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10000 UK Voters Demand Digital Economy Bill Debate as Youtube Faces Court

Posted: 19th Mar, 2010 By: MarkJ
pirate flagThe Open Rights Group (ORG) informs us that 10,000 UK citizens have written to MPs in less than three days to demand a debate on the controversial Digital Economy Bill (DEB). The DEB seeks to combat internet copyright infringement (downloading of illegal music etc.) but its proposed solutions, such as website blocking and broadband ISP disconnection for "suspected" abusers, have caused serious concern.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights group, said:

"It is outrageous that corporate lobbyists including the BPI, FAST and UK Music are demanding that MPs curtail democracy and ram this Bill through Parliament without debate.

The British people did not elect UK Music and the BPI to write our laws. How dare they push our MPs towards punishing innocent people by disconnecting them from the internet, without proper democratic scrutiny?

That is what is making our 10,000 supporters so angry – pushing this Bill through without debate is undemocratic and dangerous."

The news comes on the same day that YouTube, which many fear could be under threat from the bill, revealed that Viacom had deliberately "roughed up" uploaded videos to make them look stolen or leaked; thus helping its copyright case against the free and popular video sharing website.

Those MPs who cast aside fears that websites like YouTube could be blocked should pay attention. Viacom has accused YouTube of "massive intentional copyright infringement" and is waiting for a court to rule on its £660m suit against the site.

A Viacom statement said:

"YouTube was intentionally built on infringement and there are countless internal YouTube communications demonstrating that YouTube's founders and its employees intended to profit from that infringement. By their own admission, the site contained 'truckloads' of infringing content."

The stark reality is that if you look deep enough then any video could potentially contain sounds or imagery that one might consider to be copyright of somebody else. The irony for many people is that they are also places where you can discover new talent and creations, without which Rights Holders might actually find themselves being considerably worse off.
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