UK Politicians Pushing Back On Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill

from the it's-the-industry's-fault dept

Luca Leonardi alerts us to the news that at least some politicians in the UK are pushing back against Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, with Lord Lucas specifically pointing out that the real problem seemed to be one of the entertainment industry's own making:
"We need to bear in mind that the problems now facing the industry are, to quite a large extent, of their own creation," he said. "The industry has been extremely slow to listen to the demands of its customers, and has had something of an abusive relationship with them, seeking to punish them before thinking of how to serve them better.

"It has taken a decade for the industry to produce sensible alternatives to illegal file-sharing, and the fact that a generation of people have become used to an illegality comes down to the industry's sluggishness. It is still slow."
Lucas, who considers himself a libertarian, also questioned the use of IP addresses as identifying who was doing something online:
"I am not at all clear that we have the technology to go beyond the IP address, which comes into my router, to identify which user of perhaps one or two dozen who have access, has done the illegal downloading," he told the peers.

"We need to be very clear that we do not tip people into losing their internet connection, or worse, on a technically fallible basis."
Nice to see at least someone pushing back on the reasoning behind the bill.
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Filed Under: copyright, digital economy bill, lord lucas, peter mandelson, uk


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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 4 Dec 2009 @ 4:28am

    Re: Lord Lucas

    The story sounds a little bit fake,
    No - you can read his speech from the official source here:
    "http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/91202-0004.htm"


    or at least it sounds like someone has their hand up the Lord's behind, puppetting him.

    No - if you read the other speeches it is clear that Lord Lucas is unusual in not having someone's hand in such a place!

    Further, his concerns are met because the idea of a three strikes laws isn't to kick anyone off the internet for no reason, but instead to give them plenty of chance to resolve the issues.

    No the idea is to cut the cost of policing copyright by abandoning due process.


    As for the question of a shared router, either (a) the IP is a pass through, with each user assigned a unique IP, or (b) the router is assigning local IPs, which would be matched to MAC addresses. Either way, it is traceable. Where he should be really going is to try to redefine every router as an ISP, so they can do the UK equivalent of yelling "230!".

    If you don't believe the techincal problems here then you shpuld read this link

    http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/mfreed/inaccurate-copyright-enforcement-questionable-b est-practices-and-bittorrent-specificatio

    In particular look at this point:

    "Last year, researchers at the University of Washington published a paper with the subtitle Why My Printer Received a DMCA Takedown Notice. Their conclusions were that:

    * Practically any Internet user can be framed for copyright infringement today.
    * Even without being explicitly framed, innocent users may still receive complaints. "



    I am still thinking that this story is either a put on or a lord reading someone else's press release / talking points memo.


    well you're dead wrong there. If you read his full speech it is clear that he knows what he's talking about. He addresses several other, more technical and less controvesial, issues first.

    Also he admits his own interest as follows:
    "I should declare my interest as my main activity outside this House is in producing copyrighted material and selling it in book form and very substantially on the internet, so the basic protections that copyright law offers are extremely important to me."

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