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The BPI today won their legal battle to have ISP’s block their customers from using the torrent site, The Pirate Bay.

This is the first time in the UK, that the courts have demanded that an ISP block a specific site.

The reason? Obviously piracy and copyright infringement.

The BPI states

Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists. Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else

To a degree I think this is a valid argument, the people he mentions do indeed deserve to get paid for their work, but I have to say I’m a little confused, do these people do it for free and only make commission on sales? Or like the rest of us do they take a wage for the job they have done, and then unlike the rest of us expect to continue to get paid long after their involvement is over.

As you all know I work in a store selling computer games, I get paid for the time I spend in my store fulfilling my contractual obligations, but am I missing a trick? Should I be demanding some form of payment every time one of my customers switches their console on?

All that aside the ruling itself seems pointless, those who want to download music/videos/games or what have you will find a way, sure The Pirate Bay is a well known torrent source, but you cant take a stroll round the internet without falling over another.

This whole thing stinks of treating the symptom not the illness.

Music is so far the only form of media to really get its head around the internet and even then it is only with the advent of itunes, a service which as an internet savvy person I find baffling.  Back in the old days you went on Napster to DL music for free, now you go on Itunes to DL music which is readily available on the very same internet that Itunes lives, DL it in exactly the same way but you hand over your money anyway.

Itunes has proved that by taking what was essentialy a “pirate idea,” a hell of a lot of money can be made, most people out there didn’t DL music via napster and it’s like because it was free, they did it because it was easy, they could get the one song off an album that they actually wanted and most importantly because the physical equivalent was so insanely overpriced.

Sites like Spotify provide people with access to music with little or no cost in a totally legal manor, and whilst I am sure there is still plenty of Musical piracy out there, I am also confident that these industry innovations have reduced it significantly.

Film and TV have yet to catch up, and much as I am just speculataing, I would imagine that a lot more of these are downloaded from sites such as The Pirate Bay than music.

 In the States, sites like HULU are already taking the step towards providing free content, and many individual broadcasters have similar services both here in the UK and the US, but adopting a similar approach to the music industry would most likely reduce the piracy in both the film and TV industries.

Many of the networks also shoot themselves in the foot, when you have to wait anywhere from a week to 6 months to watch the UK airing of a US show, but a “pirated” torrent is available the day after, what are you going to do? Secondly is this even copyright theft, you have after all paid your sky or virgin subscription, which includes a channel that airs this show. You’ve already paid does the fact that you have watched it earlier constitute copyright theft?

Anyway, Ill leave you with some far more lyrical waxings on the subject from YouTube favourite Dan Bull and our very own Stephen Fry’s opionion on the matter.





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