to charge people to access their content if they wish, whether in the physical world or on the internet."

Of course, not everyone is pleased. "Copyright infringement is not to be condoned," said Consumer Focus Chief Executive Mike O'Connor, "but people who are innocent should not have to pay a fee to challenge accusations. Twenty pounds may sound like a low sum, but it could deter those living on low-incomes from challenging unfair allegations."

What remains to been seen is how Internet Service Providers will react, since they may actually stand to suffer the most. If this policy is implemented, they will be expected to cover all associated operational costs and be responsible for taking action against repeat offenders, which would be costly and time-consuming at best. In the meantime, we'll have to wait to see if any further revisions will be made before the policy is implemented in 2014.

While we're on the subject, doesn't the phrase "twenty days to pay twenty pounds" just sound right for a pirate movie?

Source: BBC via Eurogamer

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Are they gonna charge the ppl making the accusations too? sounds pretty retarded to be so unilateral in their approach. If it cost the rights holder money too, then it solves the problem of the innocent being falsely accused. They would actually need a good reason to do so.

Just saying, fair is fair.

I'm calling it now, the UK is going to going crazy over piracy very soon, just like they did with the whole "Video Nasties" thing when VHS first came about....

Oh common sense, y u no be common?

This sounds suspiciously much like what I find in my spambox on a regular basis.

What's next? Government-led initiatives to let Nigerian princesses transfer money out?

Wait, wait...

I thought it was INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY...
Or is the UK deciding that Shari Law needs to be 'phased in'?

That is like a cop giving you a ticket because he thought you were speeding, and you have to pay to prove that you didn't.

Tanis:
Wait, wait...

I thought it was INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY...
Or is the UK deciding that Shari Law needs to be 'phased in'?

There's no such thing as Habeas Corpus anymore. not as long and large businesses and organisations can "donate" millions of pounds to get politicians to act as puppets.

Hey Liberal Democrats, remember that first word in your name? I 'think' it's Liberal. Might want to, ya' know, start protecting our liberties.

The D.E.A. can kiss my booty

Gearhead mk2:
Oh common sense, y u no be common?

I say! Common sense is for common-ers, What?

*sips tea*

Quite.

Gah! This is kinda sickening. I could understand maybe applying a fee after the case, if it was found that you did in fact deserve the letter (at the judges discretion). But before, for Every case?

To the British Parliament:
The legal system is the basis for any and every kind of government; if you know how the laws work, you know how the country operates. By CHARGING PEOPLE MONEY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES LEGALLY, you are throwing away any pretense of having a government that supports and protects the people; you're just saying that only those with money have a right to legal protection. Kick the guy who proposed this in the bollocks, or drop the pretense of being a pseudo-democracy.

Erm, no, how about about you pay if you're GUILTY, not innocent, hmm? Bloody hell...

Guys, I have the- guys, guys, I hav- no seriously guys, I have the best idea ever... we'll let the people pay to stay out of jail. Guys, did you get that? This is brilliant!
And you know what? I'm already working on a new project: installing a money slot in every voting booth across the country! This is gonna be awesome, people will just love us I tell you.

I'm so happy to see that we still believe in 'innocent until proven guilty.'

Why do they need to pay 20? There doesn't seem to be any explanation other than 'we want your money.'

"Fuck you if you're poor" pretty much sums up our government at the moment, so I'm hardly surprised at this.

It should, as someone said, be the corporations that have to pay to accuse. I'm sure 20th Century Fox has some spare change.

20 heh, nice little scam there, trust an corrupt UK governmet to make an industry out of anything

.. calling it now, were going to be letter bombed with them, by 'accident'.

Haha, what is this shit?!
Who the fuck could possibly think that this is a good idea?!

Fanghawk:
Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey is supporting the idea...

Ah. This explains everything.

Tanis:
Wait, wait...

I thought it was INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY...
Or is the UK deciding that Shari Law needs to be 'phased in'?

I didn't realise the Grauniad and the Daily Fail were sold in the USA. Huh.

Well, the UK might not have guns, but they have one of the most retarded governments. The UK just went full retard, and you never go full retard.

Haha, that is the most retarded thing I have ever heard. How about we be reasonable and say that the people doing the accusing must pay the fee. After all, they are the ones who are potentially causing the issue, not the user. And then if the person is proven guilty, they must reimburse the accuser for the $20.

Yaay, Britain, leading the world in dumb decisions again!

guilty until proven innocent... gotta love international law!

Lethos:
Hey Liberal Democrats, remember that first word in your name? I 'think' it's Liberal. Might want to, ya' know, start protecting our liberties.

They don't really have a say in anything, the Conservatives make all the important decisions and force them to go a long with it.

Yeah, sadly, I feel the Lib Dems went into this coalition in a bid to temper the Conservatives urges to dismantle the NHS, schools, welfare etc, but just seem to be there to be the faces reporting the bad news, a hired scapegoat.

However, this is very similar to something else they're trying to push thru.

Their current tests to get people off disability and sickness benefits, you may have heard of them, a private company already thrown out of America for ineptitude has been hired for 100 million a year, and is failing on 70% of cases.

The response to a 70% failure rate? Change the rules so that if you want to appeal the decision, you lose ALL benefits and are left with nothing to live on for possibly a year. Nice plan, take people who are crippled and some in constant pain, and when told they're fine by someone who's not even a doctor, and ignores the client's medical evidence, cannot now appeal against that decision.

Oh and I'm sure it's not relevant, but the people rejecting people's official doctor's records of sickness are getting a nice fat bonus for everyone they pass as 'fit for work'.

We're about one step away from simply taking your bank statement to court when accused of murder, if you have more money than the victim, hand it over and you must be innocent, because if you can pay, you must be too important to lock up.

Also, to be more on topic, how about we send in accusations of piracy about every MP in the country? Surely an unfounded accusation is enough, and I'll expect to hear that every single one has been followed up.

Maybe when they have personal experience of being falsely accused of piracy and have a 20 bill in their hand to prove their innocence, they'll maybe have a word about what a fuckwitted move this is.

Lets say you are innocent, and you outlay the 20. Also, you prove that you actually are innocent, you can make the losing party cover your legal fees including the outlay of the initial 20.

captcha: genghis khan, odd foreboding.

Oh, I'm sorry. I must have come the wrong way, as this appears to be the set of Catch-22 with Captain Black's glorious loyalty oath campaign.

If that is the case, then allow me to introduce myself: I am Major ___ de Coverley.

Gimme eat.

Give EVERYBODY eat.

And trouble us no further with this crap.

Guess 'innocent until proven guilty' won't apply in some cases pretty soon then. Good to know _

UK, what the hell? Just what the f. hell?

Well I can't see see this being easily used to scam people, no sir.

It's 2:30 in the morning, but I'm fairly confident this is the most moronic thing I'm going to read all day.

Letter to MP,

"Dear Mr Vaizey, I believe that last week, you were caught in sexual congress with a goat. If however this is untrue, then please forward twenty pounds to my address and we'll forget all about it."

Phoenixlight:

Lethos:
Hey Liberal Democrats, remember that first word in your name? I 'think' it's Liberal. Might want to, ya' know, start protecting our liberties.

They don't really have a say in anything, the Conservatives make all the important decisions and force them to go a long with it.

Yeah it's kind of a pain in the ass. I don't want to vote for either Labour or the Torys, and the only party I like seems intent on making sure they will never be reelected

Isn't that a little "Guilty until proven innocent"? It's got to be against some sort of bill of rights in the UK

I'm assuming sooner or later some lawyers will jump all over this one and the courts will strike it down. Stupid it was even suggested but sometimes these things seem to be good ideas to the people who come up with them.

I expect shit like this from the U.S. government but not the U.K. Expectations have been lowered.

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