Sunday, April 11, 2010

Digital Economy act - the aftermath

So, the Digital Economy Bill is now the Digital Economy Act, and is part of the law of the land. What difference will it make? The main change is that more ordinary people will get wise to encryption and VPNs. Only the record industry and the technical dunderheads in favour of the bill - step forward Parliament's top Roy Cropper lookalike Stephen Timms (look at the picture, Hayley's on the front bench too) who doesn't understand IP addresses, but still feel happy to legislate on them - could have thought it would solve the problem of illegal downloading. Everything will just go further underground, and the futile attempts to pin blame on anyone will just end up costing a fortune. It's like trying to build a defence against a nuclear warhead from plywood. Have I changed my tune? Not really. Fighting the Bill and following the progress of the truncated travesty of a debate was necessary, worthwhile and, let's be frank, a big old shitload of fun. And it led thousands of technically-literate and music-loving youngsters to watch BBC Parliament for hours on end, which can only be a good thing for the future of democracy and political engagement. For every one who thought "What the fuck are those old fuckers playing at? Include me out", another will have thought "What the fuck are those old fuckers playing at? Let's get involved". Right, I'm off to download MP3s of Stephen Timms' Parliamentary speeches. Illegally. Go me.

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