Some of you may be aware, many probably are not, but the Digital Economy Bill is due for it’s second reading in Parliament this afternoon. This piece of legislation is a prime example of everything that is wrong and rotten through British politics at the moment.
Firstly those conniving cnuts politicians have timed the reading in order to get the bill into the “wash up”, a westminster process of backroom wheeling and dealing for bills that have run out of time to be properly debated in parliament, in order to get them to Royal assent (and therefore law). Ya Vol! Watch it UK, no democracy needed to pass laws up in this motherfucker!
Secondly, the entire thing is bollocks, Jack Skellington aka Purdy Peter Mandelson has basically gone round all the biggest media companies selling off any freedoms or consumer rights we might have had to the highest bidder trying to achieve fairness for all… Or has he….
Check this page for a quick breakdown of what is in it and what isn’t.
Most importantly though, we’re suddenly all fucking criminals:
Reducing online piracy and copyright theft
By far the most contentious part of the bill and the source of huge popular opposition. The DEB adds a clause to the Communications Act 2003 that says that ISPs must provide “copyright owners” (defined murkily in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act’s section 173 with details (though not identities) of copyright infringers. Quite possibly, anyone could claim to be a copyright owner.
As altered, the bill now allows for ISPs to be required to block access to sites that allow “substantial” infringement. One of Lord Mandelson’s principal targets here – urged on by the BPI and Federation Against Copyright Theft and Federation Against Software Theft – is “cyberlocker” sites that let people store files, or move them between two people easily, which, lobbyists argue, allows widespread copyright infringement. The argument then becomes how you tell whether a cyberlocker is being used for substantial infringement. But as they don’t publicise their contents (they are like safe deposit boxes for the web), how can it be determined whether they are substantially infringing?
One site that would immediately be trapped by this provision is Wikileaks – which exists solely to republish leaked, and hence copyrighted, work. Would a Trafigura-like company in the future use the DEB to shut off UK access to the site if something embarrassing appeared there?
The bill allows for the “temporary suspension” of internet connections for those deemed to have allowed multiple copyright infringement after warnings from their ISPs (who are required to maintain “copyright infringement reports” on users, anonymously). Hotels and businesses that offer free or paid-for Wi-Fi have expressed serious concerns that they would have to shut such services down.
The record industry is happy with the proposals, but many citizens aren’t: in two days more than 10,000 people had contacted their MP via the 38 Degrees site to express concern and demand proper debate of the proposals.
A “proper” debate would take so long it would kill the bill – although Harriet Harman, the leader of the Commons, did suggest in a tweet that it will get “debate”. The Tories, however, seem to be in favour.
(nicked from The Guardian)
See that some bullshit right there.
So I sent Benyon an email today asking him to push for more indepth debate and to clear up some of the more conentious issues before voting the thing through.
I urge you all to do the same, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.