Digital Economy Bill sparks protest

Celebrities, activists and ISPs condemn proposed bill
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The Digital Economy Bill, which was recently introduced to Parliament, has drawn criticism from a wide range of commentators.

According to the BBC, membership of the Open Rights Group, which opposes the bill and government control of cyber space, has increased by 20 per cent prior to the publication of the bill.

Meanwhile, a number of commentators have stepped forward to condemn the move to block the internet access of suspected file sharers without any kind of trial.

TalkTalk’s executive director of strategy and regulation Andrew Heaney created an online petition on the Number 10 website, which at the time of writing has garnered nearly 17,000 signatures and received a boost when TV personality and prolific Twitter user Stephen Fry urged others to sign it, writing:

“Dear Mandy, splendid fellow in many ways, but he is SO WRONG about copyright. Please sign and retweet.”

The executive director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock, predicted that the bill could lead to civil unrest in the form of protests or lobbying, and commented: “It could destabilise business and destabilise innovation. It means entirely trusting to bureaucrats and politicians to get it right.”

Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers Association issued a statement that said that the government should be trying to embrace new technology instead of cripple it.

“Rather than focusing blindly on enforcement, the government should be asking rights holders to reform the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online to consumers in a way that they are clearly demanding.”

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