Digital Britain Bill Reactions Mixed

The international music companies are singing its praises from the rooftops but the passing of the Digital Economy Bill is unlikely to end the furor that’s surrounded it.

The British Phonographic Industry has called it a landmark decision, while the UK Internet Services Providers Association says it’s flawed legislation that was hastily rushed through parliament.

An ISPA statement said the service providers are “extremely disappointed” that the Conservative front bench allowed the bill to be pushed through. The statement said the bill is “in many ways is disproportionate, unworkable and will serve only to preserve failing business models and prevent new innovative lawful models of distributing content online.”

The speedy manner in which the bill was passed through parliament has been described as “undemocratic” by various ISPs, politicians and Internet freedom advocates.

“TalkTalk will continue to battle against these oppressive proposals – they will require secondary legislation before they can be implemented,” said a company statement.

The company has spoken out against the DEB’s proposed measures for dealing with persistent file-sharers since its inception.

It says it doesn’t have an issue with sending out warning letters to Internet pirates as long as the letter is educational in tone, but refuses to be forced by the government to comply with the technical measures such as capped bandwidth or broadband disconnection.

There are also increasing fears that law firms may hone in on innocent Web users who don’t illegally download. The Guardian highlighted examples of people who’ve been wrongfully accused.

Heaney believes “the essential flaw” is that copyright holders can link piracy to IP addresses, which can be matched to a household’s Internet account.

He says there could be several people using an IP address, including members of a family, visitors, neighbours, or “somebody more unscrupulous.”