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United Kingdom Government Your Rights Online

Digital Economy Bill Passed In the UK 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-everyone-is-happy dept.
Grey Loki writes "The UK government forced through the controversial digital economy bill with the aid of the Conservative party last night, attaining a crucial third reading – which means it will get royal assent and become law – after just two hours of debate in the Commons."
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Digital Economy Bill Passed In the UK

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  • Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals+nysyaj'> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:34AM (#31775054) Homepage Journal

    Yup, the UK is fucked.

    • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:59AM (#31775424) Homepage

      They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

      • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:12AM (#31775580) Journal
        It'll get abused like the DCMA.

        And I honestly can't see Virgin Media cutting off my internet because that'll mean they'll have to cut off the phone, cable TV (two boxes, DVR, HD, Sky Sports), mobile phone, case of wine once a year and everything else Branson might like to sell me for the next 50 years.
      • by GaryOlson (737642)
        They will never be like America until the food preparation technology and process improves. Except for the tea and biscuits at 4PM.
      • Re:Yup (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:44AM (#31776112)

        They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

        Yeah because Europe has been such a copyright utopia. Oh wait... Everyone complains about the copyright extension act that was passed in the US a few years back but the European one was far more heinous. Unlike the US version, the European one actually revived already-dead copyrights so that they could be extended as well. Oh and you remember the Berne Convention which requires world-wide recognition of copyrights of all signatory parties? Yeah that came out from European countries.

        Oh and lest we forget our history about the DMCA. The DMCA was borne out of a treaties signed via WIPO and pushed by European countries. And you know who formed WIPO? Yeah that's right, European countries. So let's not pretend that European countries aren't just as complicit in all this copyright madness as the US is since Europe has been the driving force of much of it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by DesScorp (410532)

        They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

        It's the other way around. American should stop trying to be like Britain, with a crippling welfare state and a political system with fewer checks and balances in the government.

        BTW, why is this being laid at the feet of the Tories in the article summary? Isn't Labour the ruling party right now? If they don't want it, then this doesn't pass.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          BTW, why is this being laid at the feet of the Tories in the article summary? Isn't Labour the ruling party right now? If they don't want it, then this doesn't pass.

          It's not. The summary is only mentioning that this bill had huge support from the Tories and that the Tories helped to get the bill passed. What is wrong about pointing out that fact?

          • Re:Yup (Score:4, Insightful)

            by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:00AM (#31776376)

            Nothing is technically wrong with it, but the reading of the summary gives the impression that this was somehow caused by the Tories, because you see their party named in the summary and not Labour at all. Its just sort of weird that when talking about a law that was created, pushed through and ultimately passed by Labour that you don't even see the word "Labour" in the summary about it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Rogerborg (306625)

        They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

        US DMCA: 1998 [wikipedia.org]

        UK: Copyright, Designs and Patents Act: 1988 [wikipedia.org]

        Hush now, grown ups are talking. You still have a lot to learn about oppressing your populace.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LordSnooty (853791)
          And if you read that Act you'll see that only items made available for SALE or HIRE are unlawful, that's what prompted the new law. We were quite happy with the CDPA which saw a distinction between commercial counterfeiting and personal sharing.
    • *facepalm* (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dintech (998802)

      Democracy is such a farse.

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)

        I'd say get wealthy, start a political party that wants to revert back all laws to where it started and get elected. That is democracy!

      • Democracy is such a farse.

        No, the UK is such a farce and apparently not much of a democracy.

    • Re:Yup (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:53AM (#31776266)

      The problem for the politicians is that it doesn't really matter what laws they pass. They'll never find a way now to completely prevent me gaining internet access and downloading or accessing whatever I want.

      Christ, even people in our jails keep managing to find their way online with smuggled smartphones and stuff.

      This news really sucks, but ultimately it's just another battle the content industry thinks they've won, but have completely and utterly lost. Each time this happens I decrease the amount of content like DVDs I buy, and simply to make a point, I'm now decreasing it to none, and shall download all the content I'd otherwise consume instead. If the political process is this far fucked (I actually watched the stich up last night) then, well, fuck the political process.

      Really, they wonder why so many people don't vote, and so many vote for extremists whilst completely and utterly ignoring reasoned debate, peaceful political activisim such as writing your MPs en-masse, providing evidence that demonstrates why the laws are unquestionably flawed and so forth? If you leave people with the choice of apathy towards politics or supporting extremism to get their voice heard then it's no wonder people who want their voice heard flock to the growing far right. The rise of the far right in the UK is squarely on Labour and the Tories shoulders, they are entirely without question to blame for the situation the UK is in right.

      They should be utterly ashamed of themselves that despite being caught en-masse as being completely and utterly corrupt this past couple of years stealing from the public coffer, despite seeing a massive rise in support of the far right (UKIP and the BNP), they still haven't learnt their lesson in the slightest. They're still pursuing a path of ignoring the populace, taking bribes, focussing entirely on self interest and so forth. Honestly, the death penalty wouldn't even be good enough for politicians so utterly willing to sell out their country and it's citizens and causing so much misery in the process for their own personal gain.

      As much as I dislike the DEB being passed, I could care less about it because it has zero actual effect on me, and will only harm innocent people- hopefully enough to make them start caring and actually fight back. What fucks me off is the blatant and rampant corruption amongst British politicians, and the way the British political landscape is so utterly fucked, that for many, the far right is the only way to make themselves heard and even that's still not enough for many politicians. It's utterly wrong, people should be heard without having to support extremism, or themselves being rich enough to find money to bribe politicians.

      I don't advocate voting BNP or UKIP for one minute, they're the scum of the earth, but christ, I'm beginning to see now why so many people resort to them nowadays with the feeling of helplessness and lack of voice the British political system leaves people with.

      • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PeterBrett (780946) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:58AM (#31776332) Homepage

        I don't advocate voting BNP or UKIP for one minute, they're the scum of the earth, but christ, I'm beginning to see now why so many people resort to them nowadays with the feeling of helplessness and lack of voice the British political system leaves people with.

        Have you considered voting Pirate?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Xest (935314)

          They're not generally an option for me, and even if they were running in my constituency it wouldn't matter, being probably one of, if not the safest Labour seats in the country. I don't really have a vote because of our first past the post system, I get to turn up put my little slip in the ballot box, but it's not really a vote, it doesn't really actually matter, it's just something to pacify me as a mere citizen of the state.

          At least if we had a PR system I might be able to vote, but as it stands, I'm eff

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DamonHD (794830)

            I think you have to try. If you don't make the small effort to put your slip in the ballot box then I think you also throw away your moral right to complain about who gets in. Unless you are confined to bed with a serious illness then it is sheer idleness not to try. Post a spoiled ballot if you must: they provide amusement to the tellers and returning officers.

            I rarely get to see the candidate that I want elected, and nearly always have to vote tactically. However, it seems that the UK electorate is so

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Xest (935314)

              The problem is, Labour have a majority of around 14,000 here.

              Even if my entire village voted for the next closest candidate, it still wouldn't matter, because he has the mining villages for life.

              I do vote still, but I feel it's pointless, because my vote is no different to having no vote whatsoever.

              I'm very pro-EU because as the EU is based on PR, despite the fact my vote in the European elections is diluted amongst a few hundred thousand people that's still a vote that actually has some value.

              It's sad that

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by jonbryce (703250)

                Mining villages can be persuaded to vote for a party other than Labour. See Blenau Gwent for example.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jez9999 (618189)

          I did. However, the fact that you guys endorse bullying cunts like Eric turned me, and plenty of other people, off. So, fuck you. If you were running in my constituency, I wouldn't vote for you. I'm voting Lib Dem.

          I still support the global Pirate Party movement, but the PPUK is run by a bunch of assholes. It's a shame, but I don't consider it representative of the pirate movement.

          You, Peter, are one of the guys I hold responsible. If you gave a shit about new people's views not being shouted down and

  • It was a farce... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kazade84 (1078337) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:35AM (#31775064)

    Everyone that watched the debate last night was pretty horrified at how broken the "wash up" process was, and how obviously this bill was pushed through by the front benches without the support of the backbench MPs present. Labour were responsible for 97% of the MPs that gave a yes vote, because those Labour MPs that didn't would have faced severe consequences, perhaps even eviction from the party. Some rebel Labour MPs did vote against, Tom Watson leading them, this guy deserves serious respect for standing up for what he believes despite the pressure.

    The election is coming and we need to take away power from these corrupt parties (the other two major parties are hardly blameless, although the Liberal Democrats did at least vote against). Support the Open Rights Group and also support the Pirate Party UK who are currently raising money to field candidates. You can donate to the Pirate Party here if you are so inclined: http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/party/donate/ [pirateparty.org.uk]

    My MP voted for the bill, so I'm going to vote against in the next election, I'd urge people to do the same, find out if your MP voted and which way by going here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/32.htm#hddr_2 [parliament.uk]

    • Re:It was a farce... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PeterBrett (780946) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:39AM (#31775130) Homepage

      You can also read our manifesto [pirateparty.org.uk] and see a list of our PPCs [pirateparty.org.uk] -- maybe we're running a candidate in your area?

      • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:52AM (#31775316) Journal

        The authoritarian/self-interested always win because the liberal/idealistic always factionalise. Those who believe they're taking the moral high ground will break away over minor details, while anyone who cares only about number one is prepared to compromise while there's strength in numbers.

        So, why don't you take a leaf from the successful and lobby the Liberal Democrats? They're already far closer to you than Lab/Con.

        • Re:It was a farce... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:10AM (#31775564) Journal

          More importantly, the Liberal Democrats are heavily pushing electoral reform, and have been for several decades. Now the two major parties are looking like they will accept it after the next election too. In my constituency, labour won the last election by about 10% of the popular vote. Their old candidate is standing down and they are dropping in someone who just lost his seat and was one of the worst offenders in the expenses scandal, so it seems pretty unlikely that they will win next time. Conservatives only got 16% last time, but the Lib Dems look like they've got a chance, and I only mildly disagree with them.

          I agree much more with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, but between them they only got 8.7% of the votes last time. Neither stands a chance of getting in this time, so a vote for them would be wasted. Meanwhile, Plaid has around a quarter of the Welsh EU parliament and Welsh Assembly seats. With a proportional representation system, a vote for them would be worthwhile. With an STV or AV system, I could vote for them first and Lib Dems second.

          I don't especially want to vote for the Lib Dems, but I do want to vote against Labour and the Conservatives. Hopefully this time we can get a hung parliament and the Lib Dems can push through some electoral reforms. Then I can vote for a party that I actually want next time.

          • by lorenlal (164133) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:23AM (#31775762)

            I agree much more with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, but between them they only got 8.7% of the votes last time. Neither stands a chance of getting in this time, so a vote for them would be wasted.

            As someone who resides in a country where the vast majority of voters think there are only two options, that statement makes me cry. It wounds me deeply.

            I'll say to you the same thing I tell everyone else here in America: A vote is only wasted if you don't actually like who you're voting for.

            How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by turgid (580780)

              How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

              Hear, hear.

              Put more plainly, although other parties may not have a chance of winning outright this time around (or even next time etc.) by their very existence and presence they let alternative views get aired.

              A vote for these parties is not wasted.

              A vote for either of the major two parties is a vote for the status quo and therefore stagnation.

              The mains

              • by spitzak (4019) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:30PM (#31778836) Homepage

                The problem is that for many people, there are two big parties, one they HATE, and the other which they just feel is incompetent or they only disagree with on a few points. Voting for a third party may mean they have thrown away their ability to try to stop the party they HATE from getting office.

                I think this is cutting the voting for third parties by a far greater factor than people deciding not to vote.

                What is needed is approval voting. Then you could vote for both the third parties you like and for the less-hideous of the main parties.

            • How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

              They're not. Apply a little basic game theory to the US election system, and you'll see that a two-party system will always emerge. It's the only stable result.

              You'd need to change the rules under which the US government is selected and operated before 3rd parties could become viable. Instant runoff voting would be a good start, for example.

            • How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

              How indeed. Popular anti-government movements do seem to get going, but they end up being hijacked by weirdos and discredited in the media. Like those Tea Party people (teabaggers, lol) or Ron Paul supporters (paultards, lolololol). If the Pirate Party ever becomes a really big movement, it will end up in a similar place.

              And meanwhile control is passed from o

        • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:16AM (#31775632) Journal
          The pirate parties usually don't see themselves on the political axis. They just call for sane laws. This is (this should) be non-partisan. Pirate parties exist only because none of the regular parties accepts internet and its new freedom for speech and sharing as an opportunity.

          This is not about left vs right, this is about technical sound laws vs impossible laws that will make everyone waste valuable time.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aceticon (140883)

          Factionalisation is only a problem in the UK electoral system because it's not truly democratic (read: not using proportional representation).

          In any real Democracy with a proportional system where all votes count the same, many smallish parties together can be as powerful as one big party as long as the total of votes they recieved is more than the votes that the big party got.

          In the UK, a party can get a parlimentary absolute majority (more than half the seats) with only 35% of the vote: How Democratic is

          • Re:It was a farce... (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:22AM (#31776786) Journal

            In the UK, a party can get a parlimentary absolute majority (more than half the seats) with only 35% of the vote: How Democratic is it when the voice of a third of the people is more important than that of the other 2 thirds ...

            It's actually much lower than that. To get a majority, you need 50% of the seats plus one, which works out at 50.15% of the seats. Each of these seats is contested on a first-past-the-post basis, meaning that you only need to get more votes than anyone else. This means that, if only two parties stand, you could get a majority with only 25.8% of the vote. Typically, however, you get five or six candidates, with the top two getting around 30-40%, the second place getting 20% and the rest of the vote being split among others. This means that you can generally win a seat with only about 35% of the vote, giving you 17.5% of the overall popular vote.

            Note, however, that voter turnout is only around 65% in a general election, so you can win a majority in Parliament if only a little over 10% of the eligible electorate vote for you, as long as it's the right 10%. Some votes are more equal than others.

        • by corbettw (214229)

          So, why don't you take a leaf from the successful and lobby the Liberal Democrats?

          Splitters!

      • Unfortunately I do not agree with the whole 'legalise non-commercial sharing' aspect, so the Pirate Party remains one I cannot support.
        • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:19AM (#31775686) Homepage

          Unfortunately I do not agree with the whole 'legalise non-commercial sharing' aspect, so the Pirate Party remains one I cannot support.

          Then go take a lesson in economics [veryofficialblog.com] from the Grateful Dead, which were among the top-grossing bands [dead101.com] in North America for many years -- inspite of the RIAA and ClearChannel strangle hold on the radio market. It's all about business model. If your business model is to shovel shit, then of course artificial scarcity is needed, along with a monopoly on delivery channels and prevention of SMS'ing or tweeting bad reviews.

      • by DAldredge (2353)
        Sorry but your idea of turning me into your slave because I am a programmer doesn't exactly appeal to me.
      • Re:It was a farce... (Score:5, Informative)

        by tdobson (1391501) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:10AM (#31775556)

        As a PPUK PPC, I'm more than happy to answer any questions Slashdotters have about PPUK, our policies or how much The Digital Economy Bill sucks...

        Here's a bit about me:
        http://thenextweb.com/uk/2010/04/08/pirate-party-uk/ [thenextweb.com]
        http://www.tdobson.net/node/409 [tdobson.net]

      • by uncledrax (112438)

        PPCs? If you have Particle Projection Cannons [wikipedia.org], why not just march your BattleMechs into Parliament and show them who is boss?

        OOohh ok.. For the UK-Politics Impaired, like me, PPCs are Prospective Parliamentary Candidates [wikipedia.org]. I guess that makes more sense.. but I like my idea more.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:15AM (#31775622) Journal

        You're not running a candidate in my area, but you would not get my vote if you were (and if we had an electoral system where voting for you wasn't a complete waste of time) because of this point:

        A new right to share files (which provides free advertising that is essential for less-well-known artists).

        Less well-known artists are already free to license their music under a CC-NC license and permit this if they think it benefits them. It is no more the government's job to enforce good business models than it is to prop up failed ones. The effects of this right would be destabilising the current system without proposing anything to replace it.

        If you changed this to require compulsory licensing for copyrighted material at a fair and nondiscriminatory rate then I'd agree. Setting this rate at 0, as this policy does, makes you seem like you have absolutely no clue about economics, and we've just seen what happens when we elect politicians who don't understand economics.

        • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:56PM (#31778316) Homepage

          The effects of this right would be destabilising the current system without proposing anything to replace it.

          Well, it does propose something to replace it. It's of less immediate economic value to the copyright holders, but it would be people sharing works alongside whatever authors and their publishers are doing (some people would buy copies rather than get free ones, for various reasons; look at how many public domain books there are in any decent bookstore).

          If you changed this to require compulsory licensing for copyrighted material at a fair and nondiscriminatory rate then I'd agree.

          Hm. Do you think that authors should get a cut whenever you lend, rent, or sell a used book? If you quote a line from Star Wars when you're hanging out with your friends, should you be required to put a few cents in the collection jar for authors, or face civil or criminal penalties?

          Merely because it involves a creative work, or even money changing hands in conjunction with that work, that does not mean that copyright holders are entitled to a cut. Copyrights only make sense when they are as great an incentive as possible to authors to create and publish works that they otherwise would not, where the restrictions on the public are as minimal as possible in scope and duration, all in order to provide the greatest public benefit at the least public cost.

          So long as the public would be better off, accounting for both the increase in freedom as to being able to engage in otherwise infringing behavior, and the possible decrease in the number of works created and published, such a change would be worth implementing.

          Plus, legalizing file sharing -- if kept strictly non commercial, meaning no money changing hands, no advertising on sites engaged in sharing or anything related to it (e.g. trackers), no file sharing ratios of any sort, no donations or tip jars, etc. -- would bring the law into line with what are apparently our social norms of behavior. The law should generally reflect these, lest laws be seen as oppressive or unjust, not worth following or respecting. Bad laws engender disrespect not only for themselves, but for good laws as well. See the example of Prohibition in the US, where most people agreed at the outset that it would be good for society to ban alcohol, but the law was widely flouted, giving rise to massive amounts of official corruption, organized crime, violence, murder, etc. Sometimes laws that go against social norms are justified, e.g. the government breaking down segregation in the US against the wishes of much of the white majority in the South, but only if the issue is of pressing importance. I don't think that banning non-commercial file sharing by natural persons is more like desegregation than it is like Prohibition. Your opinion may differ.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      On the ever so slightly bright side, there is still some question if the provisions to disconnect users purely on the basis of an accusation (which is essentially all that is required, given the poor standards of "evidence" required) would stand up to scrutiny in the European courts.
    • Re:It was a farce... (Score:5, Informative)

      by kazade84 (1078337) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:43AM (#31775192)
    • by mejogid (1575619)
      Your last link didn't work for me, any idea why not? I'm absolutely sickened by how illegitimate and utterly out of touch with the voting populace this government is. It's been nothing but scandal followed by absurd legislation marred with gross incompetence for years now.
    • My MP voted for it, but he's a complete waste of space. He almost never votes against the party whip and never on a matter of any importance to his constituents. Every letter I've written to him has been forwarded to the relevant department. They've replied with something that doesn't even come close to addressing my points and he has just forwarded this to me without challenging it. I am not surprised that his voted for it, but I am disappointed that only one of the three Plaid Cymru candidates bothere
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Rhodri Mawr (862554)
        The Plaid MPs who did not vote may well be paired with ministers who were absent on Government business and therefore unable to vote. The pairing system exists to avoid the Government being disadvantaged in votes because of their need to actually govern. Why it would be relevant in this instance though I have no idea.
    • by mrsmiggs (1013037)
      The Conserative party seem to have en masse abstained only 9 of their members even thought it was important enough to actually vote, with 4 for and 5 against. This is blantant electioneering on their part, it is now difficult to tell their position on the subject and shows complete contempt for one of the most important issues presented to parliament in the 'washout' and the people they represent. My MP David Davis voted against and this leaves my confounded, although he has a good grasp of the issues aroun
  • by damburger (981828) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:36AM (#31775074)

    There is a whole new market to be claimed in no-win-no-fee IP chasers spitting out takedown notices like machinegun bullets.

    Time to vote for the pirate party guys.

  • by RadioElectric (1060098) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:36AM (#31775082)
    http://cheezburger.com/View.aspx?aid=3386761984 [cheezburger.com] What a farce!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This is something I don't get about the way our political systems work (it's the same everywhere.) How is it a representative democracy if my representative isn't present to represent me during a vote which impacts me ? There should be a 90% attendance quorum for votes or better yet pay parliamentarians the median salary of the country and then dock their pay for each vote they missed.

  • by Stooshie (993666)
    It was carried by "189 votes to 47".

    There are currently 646 MPs in the house of commons. Not that I'm cynical or anything but was this bill brought through the house at the beginning of a general election campaign for a reason?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Diss Champ (934796)

      So does Parliment not have the equivalent of a quorum call? Many institutions require at least half the voting members to be present to pass something, if any of the voting members present asks for a quorum check.

      • by Stooshie (993666)
        No, not as far as I know.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mike2R (721965)
        I'd never wondered that, so I checked. According to the BBC [bbc.co.uk], the quorum requirement is 40 MPs (out of 600+!) including the speaker. This is just when a division (vote) is called. Those 40 MPs don't need to waste their time and attend the actual debate.
      • by corbettw (214229)

        if any of the voting members present asks for a quorum check

        That seems to be the rub. If no one really cares to ask, doesn't really matter, does it?

    • by Xest (935314)

      "Not that I'm cynical or anything but was this bill brought through the house at the beginning of a general election campaign for a reason?"

      Yes, it's nearly summer and Peter Mandelson needed to make sure he fulfilled his obligations to the music industry in time to ensure he could go on another all expenses paid holiday on a yacht in Corfu again over the summer period.

  • FYI: (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Peter Mandelson is evil incarcerated.

  • by VShael (62735) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:51AM (#31775298) Journal

    And their families, their friends, their secretaries, their PA's?

    They need to feel the pinch of this insane law. And fast.

    • by corbettw (214229)

      Go one step further and claim "someone" in Buckingham Palace has been stealing your music or whatever. Watch hilarity ensue.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AGMW (594303)
      Easy peasy ... pull up outside their houses and crack their wireless before downloading Britney's latest single ... then dob 'em in to the Internet Police!
      Job done!
  • Erm... (Score:2, Informative)

    by DeathToBill (601486)

    Dear dear, you believed something you read in the Guardian. Shame on you.

    Actually the law has not passed, it still has to go to the Lords tonight. Not saying it won't pass there - it almost certainly will - just that the story is hopelessly wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      The Lords hasn't had the power to block legislation for a about a hundred years. The most that they can do is delay it. A shame, because they're generally more rational that the House of think-of-the-children-and-terrorists-OMG-ponies Commons.
      • Not quite (Score:4, Informative)

        by rpjs (126615) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:31AM (#31775896)

        In this case, if the Lords do block it, which is possible but relatively unlikely, AND there's no time left for the Commons to overturn the Lords' vote, which is possible and fairly likely as the Mandybill is the last of the wash-up bills to be debated in the Lords, then it will fail, as the current Parliament will be dissolved. Unfinished bills can be carried from one annual session of a Parliament to the next, but can't be carried from one Parliament to another. If the above, admittedly not likely, scenario takes place, then even if Labour do get re-elected with a Commons majority, they'd have to re-introduce the Mandybill from scratch.

        Also, not applying to this bill I beleive, but generally any bill that begins in the House of Lords can be thrown out by the Lords and the Commons can't override this. That's why if the government has any sense they always start likely to be controversial bills in the Commons.

  • by Coopjust (872796) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:59AM (#31775428)
    The law is so brokenly bad that I have sympathy for everyone in Britain right now.

    Essentially, from what I read (correct me if something changed in the final bill), a copyright holder can accuse you of pirating anything without evidence, and your provider must throttle/disconnect you. If you want to counter, you have to take me to court, at your cost, with real evidence that you didn't.

    This is so mind bogglingly dumb I can't begin to fathom how they plan to enforce this without mass disconnections. Huge numbers of people with open APs or just kids in the house are going to find themselves without internet access. Antipiracy firms will make mistakes about IPs, but hey- it doesn't matter when you require no evidence.

    Still, I was discussing it with many people last night who were "thankful that they were not British". Stuff like this is closer than we think with ACTA being pushed behind closed doors.
    • by whencanistop (1224156) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:02AM (#31776404) Homepage Journal

      Essentially, from what I read (correct me if something changed in the final bill), a copyright holder can accuse you of pirating anything without evidence, and your provider must throttle/disconnect you. If you want to counter, you have to take me to court, at your cost, with real evidence that you didn't.

      I'm not convinced this is true. My understanding of it was that they would have to catch you actually doing it (although I'm sure you could claim entrapment on that) and give you a warning through your ISP. Then they would be able to tell your ISP to cut your internet connection off if they caught you doing it again.

      Not that I want to get into a debate about whether it should or shouldn't be illegal or not. Given that it is, this seems to be a fairly sensible way of policing it. It may appear that they are being heavy handed with the threats (to satisfy those who think it is a problem), they can also get away with minimal policing and catching the biggest offenders.

      Citation: Section 124A, section 3c of the bill [parliament.uk]

    • by teh kurisu (701097) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:36AM (#31777026) Homepage

      I haven't read through all the explanatory notes that cover the bill so I can't comment on the requirements when it comes to throttling/disconnection. But the copyright holder is required to provide evidence of 'apparent infringement' even at the stage where only letters are being sent.

      From the Digital Economy Bill explanatory notes, note 47 [parliament.uk] (emphasis mine):

      The notification from the ISP must inform the subscriber that the account appears to have been used to infringe copyright, give the name of the copyright owner who has provided the report, provide evidence of the apparent infringement, direct the consumer towards legal sources of content, include information about subscriber appeals and the grounds on which they may be made, and provide other information. It also requires ISPs to make available advice on protecting internet access services from unauthorised use, taking into account that different protection will be suitable for different subscribers such as, for example, domestic subscribers, libraries, and small and medium business. The code may require the notification to include other material as well, such as a statement that information about the apparent infringement may be kept and disclosed to the copyright owner in certain circumstances. Further apparent infringements using the subscriber’s account may result in additional notifications.

      What concerns me is that this part of the law seems to be very much written for Bittorrent. Copyright holders are expected to acquire the IP addresses of infringers by connecting to a tracker. This means that when piracy deserts Bittorrent in favour of another method of distribution, the copyright lobbies will be back asking for broader powers to snoop online.

  • I know the Digital Economy Bill has some really far-reaching restrictions that could be imposed, but I can't say I'm surprised.

    When you think about it, the US, the UK and most of Europe are 100% dependent on intellectual property now for their economic survival. Almost nothing at the consumer level is manufactured in these countries. All we produce is software, music, movies, video games and hardware designs. Protecting copyright when viewed through this lens makes a lot more sense now. It gives IP-related

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:21AM (#31775712) Journal

      When you think about it, the US, the UK and most of Europe are 100% dependent on intellectual property now for their economic survival

      Not true. We are dependent on the existence of an economic framework that makes the creation of non-physical goods cost effective. We are not dependent on a specific abstraction. Most software companies in the UK, for example, create software for specific customers on commission. This does not require the existence of copyright - their customer generally receives all of the rights to the code at the completion of the contract.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dcollins (135727)

      "It gives IP-related companies an advantage, but I'd say that's better than turning the entire country into an unemployed wasteland because companies don't want to produce material that's just going to get stolen."

      What fraction of the population are employed in IP content work? Very few. It's not like health care, education, food delivery, construction, etc. An IP economy concentrates great wealth in a very small number of hands, a feudal-like oligarchy; we've seen this as a fact over several decades now. I

    • by unity100 (970058)

      Beyond stupid though.

      so, what if china, indonesia, and other southeast asia countries ramp up prices of their consumer goods in response to this digital 'rights' enforcement crap the west is trying to push down the throat of entire world ?

      these countries can increase prices of their goods a lot, and still can make it impossible for west to reengage in manufacturing due to low price range.

      result will be increased cost of living, a lot of problems and unrest in the west.

      and if west imposes tariffs and taxes,

      • by khallow (566160)

        calculating that the eastern countries have more than 3 billion of world's population, the ~1.5 billion market the west constitutes cant compete with that. western economies would slowly come crashing down.

        How did the western economies get to where they currently are? Economies are not just measured by population.

        • by unity100 (970058)

          they came there by huge manufacturing industries in between 1750-1950.

          also, they were heavily exploiting the global markets in a one way fashion, through colonies, or priviledged deals or by just overpowering the fledgling markets through their output.

          in some countries like turkey, they were even supporting governments that would create laws to curb railroad building for road building to create demand and sell ford cars exclusively through locally manufacturing plants.

          end of colonialism, and recovery of the

  • Broadband tax (Score:3, Informative)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:05AM (#31775504) Homepage

    The broadband tax was scrapped though. This was a proposed tax of 50p on every household with a landline, intended to raise around £170m per year to fund the development of a super-fast broadband network.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8606639.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • It ain't over yet? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrg17 (36780) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:05AM (#31775510) Homepage

    The register say it has not done yet http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/08/mandybill_last_day/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • by NoNeeeed (157503) <.slash. .at. .paulleader.co.uk.> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:16AM (#31775628) Homepage

    See this list [theyworkforthebpi.com] for who voted and how.

    To contact details for them go to WriteToThem [writetothem.com].

    If they voted against, let them know that you appreciate it. My MP is Don Foster, who voted against. I've emailed him to thank him for doing so.

    If your MP voted in favour, berate them for their obvious contempt for you, not just in passing this bill, but the manner of its passing.

    If they didn't vote at all, ask them why they are such a spineless contemptible worm (in the nicest possible way) and ask them why you should vote for a person or party that has so much contempt for you that they couldn't be bothered to debate and vote on such a bill, and could allow it to be passed in this way. Point out that not voting in this case was tacit support for the bill and the manner in which it was passed.

    Keep it clean and polite (nut-job rants will be ignored), but make it clear what you think of them and their kind.

    As I pointed out to Don Foster, whatever the merits of this bill, the idea that it could be passed in this fashion just goes to show just how much contempt many politicians have for the electorate (as if we needed any more evidence).

    And for christ sake, VOTE. I'm bored of people telling me they are not voting because "they are all the same". If you don't want to vote for one of the main parties, vote for an independent or a smaller party. If you don't vote at all then they don't care about you, it doesn't work as a protest.

    "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve" - Alexis de Tocqueville/Hunter S Thompson (and various others, take your pick).

  • by jabjoe (1042100) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:30AM (#31775870)
    My number one priory has been keeping the Tories out, so I normally vote Labour, but now I won't. It will probably be LibDem now, or Green.

    The UK's darknet communities will be getting a whole lot bigger now. Forcing things underground is not a good thing. If it's cheap enough and the service is good people will pay! If you know the money is going to those doing the work, not middlemen, people will pay.

    I'm angry about this. Labour are no longer a left party. I want the UK to move towards a European/German style model, not American.
  • Time to download I2P (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burz (138833) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:31AM (#31775894) Journal

    Rather popular in France and Germany, and growing a lot in the USA and elsewhere:

    I2P is a general-purpose network anonymizer [i2p2.de] with built in web, email and bittorrent. You can download other apps for it, too, like a chat messenger and a distributed filing system. There is also a version of eMule available for it called iMule.

    I2P was made to host data services in-network, so it is something of a darknet. It shares some of the concept behind TOR, but outproxies are the exception and it is quicker (though not nearly as quick as direct Internet access). If you have some patience and can live with 25KBytes/sec then it should fit the bill for you and provide peace of mind.

  • My employer offers a home VPN service whereby I am always connected to our VPN and egress at various points around Europe. They don't particularly monitor this traffic and even provide on-net mirrors to most GNU/Linux distributions and run internal bittorrent trackers for legitimate internal filesharing.

    I think I'm going to use that.

    It's becoming quite sad when I'll trust my employer more than I will my ISP to keep me safe. Years gone by the idea of letting my connection filter through the corporation was h

  • Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonbryce (703250) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:53PM (#31778272) Homepage

    It has to get through the House of Lords now, and there is a good chance that they will throw it out.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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