Thu, Mar 19th 2009 8:30am
The UK released its "Digital Britain" report a couple of months ago, and it was derided not just because it was very vague, but also because it caved to the interests of the recording industry. The extent to which that's the case is slightly staggering. The British government has now released some details on part of the plan that would create a "Digital Rights Agency" -- a government-backed industry body to tackle file-sharing. The government says that the group wouldn't have any enforcement power, but that it could be "backed up by legislation." That sounds an awful lot like giving the copyright cartel the ability to set the rules on what people can do online, which will certainly only benefit them, and not the public -- just in case you wondered whose "rights" a Digital Rights Agency would seek to protect. The justification for such an approach is pretty appalling. The report says that consumers' attitudes towards content has changed, and that they're not willing to accept limitations on how and where they access it. Smart businesses would see this as an opportunity to change their business model and create new products and services that fit consumers' changing attitudes. But instead, the likes of the recording industry go looking to government to get a legal stick with which to beat customers to fit their outmoded business models.
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