Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Queen's Government proves itself utterly clueless

The Government of the U.K. has released details of the proposal known as the Digital Economy Bill. The bill contains a number of proposals involving the maintenance and upgrade of the UK's national digital computer network. Lurking among other proposals that might be reasonable is, however, is the following clunker:
creating a robust legal and regulatory framework to combat illegal file sharing and other forms of online copyright infringement and give Ofcom a specific new responsibility to significantly reduce this practice, including two specific obligations on Internet Service Providers: the notification of unlawful activity and, for alleged serial-infringers, collation of data to allow rights holders to obtain court orders to force the release of personal details, enabling legal action to be taken against them;
As discussed here, this will require internet service providers to serve as the entertainment syndicates' private copyright cops. Lousy public policy all around.

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