UK Digital Economy Bill As Bad As Expected; Digital Britain Minister Flat Out Lies About ISP Support

from the nice-try dept

Just as the leaks predicted, the UK government has offered up its Digital Economy Bill, which includes massive changes to copyright law, including the power of the government to effectively change the law at will with little to no oversight. Basically, it would let the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, change copyright law through secondary legislation, which requires no Parliamentary approval. As people are noting, Mandelson has had to resign from elected positions twice in the past in disgrace, and is now in an unelected position. And he’s the guy who gets to change copyright law at will? That does not seem right. On top of that, the bill doesn’t even specify “three” strikes for users. Instead, it requires ISPs to notify users with warnings — and to notify copyright holders that they did notify users — and if file sharing is not reduced by 70% in a year (with no indication of how this is measured), then the government will tell ISPs to start kicking people off the internet.

Furthermore, Minister for Digital Britain Stephen Timms, who introduced the new bill, claimed that 99% of ISPs are “broadly supportive” of the bill. That’s funny because BT and TalkTalk — two of the largest ISPs in the UK — have loudly complained about the plans (with TalkTalk threatening to sue, and BT saying that this solution is “not the way forward”) and the ISP Association, which represents ISPs in the UK has loudly slammed the bill as unworkable and backwards looking:

“ISPA members are extremely concerned that the bill, far from strengthening the nation’s communications infrastructure, will penalise the success of the internet industry and undermine the backbone of the digital economy,” the industry group said.

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA’s general secretary, said in the statement that the government’s proposals were “being fast-tracked… and will do little to address the underlying problem”.

“Rather than focusing blindly on enforcement, the government should be asking rights holders to reform the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online to consumers in a way that they are clearly demanding,” Lansman said.

So, where exactly are the 99% who are supportive of the bill? Or is that RIAA/IFPI/BPI math?

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “UK Digital Economy Bill As Bad As Expected; Digital Britain Minister Flat Out Lies About ISP Support”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Darren says:

The FAC (Featured artists coalition) have gone very quiet lately haven’t they? The last I heard from them was when they were smugly declaring that they had got together with other musicians to say they had reached the compromise, that to throttle bandwidth was a better solution than termination. Of course the fact that their original position of “no punishment” meant that they had fundamentally changed their position rather than “compromised”.
I guess their original, more reasonable stance was not what it appeared.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ima, I agree using the history of the “Drug War” to chart the future of the “IP Wars” (tm … not) here is what we can expect.

1) The laws are enacted
2) The laws do nothing to slow the spread of -XXX- (drugs, IP infringement, terrorism, etc)
3) A bureaucracy is created to over see the war on -XXX-
4) Harsher laws are enacted to slow the spread of -XXX-
5) Other wise honest people begin going to jail for -XXX-
6) Civil liberties are removed, warrantless searches, etc begin occurring to locate -XXX-

The things we should all remember is that once and bureaucracy becomes entrenched it is almost impossible to remove and will continue to grow larger.

As we have learned with the war on drugs and terrorism the public will fall for the “we need to violate your rights so you can be safe” line.

When the laws don’t work governments always escalate the punishments as opposed to examining the validity of the laws themselves. This comes from the entrenced bureaucracy stating to the government, “if we just had a little more power-money-people we could solve this” … lather – rinse – repeat …

One solution to this nightmare of legislation would be to apply the same rules used on phone lines to the internet. After all they do the exact same thing, allow us to communicate. The internet as the worlds largest conference call, the mental image makes me smile. With the same rules applied to both phone and data it would prevent ISP’s from being able to sniff your packets (sounds kind of perverse … grin) with out a warrant. That in turn would prevent almost all of what the IP holders want out of both ACTA and the UK’s digital economy bill.

So …. Let the “IP Wars” begin!!!! ….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The main difference between copyright wars and drug wars is that the government, behind the scenes, is responsible for drug trafficking. The drug wars are against those who compete with the government. That way drugs can be sold but they must be sold at monopoly prices. The movie American drug wars will enlighten you. I believe you can watch part one legally online and part two is still being made.

BBT says:

You see, only those exact executives/communications directors have explicitly come out against it. The only reasonable assumption is that all other employees of ISPs aside from the exact people you quoted are fully supportive of the proposal. Those employees surely must make up over 99% of the workforce at the companies. Therefore, 99% of ISP [employees] support it. The logic is airtight! (profile) says:

What do the content industries have on this guy?

Can someone please seek and clarify what the content industries have on this guy?

Sometimes the “corrupt to the core” explanation is just too easy, even though this is usually the case/truth…

I put my money on some incriminating photos/video of him diddling kids or something…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

What's truly stunning...

…is how apathetic people are when it comes to their elected officials. I understand Lord (HURL!!!) Mandelson is now an unelected official, but hell, he was appointed by someone.

I’m kind of stunned at how few people can answer the simple question of who represents them in the Senate and House here in America. Even more so, those that CAN answer those questions most often know nothing about the people and policies behind the names they rattle off. Most vote for Republicans or Democrats because of their party affiliations, which is easily one of the most dangerous and idiotic things a person can do. Please begin to realize that the parties and their supposed “differences” are mere window dressing. They’re no real, okay? They all have the same bosses, so they’re all essentially the same.

People proudly say to me when I ask them, “Hey, I vote! I’m participating!”

You know what? Big fucking deal. You’re SUPPOSED to vote, you idiot. You don’t get accolades for shit that you’re just SUPPOSED to do.

And btw, as long as the internet is busy rendering businesses obsolete, and since government is becoming more and more infiltrated by business…when does the internet begin rendering our government obsolete? How long before somebody works out the security and logistics so that every citizen has the opportunity to directly vote up or down on bills THEMSELVES, as opposed to having to send a rep to Washington or their state capitals to do it? If we’re all about the democratic ideal, why aren’t we actively working to implement it?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: What's truly stunning...

“And while they’re not doing that, they’re working on their conspiracy theories.”

Ah, but a GOOD conspiracy theory doesn’t require much work. It simply requires verifiable facts, a little critical thinking, and a pair of open eyes.

But I still appreciate that I’m worth the time you took to take a shot at me. Careful now, that high horse you’re might give you a throw, and it’s a looooooong way down….

RD says:

haha RIGHT!

“Rather than focusing blindly on enforcement, the government should be asking rights holders to reform the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online to consumers in a way that they are clearly demanding,” Lansman said.

Bwahahahaha! Thats the funniest thing I have heard all week. Listen up sparky: The rights holders




in providing what the CONSUMER WANTS. They are only interested,


in providing a top-down, “you will take what we give you, if we give you anything at all” approach to content.

The consumer repeatedly tells them what they want and they repeatedly IGNORE it and seek legislation instead. Until or unless the control of the muppets who run these organizations are removed, dont expect ANY, and I mean ANY, deviation from this point…


Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: haha RIGHT!

“Until or unless the control of the muppets who run these organizations are removed”

Thanks !!! You just gave me a really great idea. I used to build stock trade engines for a living. As an experiment all the old Out Of Lease machines were used to target a single company. The machine was shut down a week before any SEC filings were needed …..

285 note/entry) Set up a stock trade engine to trade nothing but publicly traded big media and support corporations. For the express purpose of gaining rights to the catalogs.

may you live in interesting times

cc says:

My take on Mandelson’s recent BS is *quite* controversial.

He went on vacation to Corfu, where he met up with David Geffen, a hollywood mogul with a lot to gain from a crackdown on piracy. The very moment he got back he started his ridiculous crusade against the internet.

What gives this a particularly interesting twist is they are both gay. My fear is that Mandelson might be selling this country out for sex!

If it’s true, this is a new low for our politicians. We’ll probably never know.

Glenn says:


It’s just so funny that governments around the world are spending massive amounts of time and [tax] money enforcing and expanding copyright laws which have no actual effect on the revenue of copyright holders (who, pitifully, expect to receive money for simply “creating” works–even though legions of people have no real desire for those works) but which do put more and more burden on citizens who receive absolutely no benefit at all from… wait, no, that’s actually not funny at all. What a bunch of maroons.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...