08 April 2010

Bye, bye British Internet

Sorry to be a bit of a downer today, but when you're a book history dweeb living in the UK, and Parliament drastically changes the course of media history in one fell swoop, it's hard not to pipe up.

The skinny: in the rushed run-up to a general election, the UK Parliament just passed the "Digital Economy Bill," an absolute goat-rope bit of legislation that essentially gives copyright owners the power to ban households from the internet with little or no burden of proof. Currently, copyright owners can already blackmail consumers with spurious lawsuits and indiscriminate takedown notices. Now, they can ramp their blackmail up with the threat of revoking your citizenship in the digital world.

Chalk this up as reason #2 why I'm glad I'm leaving in August.

(Reason #1 = more and better jobs elsewhere.)

What's even more disappointing is that the EU Parliament recently stepped back from similar regulations, and over the last few weeks it looked like the UK's Digital Economy Bill might go down in flames.

In other news, this does mean that the US gets to give up the title of "Most Draconian Copyright Regime" for at least a little while, until our Congrescritters catch up with their brethren from across the pond.

You can read more on BoingBoing and the Telegraph.

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