Digital Economy Bill – Everyday Things That Could Disappear

The Digital Economy Bill has been shoved through and, if taken to the letter could remove things that we take for granted on the interweb.

Ok – so it’s a given that accessing copyrighted music and films is a no-no but we already knew that. The bill wants to make it more difficult to access copyrighted content by blocking sites built around sharing the stuff.

If a site that freely shared music, etc before but has since gone legit (Napster for instance) it could still be slammed as the bill targets sites that have infringed copyright in the past.

Starbucks et al had better read the bill very carefully as open Wi-Fi could get tricky. The store or even your workplace could be classed as a subscriber to a service just as Starbucks subscribes to BT Openzone. This means that the coffee shop, bar, takeaway, etc faces liability for the actions of users. The bill specifically exempts libraries and universities just in case you were wondering.

Could you imagine YouTube without all that copyrighted material? Many a night I’ve whiled away the time with friends checking out classic 80’s rock and pop vids. Granted it seems that YouTube is pretty swift at getting rid of copyrighted stuff when it’s pointed out to them but there’s still stacks of it still on there. It could be bye-bye YouTube and perhaps even Google! Well, if you think about it Google searches torrents and by following government ‘logic’ that makes it a file-sharing tool – naughty Google!!

My favourite is a clause that allows sites to be blocked that are deemed ‘likely to‘ infringe copyright. Errrm….. is that kinda spooky? How is anyone going to predict what might happen?

I may have got the wrong end-of-the-stick but that’s what my initial understanding of what I’ve gathered so far.

Is there something I’m missing? Have I actually misunderstood bits/it all?

Let me know.

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