UK Digital Economy Bill Concession Is To Allow In A Smidgen Of Due Process, After You've Been Declared Guilty

from the guilty-until-appealed-innocent dept

As the debate continues in the UK over the Digital Economy Bill, Stephen Timms, the minister for Digital Britain, is trying to appease critics of the bill, by promising to include an appeals process for those who are accused of copyright infringement and threatened with having their internet access removed. This is mind-boggling for a few reasons. First, the admission shows that such an appeals process hadn’t been in the plan already. More importantly, it shows the general thinking: this is a guilty-until-proven-innocent process. You get accused and you’re guilty until you “appeal” and can prove that you were falsely accused. That doesn’t seem like reasonable due process. That seems like stacking the deck in favor of copyright holders against the public.

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Comments on “UK Digital Economy Bill Concession Is To Allow In A Smidgen Of Due Process, After You've Been Declared Guilty”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Innocent until proven guilty was such a quaint concept but here in the 21st century everybody is guilty of something.

I can hardly wait for the encryption of information to be made illegal.

“Is that guy wearing a mask in public! Arrest him! Or her! I cannot tell! They’re obviously trying to hide their resounding guilt! Why are you wearing a mask?”

Because it’s freezing out?

nelsoncruz (profile) says:

Proving a negative

Not only that… but in an appeal, how the hell does one “prove” they are not guilty? How does one prove a negative?

This whole thing is like if people started to report license plates of cars we see busting speed limits, etc, and the police fined the owners… unless they appeal and prove to be innocent. It’s absolutely mind boggling!

Haywood (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Depends on your definition of punish. I had a friend falsely accused of malicious mischief on the slimmest of evidence, he turned himself in rather than be arrested & was held for a bond hearing. That resulted in him requiring a $300 bail, which couldn’t be paid where he was held, and required a trip to the county seat, then a return trip to the jail with a paper to release. Then a court appearance to get the whole thing straightened out. The final outcome was a complete exoneration with records expunged, but I would consider that life interruption, a punishment. fortunately he had friends who were willing to blow off a day to get him out.

Davem (profile) says:

Been here before

This ‘appeal’ process has been discussed here a couple of months back:
“Insult To Injury: Mandelson Wants Those Wrongly Kicked Off The Internet To Pay To Appeal
from the guilty-by-association dept
As if Peter Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill proposal wasn’t bad enough, Dave sends in yet another problem with it. While it does include a process for appealing if you are cut off for accusations (not convictions) of unauthorized file distribution or reproduction, you will have to pay up to appeal. So even if you are innocent, it will cost you money to make your case for why you shouldn’t have been cut off in the first place.”

So, you can appeal, but unless the plans have changed, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.

Danny (user link) says:

Re: Been here before

And that is the key. By putting it all on you the internet user your ability to get back in the net and more importantly clear your name will be proportional to how much money you can spare. This will probably result in a lot of people getting kicked off by default due to simply not having the money to fund their own appeal. But of course when it comes time for supporters of this nonsense to celebrate they are only going to count that they kicked “so many illegal downloader” off the net.

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