Leaked documents: UK record industry wrote web-censorship amendment

Last week, the UK LibDem party was thrown into scandal when two of its Lords proposed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would allow for national web-censorship, particularly aimed at "web-lockers" like Google Docs and YouSendIt. Now a leaked document from the British Phonographic Institute suggests that the amendment was basically written by the record industry lobby and entered into law on their behalf by representatives of the "party of liberty."

This weekend, LibDem members who attend the national convention in Birmingham will have the chance to vote on an emergency measure affirming the party's commitment to an open and just Internet, repudiating this disastrous measure. If you (or someone you know) is attending the convention, please support the "Save the Net" emergency measure and help rehabilitate the party's reputation on fundamental freedoms in the information society.

Parliamentarians need to recognize that copyright touches everyone and every technology in the digital age. It is no longer a question of inter-business regulation and deals. Getting copyright wrong has the potential to mess up our freedom of speech, prevent us from getting the benefits of new technologies, and damage society in other very profound ways.

It is therefore deeply inappropriate for such fundamental proposals to have been introduced by both the government or the opposition parties at the behest of one side of the debate. That applies just as much to disconnection, which Mandelson introduced in the summer at the last minute under pressure again from the BPI and other rights holders.

BPI drafted the Lib Dem / Conservative web blocking amendment


  1. Surprise factor: 0, Ew factor: 9.

    Corruption in UK politics? I don’t think we’ve seen more than the top of the iceberg, personally.

  2. This is a perfect example of why I think corporations and government officials should be kept as far away from each other as possible. To add insult to injury the leaked document should be spread around the web via the same “web lockers” its trying to outlaw.

  3. How long will it be until stories like this no longer surprise us? How long until we’re more upset at the lack of a proper bribe from a business to get favourable legislation passed? “This week’s scandal: DeathCorp bribes to parliament dropped 28% from last year.”

    Castrate Razzall and Clement-Jones. Nail their testicles to the front doors of parliament and leave them there.

    1. Um, I’m not especially surprised by this, actually. The record companies have more than adequately demonstrated their contempt for any honest governmental process over this issue. They’ve aggressively lobbied, lied, and (I believe) bribed their way around the globe. How long, oh Lord, before these villains are declared to be illegal organizations?

  4. Its really scary and irresponsible that we allow people who have never sent an email in their lifetime and have absolutely only the faintest of idea what digital technology is to decide (sell?) our future, our freedom.

    One cannot vote for the Libdems (forget the two other parties, the moat cleaners and duck house owners).

    I think its time for the UK to get a proper Pirate Party who is up to date with reality, digitally literate and actually works for the voters and taxpayers – and not at criminalising them.

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