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Q: Ofcom says illegal file-sharers will begin receiving warning letters as the first-step in a 'three-strikes' rule to tackle net piracy. Will this deter you?

  • 60%
    I don't illegally share files.

  • 19%
    No, it's beyond policing now.

  • 14%
    I'll just take more precautions not to get caught.

  • 7%
    I'm not sure, I'll have to see the letter.


(Based on 676 Votes)

This poll is now closed

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PC Advisor

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Ofcom says illegal file-sharers will begin receiving warning letters as the first-step in a 'three-strikes' rule to tackle net piracy. Will this deter you?

Vote in our poll here

See original story Ofcom: Illegal file-sharing warning letters to be issued in 2013

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Noldi

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I don’t file share in the sense of illegal files. But I do wonder why the sites that allow this are not controlled better and accountable for their sites content.

Noldi

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Jwbjnwolf

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I agree with the FE Jameslayer!

Surely you should keep it at where its at?

I agree that people dont just commit crime because they CAN, but "Because They CAN" is the main reason. Ok, maybe "Because they CAN" doesn't explain all the reasons, but if PC Advisor were going to say every single reason, the first post would be taking years and years for us to read, and maybe more.

So what you prefer?

spent years reading something that could be broke down in "because they CAN"?

I would prefer "because they CAN"!

So can't you just rest your case?

=)

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Forum Editor

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JYPX

An excellent post. I agree that any success with controlling online piracy is likely to lead to an increase in the distribution of 'hard - copy' media, albeit on a much reduced scale.

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JYPX

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ams4127 said: "Hardly a week goes by without me being offered a perfect copy of a recent release in a local pub."

It seems to me that in the period just before cheap broadband led to a surge in illegal file sharing, the numbers of cds and dvds for sale in pubs, factorys, offices, on the street, were hundreds of times higher than now. The government reminded us constantly that this trade was not only organised, but was funding drug dealers and terrorists.This probably peaked in a period maybe 10 to 15 years ago. Hmmmm.........

File sharing is wrong - period, But if the plan to almost eliminate online sharing is a success please don't assume that people will not want their cheap movies. Knock off Nigels will suddenly re-emerge in HUGE humbers, and what exactly will that mean for all of us? As always - the government need to be very careful what they wish for....

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Jameslayer

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FE I agrea with you that no matter what you do some people will always want something for nuthin(or just enjoy the cheating the system). But I believe this to be a small minority of the current crop of pirates. And the only way to stop criminals like that is to use the full force of the law.

Its the casual pirates who I believe we can bring back into the fold. The ones that do it because its cheaper. I believe that a reduction in prices would see a reduction in piracy as the cost saving is not worth the hassle/risk of buying illegally.

I have never said that stealing was justified like you have claimed. I have tried to look at the reasons why people pirate. And what could be done to reduce their reasons to do so.

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Forum Editor

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Jameslayer

If you're going to enter into a discussion like this you might do well to do some thinking before you start. What's all this nonsense about a Nobel peace prize? It has absolutely no relevance, and is simply offensive.

I haven't identified the sole cause of crime,and I certainly haven't made any such claim. What I said was that people practice copyright theft because they can - the internet has made it easy to distribute illegal files; anyone with a computer can upload or download at will.

I can guarantee that if the price of a film on DVD was halved tomorrow there would still be people busily stealing copies via the internet.... because they can.

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Jameslayer

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FE so your saying that people brake the law because they can and its as simple as that. All these years the police, courts, social services and many other groups have spent millions(probely billions world wide) looking at the causes of crime. And you have identifed the sole cause.

You are probely inline for the nobel peace price.

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Forum Editor

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Jameslayer

"Just saying the reason people pirate is because they can is a very simplistic view."

But it's the right one.

Let's deal with the reasons you've given for why people indulge in copyright theft.

  1. "They believe the product is over priced."

I believe that Petrol is over-priced, but I don't nip around to my neighbour's driveway and syphon a few gallons from his tank. I think my favourite restaurant charges too much for spicy crab-cakes, but I don't run out without paying.

  1. "I know someone who oftens works away. So he used to take his laptop and play games on it. Then he started to need internet access. So he started to use cracks etc. Then in the end he decided sod it and just started dling games and not buying them."

So he's a copyright thief - what's your point?

  1. "Overly complicated/rubbish anti copywrite systems making people lose faith in companys. And deciding life is easier to get a pirate copy."

Copyright law couldn't be simpler - it's illegal to copy or distribute copies of an original work without first obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. Anyone who finds that hard to understand is in urgent need of some specialist help.

  1. "Why does is it cheaper to get a DVD from america than it is to buy one from the store in england."

Perhaps because the copyright holder has higher above the line costs in the UK,and because there's a 20% VAT rate.

  1. "People can. Some people enjoy cheating the system and no matter what you do. These people will find a way around the security systems."

That's precisely what I said, and you accused me of taking a simplistic view.

You'll have to do a lot better than all this if you want to convince anyone that you have any idea what you're talking about.

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Jameslayer

Likes # 0

I was suggesting that people should try and gain a clear understanding of why diffrnt people(groups) pirate. Then look at ways of reducing their reasons to pirate.

Yes piracy is illegal and shouldnt be allowed. My issue is with how some companys go about trying to reduce piracy and how it causes problems for geniune customers.

Found this http://www.positech.co.uk/talkingtopirates.html which sums up game piracy.

I used to have a link to a much better interview with a ceo of a games company and his reasons for actually reducing their drm systems. Ive emailed my mate and im hoping he still has it.

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rdave13

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Jameslayer

Apologise but your post was negative to those that try (feebly) to stop piracy.

To me theft is next to a heinous crime that is perpetrated daily on the internet. People think it is a wonderful gift to pirate (rob) other people of their livelihood and openly brag about it and offer various items at a small price.

So we are in agreement that thieving (piracy) is totally wrong?

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Jameslayer

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Please show me were I said I ecourage or condone people who pirate games.

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rdave13

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Edit- steel= steal (obviously)

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rdave13

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Jameslayer

You've just answered all your questions.

A thief will always take the easiest opportunity to steel.

Your arguments don't stand up when it is so easy to buy the product rather than run the gauntlet of running copied software.

Surprised that you condone thieves.

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Jameslayer

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FE you are putting words into my mouth. I said companys should look at why people pirate and look at ways of reducing it. Just saying the reason people pirate is because they can is a very simplistic view. Why do drug addicts take drugs?

In my oppinion people pirate for several key reasons:

1-Cost. They believe the product is over priced.

2-Fed up. I know someone who oftens works away. So he used to take his laptop and play games on it. Then he started to need internet access. So he started to use cracks etc. Then in the end he decided sod it and just started dling games and not buying them.

2b-Overly complicated/rubbish anti copywrite systems making people lose faith in companys. And deciding life is easier to get a pirate copy.

3-Region codes. Why does is it cheaper to get a DVD from america than it is to buy one from the store in england.

4-People can. Some people enjoy cheating the system and no matter what you do. These people will find a way around the security systems.

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rdave13

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Forum Editor

I hate to agree but your statement in your last post is just common sense. To me it is anyway.

Jameslayer, try to make the same sense if someone burgled your property, that's OK as it's only 'piracy' and home holders have enough money anyway- attitude. Insurance will cover it; if you can afford insurance that is.

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Forum Editor

Likes # 0

Jameslayer

"companies should look at the reasons that people pirate games/music and films etc."

The reason is blindingly obvious - people steal copyright-protected files because they can. People steal cars because they can, they steal metal plaques from war-memorials because they can.

Trying - as you are - to justify theft on the basis that it's somehow the fault of the people who produce the items that are stolen is absolutely ridiculous.

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rdave13

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Jameslayer , with respect, the reason people pirate software is because they can do it.

They turn to theft as it is seemingly easy to do. When their PC turns belly up they cry for help. So even in Piracy it's not so simple.

Have a look at the Google adverts about file sharing on this site just before the reply box.

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Jameslayer

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I think companies should look at the reasons that people pirate games/music and films etc. And concentrate on removing/reducing the reasons to do this.

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rdave13

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Ah.. just remembered, it's much more civilized than the methods Micro Bill Systems used. Remember them? I knew one or two who coughed up to their threats.

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rdave13

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Seem fair enough if you have children who do the evil deed. At least it gives you a chance to knock it on the head.

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Forum Editor

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"Why ever would they be sending out warning letters to internet users on illegal file sharing ?"

The Digital Economy Act became law in April 2010, and the government gave Ofcom the job of developing what it called 'an obligations code' to ensure compliance with the Act.

The Act set out a three-strikes rule governing the way that illegal file-sharers are dealt with. The first part of the process involves sending letters to people who are believed to have indulged in illegal uploading/downloading, informing them that their internet connection has been used,and giving them an opportunity to make sure it doesn't happen again.

If the activity continues a second stage would kick in, whereby persistent offenders would see their internet connection being throttled.

If the activity still continues, the Act provides a mechanism whereby an Internet Service provider could be ordered to disconnect the account concerned completely. The person involved would no longer have any internet access.

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T0SH

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OFCOM

This is what they claim to be on their web site

"Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries"

Why ever would they be sending out warning letters to internet users on illegal file sharing ?

Cheers HC

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Jwbjnwolf

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I think that would be a great idea using some sort of technology in cinemas that would stop camcorders from detecting the videos. Just like the myth goes with ghosts can be seen in reality, but not in pictures or videos.

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Jwbjnwolf

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I haven't put illegal stuff on file sharing, but I have got to admit that I have a few times downloaded illegal stuff in the past but I have got over that now. I don't do that.

A piece of software that I have Legally used free is Parallels desktop 6/7. What I have done there is just keep getting a new trail product key from Parallels like as if I were downloading the whole stuff again and again from their site, and I just keep inserting the trial key into the registration box. And it excepts it and lets me carry on as normal.

Also, I am not sure if this is illegal or not. I have the trail of Apple iWorks, and because I hardly use it, I go into the directory where the licenses are, and delete he iWorks trial license, so it lets me go through the trial again.

Surely these are not illegal, as it is just instead of re downloading the trail again.

I don't download anything illegal or use any illegal keys any more although I used to get illegal keys from youtube videos, but that was a while back, and I dont now, but these surely are not illegal, as it is the companies faults for allowing this to happen.

I would of thought that Parallels would of prevented us to keep using trial keys by putting in some code that would prevent us from inserting trial keys more than once or to be friendly, 3 times, so you can have about a month with it, before you buy.

And then apple, still allow us to modify the licenses? Surely they are not that silly.

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Condom

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FE

Yes I realise my argument is weak but this is the real world we are living in. People are not prepared to pay the prices and sales are indeed dropping but these media companies are trying to put the blame on Pirating rather than their inflated prices. They moan like hell when it suits them but stay mum when they want their products to be installed everywhere which I see you made no comment about.

They are often their own worst enemies. The last time I downloaded music "illegally" was to get two tracks for an album missing from the CD I purchased at full price. I went to see Katie Melua in the O2 and later purchased her Live Concert CD as I had enjoyed her performance so much. It was not until after I had taken it home and opened it that in the small print it told me that 2 tracks were missing due to lack of space. If you bought the Vinyl LP or purchased the download from any legitimate site you got the full concert but not if you went into a store and bought the CD. The shop wouldn't take it back because it had been unwrapped although they admitted that they already knew about the missing tracks but didn't warn people purchasing it and the record company didn't want to know despite thousands of people complaining. Their answer was to download the 2 tracks at £1 each. I think not. I downloaded them from the internet free as I felt cheated.

This is the sort of rip off which drives people to illegal downloads.

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Forum Editor

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Condom

"sorry if I don't believe all those who say they are squeaky clean on this"

You may not flinch from making the occasional illegal download, but please don't make assumptions that the rest of us follow suit. I'm quite sure that there are millions of people who haven't done it.

As for "If I can buy a perfectly good Pirate copy of a movie for about £1 which clearly is covering all their costs and still allow them to make a profit how can film companies justify their high retail prices...."

Are you seriously suggesting that the cost of making a pirate copy of a DVD bears any comparison with the cost of producing a feature film and packaging and distributing legal copies? I suggest that you think about what you've said,and you'll realise what a ludicrous question it was.

Film companies are perfectly entitled to sell copyright licences for whatever they like. If people don't want to buy DVDs they'll force the market price down - until and unless a pirate decides to circumvent the normal market forces and steal the rights by making illegal copies. The internet, and easily-obtainable hardware and software , has made it possible. It doesn't make it right however - neither you or anyone else has a 'right' to the music or films that have been produced by others. The law says the musicians and film-makers have the right to benefit from what they have created,and by downloading without paying you are denying them that legal right.

If the law is wrong it can be changed, but so far I don't see legislators falling over themselves to do it. That's because it's based on common sense.

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Forum Editor

Likes # 1

"Piracy is here to stay, now it is up to companies to produce products that people want to buy and at a price we want to pay."

That's about the most pathetic attempt at a justification for breaking the law that I've ever heard. You could apply that daft argument to just about anything - how about us all stealing petrol from the filling stations because the oil companies don't produce it "at a price we want to pay"?

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Condom

Likes # 0

Can anyone remember the days when Microsoft didn't put any encryption at all on their wares? When Microsoft Office first appeared Microsoft let people copy at will as it clearly planned to try and take over the market and kill off WordPerfect which was by far the leader with Lotus not far behind. As soon at it became dominant the encryption appeared. Microsoft was not the only people to use this tactic to kill off competitors as Symantec and many others did the same. What happened to all these old programs like Lotus, WordPerfect, Dr Solomon and many more? Big business has always cried foul when it suits them.

Record companies have ripped off UK users for years with every excuse under the sun being used for their high prices and film companies have not been far behind so sorry if my heart is not bleeding for them now.

Yes I will admit that I have downloaded occasional tracks to complete collections or to replace a damaged track and sorry if I don't believe all those who say they are squeaky clean on this. I have even downloaded the occasional old album as it is quicker than transferring it from Vinyl to CD.

Fortunately I spend most of my life in a country where Pirate Movies are the norm so I either go tho see the Movie when it is in Cinema (that being one of the few places to see it in English) or I buy a Pirate copy which is purely made for the tourists as local people seldom watch western movies in English.

If I can buy a perfectly good Pirate copy of a movie for about £1 which clearly is covering all their costs and still allow them to make a profit how can film companies justify their high retail prices when these DVD's are made in the same countries the Pirate copies are made. How many times is someone likely to watch a DVD movie? You are certainly more likely to listen several times to a song but there is surely a limit to the number of times you watch a movie.

There are also so many other ways people watch Movies and her indoors always records any TV series I like when I am overseas and I watch them when I return. I would never spend £40 to buy a TV series when it can be recorded so easily and transferred to DVD in your own home for nothing.

Just remember that these companies are the very same that tried to stop cassette tapes being available and before that reel to reel. They have also asked for taxes on blank recordable CD's and DVD so I wouldn't exactly call them friendly.

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rickf

Likes # 0

I don't do file sharing but it could also be argued that prices may well be forced down because of it. Afterall it is a form of competition. I suspect if prices were more competitive the attraction of illegal downloads would decrease.

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johndrew

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Surely the biggest reality check here is that certain elements believe it is perfectly correct for them to break the law and steal.

If it is all right to commit theft online by illegal downloading then where does it stop? Is it be all right to, say, commit fraud or steal from another's account? It amounts to the same thing.

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gengiscant

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Time for a reality check.

Companies are in business to make profits, and in a free market economy a business sells its products and services for what the market will stand -it's a basic marketing rule,and if you over-price your product you can expect sales to drop.

Each year the EU fines companies that have formed cartels to enable them to keep prices for their goods/services etc artificially high,that is reality. Far to many companies pay lip service to customer service instead of making sure it is a good as possible. That is reality.

The music/ film industry ignored the new media access, the Internet, and instead of embracing the new technology they buried there corporate heads in the sand. They were the ones who should of come up with the likes of Napster or Limewire instead they chose to do nothing and are having to play catch-up,that is reality. Piracy is here to stay, now it is up to companies to produce products that people want to buy and at a price we want to pay.

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QC64

Likes # 0

IF this goes ahead the scripters will simply build a next generation software to get the files to and from, from the likes of frostwire to limewire to torrents to other download managers.

i think more need to be done in building security on/in the programs/games etc rather then shut down someones broadband, its the same as when some people upload films from cinemas why dont the companies develop a software that is needed to be used ONLY in the cinemas but can only be seen through a human eye stopping anyone with camcorders...

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ams4127

Likes # 0

I agree with the FE that a reality check is needed and his reasoning is correct.

However, another reality check will say that whenever young people, who are clever with computers, decide to copy and publish on the internet, there is very little which can be done to stop it. People with that sort of intelligence will always find a way to circumvent authority.

I do not condone piracy in any way, but it is extremely easy using free programmes available on the internet, to copy films legally rented from Lovefilm, or one of the many other rental companies and pass them round to as many other people who ask if they can have one. Apart from banning these companies I can't see any other way to stop it.

Hardly a week goes by without me being offered a perfect copy of a recent release in a local pub.

That is reality.

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Armchair

Likes # 0

It'll be interesting to see which ISPs go along with this, and which other ones (along with BT and Talk Talk) appeal against getting involved.

Whether or not it ever does come into force, I can imagine some people reading that and starting to download as much as they can before the first letter arrives. Others won't give a monkey's about it.

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Forum Editor

Likes # 0

davecay

"Its is the big corporations who are the thieves and should be better controlled"

Time for a reality check.

Companies are in business to make profits, and in a free market economy a business sells its products and services for what the market will stand -it's a basic marketing rule,and if you over-price your product you can expect sales to drop.

What you should not expect is that large numbers of people will decide to steal your product because they don't fancy paying for it. The Internet has made it easy for people to take music, films, and software files without paying. It's illegal, and it's hardly a surprise that someone who has worked hard to create something unique will feel pretty hacked off when people just help themselves.

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davecay

Likes # 0

For all you who seriously think that, if piracy was stopped, it would lead to a decrease in prices for various software think again. It would cause the opposite as the big corporations would not need to worry about illegal competition whom they are unable to control. If you do not believe that then look back at the Amiga days where this exact argument was being held about software piracy. The problem was caused by the companies overpricing their software giving the pirates a huge base of demand, after a couple of years of blaming the pirates for losses the companies reduced the prices of the sofware dramaticaly, the effect was large sales and an increase in profits.

Its is the big corporations who are the thieves and should be better controlled

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interzone55

Likes # 0

I think anyone who thinks the cost of software, CDs, DVDs etc will drop if illegal sharing is stopped is very sadly deluded...

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johndrew

Likes # 0

I was very surprised to see that around 16% of those responding to this poll appear to believe that illegal file sharing is acceptable behaviour; fortunately the vast majority do not.

Given the damage that illegal file sharing does - pushing up costs for the majority alone is unforgivable - and that these same individuals are members of these forums perhaps they should examine their consciences (if any) and start considering their actions.

Theft, regardless of how it is carried out, affects others either directly or indirectly and needs to be punished with utmost severity.

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Crosstrainer2

Likes # 0

Joseph Kerr

I was only referring to the illegal sites. As you correctly point out, there are many perfectly legitimate sites :))

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Joseph Kerr

Likes # 0

File sharing sites can be, and are, used for legitimate purposes, you know.

Anyway, won't affect me as I don't use them or download illegally.

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Crosstrainer2

Likes # 0

As Covergirl....Never have, never will.....Nor will I assist people who get their PC's in a mess due to the use of illegal file sharing.

Several acquaintances have asked for my help after severe virus infections rendered their PC's useless. "DOn't phone Jeff...He won't help you" Is the way it works.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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rdave13

Likes # 0

In an ideal world if piracy was stopped then films, music and games would be cheaper for the rest of us to buy.... possibly.

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Covergirl

Likes # 0

Won't affect me 'cos I don't "fileshare" :)

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