Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

June 16, 2009 -

The release of today's Digital Britain report  is a milestone, and not just because of its video game-related news.

The BBC has a rundown of other key policy items in the document prepared by Lord Stephen Carter (left). They include:

  • three year plan to boost digital participation
  • universal access to broadband by 2012
  • fund to invest in next generation broadband
  • digital radio upgrade by 2015
  • liberalisation of 3G spectrum
  • legal and regulatory attack on digital piracy

Some of these will impact gamers as well as the general public, especially universal broadband (which the Entertainment Consumers Association has been lobbying for here in the U.S.).

As regards piracy, the British Government appears committed to taking a hard line, as the BBC reports:

The Government believes piracy of intellectual property for profit is theft and will be pursued as such through the criminal law.

Ofcom is to get powers that will make ISPs inform persistent pirates of the illegality of their actions. It will also allow these people to be identified and pursued if that action does not stop them. ISPs will also be encouraged to use bandwidth reduction and protocol blocking to stymie persistent offenders.

However, despite the changes, The Telegraph reports that the music and movie industries don't believe that the Government is being firm enough against pirates. The newspaper quotes Geoff Taylor, head of the British Recorded Music Industry:

Evidence shows that the Government’s ‘write and then sue’ approach won't work. And Government appears to be anticipating its failure by lining up backstop powers for Ofcom to introduce technical measures later. This digital dithering puts thousands of jobs at risk in a creative sector that the government recognises as the driver of the digital economy.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The Entertainment Consumers Association is the parent company of GamePolitics.


Comments

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

''The Government believes piracy of intellectual property for profit is theft and will be pursued as such through the criminal law.''

 

um.. it REALLY wont be. In uk criminal law 'theft' as defined by statute, has the requirement that the person commiting the crime had the 'intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property'.

So if they try and pursue it as theft then they wont get very far. The courts cant change the law, only apply it as it currently stands.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

And the government won't change the law to close that loophole because...?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

I suppose they might, but it's a rather odd definition of theft. Makes a lot more sense to just stick with copyright infringement.

Oh, and good luck on the universal broadband by 2012. I don't see it happening, but I'd love to be proved wrong.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

I already have broadband. I couldn't give a toss.

And why are you wishing ME luck? I'M not the one doing it.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

"Speaking of privacy in the UK, they have so many cameras in public...all hooked up to a supremely powerful facial recognition system. It's quite terrifying, actually."


"Source? because I know for a fact that it is utter fiction."

 

fiction or not theres no denying the government wants that and will have it sooner or later

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Stating it as fact and claiming it is "quite terrifying" is scaremongering rubbish regardless of what some people in government or the security services may or may not wish was possible.

There is plenty of reason to deny that "the government" wants it and will have it.  Parliament has had enough trouble trying to decide what it wants to do about ID cards, and even if it goes ahead, the conservatives have promised to scrap the scheme if they get into power, which shows how easily these ideas can change.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Stating it as fact and claiming it is "quite terrifying" is scaremongering rubbish regardless of what some people in government or the security services may or may not wish was possible.

plus there's more than a couple of cameras that would need to be replaced with ones that actually work

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

They've allready got the camera hardware installed, that was the hard part to do

Even if they don't have facial recognition yet, it's an easy thing to install 'behind closed doors' when ever they want to.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

"Speaking of privacy in the UK, they have so many cameras in public...all hooked up to a supremely powerful facial recognition system. It's quite terrifying, actually."


Source? because I know for a fact that it is utter fiction.


In regards to the socialized internet access, there are many places in the UK that private firms wont invest in the infrastructure to provide decent broadband for, as they would not be able to make a return on that investment.  The government is getting involved to subsidise it so that certain areas of the country don't get left behind.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482808/With-DNA-databases-growin...

Go at it, feel free to google. My search string was "UK cameras everywhere".

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

You use The Daily Mail as a credible source? I'll say it again: Your stupid, it burns. I suppose you also think all black people are evil because the KKK says so? (They certainly have more credibility than The Daily Mail does to anyone who knows what they are talking about.)

Still, if you really want to parade your cherished ignorance around for all people actually in the UK to laugh at, be my guest.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Citing the Daily Mail as a news source! Classic

You're not British so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't realise how hilariously ridiculous your comment is.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

I'm sorry, did you just quote the dailymail as a credible source on this site of all sites?... the daily "Ban these evil games" mail.  The paper that falsely linked manhunt to the pakeerah murder, had anne diamond review violent games to get the "as a mother perspective" etc... it is a fear mongering paper that runs with a "the world is going to end" style story nearly everyday.

I was disputing your "all hooked up to a supremely powerful facial recognition system"... a system that does not exist... feel free to prove me wrong.  Euston station has trialled a system, but i would point out that those cameras are privately owned... There was a German system that was trialled in 2007 failed 8/10 times on a known sample set of 200 people... but hey, if the UK has managed to create some supremely powerful system to keep an eye on its residents show me the link.

I would point out that even if you can prove that a facial recognition system is hooked up to them all you would need to change it to a plural... as the CCTV cameras in britain are not centralised and are run separately by the police forces in their given area.

Also quoting about the canadian healthcare system when talking about british socialised services seems a bit daft... and if the US is so great why was my dad why was offered work in seattle years ago as a paramedic when he had been trained by our national health service... the job? To train paramedics in seattle... we must be doing something terribly wrong. 

You stick to your ways, we will stick to ours.  The 50p tax on phones a month will help subsidise network expansion to places that otherwise would be ignored by the private sector... if you have a solution for that I'd love to hear it.
 

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Well, socialized internet access sounds horrible. Socialized healthcare is great for basic stuff, but if you need complex stuff done, whew, good luck..

 

Forcing technological progress is like pushing when constipated, you might get it out, but you're going to burst a blood vessal sooner or later, and it's going to hurt.

 

Are these people really that oblivious as to how technology works? You can't stop pirates. You'll catch about 50, then they'll all switch to triply encrypted undecipherable darknets that will hide anyone who wants to be in them.

Tor is hard enough for law enforcement agencies to deal with. None of these groups get that what they're doing is encouraging even stronger systems to be engineered. If they really do try to crack down on basic piracy, we'll soon see bittorrent applications come with such ridiculously complicated encryption and privacy measures that they won't be able to tell traffic from a pack of 8 linux .iso files from a 3 megabyte MP3.

Bandwidth usage goes way way way up, REAL crime becomes commonplace, and then the UK government is forced to make a choice: Ban all data encryption, back off asinine laws, or force the industry to charge realistic prices for its content. ($2.99 for a 'play anywhere, anytime, any device' 90 minute movie would receive next to no piracy.)

Any government is a self perpetuating organization that will, unless a conscious effort is made, grow itself and its authority. The current UK parliament has shown itself to be willing to inflict mass punishment against its own citizenship (what's ridiculous is this is for companies in an overseas nation, and I say this as a U.S. citizen, not a UK citizen). Any UK gamepolitics members need to get VERY active VERY fast in their government, before they lose any right to privacy.

(Speaking of privacy in the UK, they have so many cameras in public...all hooked up to a supremely powerful facial recognition system. It's quite terrifying, actually.)

 

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

The stupid, it burns.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Only since you got here.

You don't seem to understand, socialized healthcare in other countries doesn't mean the government picks up the tab for everything. In Canada you have to buy VERY EXPENSIVE supplemental healthcare policies for coverage in anything but basic healthcare. This is on top of the ~50% taxation rate.

 

This means that you get a free cast for a broken arm, a free Z-pack for a bacterial infection, et cetera. It means that if you need a feeding tube, it's changed out every 30 days under insurance, otherwise you pay for it. (In the U.S., a feeding tube is changed out on average every 2 days, else it sets up infection.)

In canada, there is a massive psychologist shortage. The waiting list for scheduling an appointment, last time I looked, averaged months out. In the U.S. it's in weeks.

The fact is we already have some degree of socialized healthcare in our medicare/medicaid programs. We can see the issues with it already. I receive one of them. When asking my normal physician (I pay out of pocket to stay with a GOOD doctor) why they didn't accept medicare/medicaid, they responded:

-I make about 130,000 a year. If I accepted these insurance policies, I would make about 90,000 a year. Medicare/medicaid does not always pay what is considered normal for doctors. (There is a standard for healthcare costs that doctors use, I cannot remember what it's called. Doctors that charge more than this have punitive actions taken against them.)

-I would have four times the number of patients I have now, at least. My office would always be packed, even so, I would make close to 25% less than I do now.

-The amount of paperwork is excessive, even for an insurance company. I would have to hire someone specifically to manage medicare/medicaid claims.

A reasonable human being would be able to come to the conclusion that government beauracracy is something we want less of.

 

If you truly want to see stupid, look at where all the medical research is being done, then cost of this research, and who's paying for the research. (Pssst, the answers are: U.S.A., huge, and U.S.A.)

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

I'm sorry, you've mistaken me for someone who gives a shit.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

Well, socialized internet access sounds horrible. Socialized healthcare is great for basic stuff, but if you need complex stuff done, whew, good luck..

In Germany, I can easily have 50Mbit/s downstream if I move to the right place. I can also get stuck with dial-up if I move to the wrong place. Getting broadband to the people that are currently in the wrong places isn't economically feasible, and it never will be until it can be done wirelessly from miles away through hilly terrain.

How else do you want to fix this? Because noone who wants to make a profit on it will ever do it.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

You don't get it, do you? Socialized ANYTHING doesn't mean we're not paying for it, it means that EVERYONE chips in.

The U.S's problem is that ISPs get exclusive line leases, meaning that there is 1 cable provider and 1 phone provider per area, instead of competition. Wireless technology is freeing this up very quickly.

What should happen is the government should build wireless towers and lease space on them, but provide NO services itself, and just be responsible for the big, metal frame they're mounted on, then at the most provide a tax break bounty, much like an open source project, for wireless coverage in an area.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

"Socialized healthcare is great for basic stuff, but if you need complex stuff done, whew, good luck.."

Spoken like someone who has never lived under a socialized healthcare system.  I've lived for over twenty years under a socialized healthcare system (Britain) and for twenty years under a capitalist system (USA) and I assure you the British system is better in every way.  To suggest otherwise is laughable to anyone who has experienced the reality.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

So what all have you had to have treated? You ever had to have an MRI for a non-life-threatening condition? This site is very obviously biased, but: http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#britain it does have apparently legitimate reports.

 

I'll reiterate my previous point: Have cystic fibrosis? Sure, it'll work. A broken leg/arm? Yep. Basic bacterial infection? A-OK. Need something complicated that requires 3 or 4 specialists? Good luck.

The cold, hard fact of the matter is there is not a way to provide perfect healthcare for everybody in the world. There is not a metric ton of gold for every person alive today. There isn't some magic healthcare chest that never runs out of supplies. There's a reason people from the UK and Canada come to the U.S. for complicated surgeries.

Surprisingly enough, a large percentage of the U.S.'s healthcare is provided by non profit agencies, such as catholic hospitals. The bullshit going on with our healthcare system is primarily the result of insurance agencies. The excess administrative costs doctors incur by accepting insurance coverage coupled with the ridiculous costs for-profit insurance companies charge to the end user mean that healthcare costs go up.

Instead of switching to a socialized healthcare system, we need to require health insurance companies be non profit agencies once more, and mandate that they never see a diagnosis on a patient, only treatments done.

Re: Digital Britain: More Than Just Game Ratings

digital radio upgrade by 2015

oh great another analog shutoff to worry about, this time it's radio(sarcasm)

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

 
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