Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Contempt Overflows

el Beeb pointed me to this article, and I thought, "Who?" Never heard of the buggers. So I went and had a wee look at their website. Oh dear. Oh dearie, dearie, dear.

Not since TerryWatch have we found an individual more worthy of our contempt. Not Broon, or Broone, or even not-el-Presidente Tony - ladies and gentlemen - may I give you the "Scumbag of the Year", Mr Andrew J (Jackass?) Crossley. A man under investigation by the Solicitors (sic) Regulation Authority and reported to the Law Society. Probably shortly to appear in Private Eye ('cause it'll be cold day in Dis before the two previous organisations finger one of their own.)

Anyway, evidence? I give you this.

Introduce fixed fines of £750.00 minimum
Introduce statutory damages of £750.00 as a minimum for each act of copyright infringement (such provision exists presently in the United States);

My, this has worked so well in the USA, hasn't it? Statutory damages completely disproportionate to the "offence" - i.e. the "civil tort". Cost of a download (so the lost revenue per 'share', assuming that there is anybody apart from the solicitor's investigator who has actually downloaded the file) call it £0.50 to £10.

ISPs to provide names of internet account holders
Make all Internet Service Providers produce, on request of a copyright owner or licensee, the identities of the account holders of the internet connection used for illegal file sharing of their copyrighted material. The cost of producing such information would be met by the copyright owner requesting it;

I see the problem - "the identities of the account holders of the internet connection used for illegal file sharing of their copyrighted material." There's an 'alleged' missing from that tripe. Or, you could say, 'accused'. Or, as we have seen, an accurate version would be 'completely innocent of the charges of".

Strict liability for internet account holders
Make the account holder of the internet connection strictly liable for infringements where their connection was used for illegal file sharing

Another fucking great idea from the pontificator of dumb. The victims of a putative offence (malware) become strictly liable for the actions of the criminal? Anyway, does "strict liability" exist as a concept within English civil, as opposed to criminal which even if 'guilty' does not involve the people he is after.

Simplify the court process
Streamline, simplify and speed up the court process of a copyright owner applying for the identities of the account holders from ISPs (this is presently a complex and time-consuming procedure)

Can't actually argue with this. Of course, I would suggest that the process is simplified by having the judge issuing the warrant examine the evidence provided by the accusers well, for evidence, as opposed to mere supposition.

Standardise letters of claim and court documents
Secure approval and consensus for standard-form letters, documents and claims making the process of notification and prosecution of an identified infringement clear and easy to understand, with the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven.

Yes. Okay. Now for our nursery school class in the use of word-processor templates ... And, I would note this threatening bollocks - his business model is all about avoiding getting to "guilt is proven" - he wants people to be forced by the cost model into falsely admitting guilt.

I would note that the fact that this cretin is chasing people who are alleged to have copied porn bears not upon my disregard in any way.

Ed notes: My client wishes it to be known that he considers the use of peer-to-peer file sharing an utter obscenity and anybody with such software loaded should be condemned to a life term using an Amstrad CPC 464. After all, that's what alt.binary was invented for!

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