By: MarkJ - 28 April, 2010 (7:08 AM)
conservative_party_uk.giflabour_party_uk.gifLeaders of the UK Labour and opposition Conservative party, Gordon Brown (PM) and David Cameron respectively, have now both given their reply to a question put by the Student Room that asked whether they would reconsider the controversial Digital Economy Bill Act.

The Act threatens to disconnect those "suspected" of unlawfully downloading copyright files through their broadband ISP. It will also lead to website blocking, which might affect YouTube and other popular sites, and could hamper the ability of anybody to setup a public / open Wi-Fi wireless internet connected network.

Question 6 - Variations asked by The-Wi$e-One, SumTingWong, Tawm, ScoCmac, Repressor, Slam, CompactDestruction, Squirrelbo1, passthelemon,The Magic Manatee:

Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill’s hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated considerable lack of technical knowledge on the consequences of the proposed legislation?

Just over one week ago the Liberal Democrat party leader, Nick Clegg, was asked the same question (here). He broadly appeared to agree and later pledged to repeal parts of the act that relate to "internet blocking" and replace them with "something better". Sadly anybody expecting some recognition of the concerns will be disappointed by the latest replies.

Gordon Brown's answer:

"Our music, film and computer games industries are world leaders but they are under severe threat from piracy. The Bill is a considered response, after discussion with all parties, which offers a sanction of an internet suspension only for the most determined file-sharers and after repeated warnings.

I think students who have ambitions to work in the creative industries want to know that there will still be a career for them and a fair reward for the work that they do."

David Cameron's answer:

"It’s wrong that this Bill didn’t get the scrutiny it deserved. But rejecting the Bill then or reconsidering the entire piece of legislation now would be an unacceptable set-back for the important measures it contains. Copyline infringement and internet piracy, for example, need to be addressed. So my party took the decision to seek to remove those clauses of the Digital Economy Bill that we did not support or feel received proper legislative scrutiny, while supporting the legislation as a whole.

I’m confident that the way the legislation is drafted, thanks to Conservative amendments, means that we are by no means rushing in to action. For instance, the measures to tackle illegal peer-to-peer file sharing means that the temporary suspension of people’s internet connection would only follow public consultation and repeated warnings."

Copyline infringement? Suffice to say that nobody should have expected any recognition of the concerns from Gordon Brown. However it's frustrating to see that the Conservatives are also unable to even acknowledge that a problem exists. Of course few people would adjust their vote based on a single issue but in such a close three horse race it's probably unwise to shun voter concerns.
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Comments: 5

asa logoJames
Posted: 28 April, 2010 - 8:08 AM
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Guilty until proven innocent.
asa logoTest Crash Dummy
Posted: 28 April, 2010 - 8:33 AM
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"...Of course few people would adjust their vote based on a single issue..."

That all depends on the gravity of the single issue. If a political party introduced a policy to execute anyone who has remained unemployed for 5 or more years, then I'm sure that single policy alone would be a vote loser (or winner - depends).

This issue isn't about free music, movies, software, ebooks etc. It's about "freedom" and democracy, a balanced civilized society, millions of British families being sued for the actions of one or more of their teenage children (etc). It's about miscarriages of justice on an unprecedented scale. It's about giving up control of the one technology that enables true free expression and engagement across political, social, economic, and geographical borders.

I have never voted before, but this election will vote Liberal Democrats.
asa logoTRIaXOR
Posted: 28 April, 2010 - 9:45 AM
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"Copyline infringement" LOL Cameron is sure up to speed on what's what. laugh
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 28 April, 2010 - 10:27 AM
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Not nearly as bad as Labour getting Internet Protocol (IP) addresses confused by calling them Intellectual Property addresses laugh glee.
asa logotimeless
Posted: 28 April, 2010 - 12:42 PM
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heh took the words right out of my mouth Mark.

which reminds me lve been in contact with two of three of my local representatives, all three have asked if they could stay in contact with me to ask me questions about technical concerns with regards to technology, granted lm not amazingly knowledgeable on the subject but lve been able to clear up some of their questions, lm actually happy to be asked tbh.

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