17 August 2009

Of Mephistopheles and Poodles

I was always under the impression that Lord Mandelson was dark, Machiavellian and very sharp; apparently not:

Lord Mandelson launched a crackdown on internet piracy just days after meeting a leading Hollywood critic of illegal file sharing.

The business secretary plans to criminalise the estimated seven million people - one in 12 of the population - who illicitly download music and films over the internet.

In what critics describe as a gross attack on civil liberties, those flouting new laws could see their internet accounts suspended and face fines of up to £50,000.

Parents could even be thrown off the net even if it is their children are caught downloading tracks upstairs in their bedrooms, not them.

Lord Mandelson ordered officials to draw up the draconian regulations days after dinner with David Geffen, who founded the Asylum record label which signed Bob Dylan.

The pair dined on 7 August at the Rothschild family villa on Corfu, while Mandelson was holidaying on the Greek island.

I've heard of poodles turning into Mephistopheles, but never the other way round.... (Via Techdirt.)

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alasdair said...

although tom watson has said the story is rubbish it would actually be a shrewd personal move for mandie. Everyone knows this govt is on the way out and mandie does not want to waste 8 or 9 years in obscurity in the lords, what better way to get a plush new post than political favours for the influential?

Glyn Moody said...

gosh: you're even more cynical than I am....

Anonymous said...

In the end copyright is not a law of nature, quite the reverse, it is an agreement on what we will permit. If we will not permit the copyright holder of music to release it only on the(ir view of) current terms, while protecting them from other copying, then we need to make some new laws.

Glyn Moody said...

I think it's also a matter of recognising Schneier's Law: "trying to make digital files uncopiable is like trying to make water unwet."