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Britain's new Internet law -- as bad as everyone's been saying, and worse. Much, much worse.
The British government has brought down its long-awaited Digital Economy Bill, and it's perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the "three-strikes" rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?).
So it's bad. £50,000 fines if someone in your house is accused of filesharing. A duty on ISPs to spy on all their customers in case they find something that would help the record or film industry sue them (ISPs who refuse to cooperate can be fined £250,000).
But that's just for starters. The real meat is in the story we broke yesterday: Peter Mandelson, the unelected Business Secretary, would have to power to make up as many new penalties and enforcement systems as he likes. And he says he's planning to appoint private militias financed by rightsholder groups who will have the power to kick you off the internet, spy on your use of the network, demand the removal of files or the blocking of websites, and Mandelson will have the power to invent any penalty, including jail time, for any transgression he deems you are guilty of. And of course, Mandelson's successor in the next government would also have this power...
1. Immediate remedies for copyright infringement -- jail sentences and removal of Internet access can be meted out purely at the discretion of an unelected official (that is most likely under the sway and pay of media lobby groups).
2. The raising of pirate-hunting militia -- the Secretary of State could "confer rights" to music labels and movie studios to help them protect their works. It would be within the rights of the copyright owners to compel ISPs, schools and businesses to hand over details of those using their network for 'nefarious' purposes.
3. Pirate-hunting duties could be forced upon ISPs -- not merely content with perusing ISP records, the Secretary of State could force ISPs to act as gatekeepers. You can imagine how it might impact your surfing experience if a copyright lawyer is forced to peruse each and every one of your emails to check for plagiarism.
Obligation to notify subscribers of copyright infringement reports
This section applies if it appears to a copyright owner that—
a subscriber to an internet access service has infringed the owner’s copyright by means of the service; or
a subscriber to an internet access service has allowed another person to use the service, and that other person has infringed the owner’s copyright by means of the service.
The owner may make a copyright infringement report to the internet service provider who provided the internet access service if a code in force under section 124C or 124D (an “initial obligations code”) allows the owner to do so.
A “copyright infringement report” is a report that—
states that there appears to have been an infringement of the owner’s copyright;
includes a description of the apparent infringement;
includes evidence of the apparent infringement that shows the subscriber’s IP address and the time at which the evidence was gathered; and
complies with any other requirement of the initial obligations code.
An internet service provider who receives a copyright infringement report must notify the subscriber of the report if the initial obligations code requires the provider to do so.
A notification under subsection (4) must include—
a statement that it is sent under this section in response to a copyright infringement report made by a copyright owner;
a description of the apparent infringement;
evidence of the apparent infringement;
information about copyright and its purpose;
advice about how to obtain lawful access to copyright works;
advice about the protection of electronic communications networks that use wireless telegraphy; and
anything else that the initial obligations code requires it to include.
The things that may be required under subsection (5)(g), whether in general or in a particular case, include in particular statements that—
information about the apparent infringement may be kept by the internet service provider;
the copyright owner may require the provider to disclose which copyright infringement reports made by the owner to the provider relate to the subscriber;
following such a disclosure, the copyright owner may apply to a court to learn the subscriber’s identity and may bring proceedings against the subscriber for copyright infringement;
the number and nature of copyright infringement reports relating to the subscriber may be taken into account for the purposes of any technical measures.
In this section “notify”, in relation to a subscriber, means send a
notification to the electronic or postal address held by the internet service provider for the subscriber (and sections 394 to 396 do not apply).”
Originally posted by TheComte
The best way to stop all this nonsense is to boycott the entertainment industry en masse. Probably impossible to do, but imagine the look on the movie/music execs faces when nobody, and I mean nobody, buys their product. Do it for six months and watch them come crawling back to us on their knees begging us to go see a movie.
Originally posted by havok
The BBC in the UK bans certain types of music, so why not control the Internet?
Its just as logical!
The list on this site is HUGE! That alone would make me irate. How can the gov't tell you what to listen to and what not to!
God Save the PEOPLE! (not the queen)
Boomtown Rats - Don't Like Mondays
D-Mob - We Call It Acieed
Napolean XII - They're Coming to Take me Away (Reference "mentally challenged")
Ricky Valance - Tell Laura I love her (I love that song)