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
    vivaelamor (profile), 4 Dec 2009 @ 7:13am


    I suggest you read the full array of opinions given in that house. Some gems that tell us the lords don't even have a dictionary but do have a bible (even if they take liberties with the interpretation):

    "to use copyrighted material without the appropriate payment is actually theft"

    "it certainly falls under the context of the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal""

    "is a breaking of the commandment: "Thou shalt not steal""

    "It is theft-as the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, asserted-the moral equivalent of persistent shoplifting of CDs or DVDs at an HMV store."

    Some hypocrisy: "Our generation probably did it; we got away with it and the economy got away with it, but it is a different ball game now."

    Lack of perspective (or facts): "One of the films we co-financed recently was 'Wolverine', a spin-off of the 'X Men' series, released at the start of May. Shortly before release in April, a partially completed version of the film found its way onto the web. It was downloaded four million times and Fox, who are our partners on the film, estimate that it probably knocked $20 million to $30 million off the box office".

    Wild speculation: "In the impact assessment on the Bill, it is suggested that if a reduction of 55 per cent in illegal downloading took place as a result of the measures to be introduced, there would be an annual revenue increase to the creative industries of about £200 million per annum, so this would be a very significant step."

    Yes there are some in the house of lords who don't seem quite so idiotic but they are in the minority and for all the good opinions I can attribute to any one lord there are probably five others I strongly disagree with them on.

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