What does the IP in ‘IP address’ stand for? Ask Stephen Timms

April 8th, 2010 34 Comments By Paul Smith

If you need conclusive proof of how wrong the passing of the Digital Economy Bill was, check out this reply sent to an MP by Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Oh, and he’s also the Minister for Digital Britain (click on the image below to see the full letter):

Picture 51 500x100 What does the IP in IP address stand for? Ask Stephen Timms

Whether it was sent on Timms’ behalf or otherwise, it certainly suggests that the people deciding the digital future of the country haven’t the first clue about the laws they’ve just passed. Pardon my French, but Jesus fucking wept. Please be a fake.


Comments (34) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Jesus did indeed weep… ah well, politicians in ‘no fucking clue’ shocker. Again.

  2. Posted by Nobby April 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    It’s also stamped 32 February. Then stamped again 23 February.

  3. Posted by Klingelton April 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    should the bill be classed as null and void due to gross incompetance on a part of the idiot that wrote the document?

  4. Posted by Nobby April 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Note also that they do it by downloading a copy of the material. So if you don’t share but only download, then you don’t get caught. So if foreigners share and UK users only download, they will not get caught. And surely by doing this, they could also be breaking the law by downloading copyright material (if it becomes law) if they don’t own the copyright. So if fake file names are used, then they would be downloading material for which someone else owns the copyright, hence they would be breaking the law.

  5. Alas, it’s not fake. I received this letter (original source) from my MP.

    You can read the discussion where the scan originated at http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/bo623/i_wrote_to_my_mp_2_weeks_ago_regarding_the_de/

    Be afraid.

  6. Cheers meeb, I’ve updated the source. Quite a scoop to get!

  7. Posted by cheese April 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm



  8. Posted by zeddy April 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    @Klingelton: did you mean incompetence?

  9. For real? And these people are in charge? Im suprised they didn’t just say Inbred Plonker and be done with it!

  10. Posted by bobski April 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Almost as shocking as someone who writes for a website not knowing how to use and apostrophe.
    If his surname is Timms – it’s Timms’, not Timm’s
    Jesus wept.

  11. Posted by Chris April 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    @ Meeb

    I see that you’ve sent it to the BBC etc as well? Be sure to keep us/BW informed if it actually is published elsewhere – Be curious to see how many people you can reach about this… Morons should not be allowed to be in charge of something they know nothing about.

    Then again, look at the government as it is…

  12. Posted by Cock nose April 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm


    “how to use and apostrophe.”

    How ironi’c

  13. Posted by alison75 April 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    If ever there was a case to use WTF IS DIS REAL?…

  14. Oh my goodness!If these are really the people leading us, we’re doomed.

  15. Tiny little bit of research led me to this: http://twitter.com/stephenctimms

    Anyone fancy telling the bloke in charge that he hasn’t got a fucking clue?

  16. Posted by Mark April 9, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Regardless of the amusing (or not) mistake in knowing what ‘IP’ stands for in this context – and incidentally, each IP address may also be regarded as a unique piece of ‘Intellectual Property’ – these comments miss the point about the worthwhile aims of the whole Bill. Theft is theft, even when it has modish names like ‘file-sharing’.

  17. Posted by james April 9, 2010 at 10:10 am

    @ Mark

    Which bit is worthwhile?

    There is no possible way of preventing electronic data being passed between people. If it cant be done online then it can simply be copied and swapped by USB key or secure connection programs such as remote desktop.

    Fact is that the music and film industry have done extremely well out of consumers by charging exorbitant prices for cheaply packaged crap. DVD and Album prices were outrageous and it’s only on the back of ‘file-sharing’ that prices have become much more reasonable.

    The music industry needs to concentrate more on live performances and merchandising for their income streams and the movie industry on offering better value for money. Mind you taking three kids to see Alice in Wonderland, some popcorn and drinks came to just £55, what a bargain :(

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  19. Posted by IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay April 9, 2010 at 10:33 am


    Fuck off and go wank over your anti-piracy videos. Inbred cretin.

    The issue, is this shitty bill has huge civil liberty and privacy issues. And the people that are putting it together do not have the slightest idea as to what and why they are doing it. They’ve been paid off by people in the media industry to do something.

    Fact is, they’ve never proven that piracy even actually costs the industry – in many ways it helps it. Most of the Xbox 360′s success over the PS3 was down to the ability to pirate 360 games. This massively grew the userbase which assisted in its popularity. This not only encouraged more people to buy them but also many of the pirates who would never have owned the 360 were buying the systems and games to play online etc.

    I would put money on if the 360 was not able to have been hacked, the PS3 would have won this console generation by far.

  20. Posted by Paul Nikkel April 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm


    I think you’re missing the point. The anti-piracy argument is clouding the real problems with this bill which are the infringements on privacy and skewing of standard legal liability.

    No “pirate” is upset and arguing about this bill because of concerns that copyright content will be locked off from them. They’re already using private trackers, usenet and vpn so the real world implications are nill.

    So basically in the end what we have is an extreme challenge to the standard laws of England and no real world change in what the music industry is trying to fight.

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  24. Posted by ants April 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    3g Dongles will be our last resort …..

    I love this country….. What is my intellectual property address? Haha

  25. Posted by kenny t April 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    OMG Cnt belive we got idiots like that running the country.

  26. Posted by Jake April 12, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    The bill is a pile of shit, but I don’t think you can read too much into this letter. I know for a fact (because I’ve done it) that in the civil service a lot of form reply letters are sent out by low level admin people and even temps. The text should have been checked of course, but it’s possible it was checked with abbreviations, then someone said to the admin monkey at the last minute ‘Oh just make sure we’ve expanded all abbreviations’.

    It shows a certain level of incompetence for sure, but let’s accuse this government of worse things than incompetence…

  27. Posted by Marc April 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm


    While you’re right, I also think this whole “piracy” is dreadfully overblown. Copyright infringement is not “piracy” – piracy is stopping ships at sea, slaughtering and/or torturing and/or raping the passengers and crew, stealing the cargo and scuttling the vessels. Knocking off a copy of a CD is not really in the same league, and I for one think we should challenge this ridiculous hyperbole whenever it’s mentioned.

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  30. Posted by Stephen April 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    In fact, parts of the record industry now wants to stop people using the word “pirate” to describe what’s actually a “copyright infringer” because it’s become too cool. Once both sides start saying “that doesn’t really refer to what we’re talking about, does it?” it’s got to be time to stop using it.

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  32. As a musician myself, I appreciate what you’re doing here… thanks! I’ll keep reading!!!

  33. Posted by Christian April 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    A very interesting leak here, as im using it in my legal dissertation,
    does anyone know of the link to the publication in the Guardian or any other online news source?


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