steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

The Digital Economy Bill - Who's the Real Pirate?

The indefatigable Gillian Spraggs, whose systematic demolition of the Google Books Settlement I mentioned before, has now performed a similar service for the Digital Economy Bill. It's not the easiest of reads for the non-legally minded, but if you are a copyright holder for any work (whether verbal or visual) in the UK, it's worth your while understanding what's involved.

Most of the publicity around this Bill has concentrated on its provisions to stamp out illegal filesharing. In other words, it's largely perceived as an anti-piracy bill. What is less well known is that the same corporations who are wringing their hands about pirates are all too ready to run up the Jolly Roger themselves when it suits them, and grab in-copyright works for their own commercial gain. (This two-faced approach should come as no surprise, after Viacom's recent Youtube embarrassment.) The only way in which this Bill is consistent is that, whether it's stamping out piracy or promoting it, it's doing so in the interest of large corporations and at the expense of individual consumers and producers. Plus ca change.
Tags: current affairs
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