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UK Internet Filtering Bill Watered Down 183

superapecommando writes in with news that in the UK, Liberal Democratic peers will soften their filtering amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, to allow those wrongfully accused of illegal filesharing to sue the rightsholders in court. The previous version of the Bill had drawn instant criticism from some of the world's largest technology companies, including eBay, Google, and Yahoo, who signed an open letter against the filtering proposal. Blogger Glyn Moody summed up opposition to the Bill, stating that in its previous form, it was "utterly one-sided, where the only winners are a music recording industry too lazy to change, and the losers are everyone else."
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UK Internet Filtering Bill Watered Down

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  • by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:54AM (#31492894) Homepage

    Unfortunately, this story is already out-of-date. The Government denied the Liberal Democrat peers the ability to amend the amendment, saying that they'd sort it out themselves during "washing-up", the period just before the General Election when ministers and last-term backbenchers rush through last-minute legislation with minimal debate while the majority of MPs return to their constituencies to campaign.

    See this Guardian article [] for more information.

  • by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:07AM (#31492936) Homepage

    What is wrong with the UK? All I ever see are stories about another stupid thing you guys are doing. Not trolling. Think about it. Slashdot is like 7% stories about stupid privacy/internet stories from the UK.

    There are a number of reasons for that:

    1. The UK is an English-speaking country, which means that there are a large number of UK-based Slashdot readers and submitters.
    2. At the moment, the UK government has a hard-on for copyrights. The vast majority of the Slashdot stories you've seen are actually all talking about the same thing: the Digital Economy Bill, a piece of legislation that's been in the works for some time. It started back in 2008, when the Digital Britain report was commissioned. That report was delivered, there was some proposed legislation written up, a consultation was carried out, the consultation results were published, the Digital Economy Bill was introduced in the Queen's Speech, and then the Bill has been working its way through the many stages of the UK's parliamentary legislative process. Slashdot has been reporting on all of those different points in the same process.
    3. The UK has several highly Internet-aware groups campaigning against this process, and they've been doing their best to get as much media attention on the Bill -- and its multiple issues -- as possible. That naturally includes getting as much coverage as possible on sites like Slashdot, because Slashdot's target demographic is the same demographic that's likely to be sympathetic to their position!

    There are plenty of other countries where privacy/Internet asshattery is going on (such as France), but Slashdot isn't quite such an appropriate forum.

    Anyway, all of the above doesn't diminish the fact that the UK government really doesn't have a clue when it comes to the Internet, and doesn't rate privacy very highly on its list of priorities.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:13AM (#31492964) Homepage

    Maybe you can inform us of how you 'change' to accomodate [sic] the fact that people are takuing [sic] your output for free and not paying a single penny

    Except you're a troll, because:

    1. The music industry has seen record profits despite the recession, according to their own figures [].
    2. People who download media illicitly are the exactly the same people who spend the most money on media, as has been shown repeatedly by studies.

    Some good changes that the industry could make would be to, firstly, stop lying, and secondly, to stop trying to criminalise their own best customers

  • by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:04AM (#31493174) Homepage

    Who can afford the lawyers? Now if they really wanted to make this work (don't forget that all parties in england have to pacify the media/content owners. Do you want to upset the content producers and then be ridiculed forever in every piece of content? Go ahead, suggest the BBC should be privatized, see how long your public image survives. Yesterday the BBC aired an entirely self serving copyright program that showed only the content owners point of view. How suprising)

    Well, we upset the content producers by our very existence, but we still seem to be getting some media coverage -- indeed, several media organisations have contacted us in the last few hours asking for statements!

    We've published a press release [] about last night's Panorama programme:

    The Pirate Party UK has come out as highly critical of the BBC's recent Panorama programme for its disappointing coverage of the Digital Economy Bill.

    Although Panorama attempted to give a fair hearing to both sides of the controversy surrounding the bill, it was ultimately considered inadequate. In particular, the BBC was criticised for its failure to get informed commentary from organisations opposed to the bill, such as the Open Rights Group, Coadec and the Pirate Party, meaning that the arguments both for and against the Digital Economy Bill were incomplete, largely misrepresented and often factually inaccurate.


    Panorama: Separating Fact from Fiction []

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:13AM (#31493206)

    The Liberal Democrats are supposed to be the heirs of the liberal tradition in the UK, supporting individual rights against government power. Their official party platform is John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. I don't really see how this fits even remotely.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:52AM (#31493352)

    It's not a suprise. Panorama is probably one of the few things I hate the BBC for. Panorama is basically the BBC's answer to the Daily Mail.

    Panorama is frequently wrong, and the BBC frequently has to publish apologies, but these apologies are always hidden away, or non-obvious, and occur long after the BBC has already shown said episode of Panorama anyway. It was Panorama for example that started the BBC's push about Wifi being dangerous and giving teachers headaches, even though all of this was entirely unproven by them. It was later found that the BBC was indeed out of line, but the apology was merely published online and the damage was already done- countless schools around the country were adamant that Wifi was dangerous and started removing it from all the classrooms. I was working in Education IT at the time, and it was hard work trying to make the schools realise Panorama was wrong, even after they had issued the apology.

    Panorama has similarly done shock stories full of inaccuracies on things like children using the internet too.

    It's just a bad, bad TV series, and the BBC should be embarassed for even allowing it to continue. It's really a horrible stain on their otherwise generally good reputation.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:55AM (#31493360) Homepage

    You'll probably notice that most of these are posted by kdawson or timmeh, who have some really deep-seated issues with the UK. I'm surprised that the "newspaper" article referenced here is from the Grauniad - normally they take an article from the ultra-right tabloids like the Daily Mail and then publish some breathless piece about how awful the UK is, without checking any facts.

  • 3-strikes law (Score:3, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @07:16AM (#31493438) Homepage Journal

    This bill contains 3-strikes and you are out law, which means that if someone is merely accused of copyright violation 3 times, their broadband connection is terminated.

    I'll tell you what it looks like.

    In the former USSR there was no Internet, but people listened to radio. There was no 3-strike law, you only needed to be caught once. You were not allowed to get information from the rest of the 'free' (what used to be free) world, if you tried, you were obviously an outlaw.

    This is what it looks like to me, not precisely, but close enough. There is Internet, and then there is the 'free' Internet and the UK citizens are losing their free Internet.

    It looks even worse than what happened in the USSR. There, they just tried to prevent people from listening to BBC by interfering with the radio waves, but they could not really know who was listening, who tried to listen.

    Here they will know, they will know who is listening, who is trying. Even worse, if your connection is encrypted, I am sure that there will be in the future an assumption you are braking the law, so you will be presumed guilty for having an encrypted connection, unless it is to an approved bank or to an approved store I suppose. Which, by the way, if you think about it, is a perfect next step: eliminate bank and store competition, by only allowing encryption to a very select few. You think that won't happen?

    This is worse than the USSR in terms of ability to listen and to make assumptions about who is doing what. This is still not as bad as the USSR, probably you won't go to a far away place in Siberia. Not yet. Not until UK contracts Russia out to handle its prisoners. You watch, that'll happen to: contracting brutal places out to handle your prisoners, especially prisoners that happen to be anti-policy, so they are anti-corporation, anti-government.

    Shit, long time ago I though Britain could have been quite an interesting place to live for a while, now, I think I'll avoid that place just as much as I avoid the US, though I must admit, I like Florida's climate.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."