Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

UK's New "Digital Economy" One Step Closer to Law

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 8 2010

While noting that the pared-down version of the Digital Economy Bill that passed through the House of Commons under wash up last night might be a damp squib, the Guardian (UK) is still generally up in arms about the legislation. Their Charles Arthur reports:

The government forced through the controversial digital economy bill with the aid of the Conservative party last night, attaining a crucial third reading – which means it will get royal assent and become law – after just two hours of debate in the Commons.

However it was forced to drop clause 43 of the bill, a proposal on orphan works which had been opposed by photographers. They welcomed the news: "The UK government wanted to introduce a law to allow anyone to use your photographs commercially, or in ways you might not like, without asking you first. They have failed," said the site set up to oppose the proposals.

But despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats and a number of Labour MPs who spoke up against measures contained in the bill and put down a number of proposed amendments, the government easily won two votes to determine the content of the bill and its passage through the committee stage without making any changes it had not already agreed.

...

Numerous MPs complained that the bill was too important and its ramifications too great for it to be pushed through in this "wash-up" period in which bills are not given the usual detailed examination

What seems to have folks in UK most riled up about the bill is how on substance, the legislation frees the government to take action against digital downloaders and other undesirables, including shutting down their ISP connections, and on process, that the MPs didn't seem to have any clue about the matters they were legislating upon -- when they bothered to turn up at all. Protests are ranging on Twitter; follow along with #debill.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Outgassing

How Beijing is throttling expressions of solidarity with the Hong Kong democracy protests; is the DCCC going overboard with its online fundraising tactics?; SumOfUs's innovative new engagement metric; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

With Vision of Internet Magna Carta, Web We Want Campaign Aims To Go Beyond Protest Mode

On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated his call for an Internet Magna Carta to ensure the independence and openness of the World Wide Web and protection of user privacy. His remarks were part of the opening of the Web We Want Festival at the Southbank Centre in London, which the Web We Want campaign envisioned as only the start of a year long international process underlying his call to formulate concrete visions for the open web of the future, going beyond protests and the usual advocacy groups. GO

First POST: Lifestyles

Google's CEO on "work-life balance"; how CloudFlare just doubled the size of the encrypted web; Dems like Twitter; Reps like Pinterest; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Showdown

How demonstrators in Hong Kong are using mobile tech to route around government control; will the news penetrate mainland China?; dueling spin from Dems and Reps on which party's tech efforts will matter more in November; and much, much more. GO

friday >

Pirate MEP Crowdsources Internet Policy Questions For Designated EU Commissioners

While the Pirate Party within Germany was facing internal disputes over the last week, the German Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, is seeking to make the European Commission appointment process more transparent by crowdsourcing questions for the designated Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society and the designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market. GO

First POST: Dogfood

What ethical social networking might look like; can the iPhone promise more privacy?; how Obama did on transparency; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Sucks

How the FCC can't communicate; tech is getting more political; Facebook might see a lawsuit for its mood manipulation experiment; and much, much more. GO

More