There are many websites today which allow you to watch video clips, listen to music or read e-books for free. Due to a recent change in the law we may see the end of these media showcases.
Sites such as YouTube and FaceBook among others, broad cast a range of videos and other media which the public upload to and from their computers. However, many of these have broken copyright laws leaving the holders very much out of pocket. The Bill, first announced in the Queen's speech in 2009 went through the third and final reading of the House of Lords last Wednesday and looks like it will be pushed through tomorrow despite much opposition from parties such as the Open Rights Group.
Most of the argument against the bill is said to be based on free speech, but I suspect most people are more concerned about not getting their free videos and music any more.
The digital economy bill will soon see the problem of copyright infringement start to face a steep decline. The idea is to attack the organ grinder as there are far too many monkeys out there for it to be worthwhile attacking each and every one. This would be very time consuming and cost far more money to enforce.
Amendment 120a will be aimed at those who make it possible for these sites to host the illegal material. The ISPs will foot the bill for all illegal activity and make the offending parties cover the costs. It is in the interest of the ISPs to shut down sites such as YouTube (the popular video streaming site).
YouTube hosts many examples of live footage from music concerts, which ultimately leaves the copyright holder losing money they are legally entitled to. The hosts of the material will be liable for court charges and heavy fines received by their ISPs. Clause17 will make it possible for any Secretary of State to change the 1988 copyright, designs and patents act without the need to gain parliamentary approval.
This change could lead to the consumer benefiting in regards to price as the copyright holders will not need to raise the prices of products in order to compensate for the illegal sharing that we see happening all the time today. This will also mean that, should sites such as YouTube want to carry on providing their services to the public; every video will have to go through a strict vetting process before making it onto our personal computers. We may not see this happen instantly, but over time the ISPs will start to realise the detrimental effects this illegal behaviour is having to their pay cheques, leaving them with no other choice but to hunt down the cyber criminals themselves and start a vetting process to prevent the activity before it starts. This could leave the process of creating websites a very long one indeed.
My advice is to go out and buy the media legally. After all I'm sure you would not be too happy to see your creations contributing to other peoples' profits. There is a reason for the protection of a copyright and this, my friends, is it.