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Internet industry attacks new draconian Internet law
Friday 09 April 2010 16:45:28 by John Hunt

The Internet industry is speaking out with outrage at the passing of the Digital Economy Bill, now Digital Economy Act after passing into UK law, with key figures voicing their concerns at the measures that have been put in place. With talk of this driving our Internet toward a filtered state such as in China, it is no surprise that even Google has spoken out against this new law rushed through by the UK government.

"The proposals to introduce website blocking - now included in Clause 8 - have escaped proper scrutiny. They were introduced 24 hours before a crucial vote in the House of Lords, without a full debate over whether such a policy is right in principle.

We absolutely believe in the importance of copyright, but blocking through injunction creates a high risk that legal content gets mistakenly blocked, or that people abuse the system."

Google statement

"O2 supports the important principle of protecting copyright but we believe the new legal requirements for internet service providers to send warning letters - and if they don't work take more serious action, including disconnecting customers - are a red herring.

The internet has brought about profound changes to the way we all live and work. New companies and industries have been created, and many long established companies have embraced the internet and are thriving in the new digital age. Others have found out the hard way what happens when you fail to move with the times.

It may sound harsh but that's life in a market economy and that's what happens when a technology revolution takes place. Some people vainly try to prop up the old system - like the luddites who smashed up the mechanical looms during the industrial revolution - while others recognise that change is inevitable and adapt to a new model.

The real solution to unlawful file sharing is not to send threatening letters or to cut people off from the internet. It is to come up with new products and services that give consumers the content they want, how they want it, and for a fair price.

So our message to the music company and film industry lobbyists who have been campaigning so hard for this change in the law is simple: you've got what you wanted. Now wake up, smell the coffee, and start really focusing on giving customers what they want."

Felix Geyr, Head of O2 Home and Broadband

TalkTalk who have been strongly against plans to disconnect broadband users are sticking to their guns.

"Many draconian proposals remain such as the responsibility on customers to protect their home networks from hacking at a collective cost of hundreds of millions of pounds a year, the presumption that they are guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent and, as in China, the potential for legitimate search engines and websites to be blocked.

This is made all the more appalling by the ability of big music and film companies to influence government and the absence of any proper debate or scrutiny by MPs – only 5% of MPs turned up for the brief debate yesterday and the other important Parliamentary stages will be bypassed in the wash-up process.

TalkTalk will continue to battle against these oppressive proposals – they will require 'secondary legislation' before they can be implemented.

After the election we will resume highlighting the substantial dangers inherent in the proposals and that the hoped for benefits in legitimate sales will not materialise as filesharers will simply switch to other undetectable methods to get content for free.

In the meantime we stand by our pledges to our customers:

  • Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer's details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it.
  • If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we’ll see them in court.
Andrew Heaney, (Director of strategy and regulation) TalkTalk

"8th April 2010 - ISPA is extremely disappointed by the agreement between the Labour and Conservative front benches to push through the Digital Economy Bill despite serious concerns remaining about some clauses of the Bill, which have been recognised by MPs on all sides of the House. The decision to accept the Government amendment to clause 18, which enables the Secretary of State to make provisions about the granting of blocking injunctions by a court, is unacceptable given the lack of consultation on the impact of the clause.

Despite the inclusion of some safeguards that have improved the clauses on unlawful P2P filesharing, the case for the technical obligations contained in clauses 11-17 is yet to be made. It is with much regret that the majority of parliamentarians, with some notable exceptions, have been persuaded by copyright owners to forego the necessary parliamentary scrutiny in order to rush through legislation that in many ways is disproportionate, unworkable and will serve only to preserve failing business models and prevent new innovative lawful models of distributing content online."

ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association)

At this stage we can only hope enough pressure will be put on the new government from the Internet industry after the election to force them to reconsider and re-write this new law.


Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
Maybe a referendum on this bs debill could be an idea, as it will affect us all in one way or another, As we the people who they should have a voice on this,after all is it not their duty to listen, as they work for us don't they? not the big greedy film & music rights holders, and in my opinion if they expect people to pay for the content they offer then they need to improve the quality of such content, and your games publishers need to give after sales support which many profess to do now ,but fail big time, so the consumer looses out, that seems to me is the way they want it
Posted by MikeSW17 over 7 years ago
"The Internet industry is speaking out with outage at the passing of the Digital Economy Bill"
outage? Well sure they happen - services fail, but in this context - Perhaps outRage is the appropriate word?
Posted by Youngy over 7 years ago
Why didnt these companies lobby the government also? The entertainment industry pushed these laws through by lobbying, ISP's should have done the same. I agree this whole thing stinks of corruption, but sadly neither Labour nor Conservatives will do anything to reverse it unless put under huge pressure. I like many others wrote to my MP, about the encompassing guilty until proven innocent' nature and was sent a quite pathetic fob-off reply. My MP didnt even turn up for the vote, doesnt help he is standing down now but even so.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Pole tax riots...slightly reduced tax.

Iraq war, 2 million protested... nothing happened.

I think it might be time to have a revolution...
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
Both Labour and Conservative have demonstrated their total lack of concern for the views of the public. To be honest I am not surprised. I suspect many of the politicians are getting revenge on us because we do not treat them with the respect they feel they should get.

The problem is I cannot see any reason they should deserve respect.
Posted by davolente over 7 years ago
Mandelson (never can bring myself to address a previously twice-disgraced individual as "Lord"), has got a lot to answer for after his tete-a-tete with an entertainment industry honcho where the subject was "never discussed".....Yeah, right. The whole thing stinks and I believe I know where the strongest smell is coming from.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Rothschild's (at dinner with Mandelson & Geffen) behind this, they want a great firewall like in China but globally so they can forward the NWO.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Just let the music and film industry carry on if they cant adapt to technology they will die and we will all be rid of there whinging cries.
Posted by jm_paulin over 7 years ago
Felix said it all. Please drop copy protection system and law. Just promote legal online download services for Music and Movies.

I listen to MP3 music through Media servers for years. It just makes life easier. Record company such as Sony France started to put copy protection system on their CD to make it virtually impossible for me to convert them in the format I need. Thanks god music is now available in a free form. Can't wait for that same move to happen for movies.

Most people do not want to steal... but sometime, this is the only way to be able to listen or watch what we want.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
jm - so if you produced music you wouldn't get paid for it?

Do you steal from shops?
Posted by otester over 7 years ago


Since broadband existed they have, look closer :)


Copyings != Stealing.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
jm - there is another way. It's called paying.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
The media companies paid $142M to settle a case of price fixing. They are not the victims.

When you don't listen to their completely fabricated figures you realise that piracy is not actually bad for their industry.
Posted by RepairExpert over 7 years ago
As a side issue, don't forget that this stupid bill includes legislation that hopes to move all the radio channels to DAB and cease broadcasting on MW/LW and FM. They hoped to get this completed by 2015 (unlikely according to the manufacturing industry). This will result not only in inferior reception for many (drop outs of signal especially in cars) but the fact that 150 million existing FM sets, car, home Hi-Fi, and mobiles phones with FM receivers will become useless and have to be scrapped.
Posted by RepairExpert over 7 years ago
Although they are expected to put in place a way of collecting and recycling these sets, what's the betting that most will end up in landfill. The public don't want it, but as usual the government thinks it knows what's best for us. Viva the revolution!
Posted by pigfister over 7 years ago
@ tommy45

there will be no referendum on this law as both parties are owned by the corporations, they no longer represent us, if they ever did. + the political parties in the uk are on the campaign trail and need as much cash as they can get, and the media industry has deep pockets to purchase laws.

this legislation stinks of the police state that labour is continuing to impose on us all.
Posted by pigfister over 7 years ago
@ tommy45

also remember the 2005 labour manifesto that promised us a referendum on joining europe and they denied us this and sold us out to the corporations corporations. watch the scum david miliband lie bare faced about the referendum.

they are scum, nothing more than lying scum. when the election comes up vote anything but labour, conservative or lib dems. vote green, independent, UKIP, BNP (they would take us out of europe) or any other.
Posted by comnut over 7 years ago
Parties??? Huh, if you think they have that much control, you have not seen 'yes, minister'...

Guy fawkes was right, we need to blow up parliament, and start afresh with young ideas.. the gov is still "living in the 40's.." and taking a week just to change a small thing.. while spending YOUR money on fancy things you will never see.. 'Duck house', anyone??

NOOOOO!!! a vote for any of the smaller parties is a LOST vote!! What I do is vote for my LOCAL MP, depending on what service he has done, no matter his party..

Posted by comnut over 7 years ago
I think you will find that there are TOO many rich people about, that want a return to the party that did not tax the rich, and wants to forget the poor...

You know the sort of person, who seems to think a pint of milk is 'cheap' a £2 a pint???
Posted by Luciano over 7 years ago
A note on Jm's entry. i don't think he is advocating not paying for content but the fact that copy protection on CD's that have been legitimally bought prevent the 'digital age' coming of age. I have a Sonos music system and I have ripped all of my purchased cd's. If all cds became copy protected then my expensive digital system would be consigned to the scrap heap along with all those fm sets. Yes I could buy digital files online but they are not good quality and with some containing drm it makes it too restrictive.

Posted by Luciano over 7 years ago
As for switching radio to digital only....well, how to almost kill radio off overnight as fewer people listen to the radio now days and would not bother upgrading.

Posted by saturn99 over 7 years ago
The main copyright infringements come from music & TV stations who broadcast material that can be recorded. Once recorded this can be copied and used without any comeback on the user or supplier, since it is not protected or traceable. What difference is this to internet file sharing? Infact most providers actively encourage recording/copying by providing " i-players".
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Personally, Im with Carpetburn, I blame BT.
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
@Saturn99, The TV and radio stations have to pay royalties each time they play a song, That seems to be another thing that they forget about ,when they whine about how much they are loosing, and not only that they get money from pubs and clubs too(PRS licensing) and try to make small businesses pay for a license if they listen to the radio,Piracy won't stop, it will just go underground so to speak,(under the carpet)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Personally, Im with Carpetburn, I blame BT."

Personally i think you are a desperate attention hoe.
^^^^ Thats all you are getting so dribble all you can over it.
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
This maybe of interest to some

You can listen to the debate live at 13:00 on Monday through the Guardian website
you can cast your vote here as well for which question you want asking
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