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Digital Economy Bill passed by peers
Monday 15 March 2010 19:18:34 by Andrew Ferguson

The Digital Economy Bill has major implications for a number of areas of the online world, the largest perhaps being its role in clamping down on online piracy and illegal file-sharing. This though is not its sole purpose, another aspect of it is changes to how Ofcom operates making it do more to encourage the spread of Next Generation Broadband services.

The bill has now passed its third reading in the House of Lords and passes back to the House of Commons prior to receiving Royal Assent and becoming an Act of Parliament. The bill has received widespread criticism particularly over the way that copyright violations will be dealt with. Interestingly tonight at 8:30pm, BBC Panorama is talking to artists about the issue of file sharing.

The views from the artists are diverse with some suggesting that one issue may be the amount of airtime given to music before it is actually released to the public; i.e. should the old business model of delaying the release of a single until every radio station is playing it to ensure a sharp peak of sales change to meet the new digital era. As it stands now, people are hearing a track and wanting to download it to listen to on their MP3 player, and as it's not officially released they will most likely stumble across an unauthorised release.

As ever, to ensure a balance of views this close to a General Election, there are comments from the Conservative and Liberal Democrats on the BBC website. The Conservatives broadly supporting the bill, with their emphasis appearing to be on business models rather than the individual. The Liberal Democrats whilst recognising the need to protect intellectual property, has opposed the original clause 17 (this clause gave wide ranging, almost uncontrolled powers to police copyright).

The question now really is, how will the wording of the bill actually be implemented in practice? Will we see a trickle of cases as rights holders get to grips with the new system, or a massive floodgate of cases in an attempt to very quickly assert their new found abilities to try and reduce online piracy. If the measures do not work, and it is possible that the measures may backfire, (for example, as the media companies police one network) users may simply switch to another method that is even harder to track. Fashions on the internet can be very transient and impossible to predict.

For those wondering where the proposed 50p tax/levy to finance the 'Final Third' broadband project fits into all this, it is should be covered in the Budget that will be delivered on 24th March.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
"As it stands now, people are hearing a track and wanting to download it to listen to on their MP3 player, and as it's not officially released they will most likely stumble across an authorised release." - presumably "UNauthorised release" ?
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
Well all this will do is destroy my interest in music and American TV series. No doubt I'll save a few pounds as I'll probably loose interesting in buying any albums to add to my collection.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Corrected the typo.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
A law that requires the defendant to prove they didn't do something as opposed to the prosecutor providing clear proof they did will never stand up in court, its scare tactics. If this goes through the first case that goes to court (should it ever get there) will be thrown out and I will die of death never to be heard about again.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
..cont They'll have a job proving that someone else hasn't leeched the persons wireless network and please don't tell me about its their responsibility to tighten it up, no its not... its their own PERSONAL responsibility they have no responsibility to protecting the Copyright owners product or access to it. What if they use BT FON how does this new law stack up then?
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Rothschilds involved.

This sounds a lot like the road to web censorship...
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
Amazing how these people can rush through something as fundamentally important as this with little discussion,but are still arguing over expenses.
The whole bill is not fit for purpose.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
@GMAN99

FON requires you to use login details, also data is transmitted on a seperate part of the connection, anything downloaded on it does not count towards the person that owns/pays for the broadband.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
The burden of proof in civil court is also very different to that in criminal courts.

If a case went to court it would be a civil issue and http://www.lawdirectory.org.uk/articles/article-1.html

Posted by otester over 7 years ago
@andrew

So technically ACTA (if they make it a criminal offense) could actually make it harder for them?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"The bill has now passed its third reading in the House of Lords and passes back to the House of Commons prior to receiving Royal Assent and becoming an Act of Parliament."

Royal Assent! Lets just hope the queen paid for everything on the 3 (YES THREE) ipods she owns and other family members which own them also didnt just rip cds onto them. That of course would break ones copyright laws.
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
Conservative Lord Lucas, who had tabled many ISP and Google-friendly amendments to the Mandybill, said he agreed.
Lucas said he'd gone shopping to buy Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, but the first three pages of Google's search results all pointed to illegal versions.
This guys google must have been tampered with or he cant use it properly, or hes reading from a script .... take your pick or amazon are in fact illegal.
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
Well in my opinion the Mandelscum bill, is a stepping stone into censorship of the interweb's and it won't stop the pirates
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
I hope all isp's challenge this in the courts as one did in Australia and they also won, after all why should they be legally responsible for the online activities of their customers? and the talk on blocking certain sites may just be against our human rights
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
All the Isp's here in the uk should do as this isp has done :http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/16/pirate_bay_norway_ifpi_tono/
Let some common sense prevail over this lunacy
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
They shouldnt even be allowed to cut people off... I thought Europe had passed laws to say internet access was a human right which should protect your privacy. The whole thing will cave like a house of cards once someone who had their wifi hacked and gets cut off challenges the decision to cut them off.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
That's assuming that ISP's will even do any monitoring will they be forced to implement DPI? If so who pays for it the customer? The customer pays for DPI'ing other connections when they don't breach copyright themselves, if this a bit closer to April I'd even be considering this being a fools day article.
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
LOL,Well there could be an opening for Mandelscum after the G election within the entertainment industry seeing as he and the rest of these brainless selfish greedy thieves
who stole from the hand that feeds them will be in need of employment, he could star in the next batman movie , he could play The Joker!!!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I have an even funnier example i went to my doctors today, havent been in years and they now have open wifi they say its see patients can check upcoming appointments, make appointments and file repeat presciptions while they wait, nothing wrong with that except it is completely open, i was sitting next to a guy in the waiting room watching a video review of the PS3 game God of War... Might have to snatch myself some dodgy music and films next visit just to see if the idiot government cut one of their own organisations (The NHS) off LOL
Posted by redserpent over 7 years ago
Guys email your MP

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/extremeinternetl

Tell them how you'll never vote for them or their party ever again.
Posted by Raspyyeti over 7 years ago
If someone illegally downloads a file then they never intended to be a paying consumer how ever some may be willing to pay for added value content & services.
Giving enough time the market will adjust it's self to the new market environment so just leave to laws as they are.
Posted by Firefalcon over 7 years ago
I hope the EU intervene and force the UK Gov to scrap this crap.

MP's are all a bunch of out dated dinosaurs siding with the out dated fat cats in the so called "creative" industries, they should get a clue on modern workings instead of fiddling around with excel to scam some expenses.
Posted by jay724 over 7 years ago
A quick review of Mandelsons' record as related to possible corruption in office makes me ask the question 'What's in it for him?' by pushing this through for the media industry.
An unelected Government 'Supremo' masterminding legislation to infringe the human rights of the entire population and changing the basis of English Law to Guilty until proven Innocent!!! Who still believes they live in a democracy!!!
Posted by TheMusicVoid over 6 years ago
Since the passing of the Digital Economy Act 2010, the assent of which evoked a (not entirely) resounding cry of joy from the music industry, its swift passage into law appears to have caused some turbulence amongst ISPs, and all for valid reasons.

More on this available: http://www.themusicvoid.com/2010/07/swings-roundabouts-and-lashings-of-legislative-lamenting/
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