Illegal downloads revisited
Today, I finally got around to listening to the podcast of Charon QC interviewing Geeklawyer regarding the proposed legislation to target internet users who download content illegally. The podcast raises a lot of interesting points. Geeklawyer, as ever, had some deeply seated views on the issue, many of which echo my own sentiments documented in my February 16th post. Most notably, as well as the technical and logistical difficulties in requiring ISPs to monitor their customers’ downloads, the prospect of banning a person from the internet – something that is fast becoming an increasingly vital utility - just because, say, his son inadvertently downloaded a couple of dodgy MP3s is grossly unfair. As I commented in my aforementioned post, someone who flouts a ban on hosepipes during a hot summer does not have his water supply cut off at the mains.
Geeklawyer particularly pointed to the fact that the ‘problem’ complained of is based on flimsy and nonsensical arguments. The content producers and those who own the associated intellectual property rights have wildly quantified the extent of the perceived copyright infringement problem via ‘illegal downloads’.
Charon referred to his previous podcast on the issue in which he interviewed Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Minister for Culture. Ed was of the opinion that the proposed legislation had little or no chance of being passed but rather it was merely a heavy-handed way of getting the ISPs ‘to the table’ to discuss a unified strategy going forwards in dealing with copyright infringement problems. Interestingly, that was Android’s first reaction in response to my initial post on this ‘asinine’ (to use Geeklawyer’s word) proposal for legislation.
I certainly hope they’re both right.
BTW: I also listened to Charon QC’s new feature ‘Charon after Dark’. It’s certainly an interesting concept, in which Chazza effectively interviews himself, bringing his own, quirky take on the week’s less-serious news items interspersed with amusing – and sometimes rather rude – song choices.
Maybe the ‘After Dark’ feature is phase 3 of Charon's plan to position himself as the ultimate blawging-DJ, producing ‘musi-law’ podcasts in his own, inimitable way. The London Underground song he plays is well worth checking out, though not, perhaps, if you are of one of nervous disposition or are offended by extremely strong language. Great stuff.