Opposing factions take out rival ads in national newspapers

Controversy mounts around Digital Economy Bill

The Digital Economy Bill, which now looks to be rushed through Parliament before the next election, is facing growing pressure from lobbyists and internet freedom advocates.

Accorting to the Telegraph, the Open Rights Group has taken out protest adverts in the Times and the Guardian urging MPs to vote against the Bill, which includes measures to disconnect the internet connections of suspected file-sharers and allow politicans to block suspected websites without primary legislation.

“Today politicians are getting ready to rush sweeping new powers through Parliament without proper debate,” read the Open Rights Group ad. “The bill could mean millions of homes, schools and libraries are threatened with internet disconnection and tribunals. It could also spell the end of free, open wireless internet in the UK.”

However, the Creative Coalition Campaign – a group composed of the Writers Guild and Equity – has taken out a rival ad in the Guardian urging MPs to support the bill, saying that it is a “sensible approach to tackling online piracy.”

Microsoft has also added its weight to the debate, issuing a report today which finds that one in eight UK citizens use pirated software at work, while 57 per cent of respondents felt that their boss would consider the use of pirated software as acceptable.

“This report shows just how much we need to wake up to dangers of software piracy in Britain,” said Microsoft UK’s head of anti-piracy Michala Wardell. “All too often, people only realise the true consequences of using pirated software when precious data like family photos are lost or deleted from your computer.”

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