Thursday, April 04, 2013

Great news! Apparently we've got money to piss away

You might have got the impression that the government has no money. Why, things are so bad poor people can't have... well, anything much, apparently. Spare rooms, control over their shopping, dignity. There simply isn't the cash.

Except it turns out there's thousands of pounds swooshing about with so little call on them, Vince Cable's department is pissing away £200,000 on anti-piracy measures that won't work.

£83,000 is being spent on getting the University Of Surrey to develop a new form of DRM, presumably signed off by someone who doesn't understand that DRM as a category has failed, but hopes it just needs yet another form of DRM to make it work this time.

The rest of the money, though, is really being wasted. Torrent Freak calls it:

The lion’s share of the money – £113,000 – went to a company called ‘WhiteBullet’. If you’ve not heard of them, you’re not alone. Started less than 3 months ago, its big idea is that websites really need a colour-coding system so people can tell how ‘legitimate’ it is. Called the “IP Infringement Index”, or IPI, it’s a red/amber/green rating for sites based on how ‘infringing’ they think a site is.
That's right. People who went to the Pirate Bay, and saw a giant pirate ship, and searched for music they were somehow going to take ownership of without an intervening payment: they wouldn't have done that if there was a big red circle in their browser address bar warning them that this wasn't part of the HMV website.

It would be an offensive waste of money if we were Qatar; to toss money away on such an obviously stupid endeavour while bleating about how we're broke is Antoinette-level brassneck.

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