UK Ministers 'Concede' Some Ridiculous Points in Digital Economy Bill In Attempt To Get Other Ridiculous Measures

from the it's-a-diversion dept

When Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill was first announced, many people were so shocked by the provision that would let Mandelson or his successor change copyright law at will, with no Parliamentary approval, that they started focusing on that, rather than the expected problem with the bill, like the fact that it could allow people to be kicked offline without a conviction. There has been a lot of pushback from some politicians in the UK and various amendments proposed to fix the bill. And now it looks like the gov't has agreed to make some changes to the infamous Section 17 provision.

Of course, the concessions appear to be rather minor, and my more cynical view is that they knew they were going to do this all along. The idea is simple. Introduce one section that's even more ridiculous and outrageous than the sections you really want passed, and then let all the complaints and press coverage focus on that more ridiculous section. Then, after people get all worked up about it, "concede" just a little bit, and notice that most people no longer have the energy to fight about the other provisions.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    This is basically the same thing movie producers do when getting ratings. They slip in completely outrageous scenes so that the ratings board concentrate on those instead of the other outrageous content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:49pm


    Too true.

    Digital Economy Bill: Bigger, Longer, Uncut

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    william (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    the sandwich method

    I agree with Mike.

    One thing I learned from Dogbert is that when presenting choices to management type, always present "the idea you want" and two "obviously bad idea".

    Like this
    -document the problem and solve it internally
    -send press release to all major news outlet, apologize to public and pay everyone for damages
    -destroy all humanity so no one finds out

    However, this WILL sometime backfire when they choose 3.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: the sandwich method

    Lol... Acorn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    GunSheep (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: the sandwich method

    Wait....number 3 isn't the correct choice?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    :), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Sleight of hand

    You gotta give it to them. They are nothing but persistent and for this type of thing even clever at times :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Fentex, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 3:19pm

    I work as a I.R contractor and currently spend most of my time working on business support web applications for a communications equipment manufacturer.

    The company is one of the more succesful and larger employers in my home town and native country.

    Yesterday while leaving work I was thinking about the companies founder (who started out making radios in the forties) who died recently.

    And wondering about how a person might go about building a company such as this in the modern world. I mused briefly about where one would get money from - and an idea crossed my mind.

    Investment in new or innovative industries is likely to become increasingly harder to obtain in a world strait-jacketed by absolutist I.P laws.

    It's an obvious implication of the I.P tax levied by protected monopolists that investment in productive business becomes harder to justify for fear of unknown expenses and possible outright denial of success by I.P hoarders.

    Which makes investment in the less productive routine and mundane such as property and banks bluer chip investment accounts more attractive.

    Which I have been developing an ill defined feeling of worry about: I suspect it would create financial incentives to leverage more than is reasonable out of those limited opportunities for profitable investment. That it is a positive pressure to create the incentives which have threatened the world with economic collapse recently.

    It makes me wonder if the threat of I.P monopolies is not more profound than many suspect - that the economic perversions it creates may grow to undermine a much greater part of economic activity than seems likely at first realisation of their destructive incentives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Speaker: Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of-
    Congressman: Wait a second, I want to tack on a rider to that bill - $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.
    Speaker: All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill?
    [entire congress boos]
    Speaker: Bill defeated!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    M, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 12:09am


    Common psychological/negotiation trick: make a proposition so outrageous, all subsequent propositions doesn't seam to be so outrageous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    John Doe, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:17am

    No different in the US government

    This is exactly how the US government works. Just look at healthcare reform. Propose a complete shift to a single payer model. People focus on that, it gets removed, the rest gets passed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

    two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Re: the sandwich method

    There's an old Soviet joke from the times of Perestroika:

    Stalin comes back to life, comes to Kremplin and proceeds to take control of the government. He assembles everyone and issues 2 orders:
    1. Hunt down end execute all the non-communists.
    2. Paint the Mausoleum colour green.
    Everyone asks:
    - Comrade Stalin, why green?
    - Excellent. I knew the first point would not be an issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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