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Digital Economy Bill

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Sorry for this but...

This was passed last night in the House of Comons and will get rubber stamped in the House of Lords and be passed into law. It is not the content of the bill that annoyed me but it provenance and its current debate.

The path of the this Bill into Law and its debate in the Washup before the election is a damning indication of the state of britains politcal process. The Bill was not tabled first in the Commons and was created by Peter Mandelson and various committess and sub committees that was greatly influenced by Lobby groups.

Ammendements tabled in the House of Lords were copied word for word from emails from the BPI.

The most galling thing for me was on the debate I watched on Tuesday night, MP after MP said that the path of the Bill was disgraceful, it needed more debate but that they were compelled to vote it through becuase it has a lot of good stuff in it. Even the MP who tabled the Bill said that the Bill is not perfect. Why put non debated imperfect legisalation through.

There was a lot more debate on this than i thought it would but for most of the time there were only about 30 MP's discussing it. When it cam etime for the Vote the Party whips called on people so voila 250 MP's who didnt have the foggiest about what the bill was for voted. Rediculous. I know every MP can't be knowledable on everything but at least they could sit in on such a controvesial Bill. But Party politics wins the day.

The bill has 50 clauses that range form Punishment for Illegal File sharing, Analogue Radio Frequency provision, Investment in network infrastrucutre, support for creative industries, copyright, business support and 40 of the clauses have not been debated or properly scrutinized before being passed into law.

Only a few things taken out of the Bill was Unknown copyright for photography meaning if you didnt know who took a photo you could use it without paying, Regional ITV programming and a 6 tax on landlines to fund network improvements. This was the deal the Tories made with Labor to get it through. I would gladlypay 6 if it meant that fibre to my house could become a possibility.

I am not adverse to punishing copyright infingement as I beleive creators should be recompensed for their work. I happily buy CD's DVD's games etc. The measures metered out need to be fair, justifed and proportiante and not decided by an unelected offical on the sayso of a record or movie company. These measures should be properly debated and thought through with an informed decision which has not been able to happen in the passing of the bill.

Annoyed that politions decry the state of the country, which isnt that bad, and yet push through 'good enough' legislation. That kind of attitude stinks from the leaders of a country.

Thanks to @tom_watson @ericjoyce and the others trying to get the bill as it stood stopped.
End Rant

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  1. MacNetron's Avatar
    Well said mate.
    In The Netherlands we don't have such a thing yet, but there are rumors...

    One advantage though, things like this makes you more aware of politics, and that never hurts. You might not be able to change the system, but you can inform yourself and make yourself heard.


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