Thursday, January 12, 2012

Music Industry back in court

A bit over a year ago I wrote about the Charleton ruling in the Music Industry vs UPC case. In that, the judge said he'd like to allow the Music Industry run roughshod over our civil rights but that there just wasn't legislation to allow it. Ok I'm paraphrasing a bit, but basically that's what he said. So it is with some interest that I notice the merry-go-round is starting up again.

This time the industry is taking the state to court over the fact that the relevant statutory instrument hasn't been enacted yet to make three-strikes legal. This SI has been promised for this month so it does make you wonder what has brought on this fit of pique. Is it sabre-rattling to ensure that the SI is issued quickly or do they have a genuine case of lost revenue caused by the absence of the SI?

Of course this court case and the SI will yet again fail to take account of the fact that any technical method used to root out fileshares will be quickly worked around. Despite the huge investment in things like the Chinese and Iranian firewalls they are unable to successfully block access to the internet. I doubt EMI and their friends will make any similar investment and it would seem to be unfair to put the burden of cost on ISPs like UPC.

EMI's other great claim is that their profits halved in 2011 and blamed it mainly on piracy. How ludicrous is that? Don't they realize that there is a recession going on and that demand in the domestic economy has tanked by up to 30%. Recorded music is a luxury compared to essentials such as food, heating and clothing and so will obviously be further up the list for chopping in households. Personally I have gone from being a 100 CD/year person to purchasing about 20 in 2011 and I don't think I'm alone in this reduction.

I'll be keeping an eye on the case and the SI over the next few weeks.

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