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Repeal the Digitial Economy Bill – new thinking required on filesharing

Comment 9th July 2010

The Digital Economy Bill should be repealed for two reasons:

1) it is rushed and vague, and did not receive appropriate review in order to fully assess the validity and impact of it's unclear proposals

2) it representatives 20th century thinking being applied to a 21st century way of life, we should be be innovative and forward thinking in this matter

Why does this matter?

The bill was rushed through and there are significant impacts / consequences that have not been properly thought through.  For example, it is turning internet providers into an Internet Police Force and, one could argue, judge, jury and executioner too!  A significant and growing proportion of the population have been criminalised overnight, without due consideration of whether this is actually a crime.

Further consultation and thought is required on how we could respond to the challenges and threats represented by the emerging online economy. 

We should have open discussion and wide consultation on questions such as:

1) is file sharing criminal?

2) what is the status of copyright in the online world?

3) what are the alternative revenue models for creative producers (bands, photographers, movie makers) – how can they make a profit in this new online market?

In the 1970s there was a move by the copyright industry to ban recording of TV shows with VCRs and in the late 1990s the music industry tried to curtail the mp3 player… those moves seem ludicrous now!!  Makes me wonder how these attempts by the old government and music, move and copyright industry will be viewed in 10 years time…

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