Noteworthy Modern Occurences: the Digital Economy Bill

Britain is on the verge of adopting the Digital Economy Bill without debate or scrutiny by Parliament. Among other things, the DEB provides for disconnection of entire households from the 'net if any member is accused -- without proof -- of infringing copyright.

Jim Killock from the UK Open Rights Group sez, "On Thursday, our 'Police' visited the offices of the BPI, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, and UK Music, and presented them with notice that the Digital Economy Bill is disconnected, from democracy, human rights, public opinion and sound business sense."

Disconnection notices served to UK Music, BPI and politicians


  1. This makes perfect sense if you consider the broader wave of attitude change related to class protection through extreme political correctness and the corollary of extreme protection for personal creations. I believe a case can be made that these two attitudinal changes are intimately intertwined and support the rise of each other. It is ironic that this forced respect of others is undermining inclusion.

  2. I’ve emailed my MP again, he said he’s withdrawing his support for the bill if it get’s forced before the election, if he actually does I’ll vote for him again.

  3. Sad times in europe… We are seing more an more politics forcing laws without any real debate or scrutiny (it’s already the case in France with Sarkosy forcing Hadopi, Lopsi and other very restrictive and injust laws) in full opposition with the people. Democracy is turning an hollow word, they selled it to the big corpos.

  4. I wrote to my MP (a Tory, the party likely to be the next government in 6 weeks’ time), who replied with a fairly detailed letter. Alas he doesn’t get it, though:

    “We want to make sure that Britain has the most favourable intellectual framework [sic] in the world for innovators, digital content creators and high tech businesses. We recognise the need to tackle digital piracy (…) This must not be about propping up existing business models but creating an environment that allows new ones to develop. (…)
    considerable concern that we no longer have the time to scrutinise the many controversial and detailed measures(..) We fully appreciate these concerns. However (…) there has been substantial debate [on the website blocking measure] in the House of Lords.

    It is also worth pointing out that many of the fears about the Bill’s proposals are not entirely accurate. People won’t be disconnected from the Internet without due process. And it will only be a small minority of people who consistently infringe copyright who are disconnected, not the average person (…)

    1. I’m afraid that’s the Conservative party’s standard form letter response. I and many other people got exactly the same text.

    2. From the form letter: “People won’t be disconnected from the Internet without due process.”

      Okay. That seems like a fairly important point of disagreement. The complaint I hear is that it’s based on the number of accusations, regardless of whether the charges stick.

      Who can describe what process will really be involved? (Possibly with citation to the bill itself) This will also be useful instruction if you need to get MPs internet cut off.

  5. I suspect the law will be repealed when every member of Parliament has their family’s internet access cut off.

    Its like a food fight in a high-school cafeteria, all it takes is a single accusation to set it off.


    1. Surely you don’t expect that law to be applied to important people? If an MP (or a celebrity) gets reported any number of times for copyright violations, the accusations will simply be dismissed regardless of the number of counts or whether they are correct.

      Look at the US – have you ever heard of a major corporation’s Internet access being disconnected or their website shut down indefinitely due to DMCA violations? Even when they’ve verifiably stolen some poor bastard’s copyrighted content? No, neither have I.

      Anatole France said “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” But, in our enlightened modern world, even if the rich or famous should do so, they will be met with a full measure of sympathy and tolerance for their foibles as opposed to those horrid homeless people.

      In just such a way, our Supreme Court justices or the UK’s Law Lords are free to decide on the fairness of the law knowing that they will never need to fear having their property seized under eminent domain, being stopped and searched due to profiling, having their door kicked down in a warrantless search, being subjected to an ASBO, or being declared an “enemy combatant” and held without charges or recourse.

      Only ordinary people are truly subject to the law.

  6. I’m at the folks for easter, my mum was moaning that wi-fi was slow, I checked, she was connected to someone else’s router( “linksys” )

    This law will end well.

  7. I’m sad because Democracy is lost.

    Democratic countries dismiss China and other dictatorial countries but we’re doing exact the same things without noticing.

  8. OI!!! Blood was shed for the right of Parliament in Britain to pre-empt the Monarchy in a Bill having to be debated before it was law!!!!! And in this case – did the Monarch announce this anyhow?

  9. I wrote to my MP in December when the issue first surfaced. I got a reply last week, bundled with re-election adverts. Very convincing Mr. Jeremy Corbyn – very convincing indeed.

  10. Surely the most pressing question to ask your MP is whether it’s OK to sit in a twittering office chair if you have been disconnected for infringement.

    HEY! Retarded British pollies: Have fun dealing with all the claims and complaints! Then have fun trying to outlaw VPN when you realise all the people doing serious infringement are just hiding their trail behind encryption. This is just gonna be an opera of facepalms, funded by the British taxpayer.

Comments are closed.