It looks like much of the Digital Economy Bill will make it through to get Royal Assent by the end of the week.
The Bill is now in much better shape than when first tabled by the Government last year – the ability of the Government to impose disconnection at will has been checked and the Henry VIII clause that literally allowed the Government to do anything else to reduce copyright infringement has been removed.
However, many draconian proposals remain such as the responsibility on customers to protect their home networks from hacking at a collective cost of hundreds of millions of pounds a year, the presumption that they are guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent and, as in China, the potential for legitimate search engines and websites to be blocked.
This is made all the more appalling by the ability of big music and film companies to influence government and the absence of any proper debate or scrutiny by MPs – only 5% of MPs turned up for the brief debate yesterday and the other important Parliamentary stages will be bypassed in the wash-up process.
TalkTalk will continue to battle against these oppressive proposals – they will require ’secondary legislation’ before they can be implemented.
After the election we will resume highlighting the substantial dangers inherent in the proposals and that the hoped for benefits in legitimate sales will not materialise as filesharers will simply switch to other undetectable methods to get content for free.
In the meantime we stand by our pledges to our customers:
- Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer’s details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it.
- If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we’ll see them in court.
For more background on our campaign against the disconnection aspect of the Digital Economy Bill, please visit www.dontdisconnect.us You might also like to check out our tongue in cheek response Home Taping is Killing Music.