Disastrous Digital Economy Bill

If I’m honest I’m a bit useless when it comes to politics and causes. There are some things that I am passionate about but they exist in a different little box in my head than it is appropriate to share on this blog. That said the disastrous Digital Economy Bill is currently being pushed through Parliament and this is something that strikes me as beyond stupid and possibly something that will completely kneecap the digital industry in the UK. I’m not sure how on one hand we can have a Government supportive of open data and open source (ish) and then on the other hand try and implement such a short-sighted, stupid law that seems to have no point other than to prop up ailing industries whose business model is increasingly a thing of the past.

I used the rather clever 38 Degrees site to write to my MP to encourage him to do all he can to at least stall the bill. I’m sure anyone reading this will have done this already but if not then I encourage you to do so.

Cory Doctorow has been pretty consistently breaking the interesting news on this topic over on Boing Boing and seems to have mobilized the Twitter troops but a pretty one-sided BBC Panorama probably didn’t help the cause with the man/woman on the street who aren’t aware of the bigger picture.

One of the particularly idiotic side-effects of this bill is that it could prevent cafes etc from offering free wi-fi to customers as the penalties for misuse of their networks would be so serious. This would be a nightmare both for those businesses and a whole generation of nomadic web workers.

To end on something a little less depressing here is a video produced as a part of the campaign to stop this bill from Don’t Disconnect Us – the last 30 seconds or so are particularly amusing.

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