What the digital economy bill means for you as a copyright holder. I am a holder of copyright. I do sell music online. this new digital economy bill ( #debill ) is going to change the way the internet works. forever.

the internet is our legacy to the children, not of today, but of a thousand years. much like the wheel is to us today.

this is going to be a very long post. =|

  • what is the digital economy bill?

the digital economy bill is a set of laws that have been rushed through the uk chambers on the last two days of parliment. you can see all the stuff that google has on it via this link and here is the bills page on parliament.uk and here is the actual bill

  • what is covered in the digital economy bill ?

the digital economy bill covers lots of media. all things digital – form TV to radio and the internet. it also covers copyright.

  • will I get banned if I go on youtube ?

yes, and no. you may get banned if you upload a video that contains content tht you do not own, or have the rights to distribute. eg, if you put up a video with a song form your favourite band then the copyright holder has the right to send a letter to OFCOM requesting that they track you down, via your ISP and send you a letter telling you to stop. if you do not comply then you are effectively shut off the internet.

  • what if they get the wrong person?

there is no appeals process, there is no judge and jury, you do have other remits, but in the mean time you are still banned,

  • isnt that against the european human rights acts?

hopefully

  • what does this mean for me (as a musician, or record label)

well, it means that you can get people kicked off the internet at their own expense if they are sharing millions of copies of your stuff. but do you want to do that ? who will come to your gigs if noone knows your music?

  • is bittorrent illegal now?

no, bittorrent is a transport method, like a van. its not my fault if your van is full of bootleg dvd’s. mine is full of touring gear.

  • is google going to be blocked like in china?

it *MAY* be – check this link out for more info on google’s stance on the matter – in summary “Clause 8 grants the secretary of state for business the power to block “a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright”


4 Comments

Jacko · April 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thanks for the overview. From what you write it sounds like as a copyright holder you are not overly impressed with the bill.

The bill appears to be a sign of things to come… the ACTA treaty is around the corner which looks to implement same/similar copyright rules internationally. They are doing it as a treaty as generally treaties get around various national human right laws etc. They have been arranging the ACTA treaty behind closed doors with little media attention.

3 strikes and you’re out.

Jacko

jonathan · April 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm

im not overly impressed with it, basically it gives all the powers to the big media companies, who can get you (or your company) thrown off the internet on an accusation (false or otherwise) with no overview from the courts. its not fair, or impartial. which is (hopefully) against our european human rights!
im all for control of piracy, but not this way.

Jacko · April 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

If you don’t like the UK one wait for ACTA. :)

How do you think it should be done?

    jonathan · April 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    thats the thing, im not sure what to do – on one hand its good to give stuff for free so that people discover your music, on the other hand you need to make money to eat. all i know is that what they are doing will have a bigger negative effect on the creativity that drives the very industry they are trying to protect than anything else would. everything is run by the internet for the internet these days – commerce, communication, education, health. everything except policing, and they have just given all the powers of the sheriff to the guy with the black hat on. welcome to the wild west days of the internet…