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Digital Economy Bill Passed In the UK

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-everyone-is-happy dept.

United Kingdom 384

Grey Loki writes "The UK government forced through the controversial digital economy bill with the aid of the Conservative party last night, attaining a crucial third reading – which means it will get royal assent and become law – after just two hours of debate in the Commons."

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384 comments

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Yup (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775054)

Yup, the UK is fucked.

Re:Yup (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775170)

Guess this is the end of Linux on the desktop. Sorry, folks!

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775588)

Guess this is the end of Linux on the desktop. Sorry, folks!

No prob. I've got Linux on my phone.

Re:Yup (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775424)

They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

Re:Yup (4, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775580)

It'll get abused like the DCMA.

And I honestly can't see Virgin Media cutting off my internet because that'll mean they'll have to cut off the phone, cable TV (two boxes, DVR, HD, Sky Sports), mobile phone, case of wine once a year and everything else Branson might like to sell me for the next 50 years.

Re:Yup (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776030)

They will never be like America until the food preparation technology and process improves. Except for the tea and biscuits at 4PM.

Re:Yup (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776112)

They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

Yeah because Europe has been such a copyright utopia. Oh wait... Everyone complains about the copyright extension act that was passed in the US a few years back but the European one was far more heinous. Unlike the US version, the European one actually revived already-dead copyrights so that they could be extended as well. Oh and you remember the Berne Convention which requires world-wide recognition of copyrights of all signatory parties? Yeah that came out from European countries.

Oh and lest we forget our history about the DMCA. The DMCA was borne out of a treaties signed via WIPO and pushed by European countries. And you know who formed WIPO? Yeah that's right, European countries. So let's not pretend that European countries aren't just as complicit in all this copyright madness as the US is since Europe has been the driving force of much of it.

Re:Yup (1, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776222)

They seriously need to stop trying to be like America...it's hazardous to their well-being :/

It's the other way around. American should stop trying to be like Britain, with a crippling welfare state and a political system with fewer checks and balances in the government.

BTW, why is this being laid at the feet of the Tories in the article summary? Isn't Labour the ruling party right now? If they don't want it, then this doesn't pass.

Re:Yup (2, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776234)

BTW, why is this being laid at the feet of the Tories in the article summary? Isn't Labour the ruling party right now? If they don't want it, then this doesn't pass.

It's not. The summary is only mentioning that this bill had huge support from the Tories and that the Tories helped to get the bill passed. What is wrong about pointing out that fact?

*facepalm* (2, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775486)

Democracy is such a farse.

Re:*facepalm* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775560)

Your spelling is a *farce* as well.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775716)

I'd say get wealthy, start a political party that wants to revert back all laws to where it started and get elected. That is democracy!

Re:*facepalm* (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775830)

Democracy is such a farse.

No, the UK is such a farce and apparently not much of a democracy.

Re:Yup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775694)

One more proof that government doesn't represent the interests of the masses, but those of the few, rich and powerful people.

Re:Yup (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776178)

So basically the same way government has worked since the beginning of governments?

Re:Yup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776098)

Want to know what the Government thinks about the Internet? Read the Mr.Internet WTF story [thedailywtf.com] that was just published.

Re:Yup (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776266)

The problem for the politicians is that it doesn't really matter what laws they pass. They'll never find a way now to completely prevent me gaining internet access and downloading or accessing whatever I want.

Christ, even people in our jails keep managing to find their way online with smuggled smartphones and stuff.

This news really sucks, but ultimately it's just another battle the content industry thinks they've won, but have completely and utterly lost. Each time this happens I decrease the amount of content like DVDs I buy, and simply to make a point, I'm now decreasing it to none, and shall download all the content I'd otherwise consume instead. If the political process is this far fucked (I actually watched the stich up last night) then, well, fuck the political process.

Really, they wonder why so many people don't vote, and so many vote for extremists whilst completely and utterly ignoring reasoned debate, peaceful political activisim such as writing your MPs en-masse, providing evidence that demonstrates why the laws are unquestionably flawed and so forth? If you leave people with the choice of apathy towards politics or supporting extremism to get their voice heard then it's no wonder people who want their voice heard flock to the growing far right. The rise of the far right in the UK is squarely on Labour and the Tories shoulders, they are entirely without question to blame for the situation the UK is in right.

They should be utterly ashamed of themselves that despite being caught en-masse as being completely and utterly corrupt this past couple of years stealing from the public coffer, despite seeing a massive rise in support of the far right (UKIP and the BNP), they still haven't learnt their lesson in the slightest. They're still pursuing a path of ignoring the populace, taking bribes, focussing entirely on self interest and so forth. Honestly, the death penalty wouldn't even be good enough for politicians so utterly willing to sell out their country and it's citizens and causing so much misery in the process for their own personal gain.

As much as I dislike the DEB being passed, I could care less about it because it has zero actual effect on me, and will only harm innocent people- hopefully enough to make them start caring and actually fight back. What fucks me off is the blatant and rampant corruption amongst British politicians, and the way the British political landscape is so utterly fucked, that for many, the far right is the only way to make themselves heard and even that's still not enough for many politicians. It's utterly wrong, people should be heard without having to support extremism, or themselves being rich enough to find money to bribe politicians.

I don't advocate voting BNP or UKIP for one minute, they're the scum of the earth, but christ, I'm beginning to see now why so many people resort to them nowadays with the feeling of helplessness and lack of voice the British political system leaves people with.

It was a farce... (5, Interesting)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775064)

Everyone that watched the debate last night was pretty horrified at how broken the "wash up" process was, and how obviously this bill was pushed through by the front benches without the support of the backbench MPs present. Labour were responsible for 97% of the MPs that gave a yes vote, because those Labour MPs that didn't would have faced severe consequences, perhaps even eviction from the party. Some rebel Labour MPs did vote against, Tom Watson leading them, this guy deserves serious respect for standing up for what he believes despite the pressure.

The election is coming and we need to take away power from these corrupt parties (the other two major parties are hardly blameless, although the Liberal Democrats did at least vote against). Support the Open Rights Group and also support the Pirate Party UK who are currently raising money to field candidates. You can donate to the Pirate Party here if you are so inclined: http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/party/donate/ [pirateparty.org.uk]

My MP voted for the bill, so I'm going to vote against in the next election, I'd urge people to do the same, find out if your MP voted and which way by going here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/32.htm#hddr_2 [parliament.uk]

Re:It was a farce... (5, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775130)

You can also read our manifesto [pirateparty.org.uk] and see a list of our PPCs [pirateparty.org.uk] -- maybe we're running a candidate in your area?

Re:It was a farce... (5, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775316)

The authoritarian/self-interested always win because the liberal/idealistic always factionalise. Those who believe they're taking the moral high ground will break away over minor details, while anyone who cares only about number one is prepared to compromise while there's strength in numbers.

So, why don't you take a leaf from the successful and lobby the Liberal Democrats? They're already far closer to you than Lab/Con.

Re:It was a farce... (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775564)

More importantly, the Liberal Democrats are heavily pushing electoral reform, and have been for several decades. Now the two major parties are looking like they will accept it after the next election too. In my constituency, labour won the last election by about 10% of the popular vote. Their old candidate is standing down and they are dropping in someone who just lost his seat and was one of the worst offenders in the expenses scandal, so it seems pretty unlikely that they will win next time. Conservatives only got 16% last time, but the Lib Dems look like they've got a chance, and I only mildly disagree with them.

I agree much more with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, but between them they only got 8.7% of the votes last time. Neither stands a chance of getting in this time, so a vote for them would be wasted. Meanwhile, Plaid has around a quarter of the Welsh EU parliament and Welsh Assembly seats. With a proportional representation system, a vote for them would be worthwhile. With an STV or AV system, I could vote for them first and Lib Dems second.

I don't especially want to vote for the Lib Dems, but I do want to vote against Labour and the Conservatives. Hopefully this time we can get a hung parliament and the Lib Dems can push through some electoral reforms. Then I can vote for a party that I actually want next time.

Re:It was a farce... (4, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775762)

I agree much more with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, but between them they only got 8.7% of the votes last time. Neither stands a chance of getting in this time, so a vote for them would be wasted.

As someone who resides in a country where the vast majority of voters think there are only two options, that statement makes me cry. It wounds me deeply.

I'll say to you the same thing I tell everyone else here in America: A vote is only wasted if you don't actually like who you're voting for.

How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

Re:It was a farce... (2, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776046)

How are other parties supposed to rise up and represent the people who share their values if the citizens won't vote for them "because they can't win?"

Hear, hear.

Put more plainly, although other parties may not have a chance of winning outright this time around (or even next time etc.) by their very existence and presence they let alternative views get aired.

A vote for these parties is not wasted.

A vote for either of the major two parties is a vote for the status quo and therefore stagnation.

The mainstream policies of today were considered "loony" 50 years ago, radical 30 years ago and progressive 20 years ago. 10 years ago they looked fresh and exciting and "a real possible alternative."

Political change is slow, but voting for the more progressive less popular parties lets these ideas get out into the mainstream sooner.

Your vote isn't wasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776156)

If the Liberals, for example, were to be 3% behind and 8.7% voted Green/PirateParty then wooing those voters (especially PP because they are a one-issue party), they could easily find themselves winning.

Your vote for a "waste" party is only lost if the winner wins by a massive margin. In which case, even PR won't help: you can't have half an MP.

Re:It was a farce... (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775632)

The pirate parties usually don't see themselves on the political axis. They just call for sane laws. This is (this should) be non-partisan. Pirate parties exist only because none of the regular parties accepts internet and its new freedom for speech and sharing as an opportunity.

This is not about left vs right, this is about technical sound laws vs impossible laws that will make everyone waste valuable time.

Re:It was a farce... (2, Informative)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776158)

Factionalisation is only a problem in the UK electoral system because it's not truly democratic (read: not using proportional representation).

In any real Democracy with a proportional system where all votes count the same, many smallish parties together can be as powerful as one big party as long as the total of votes they recieved is more than the votes that the big party got.

In the UK, a party can get a parlimentary absolute majority (more than half the seats) with only 35% of the vote: How Democratic is it when the voice of a third of the people is more important than that of the other 2 thirds ...

So the issue is not one of liberal/idealistic ideologies being prone to defeat due to their own nature but one of uneveness of the playing field.

That said, at the moment the Liberal Democrat leadership dresses, talks and moves in the same circles as the Tory and Labour ones - they copied the style of the top parties, cultivate the same circle of influnces and do not represent a "break with the past", more of a "same shit, new flies".

Re:It was a farce... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775320)

Unfortunately I do not agree with the whole 'legalise non-commercial sharing' aspect, so the Pirate Party remains one I cannot support.

Re:It was a farce... (4, Insightful)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775686)

Unfortunately I do not agree with the whole 'legalise non-commercial sharing' aspect, so the Pirate Party remains one I cannot support.

Then go take a lesson in economics [veryofficialblog.com] from the Grateful Dead, which were among the top-grossing bands [dead101.com] in North America for many years -- inspite of the RIAA and ClearChannel strangle hold on the radio market. It's all about business model. If your business model is to shovel shit, then of course artificial scarcity is needed, along with a monopoly on delivery channels and prevention of SMS'ing or tweeting bad reviews.

Re:It was a farce... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775436)

Sorry but your idea of turning me into your slave because I am a programmer doesn't exactly appeal to me.

Re:It was a farce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775558)

Fortunately, they have no such idea.

Re:It was a farce... (5, Informative)

tdobson (1391501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775556)

As a PPUK PPC, I'm more than happy to answer any questions Slashdotters have about PPUK, our policies or how much The Digital Economy Bill sucks...

Here's a bit about me:
http://thenextweb.com/uk/2010/04/08/pirate-party-uk/ [thenextweb.com]
http://www.tdobson.net/node/409 [tdobson.net]

Re:It was a farce... (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775590)

PPCs? If you have Particle Projection Cannons [wikipedia.org] , why not just march your BattleMechs into Parliament and show them who is boss?

OOohh ok.. For the UK-Politics Impaired, like me, PPCs are Prospective Parliamentary Candidates [wikipedia.org] . I guess that makes more sense.. but I like my idea more.

Re:It was a farce... (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775622)

You're not running a candidate in my area, but you would not get my vote if you were (and if we had an electoral system where voting for you wasn't a complete waste of time) because of this point:

A new right to share files (which provides free advertising that is essential for less-well-known artists).

Less well-known artists are already free to license their music under a CC-NC license and permit this if they think it benefits them. It is no more the government's job to enforce good business models than it is to prop up failed ones. The effects of this right would be destabilising the current system without proposing anything to replace it.

If you changed this to require compulsory licensing for copyrighted material at a fair and nondiscriminatory rate then I'd agree. Setting this rate at 0, as this policy does, makes you seem like you have absolutely no clue about economics, and we've just seen what happens when we elect politicians who don't understand economics.

Re:It was a farce... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776268)

or we could just stop ourselves laughing and tell you dumbass thieving fucking hippies to go get a job, which si the rational response to a bunch of pseudo-communist fucktards who think all content should be free.

FUCKING GROW UP KIDDIES
You need to go work in the real world and understand that mommy and daddy don't always pay the bills, and thus people need to earn a fucking living.
You sad little kids make me physically sick.

Re:It was a farce... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775136)

On the ever so slightly bright side, there is still some question if the provisions to disconnect users purely on the basis of an accusation (which is essentially all that is required, given the poor standards of "evidence" required) would stand up to scrutiny in the European courts.

Re:It was a farce... (3, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775182)

On the ever so slightly bright side, there is still some question if the provisions to disconnect users purely on the basis of an accusation (which is essentially all that is required, given the poor standards of "evidence" required) would stand up to scrutiny in the European courts.

Of course, the UK government has a track record of completely ignoring the ECHR [guardian.co.uk] , so don't count your chickens.

Re:It was a farce... (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775356)

How many UK citizens have enough money to even reach European courts after being disconnected?

Re:It was a farce... (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775466)

How many UK citizens have enough money to even reach European courts after being disconnected?

More than you might expect, due to Legal Aid [legalservices.gov.uk] .

Re:It was a farce... (1)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775244)

Your last link didn't work for me, any idea why not? I'm absolutely sickened by how illegitimate and utterly out of touch with the voting populace this government is. It's been nothing but scandal followed by absurd legislation marred with gross incompetence for years now.

I would love to check out the MP list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775272)

However it may have been removed, today freedom dies a little more.

Also to stress - this was passed by a minority of MPs in haste during a time when people are not likely to notice due to dissolution of parliament. The process is very clever as they get together and decide how many it takes to get it passed, they then tell those in precarious constituencies to not show up so as not to be on record as voting either way.

Brought to you by the same individuals who voted for a less transparent government.
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/policy.php?id=996&display=motions [publicwhip.org.uk]

Re:It was a farce... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775420)

My MP voted for it, but he's a complete waste of space. He almost never votes against the party whip and never on a matter of any importance to his constituents. Every letter I've written to him has been forwarded to the relevant department. They've replied with something that doesn't even come close to addressing my points and he has just forwarded this to me without challenging it. I am not surprised that his voted for it, but I am disappointed that only one of the three Plaid Cymru candidates bothered to vote at all (at least the one that did voted against).

Re:It was a farce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775562)

Bill rushed through Congress (er... Commons)... Only partisan support... hm, sounds familiar.

Re:It was a farce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775612)

Even if they are voted out, the damage is done, and it will take that much more strain and bribes to get something that is only slightly less worse.

Democracy is broken. Better find something else.

Re:It was a farce... (1)

mrsmiggs (1013037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775700)

The Conserative party seem to have en masse abstained only 9 of their members even thought it was important enough to actually vote, with 4 for and 5 against. This is blantant electioneering on their part, it is now difficult to tell their position on the subject and shows complete contempt for one of the most important issues presented to parliament in the 'washout' and the people they represent. My MP David Davis voted against and this leaves my confounded, although he has a good grasp of the issues around liberty and freedom of speech in the UK he will vote in to government a party that clearly does not have the grasp on the political issues or is even willing to actually represent their constituents opinions in parliament.

Re:It was a farce... (1)

PriyanPhoenix (900509) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775916)

This puts me in a difficult position and represents my least favourite aspect of the UK electoral system (and a party political system in general, I suppose). I absolutely want to get rid of the Labour Government, but locally I am most inclined to re-elect the Labour candidate. She argued (and voted) against the Bill, responded to my letter on the subject in an intelligent and reasoned manner and is routinely willing to go against the party line.

Re:It was a farce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776232)

>>>My MP voted for the bill, so I'm going to vote against in the next election, I'd urge people to do the same, find out if your MP voted and which way by going here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/32.htm#hddr_2 [parliament.uk]

The link doesn't seem to work - any other navigation instructions to get to the right page?
Thanks

Great news for solicitors! (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775074)

There is a whole new market to be claimed in no-win-no-fee IP chasers spitting out takedown notices like machinegun bullets.

Time to vote for the pirate party guys.

Re:Great news for solicitors! (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775118)

They will just add the Pirate Party to that list of blocked websites, along with Wikileaks. Can't have the Pirate party interfering with business interests of those in power, can we?

Re:Great news for solicitors! (1)

mhelander (1307061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775534)

I would encourage you to vote for Pirate Party even if their web site were to be blocked. Perhaps especially then.

Just look at this bloody room... (5, Interesting)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775082)

http://cheezburger.com/View.aspx?aid=3386761984 [cheezburger.com] What a farce!

Re:Just look at this bloody room... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775216)

One of the other "FAIL"s on that page was a guy taking a pic of himself with a dildo on his night stand in the background...

Please mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775620)

People need to see what a farcical system would allow people to be represented in this way.

Re:Just look at this bloody room... (2, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776074)

This is something I don't get about the way our political systems work (it's the same everywhere.) How is it a representative democracy if my representative isn't present to represent me during a vote which impacts me ? There should be a 90% attendance quorum for votes or better yet pay parliamentarians the median salary of the country and then dock their pay for each vote they missed.

This isn't good... (1)

KClaisse (1038258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775132)

Wow, that sucks. Stay strong UK peoples.

Hmm (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775138)

It was carried by "189 votes to 47".

There are currently 646 MPs in the house of commons. Not that I'm cynical or anything but was this bill brought through the house at the beginning of a general election campaign for a reason?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775220)

Not that I'm cynical or anything but was this bill brought through the house at the beginning of a general election campaign for a reason?

It was rushed through because the current government wanted to make sure it passed before they were booted out next month.

I'm sure given the entertainment industry's money and influence that they could easily get whoever wins to pass a similar bill but that
might have took a year or two to grease the appropriate wheels.

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775376)

So does Parliment not have the equivalent of a quorum call? Many institutions require at least half the voting members to be present to pass something, if any of the voting members present asks for a quorum check.

Re:Hmm (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775860)

No, not as far as I know.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

mike2R (721965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776296)

I'd never wondered that, so I checked. According to the BBC [bbc.co.uk] , the quorum requirement is 40 MPs (out of 600+!) including the speaker. This is just when a division (vote) is called. Those 40 MPs don't need to waste their time and attend the actual debate.

Re:Hmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775490)

Can someone explain this to us unfamiliar with British law & politics: out of all 646 MPs, only 189 + 47 == 236 of them voted Y/N? That's only 36.5% of them. What about the rest? All abstained from voting?

How on earth is this supposed to be a working and legitimate democracy, when a bill can be passed with over 63% of voters not fucking care?

Correct. Almost all Conservative MPs abstained. (4, Informative)

evilandi (2800) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775606)

AC wrote:
>Can someone explain this to us unfamiliar with British law & politics:
>out of all 646 MPs, only 189 + 47 == 236 of them voted Y/N?
>That's only 36.5% of them. What about the rest? All abstained from voting?"

Correct. Almost all 193 Conservative MPs abstained (in the UK parliament, didn't turn up == abstained).

Of the Conservatives that did vote, more voted against (5) than for (4).

Not that it would have made any difference, since Labour have a majority (this month).

Re: Correct. Almost all Conservative MPs abstained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776138)

That's pathetic.

Hope for a minority government like we have in Canada currently (or as you guys call it, a hung parliament [wikipedia.org] ). At least then you'll get your MPs to fricking show up for important votes. How in hell could the "government in waiting" (i.e. the opposition) not show up to at least voice their opposition?

Re: Correct. Almost all Conservative MPs abstained (1)

mwadams (520080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776236)

Which leads you to wonder why the headline contains the phrase "with the aid of the Conservative Party".

can somebody explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775178)

what this means what have I missed here whats the big problem? I've not been keeping up with any of this!!

Re:can somebody explain (5, Informative)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775406)

It contains many internet-unfriendly provisions. The two biggies though:

A "Three-strikes"-equivalent law for filesharers is still in (without trial), and the text of the bill can be ready to imply that it will be ISPs responsible for ensuring that their networks aren't used to infringe copyright - effectively mandating monitoring of all internet traffic at a much greater level than is currently done.

There is also a provision which allows the Secretary of State (with the approval of a court, to allow a tiny bit of balance) to require the blocking of any websites which are involved in the infringement of copyright. Or, indeed, may be used in infringement of copyright. When asked if this would include sites such as Wikileaks, ministers said yes, it would, as the material they leak is copyrighted by its original owners. They were quick to point out that they wouldn't use it to infringe on freedom of speech though.

Yep, I feel real safe with that reassurance.

Other aspects of the bill are actually reasonable, there's just a handful of provisions that are really quite shockingly draconian.

Re:can somebody explain (1)

andyh-rayleigh (512868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775750)

One other section of the Bill enables the "Analogue Radio" switch-off - all the main stations will have to broadcast on DAB only.
So a well known multinational will get some £10 per new radio in patent and other IP licences.

And note that is DAB, not DAB+

Re:can somebody explain (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776202)

That tears it, I am moving back home. You are welcome to join me, Norway is still free (nothing like this could EVER happen, the voice of the people is strong and does not stand for stuff like this). And our air is cleaner (and our women prettier ;p ).

FYI: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775206)

Peter Mandelson is evil incarcerated.

Re:FYI: (4, Informative)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775306)

No, we just wish he was incarcerated.

PS. I think the word you were actually looking for is "incarnate", but nice Freudian slip.

Re:FYI: (3, Funny)

Cap'nPedro (987782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775974)

I wish he was incinerated.

Re:FYI: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776060)

No, we just wish he was incarcerated.

PS. I think the word you were actually looking for is "incarnate", but nice Freudian slip.

I think you mean Faustian slip.

Re:FYI: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31776294)

Since you bothered making this correction, you might be excited to learn that the correct grammar would be "[...] wish he were incarcerated." Subjunctivitis, woo!

Can the MP's be accused? (5, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775298)

And their families, their friends, their secretaries, their PA's?

They need to feel the pinch of this insane law. And fast.

Erm... (2, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775416)

Dear dear, you believed something you read in the Guardian. Shame on you.

Actually the law has not passed, it still has to go to the Lords tonight. Not saying it won't pass there - it almost certainly will - just that the story is hopelessly wrong.

Re:Erm... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775674)

The Lords hasn't had the power to block legislation for a about a hundred years. The most that they can do is delay it. A shame, because they're generally more rational that the House of think-of-the-children-and-terrorists-OMG-ponies Commons.

Not quite (3, Informative)

rpjs (126615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775896)

In this case, if the Lords do block it, which is possible but relatively unlikely, AND there's no time left for the Commons to overturn the Lords' vote, which is possible and fairly likely as the Mandybill is the last of the wash-up bills to be debated in the Lords, then it will fail, as the current Parliament will be dissolved. Unfinished bills can be carried from one annual session of a Parliament to the next, but can't be carried from one Parliament to another. If the above, admittedly not likely, scenario takes place, then even if Labour do get re-elected with a Commons majority, they'd have to re-introduce the Mandybill from scratch.

Also, not applying to this bill I beleive, but generally any bill that begins in the House of Lords can be thrown out by the Lords and the Commons can't override this. That's why if the government has any sense they always start likely to be controversial bills in the Commons.

Re:Erm... (1)

DevonBorn (975502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776008)

However if they do delay it then it won't be looked at again in the Commons until after the election when there may be some different MPs who don't support Lord Mandy and his schemes quite to much

Tragic would be an apt way to describe it (4, Interesting)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775428)

The law is so brokenly bad that I have sympathy for everyone in Britain right now.

Essentially, from what I read (correct me if something changed in the final bill), a copyright holder can accuse you of pirating anything without evidence, and your provider must throttle/disconnect you. If you want to counter, you have to take me to court, at your cost, with real evidence that you didn't.

This is so mind bogglingly dumb I can't begin to fathom how they plan to enforce this without mass disconnections. Huge numbers of people with open APs or just kids in the house are going to find themselves without internet access. Antipiracy firms will make mistakes about IPs, but hey- it doesn't matter when you require no evidence.

Still, I was discussing it with many people last night who were "thankful that they were not British". Stuff like this is closer than we think with ACTA being pushed behind closed doors.

Last chance to hang in there? (2, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775450)

I know the Digital Economy Bill has some really far-reaching restrictions that could be imposed, but I can't say I'm surprised.

When you think about it, the US, the UK and most of Europe are 100% dependent on intellectual property now for their economic survival. Almost nothing at the consumer level is manufactured in these countries. All we produce is software, music, movies, video games and hardware designs. Protecting copyright when viewed through this lens makes a lot more sense now. It gives IP-related companies an advantage, but I'd say that's better than turning the entire country into an unemployed wasteland because companies don't want to produce material that's just going to get stolen.

Personally, I'd love it if someone woke up and realized that all of our eggs are in one basket, and took steps to diversify the economy...but I doubt that's gonig to happen. I'm for just enough of an import tarriff to balance things out and make manufacturing in this country make sense. Not everyone can be a "knowlege worker," the service sector is a crappy place to work, and we need manufacturing jobs for those who don't fit the office mold.

I honestly think free trade isn't a good idea when you have 300 million people with a grossly outsized standard of living competing with billions of others who live on way less. No one is going to give up their standard of living, so without some controls, we're totally screwed in the long run.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775596)

Ever heard of cars, bikes, trucks, vans? Ever heard of the service sector, something that has always been a major part of the economy since we shipped clothing and dodad factories over seas in the 70s.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775712)

When you think about it, the US, the UK and most of Europe are 100% dependent on intellectual property now for their economic survival

Not true. We are dependent on the existence of an economic framework that makes the creation of non-physical goods cost effective. We are not dependent on a specific abstraction. Most software companies in the UK, for example, create software for specific customers on commission. This does not require the existence of copyright - their customer generally receives all of the rights to the code at the completion of the contract.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (2, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775852)

"It gives IP-related companies an advantage, but I'd say that's better than turning the entire country into an unemployed wasteland because companies don't want to produce material that's just going to get stolen."

What fraction of the population are employed in IP content work? Very few. It's not like health care, education, food delivery, construction, etc. An IP economy concentrates great wealth in a very small number of hands, a feudal-like oligarchy; we've seen this as a fact over several decades now. If IP businesses were taxed at 80% and redistributed in a Marxist-like system, then maybe there would be a connection between IP and overall employment, but not as it stands today.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775890)

When you think about it, the US, the UK and most of Europe are 100% dependent on intellectual property now for their economic survival. Almost nothing at the consumer level is manufactured in these countries. All we produce is software, music, movies, video games and hardware designs.

Citation needed. Germany, as an example, produces more automobiles and pharmaceuticals than you can readily fathom.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (1)

elohel (1582481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775996)

This is exactly true, and exactly the problem. This is what I've always considered to be the "global" economy balancing itself. It is true that countries like the US, the UK, and some of Europe are highly dependent on intellectual property for profits - and, like you've stated, I too wish "someone woke up and realized that all of our eggs are in one basket, and took steps to diversify the economy." One day, while I was very young, I asked my parents how they made money. My mother stated "I handle business operations for a company, I help them run their business". My father stated "I own a business and I make sandwiches for people". Ever since then I saw no "real" value for service level positions. There are those that "have" and those that "don't have". Service level positions exist mainly in high level economies but when a country has become so "advanced" they have an almost entirely service level economy they have not thought it through. Countries like China who have large amounts of people willing to work very cheaply will soon overtake you. They will steal your intellectual property, because they just don't give a damn, and why should they? Do you think the people who came here to this country or the pirates that helped keep this country safe gave a damn about "intellectual property"? Hell no they didn't, and that's the American heritage. We keep scrambling to tighten control over these "ideas" when we're losing control over what's "real". Nuts, bolts, toothbrushes, combs, steel, batteries, PCB's, etc. We don't own anything anymore and one day we'll wake up and realize we'll owe China everything because we will have NOTHING to offer them anymore.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776018)

Beyond stupid though.

so, what if china, indonesia, and other southeast asia countries ramp up prices of their consumer goods in response to this digital 'rights' enforcement crap the west is trying to push down the throat of entire world ?

these countries can increase prices of their goods a lot, and still can make it impossible for west to reengage in manufacturing due to low price range.

result will be increased cost of living, a lot of problems and unrest in the west.

and if west imposes tariffs and taxes, east will do so as well. calculating that the eastern countries have more than 3 billion of world's population, the ~1.5 billion market the west constitutes cant compete with that. western economies would slowly come crashing down.

the west in this post signifies us, uk, canada, unfortunately. these are the pioneers of all this shit.

Re:Last chance to hang in there? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776258)

calculating that the eastern countries have more than 3 billion of world's population, the ~1.5 billion market the west constitutes cant compete with that. western economies would slowly come crashing down.

How did the western economies get to where they currently are? Economies are not just measured by population.

Broadband tax (2, Informative)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775504)

The broadband tax was scrapped though. This was a proposed tax of 50p on every household with a landline, intended to raise around £170m per year to fund the development of a super-fast broadband network.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8606639.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Yeesh... (1)

PurpleCarrot (892888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775516)

I'm glad that at the least, clause 43 got taken out before the bill got shoved through Westminster. Registration needs to be better for copyrighted works (more like automobile registrations); "orphan works" laws aren't the way to go. http://www.stop43.org.uk/ [stop43.org.uk]

Assault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775570)

This is simply the latest in what seems to be a coordinated effort to lock-down anything that even tangentially resembles content. How is it that copyright lobbyists have so much influence? Dissenting opinions are not heard only the "money is lost, jobs are lost" is heard even when it is bullshit lies. This is a war of the middle-man against everyone else. The middle-man wants to forever remain a gatekeeper skimming the profits of anything which by law is forced to pass through their hands. The round-about way to fight them is to support Open. Copyleft retains the protections of copyright but greatly reduces the profit the middle-men are motivated by. Use open things, like software. Find open things like CC licensed music. Spread it and promote it: break the seal between your lips and the nipple of the content industry middle-men.

1984 (-1, Troll)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775614)

The U.K.

Where 1984 is an aspiration, not a warning.

Brits - Contact your MP and then VOTE (4, Informative)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775628)

See this list [theyworkforthebpi.com] for who voted and how.

To contact details for them go to WriteToThem [writetothem.com] .

If they voted against, let them know that you appreciate it. My MP is Don Foster, who voted against. I've emailed him to thank him for doing so.

If your MP voted in favour, berate them for their obvious contempt for you, not just in passing this bill, but the manner of its passing.

If they didn't vote at all, ask them why they are such a spineless contemptible worm (in the nicest possible way) and ask them why you should vote for a person or party that has so much contempt for you that they couldn't be bothered to debate and vote on such a bill, and could allow it to be passed in this way. Point out that not voting in this case was tacit support for the bill and the manner in which it was passed.

Keep it clean and polite (nut-job rants will be ignored), but make it clear what you think of them and their kind.

As I pointed out to Don Foster, whatever the merits of this bill, the idea that it could be passed in this fashion just goes to show just how much contempt many politicians have for the electorate (as if we needed any more evidence).

And for christ sake, VOTE. I'm bored of people telling me they are not voting because "they are all the same". If you don't want to vote for one of the main parties, vote for an independent or a smaller party. If you don't vote at all then they don't care about you, it doesn't work as a protest.

"In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve" - Alexis de Tocqueville/Hunter S Thompson (and various others, take your pick).

Re:Brits - Contact your MP and then VOTE (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776094)

My MP voted for the bill (he is Labour). I wrote him a stern letter. Fucking prick. How does this sound:

Dear Doug Naysmith, I am writing to say I am shocked and appalled at your vote in favour of the Digital Economy Bill. In a city as liberal and free thinking as ours, I had hoped you would see how over-authoritarian and privacy invading this bill is. In these times when our rights diminish by the day, the last thing we needed was more Big Brother tactics, more surveillance, more invasion of privacy. I ask you, Dr. Naysmith, how will you be able to tell whether someone in my house is guilty of copyright infringement, or whether someone else is using my connection without my permission? I can only assume that you would ignore evidence and simply proceed with punishment. No trial, no investigation, guilty by association without chance of proving innocent. Perhaps you did not think much over it. Perhaps you are just doing the bidding of your party. To that I can only shake my head in disapproval and disappointment. If you are too spineless to stand up to tyranny then you do not belong in government. I assure you, you have lost the vote of me and everyone in my household as a result. I am also considering leaving the country for good, before it destroys itself with more politics like this. If we do not stand up to tyranny, it will take over. It has happened before and it will happen again. If/when it does, know that you are partially to blame. Yours sincerely, [my name]

UK corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31775734)

What the fuck? Vote PP.

One more step to censorship. (1)

irreverant (1544263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775780)

The internet has changed so much, i remember when you had to worry about too much information crowding the web. Now it's not enough or let's block it. What happened to the exchange of information and knowledge, sounds to me like "minority report", let's arrest you on crimes you haven't committed yet. Cause WE know you WILL commit them eventually.

Labour just lost my vote (4, Insightful)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775870)

My number one priory has been keeping the Tories out, so I normally vote Labour, but now I won't. It will probably be LibDem now, or Green.

The UK's darknet communities will be getting a whole lot bigger now. Forcing things underground is not a good thing. If it's cheap enough and the service is good people will pay! If you know the money is going to those doing the work, not middlemen, people will pay.

I'm angry about this. Labour are no longer a left party. I want the UK to move towards a European/German style model, not American.

Time to download I2P (4, Informative)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31775894)

Rather popular in France and Germany, and growing a lot in the USA and elsewhere:

I2P is a general-purpose network anonymizer [i2p2.de] with built in web, email and bittorrent. You can download other apps for it, too, like a chat messenger and a distributed filing system. There is also a version of eMule available for it called iMule.

I2P was made to host data services in-network, so it is something of a darknet. It shares some of the concept behind TOR, but outproxies are the exception and it is quicker (though not nearly as quick as direct Internet access). If you have some patience and can live with 25KBytes/sec then it should fit the bill for you and provide peace of mind.

A dark day (1)

walkoff (1562019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776026)

A very dark day indeed, I am an ex-pat and wasn't going to reregister to vote this election as i've been out of the country for a while but i'm off to get my overseas voter registation form witnessed as soon as i finish writing this comment.

Time to get an Always-On VPN Service (2, Interesting)

mattsday (909414) | more than 4 years ago | (#31776162)

My employer offers a home VPN service whereby I am always connected to our VPN and egress at various points around Europe. They don't particularly monitor this traffic and even provide on-net mirrors to most GNU/Linux distributions and run internal bittorrent trackers for legitimate internal filesharing.

I think I'm going to use that.

It's becoming quite sad when I'll trust my employer more than I will my ISP to keep me safe. Years gone by the idea of letting my connection filter through the corporation was horrifying. Now it's almost liberating.

It's a sad day for the UK.

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