Thursday, 1 April 2010

Message from the Digital Economy Bill Flashmob Protest

Is the government making fools out of us with the Digital Economy Bill?

Join us on Thursday evening in Manchester City Centre for a flashmob protest against this ill-conceived legislation!

Just bring yourself and some black tape to censor yourself with.

The exact location will be announced (at 5pm) just before we begin, sign up for a ticket and we'll let you know

What is the Digital Economy Bill?
The DEB is a new piece of legislation that's being forced through parliament without debate. The DEB's aim is to stop copyright infringement on the internet, but it does so at a horrific cost to our civil liberties. Under this legislation you will be assumed guilty and may be disconnect from the internet unless you pay to have an appeal in front of a tribunal - not a court.

Why are we protesting?
The DEB has been written at the behest of the media industry (some clauses were actually written by the BPI) with absolutely no regard for anybody else. Not only is this bill horrendously flawed, it is being rushed through parliament without debate using a process known as "wash up", which was intended for use on uncontroversial bills.


  1. THE DIGITAL ECONOMY BILL: a Bill that is being rushed through Parliament using the very undemocratic and "behind closed doors" process known as "wash-up". Certain parts regarding piracy have been directly copied and pasted from a BPI memo. Natural justice (presumption of innocence) has been replaced with the presumption of guilt - an accusation of illicit file sharing by a rights holder will result in the "accused" been treated as guilty, and an appeal will cost a fee that the Lords decided should be significantly high enough to deter mischievous pirates playing the system. Certain groups are already in the process of obfuscating the IP addresses in a torrent IP swarm by injection random ones. Other devious methods are being developed that could see your PC being hijacked and silently "downloading" in the background on behalf of someone else.

    WHO SHOULD BE MOST CONCERNED: Any parent who has a household Internet connection in their name and one or more children between the ages of 14 and 24 who use that Internet connection. Any business or body offering public WiFi (free or otherwise). Any sensible person who doesn't want to see large media companies becoming the gatekeepers of the Internet.

    Similar laws in other countries have not worked. Just look at Australia, where they passed a law forcing ISPs to disconnect customers on the say-so of rights holders. Fortunately for the Aussies, one ISP stood up against the media giants and won (Google for "AFACT vs. iiNet"). Also look at how the similar DCMA is being abused in the United States - blocking everything from a YouTube video of a baby dancing while in the background a Prince track is playing, to a take-down of a "Joker-ized" image of President Obama, to user generated comments and opinions being removed (Google "DMCA abuse").

    Look at the man behind the DEB - Lord Peter Mandelson - a man who has resigned from office twice in the past amid accusations of abusing his position:

    16th OCTOBER 2000 - accused by Geoffrey Robinson of lying the Common about his "home loan" affair. Both men resign.

    24th JANUARY 2001 - Mandelson resigns after being accused of abusing his position to influence the passport application of Srichand Hinduja, an Indian businessman under investigation by the Indian government in relation to the Bofors scandal.

    Let's not forget his 25th APRIL 2005 when Mandelson went on a holiday on Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's yacht while Microsoft was at the centre of a major EU investigation.

    Oh - and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's yacht in October 2008 (at Taverna Agni on the Greek island of Corfu). Strange how Mandelson was responsible for two decisions to cut aluminium tariffs that directly benefited Deripaska.

    LORD MANDELSON - no stranger to scnadals (according to his DEB logic he is guilty simply because he has been accused), unelected, yet let lose to write British legislation and push it through the secretive "wash-up".

    Thanks goodness there are some sensible politicians out there like Victor Chamberlain.

  2. >Is the government making fools out of us with the Digital Economy Bill?

    No, you're doing a fine job of it yourselves.