Thursday, November 19, 2009

here we go, here we go..

The Digital Economy Bill is nigh:

"Digital economy bill

Ensuring a world-class digital future following the Digital Britain White Paper , published on 16 June 2009, setting out the Government's ambition to secure the UK's position as one of the world's leading digital knowledge economies and take forward a new, more active industrial policy to maximise the benefits from the digital revolution by:

  • delivering a universally available broadband in the UK by 2012 through a public fund, including funds released from the digital television switchover help scheme;
  • giving the sectoral regulator, Ofcom, two new duties: first, to promote investment in infrastructure and content alongside its duties to promote competition; and second, to carry out a full assessment of the UK's communications infrastructure every two years; to ensure that the UK has a first class and resilient communications infrastructure;
  • establishing the necessary enabling powers for new commissioning bodies providing strong multi media news in the Nations, regionally and locally and update the Channel 4 Corporation's remit. This would help create the environment for continued investment in, and creation of, high quality and innovative content, including necessary changes in relation to public service broadcasting;
  • ensuring that all national broadcast radio stations are digital from the end of 2015, by making changes to the existing radio licensing regime to enable digital coverage to be extended, encourage investment by the commercial sector, alongside the BBC, in new digital content, and revise the existing regulatory and multiplex licences;
  • creating a robust legal and regulatory framework to combat illegal file sharing and other forms of online copyright infringement and give Ofcom a specific new responsibility to significantly reduce this practice, including two specific obligations on Internet Service Providers: the notification of unlawful activity and, for alleged serial-infringers, collation of data to allow rights holders to obtain court orders to force the release of personal details, enabling legal action to be taken against them;
  • implementing the recommendations of the Byron Review published in June 2008, to put age ratings of computer games on a statutory footing for ratings of 12 years and above. This will be achieved through the adoption of a new and strengthened system of classification for boxed video games with a strong UK based statutory layer of regulation, ensuring protection for children."
Well, hmm. .. see the emboldened section.. and no third obligation, to disconnect repeat offenders? I very much doubt it's been dropped - but it's interesting not to see it there..

Pangloss sees no full text of the Bill via Google - if it is out there, could somone point me at it?

Now we wait to see which happens first, the end if the world by Holywood apocalypse or the end of New Labour by election :-)


Passaro said...

The text of the Bill should be on the Lords website tomorrow

Joseph said...

Spamhaus's Richard Cox is quoted in today's Technology Guardian as saying that "Peter Mandelson wants to disconnect people for three strikes -- is that really more serious than hosting downloads for malware?" ... "We don't think so: one is a commercial issue, and one is causing criminal harm to millions of people's computers. Mandelson needs a reality check."

The main paper itself estimates that the Bill has a very good chance of becoming law, because the Tories seem to support most of it. And they will of course be hoping to pick up the votes from internet users by demonstrating that they know what the internet is all about.

pangloss said...

@Joseph yes I read the Grauniad article on that point last week and thought it excellent.


"And they will of course be hoping to pick up the votes from internet users by demonstrating that they know what the internet is all about."

Sorry? Pardon?? Que?

Joseph said...

By "they" I meant the Tories -- i.e., the Tories will not seek to block the Bill because they want internet users to think that their general support for its provisions indicates how tech-savvy they are, and thus worth voting for.

(Does that help clarify my remark?)

pangloss said...

@Joseph no not really - every Internet user I know thinks support for this Bill shows you know absolutely nothing about the Internet or technology. Am I SOOO out of touch?