Illegal file sharing - Number 10 petition goes live to fight the future

Peter Mandelson - as clumsy with fil sharers as he is with hot leek and potato soup

We've been hearing for weeks about the Government's plans to disconnect internet users who indulge in a spot of illegal file-sharing, which according to some have more gaping holes than a hen night in Hull. Perhaps they're not quite phrasing it like that. Two of the biggest concerns are that if the Digital Economy Bill is introduced as it stands, users would be cut off from their ISPs and potentially criminalised without trial, and there's no way to discern whether a user has had their wi-fi hijacked by a third party - a relatively straight forward procedure.

Lord Mandelson, the Government minster who inspired the Barry Manilow's 1975 classic, is hellbent on pushing the plans through despite reasonably critical opposition. And of course the music industry, which have been rattling on for such legislation for years without taking a moment to consider that a combination of its own actions (and inaction) has created its own demise, is delighted with the news. Says the body that represents the interests of record labels, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI):

“It is good news for fans of British music that Government is now introducing legislation to tackle illegal downloading. The creative sector in the UK needs new measures implemented urgently that address this problem for now and the future if the UK is to lead Europe in giving consumers innovative and high quality digital entertainment.”

The campaign against the plans becoming law is growing quickly; even some service providers have sworn to fight them. We recently told you of the Open Rights Group's attempt to send a message to Mandelson, and now an online petition has been created on Downing Street's official website, which already has nearly over 8,000 signatures and features other heavyweight voices of reason such as Stephen Fry. It's worth a look and a signature, if you'd rather the Government stopped pissing about with draconian mandates, as if the internet dates back to the 18th century, and put some serious vision and thought into the digital future of the country.


  • James
    "signitures" & "signiture"? Someone should have taken an English language gcse before strarting up a blog.
  • Stradders
    "more gaping holes than a hen night in Hull." Like it :D
  • James
    and with that i typo'd strarting, lol.
  • H-dog
    hmm you have to give you address in order to sign. I wonder who they are going to check first when this is passed!!!
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Hmmmm should I give my e-mail and address to the government when complaining about illegal filesharing?!!?!??!
  • Rosey
    @James "Someone should have taken an English language gcse before strarting up a blog." "strarting"? - brilliant! Its one thing to be pedantic, but to be pedantic and then mess it up yourself, well thats just priceless. Bit embarrasing!
  • Gah
    @Rosey # Posted by James | November 23rd, 2009 at 1:01 pm "and with that i typo’d strarting, lol." Having identified his mistake, he quickly owned up. Not that embarrasing.
  • James
    And stealing my name for posts is just another step too far. I imagine it could be a coincidence that we are both called James, but really what are the odds of that?
  • yoyo
    i thought james was being ironic lol
  • mark
    you have to register your name and address for every petition on the number 10 website, not just illegal filesharing
  • Nobby
    > you have to register your name and address for every petition on the number 10 website, not just illegal filesharing Yeah, and anyone that signs a petition against anything to do with the government gets a visit from Mandelson. During the night. With a club hammer. Wearing a ski mask.
  • blagga
    None of this ridiculous Bill has anything to do with Mandy being rimmed by David Geffen does it? Nooooo, of course it doesn't.
  • Spencer
    The smart money is on newsgroups and proxy servers. For as little as a few pounds a month you can download as much illegal material as you want, completely anonymously at the absolute maximum speeds your connection can handle. For those of you still using limewire/torrents.... that's Saaaa.....aaaaa......aaaaad! Much like the major games companies have found out with their system software updates..... You cannot and will not defeat the pirates. If a programmer can make it, then a pirate will break it. The sooner 'the industry' gets that the better, you'd have thought that they'd learnt by now huh? first it was napster. The ensuing legal battle got it closed. That opened up audiogalaxy, that got fought and closed down, then opened kazaa and bearshare, they're still going but are poisoned with virus after virus, so then came torrents, which are still the preferred method.... and now coming under fire, so what on earth is it that makes them think that this time.... this time they'll crack the problem for good? Sorry but they wont. they'll just move it on. As I said, newsgroups are the next step, then once they go after those, newsgroups on proxy servers will be used, then beyond that probably a dropbox style method will be developed. and so on and so on and so on.
  • zeddy
    Is Mandy trying to find change to pay for the spungle he ordered?
  • Hi O.
    Please, Please Bitterwallet, it is *not* illegal. It is unlawful. Please stop spreading this misinformation. illegal = criminal act being commited, e.g. assault, fraud, robbery, murder, etc. Unlawful = civil infringement: contractual dispute, copyright infringement, etc. An unlawful act could turn into a criminal one, for example if the courts got involved and you got fined and ordered to pay up and you didn't. Unlawful and Illegal are two completely different things, please don't mix them up....
  • Kevin
    It's the lack of a proper legal response/protection that gets me, not the idea behind it.
  • Mandy B.
    Hi from orange - if you are file SHARING then you are committing a criminal offence, which is illegal. If you are merely downloading you are committing a civil offence (tort) which is unlawfaul.
  • Copyright B.
    [...] as the masters of social media look to rob us of our privacy, our government dreams up new ways to punish unlawful downloading and the traditional dead tree media crumbles to dust. Now adding to the fracas is the House of [...]
  • Emil K.
    I fear PM, the most powerful unelected deputy since Henry VIII appointed Cardinal Wolsey
  • MyspaceGirl
    awesome blog, that made my love box drenched!!

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