The Digital Economy Bill has been passed, bugger. It should come as no surprise though that is was passed, in the so called ‘wash-up’ period before Parliament closes for the election run-in any bills that can get rushed through without full consideration do so. It is a sign of the state of our political system that Lord Mandelson (an un-elected peer) now has 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” (thanks to RPS)
One of the most galling factors in this bill being passed is that less than half of the total number of MPs bothered to turn up to vote. What gets me on a personal level is that my MP, who supposedly understood my concerns about the DEB didn’t bother to vote.
As James Graham writes in The Guardian the Lords did little to challenge and scrutinise the bill: “Rather than hear evidence from all sides in the debate in the way most democratic senates around the world do, the Lords’ own self-importance lead them to fall back on their own inadequate experience instead.” You can read more about the mess the Lords got in here.
This bit from the Pirate Party is amusing, it highlights how the Labour and Conservative parties both infringed on copyright laws with their Ashes to Ashes poster malarkey. Isn’t that the kind of thing the DEB is all about stopping?
The passing of the DEB is bad politics all round, fortunately there is a General Election just a few weeks away; hopefully this bill can be changed in the Parliament. Hopefully.