Yes, But Will Sergey Brin Take Peter Mandelson Out To Dinner At A Fancy Resort?

from the because-that's-how-this-works dept

A bunch of big name tech companies have come out against Peter Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill. They’re most concerned with the clause that gives Mandelson (a guy who resigned elected position in disgrace twice) the ability to flat out change copyright laws on a whim with no real oversight. Amazingly, Mandelson had his staffers try to make the case for this clause:

“The law must keep pace with technology, so that the Government can act if new ways of seriously infringing copyright develop in the future.”

And what’s wrong with Parliament actually setting those laws? That part isn’t explained. Honestly, I’m beginning to wonder if this particular clause is being used to draw away the fire from the “three strikes and we kick you off the internet” clause. With the big tech companies focused on this ridiculous power grab by the Business Secretary, not nearly as much attention is being paid to that “guilty based on accusations” clause. In the meantime, if these tech firms actually want to get anywhere, an open letter might not do the trick, but I hear that a nice dinner with Mandy at a fancy resort can do wonders.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Yes, But Will Sergey Brin Take Peter Mandelson Out To Dinner At A Fancy Resort?”

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Beta says:

"The arguments of lawyers and engineers..."

The quote shows a neat attempt to confuse law with engineering. If, tomorrow, someone builds a teleportation machine, it won’t be necessary to pass a law specifically forbidding bank robbery by teleportation; the old law against robbery will do just fine. Lawmakers may decide that teleportation causes such social ills it must be banned, but that has nothing to do with robbery laws — and they should not put the decision in the hands of the bankers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ever the curious one, I ran a search using the term “digital economy bill clause 17”, whereupon I received results limited exclusively to articles at the linked sites and other sites repeating the content of the linked sites. Without the clause in front of me it was a fruitless exercise to understand what was the cause of the furor.

Thus, I had to run yet another search to get away from the blogosphere and generate results that actually discuss the proposed legislation in detail. This necessitated searching for the actual bill, and then reading it. I simply do not see how one can conduct an informed discussion without a factual foundation based upon more than mere second, third, fourth, etc. party hearsay.

Jake (user link) says:


There may not be a bill to release yet. New Labour’s probably still thrashing out some of the details internally; to take a programming analogy, a vote in Parliament is the beta phase and it’s currently still in alpha.

By the way, I am truly in awe at how quickly Mike has learned to loathe Peter Mandelson as much as the Great British public does.

Call me Al says:

Re: Maybe I'm wrong...

If that is the case then I’ll translate for you.

Labour now: We’ve taken the 3 strikes section out of the legislation so you can trust us and pass the bill.

Labour once bill has passed: Yes I know we said trust us about the 3 strikes section but, as you can clearly see, we put in provision to for the Secretary of State to make such changes as he perceives are necessary for the security/economy/rights holders/country/world. Therefore we are entirely within the law to make this change now and ban the internet.

LawPUNK (profile) says:

Re: Re: Maybe I'm wrong...

I totally agree – the new power is a way of circumventing public backlash on a 3 strikes policy. In fact, in many ways I think this is far worse as it is unclear and gives too much power to one of the UK’s most corrupt politicians.

My point was just that we should be careful when discussing the ‘three strikes clause’ as it technically doesn’t exist.

I don’t want to give Labour the ability to dismiss our arguments based on ‘there is no 3 strikes clause’.

Carl Barron (user link) says:

Mandelson's amendments to Copyright Law could make Britain a rouge State

Mandelson’s amendments to Copyright Law could make Britain a rouge State as amendments to any ‘Copyright Material could seriously jeopardize the Intellectual Rights of the developer. Copyright Protected material is a Global Law which most all counties have to abide by if Britain seeks to alter this then the formula be it music or otherwise is at serious risk.

Copyright Law is extremely important as it is used to secure the Intellectual Right over such things as New Drugs, New Music, inventive plans as designs, be it a dress a car a house a boat a plane whatever.

Copyright must be carried out swiftly as Copyright is the fastest system (currently legal) whereas Patent Protection can often take years other than as described here:

Which is my own ‘Copyright Protected’ formulated system called I.C.C.O., which could replace both, outdated slow Patent Protection and Copyright Laws with added security.

Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

Anonymous Coward says:

The legislative process is long, slow, and not at all in keeping with internet time. It is an unfortunate problem that the legal system cannot keep up with the crimes online. It has taken years of legal action, re-writing of laws, and various civil cases to even keep piracy in check at it’s current levels, without which the software,music, and movie industry would likely already been decimated.

Legal Whack-a-mole is played so slowly that many internet “entrepreneurs” laugh at the legal implications and operate businesses that fly in the face of the law, but use the delays in the system to profit grandly and to hide their ill gotten gains outside of their home country (ask brokep how this works, maybe in about 20 years he will be willing to talk about it).

Call me Al says:

Re: Re:

You must be new here as what you have just said flys completely in the face of various reports on the content industries. Piracy is apparently rampant and they those industries are producing more content then ever before. Unless you are referring to some kind of inverse decimation…

Just because the legislative process is slow doesn’t mean it should be circumvented. It is slow to ensure that when it is passed it is correct… at least that is the theory. To be slightly flippant, its the equivalent of an individual imprisoning someone because they suspected that person had previously burgled them.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It has taken years of legal action, re-writing of laws, and various civil cases to even keep piracy in check at it’s current levels, without which the software,music, and movie industry would likely already been decimated.

Without piracy, the software, music, and movie industries would have already been decimated? Hm, probably overstating it, but interesting position!

(intentional misinterpretation for humorous and critical purposes, for the sarcasm challenged)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Wahhh, lobbying politicians to change laws to protect my lazy industry takes too long! We should just be able to change laws in 5 minutes whenever we want!”

Also, the only thing that “legal action, re-writing of laws, and various civil cases” have done to piracy is make it more popular by handing it mounds of free publicity.

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