Britain's new Internet law -- as bad as everyone's been saying, and worse. Much, much worse.


The British government has brought down its long-awaited Digital Economy Bill, and it's perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the "three-strikes" rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?).

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CDbiggen2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

I hate politicians...

Saaking2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

That's way too much power on his hands.

And why does the WHOLE family get punished for the acts of one (or at least I think that's what they're saying).

gaffyh2859d ago

For God's sake, leave the internet be, you're already going to tax it, now you're going to look at everyone's internet usage as well?!?

Whatever happened to privacy, seems like another step towards the Big Brother Britain :(

pixelsword2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

The show popularizing the term was the first hint; I'll leave it at that. :(

jadenkorri2859d ago

yeah totally sucks, could you imagine you kid dling a song or a game, then getting charged $50000 dollars for it. Granted is the maximum, but the average family prob only makes less than that....

Im going to be totally screwed when something like this passes, i dl all my tv shows that i want to watch, i don't pay for satellite or cable as they are completely overcharging. I have bought tv series i really enjoyed and can watch again, but shows like house are like watch once.

Immortal Kaim2859d ago

Does anyone else find the comments "Glad I don't live in Britain", "I'm American, so I'm not worried" naive. Despite what some may think America (or anywhere else for that matter), does not exist in a vacuum, these bills/laws set what's called a precedent, one which can take root in other locations once the ball starts rolling... This is bad for 'free' (I use the term loosely), people everywhere, it's time to start looking beyond your own back-yard for once...

P.S I'm not British either.

Tony999Montana2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

£50 000?!

Imagine if that was the fine for shoplifting an actual physical album from a store. people would be shocked. Yet shoplifting surely does more damage then copying a digital song..

jerethdagryphon2859d ago

for those interested in the actual bill


the whole thing makes no sense

and in reality will be neigh unworkable

all they have to do to avoid it is rename and zip it to something else

Nihilism2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

Typical government plan, screw over the tax payers, while catering to the rich ( the corporations ), isn't that always the way?. I can't believe that this guy basically has veto powers to do whatever he likes, congrats britain, you have your own patriot act....of the internet. I'm sure it won't be long till we here in AUS have some similar B.S. Kevid rudd is a fa99ot

Madusha2859d ago

The 3 strike law totally sucks. It's gonna be introduced where I live in New Zealand next year :'(

Stop the stupidity, get rid to the 3 strike law!

ChrisW2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

But MUM! I only downloaded 2,501 songs! I didn't know that 1 extra song would get us banned from the Net!?!

AuToFiRE2859d ago

all of a sudden "remember remember the fifth of november" just popped into my head... maybe they are going to blow up parliament over this one..

bobcostus2859d ago

This is like something out of V for Vendetta...

Bnet3432859d ago

I don't want to sound like a patriotic a*shole, but boy sometimes I'm glad I live in America. And agreed, politics suck ass.

commodore642859d ago

This is altogether terrible news.

Not only is it bad for average joes in Britain, but most importantly, i agree with 'immortal kaim' above, when he points ou that this will now set a precedent for other politicians to follow.

Big brother has arrived on the internet.
He is watching.

Consoldtobots2859d ago

"Does anyone else find the comments "Glad I don't live in Britain", "I'm American, so I'm not worried" naive. Despite what some may think America (or anywhere else for that matter), does not exist in a vacuum, these bills/laws set what's called a precedent, one which can take root in other locations once the ball starts rolling... This is bad for 'free' (I use the term loosely), people everywhere, it's time to start looking beyond your own back-yard for once...

P.S I'm not British either.

that's why we have a second amendment that all the brits like to make fun of.

DelbertGrady2859d ago

What do you mean by that? Are you gonna try and shoot down the Internet? Sounds as retarded as trying to shoot down terrorism. Oh, wait...

Consoldtobots2859d ago

no you shoot the politicians and anyone else that declares themselves an enemy of YOUR freedom through their actions.

Nihilism2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

typical American train of thought, I'm glad my country has proper gun regulation. Do you know what the chances of me getting shot are?, even if i went up to a stranger and started screaming in their face, it would be unlikely that i would be fatally wounded. It's good to feel safe, we also don't need fear to enforce it.

It's not just the British making fun of you, it's the entire world

Consoldtobots2859d ago

making fun of someone while you're getting bent over isn't exactly good form. Thats the problem with all you socialists, you've been spoonfed this crap your whole lives and now even defend it even though the reality stares you right in the face. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS IN YOUR SOCIETIES. Before you comeback at me with some diatribe about all the social goodies your servitude gets you remember I said RIGHTS not privileges.

SaiyanFury2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

@ People speaking to "Consoldtobots"

What he is speaking of is the right to bear arms. Let me say this, I'm a Canadian citizen, and as such, I never liked guns. I married my wife, who happens to be an American citizen. I've been learning about American history. The 2nd amendment right to bear arms stems from the American Revolutionary war, where the British government made it illegal to have guns so the people could never fight against an oppressive government. The right to bear arms is a freedom granted to people so they could defend themselves against oppression and people who would seek to undermine their freedoms. Sure the US has a lot of gun related crimes, but that's not from the 2nd amendment, that's from a bunch of criminals. The average American citizen will not kill you with a gun. If you die from a gun, it's about a 90% chance that it's a criminal who has a gun obtained from illegal means.

This is more fodder of England's liberal socialist government. Reign in freedom of everything, now including the internet. It's all about control and regulating what the average person/family can do on the internet. The English people need to step up and realise that their freedoms are being trampled upon in the same way that Michael Savage is being tread upon by the Gordon Brown government in England. Suppress a man who speaks out against the government and put him on a list with murderers and terrorists to delegitimise him as a proponent for freedom of speech. This is a huge injustice simply because the man speaks his mind.

You English people need to speak up and against your socialist government that seeks to sanction free speech for your citizens. If you can't express yourselves freely, as a fundamental freedom, then what's next?

The American constitution guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms that should not be tread upon by government. Now that the British government is treading upon freedoms granted by God, they should be stopped. Sorry to make this political post, but things need to be said. No doubt people will disagree with me, but truth is truth, and when freedoms become down trodden, the truth needs to be cited even more.

Haha I invite people's opinions that disagree, and please let me know why.

ChrisW2859d ago

Freedom is just another word for "nothing else to lose."

gaffyh2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

@1.20 - I don't think anyone is saying that the normal American is responsible for gun crimes. The 2nd amendment allows people to sell guns legally, which means that there is an increase in illegal buying and selling, because the guns are available. All it takes is for a few shipments to go missing...

In the UK, there are no gun shops, nobody can by guns legally. Meaning, anyone that has a gun who is not a police officer, is a criminal. Makes it a lot easier to find murderers, and keeps gun crime at the lowest possible rate.

Also the fact that you mentioned Michael Savage is extremely distressing. That guy is a fascist, he is Hitler, and has 6-10 million followers in America. I can't believe that THAT many people listen to his shows, the BNP are bad, but they have nowhere near that many supporters in the UK. Multiculturalism is what makes Britain Great, and I for one, am glad that he was banned from the UK.

vhero2859d ago

nothing will change it never does this country has lots of laws that never gets used.

MNicholas2858d ago

was to encourage parents to take responsibility for their kids instead of leaving them for house, totally unsupervised, in front of the TV or computer as they do now.

Anything that gives parents an incentive to stop being lazy delinquent producing machines can't be all bad.

However, the ratings system is idiotic, as is the premature restrictions on copyright content since the former impinges on freedom of expression and the latter puts too much power in the hands of the entertainment industry at a time when technology and concepts surrounding fair use and sharing are still being worked out.

Luckily, it's Britain, who, in the larger scheme of things, is not really relevant. The US and Japan are the leaders in content distribution platforms and eventually whatever happens outside Britain will filter it's way in.

For those who are upset by this I'd say that it's just a speed-bump to better things.

pangitkqb2858d ago

You deserve better than what these new internet changes give to you. I personally hope you fight this action tooth and nail. Where is the justice in a system that punishes without trial? What kind of government encourages companies to spy on and then turn in their own customer base?

What of censorship? Michelangelo's works of naked people can be shown all over, but you can't shoot a pretend gun at a pretend monster without it being "bad?" IT'S NOT REAL.

jakethesnake2858d ago

@Consoldtobots - It's not the second amendment that is protecting you. It's the fourth amendment. It is far more precious than the second amendment will ever be and it is what needs to be praised and protected!

pimpmaster2858d ago

that law would never pass in america. i cant even believe that passed in britain, and all this time i thought our governments were the same but britain still is more of a dictatorship, but with multiple similar minded people i guess

pegger242858d ago

Jake, I would definitely say the 21st amendment is the most important. It shows that while our government tried to control the life and behavior of our people, eventually they realized that trying to control every aspect of one's life is an impossible and ridiculous task that wastes much more than it saves.
People all around the world hate America and always point to things like gun control as a reason. While i would gladly give up my guns that I use to hunt and protect my property if you could promise me it will make me safer and I will never ever go hungry, no one cannot make that promise. People always hate the lead dog. Whether you want to admit it or not, America is a pretty good place to live.

MagicAccent2858d ago

A fully ateble internet-cookie to anyone who knows where from I got that quote(without the help og Google :P).

potenquatro2858d ago (Edited 2858d ago )

The U.S.A cats need to chill....Cause the Patriot act preatty much takes all of your rights away...Including 2nd amendment. You just need a little signature from the president and, BAM! They could even (legally)torture you if they wanted to.

This will likely not happen in America as a whole because, 1)- The way american democracies work make it harder for unelected officials to have this much power.
2)- Anybody that does try to regulate the internet or basic rights wouldn't get reelected.
3)- Staying in power is the whole point of being a politician.

yesah2858d ago (Edited 2858d ago )

i got a feeling of major backlash coming in the way of the British gov.


ye the patriot act does a major blow to freedoms pretty hard but its mostly just emergency precautions. If they actually did any of that stuff the media would be all over it, it would be political suicide to abduct someone for an hour nonetheless torture them. However i agree it should not be there in the first place.

SaiyanFury2858d ago (Edited 2858d ago )


You call Michael savage Hitler? In what way can you compare a patriotic American who believes that a nation's identity lies in it's borders, language, and culture, to a complete socialist facist like Hitler? He believes in freedom and not control. You say you're glad he's banned from Britain where he's been put on a list with murderers, terrorists, and criminals, when the man's only "crime" is defending free speech. Is Savage kind of staunch in his beliefs? I'll grant that, but in no way is he the next Hitler. He speaks for freedom, not control.

But hey, everyone's opinion is ultimately their own. Believe what you'd like. All I know is I see him from my own perspective, as you see him from yours. :)

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jack who2859d ago

how da f did you damn Brit's let this happen

GameOn2859d ago

I know F all about politics but I do know we have a Prime minister that nobody voted for. At the moment Britain is on its way down the plug hole and it sucks.

Darkstorn2859d ago

Penalties for the families of copyright infringers? Sounds like a bill simply meant to appease large corporations...I was hoping for some net neutrality stuff.

Defectiv3_Detectiv32858d ago

I heard somewhere they have millions of cameras, almost every traffic light has a camera on it. This new law doesn't surprise me at all.

-GametimeUK-2859d ago

Oh wait... I am


-GametimeUK-2859d ago

You guys dont want to see me disconnected from the interwebs right?

Xlll2859d ago

I wouldn't mind that actually

HolaTarola2859d ago

You're along with "Halo3 MLG Pro" one of the most annoying Xbox fanboys I've ever read.. Really kid, believe me when I say that we all would LOVE to see you disconnected of the interwebs..

JD_Shadow2859d ago (Edited 2859d ago )

Gametime, I'm not going to play the console war here. NO ONE should get kicked off of the internet because these wacko politicians don't know when enough is enough. As much as I think you're wrong on a lot of issues and as much as I think you troll a lot, I wouldn't want to see you get kicked off the net.

But now a LOT of you people understand what some of the people that got their 360 consoles banned from Xbox Live feel. You see, this is the PERFECT example of the "guilty before proven innocent", overpowering sort of thing that everyone is scared about happening at some point. The EFF would have a goddamned field day if America got a bill like this introduced.

Worst thing about it is that the end users scream from mountaintops for their representatives to at least LISTEN to them before making laws like this, and they instead don't even give them the chance to SPEAK while giving every sort of chance to the people that whine when they get a million dollars instead of a million and one.

Worst thing is that some of the people in the entertainment industry DON'T want this to happen. Some music artists don't think this is the right idea, but the very same labels they are signed to get to sue away. The reason why artists don't sue when someone downloads one of their songs: they don't see much of the money from album sales (their REAL money makers are concert tickets). Most of the money goes to the fat cat record companies. So, in short, a song you download is going to lose the artist...probably two cents. I know it's this way in the States, and I can imagine it working this way in the UK, too.

Problem is that this whole thing about rewarding the fat cats with ways to make them even FATTER has gotten to the point in which it is out of control, and the people who suffer from sh!t like this have absolutely no voice because of the overreaching laws that everyone seems to not want to do anything about or choose to defend. And if you Americans don't think this can happen here, think again!

I wonder if there's an EFF-type grassroots organization in Britain that would go after this kind of thing. Sadly, GT, getting kicked off the internet would be a tame punishment compared to some of the sh!t THIS law is saying they could do (letting the government decide the sentence? How would you like to be sentenced to DEATH for copyright infringement? Believe it or not, since there's no ceiling to how harsh a penalty can be...)

cLiCK_sLiCK92859d ago

Every law has its ups and downs...**looks at GametimeUK*cough*

mastiffchild2859d ago

As I write and record music I'm a memeber of both royalty collecting services in the UK-and, yes, I DO lose out through illegal D/Ls of songs I wrote and performed on, there's no two ways about that. However, I also probabl;y sell more as well as a result of people sharing files. People get interested and generally want the legal copy to support you(if they're ina position to buy them in the first place and if they weren't I'm not losing anything, am I?)and often, as collectors, want the physical vynil or VD copy to voot. It's just the revord VOMPAIES who support tripe like this and Mandy is just pandering to Dave Geffen over this as he foolishly thinks he's going to make a killing for the Govt with tax on all these future sales via taxes like CAT and by scraping fines in from the, by law anyway, still innocent punters! Why is Geffen being allowed to set the agenda in Brtitish politics by allowing slimy old Mandy to treat himself to sun, milk and cookies at Geffens place in Greece?Isn't this, like, worse than "cash for questions" ever was?

Just don't think, for a second, that even half of the musos in the world support this kind of crap. Metallica might, but not any band that hasn't stopped acting as a creative force and sold their soul to the EMIs of this world or the Sonys of this world. They told us in the 80's that "home taping is killing music"- and they lied. They're lying now and this isn't for the artist, it's for the recording company who are always too greedy and too out of touch to see just how to use anything new to thjem. Mandy and the constantly prying UK government(doesn't matter whether it's Tory or "Labour" these days as one is just a weter version of the other and it's disgraceful when the Lib Dems are the furthest party to the left of British politics and Lavour has totally deserted the people it was created to protect al for the lust of cheap, meaningless, sold out power.

Funny how all these MPs found it fine to fiddle thousands out of the tax payer in expense yet when a kid downloads a song he probably can't afford to buy anyway(and by doingf so advertises it to his mates who maybe VAN afford to thus stimulating sales anyway)his whole family are liable for being cut off and a massive fine? Cravonian does NOT cover it at all.

Yuo walk past 27 CCTV cameras used by the council and [police on the way to my kids junior school in semi rural Cumbria. Noone gets mugged or stabbed where I live. Why the cameras? Are they worth the expense in the unlikely even that there's a murder/terorist attack here? Or, as it seems, is the government interested in any info about anyone they can find to fit them up, allow business to target them and allow police to watch us from afar while not doing their preventative job? IDK but I don't see how anyone has the right to read ALL my email and see all my texts-but that's exactly what they're trying to get through AS WELL as this crap-plus it's already happening. The police in the UK can trace and see ALL your text activity if they wish-legally only meant to if they're charging you with something but as it's up to them to put you on vail anyway that basically means they can look first, midunderstand anything and THEN justify lookng when they charge you with a bogus trump up just to legitimate trying to use private info for prosecutions!

This goes WAY neyond wanting to get Sony more royalties and the politicos more tax from the poorest members of society. And how will it work anyway? Kids download songs and then share them bia bletooth or whatever on their phones-if they wanted to do it legally they ould still do so and cheat the record company or artist anyway so all Mandy is after is our money and after taking away yet another human right int the UK. It's JUST like BB. Only it's worse because it's real and our set of politicians are way worse, way greedier and power hungry than anything Orwell dreamed up. It's modern UK and sadly I'm part of it. Part of a country where they STILL lie about why they send our boys to die in the poppy fields of Afghanistan and we=here we allowed them to take every freedom we once had and use them against us-and all after hetting our forefathers to die batlling the same kind of regime in the shape of Hitlers mob. Yes, he was worse, more racist and evil but what if someone like him rises to power now in the UK? They wouldn't even HAVe to state their policies publicly when anyone is removable via this law and without trial or proof of guilt!

Think about it and lobby your MP or, better, the more trustworthy HoL who might well tell Mandy that this is the massive pi55take it really looks like it is. It's just more tools to control us, keep us in our little boxes and earn off us while metering out exactly what they think is OK for us to see and what isn't. We're no freer than the people we're supposedly liberating in the middle east. It's just that their leaders get caught being out of order and ours are better liars about justifying and covering up what they do. Who sold the majority of the weaopns that the Taliban uses to shoot UK and US forces? Who gave the Taliban the guns? WE DID. When the USSR as there we decided this woman beating bunch of tosspots were GREAT and tooled them right up-so, when did we decide these lovely chaps weren't on our side anymore?

You couldn't make this crap up and sadly all everyone in the UK will do is apathetically ignore it til we're even more controlled by these fools. THe greed is overwhelming.

bjornbear2859d ago

I love the fact that you're british. Everyone else, sorry to hear =(

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2859d ago
tplarkin72859d ago

We need to take a stand against out of control government tentacles before they strangle us.

RememberThe3572859d ago

That's kind of a narrow minded statement. Out of control government is out of control government. Big government is big government. They are not the same and do not necessarily give way to each other.

A small government can be just as intrusive as a large government. What is needed is regulation from the people. If you don't like what your democratic government is doing blame the people.

dktxx22859d ago

government needs to be in control sometimes. Imagine a police force being run for profit, or fire fighters charging money to do what they do. it would be bad. you're right that the british government is overstepping their boundaries here, if that's what you were trying to say, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't have any power.

PirateThom2859d ago

Yeah, this isn't about government size or anything like that, it's basically corrupt, unelected politicians dictating laws by corporate sponsors.

tplarkin72859d ago

Less government is more freedom. The ratio of freedom is inversely proportional to the force of government. But, you have to be brave to embrace freedom in a sinful and confusing world.

Consoldtobots2859d ago

maybe now people will understand firsthand what those who wrote our Constitution were trying to communicate to us. Take responsibility and run your own life or someone else will do it for you.

yesah2858d ago

Infringing on freedoms is necessary. But not in this case.

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