Vote to repeal Britain's Digital Economy Act!

Jonathan sez, "The UK government has set up a website asking for suggestions to include in their upcoming Great Repeal Bill, the intention of which is to reverse the damage the previous government has done to civil liberties in the country. Obviously, one of the items is the Digital Economy Act."

The site's groaning under heavy load (and, bizarrely, throwing up old Amiga error codes!), but I'm going to keep on trying to sign up for it if it takes all day. For the short-attentions-spanned: The Digital Economy Act is punishing copyright legislation rammed through without any real Parliamentary debate; it includes disconnection of whole families from the Internet on the unproven accusation of copyright infringement as well as a de facto prohibition on open wireless networks (lest you use them to anonymously infringe upon copyright).

Repeal the Digital Economy Bill (Thanks, Jonathan!)


  1. Now there’s something I envy about the UK: though their government may pass crappy laws, at least when the public wakes up and kicks them out of office, the next guys make an effort to undo the damage.

    Meanwhile, over here, for all Obama’s rhetoric about hope and change, we still have lost habeas corpus, still haven’t closed Guantanamo, still haven’t prosecuted the CIA assholes responsible for torture and extraordinary rendition, still have a government that thinks “national security” is a valid excuse to block any and all attempts at transparency, on and on. To the administration’s credit, it looks like at least the financial reform to reign in the robber barons on Wall Street is going to pass, but this has been an even more disappointing presidency with regards to undoing the mistakes of the past than usual.

  2. “pandering, right?

    after all isn’t this government mostly multinational right-wingers?

    This is an easy pretend-randian win for something they would probably support but was rammed through at the public’s displeasure. Easy enough to repeal it now and reintroduce a more draconian version later.”

    (the wife, gimpwii, couldn’t get the anonamous posting to work today so their’s her two cent’s worth)

    1. Actually the Lib-Dems (the smaller half of the coalition) were firmly against it and reversing the bill was part of their manifesto.

  3. Why in god’s name can’t we in America do this?

    Everytime I think of all the terrible laws that have been passed in the last 9 years since 9/11, and even before that with the DMCA, I think, damn, we have no way of voting those gone- once a law is made, there seems to be no way to get it repealed except mass anger.

    The Brits for once have my deep envy- Americans, we should do something like this- create a bill with public debate to include all the laws of the last 20 years that we want to get rid of, and vote out the Patriot Act, the DMCA, and a number of other things!

    In fact, we should do this every 20 years- as a way of getting rid of any bill that shows itself to be faulty or passed under coercion.

    What a fantastic idea!

  4. The unprecedented level of traffic has forced us to switch off logging in to protect page serving. Hurr Hurr Hurr!

  5. Sigh. I know this could be a good idea, but I just know it’s going to attract a load of Daily Mailites.

  6. The site isn’t loading at all right now, so maybe someone else can say if anyone has suggested repeal of:

    1. Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which bans “extreme” but otherwise consensual pornography, or
    2. Portions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which includes the ability for the government to make secret terror inquests and bans cartoons depicting fake people in sexually-themed situations?

    You know, thought-crimes.

    Somehow I doubt it will ever happen, since controlling sex is apparently one of the guiding tenets of governments and religion alike, but I also didn’t think I would ever see any government actually say “we want to repeal some laws from the last government to restore your civil liberties”, so maybe there is some hope?

    1. maybe someone else can say if anyone has suggested repeal of…

      Yes to both. Tagged as ‘sexual freedom‘.

      A cynic might suggest that the government would cherry-pick things they were thinking of doing anyway, and can now claim have popular support.

      Doesn’t look like repealing the hunting ban is going to be one of them, though, going by current votes.

  7. “the next guys make an effort to undo the damage.”

    ‘Fraid not. It’s largely a PR exercise – they’ve already decided what they’re going to do, now they’re looking for public opinions to back it.

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