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

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):

Bitterwallet - what does the IP in IP address stand for, then?

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.



  • Thomas J.
    Jesus did indeed weep... ah well, politicians in 'no fucking clue' shocker. Again.
  • Nobby
    It's also stamped 32 February. Then stamped again 23 February.
  • Klingelton
    should the bill be classed as null and void due to gross incompetance on a part of the idiot that wrote the document?
  • Nobby
    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.
  • meeb
    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.
  • Paul S.
    Cheers meeb, I've updated the source. Quite a scoop to get!
  • cheese
  • meeb
    NP :) The original link was http://meeb.org/post/505849844/i-wrote-to-my-mp-two-weeks-ago-regarding-my-shock
  • zeddy
    @Klingelton: did you mean incompetence?
  • Konamikode
    For real? And these people are in charge? Im suprised they didn't just say Inbred Plonker and be done with it!
  • bobski
    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.
  • Chris
    @ 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...
  • Cock n.
    @bobski "how to use and apostrophe." How ironi'c
  • alison75
    If ever there was a case to use WTF IS DIS REAL?...
  • Tim
    Oh my goodness!If these are really the people leading us, we're doomed.
  • Thomas J.
    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?
  • Mark
    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'.
  • james
    @ 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 :(
  • 10 B.
    [...] what ‘IP’ in ‘IP address’ stands for. If they don’t, point out that MP Stephen Timms doesn’t either, and he’s the minister responsible for the Digital Economy [...]
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    @Mark 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.
  • Paul N.
    @Mark 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.
    [...] makes me wonder: now that the Digital Economy has been passed by clueless gits in the Parliament (“IP address” means internet protocol, not intellectual property, Mr Politician), how would that badly drafted “copyright infringement” clause affect this kind of [...]
  • Labour B.
    [...] many MPs couldn’t have cared less about, apart from the minister responsible for the bill not knowing what an IP address was – we now have [...]
  • Digital b.
    [...] concerns about usage rights in order to take a cheap swipe at his blog. But then you read this letter – sent out in Timms’ name, although conceivably written on his behalf – in which he defines [...]
  • ants
    3g Dongles will be our last resort ..... I love this country..... What is my intellectual property address? Haha
  • kenny t.
    OMG Cnt belive we got idiots like that running the country.
  • Jake
    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...
  • Marc
    @Paul 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.
  • NEWS: i.
    [...] the Minister for Digital Britain seems to be a little unclear about what the IP in IP address stands [...]
  • Tommie M.
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  • Stephen
    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.
  • The D.
    [...] To make matters worse, most of the people involved in the bill i.e. politicians and MPs are falling over each other to display their enormous ignorance and incompetence in matters digital. Confusing IP (address) with IP (Intellectual property) is something I would expect from my parents who are recent consumers of internet services. Not from someone who’s designation reads Minister for Digital Britain. Especially not when it was in writing! [...]
  • Columbus D.
    As a musician myself, I appreciate what you're doing here... thanks! I'll keep reading!!!
  • Christian
    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? Regards Christian

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