There has been an over reaction to the bill. I understand how some people were annoyed at:
- How fast it was rushed through.
- The number of MPs who turned up to debate it.
For the first point, i fully agree, it was rushed through when it shouldn’t have been, a number of amendments could even be debated for this reason, and there are some slight issues that were raised in the debates about the bill, and i think this is going to lead to a number of amendments to it afterwards.
The second point is not valid, that’s the average number of people who turn up to debate a bill, sometimes its even less (yes i know I’m sad, but i watch a fair bit of BBC Parliament, its interesting honest 🙂 ) and 650 people debating the bill would have been overkill, it would have been overkill if 100 people had been debating it.
Now before i go any further lets just make this clear: Piracy is wrong, it is stealing, and that most users of sites like the pirate bay, are breaking the law.
Now i have pirated stuff before, sometimes in a legitimate reason, like when I’m repairing a laptop or pc for someone, they have valid license codes, but they no longer have the disks, i have to download them, and i think that while it is technically illegal, its a fair use in my opinion.
The other things i pirate are music and TV shows, and the odd movie, now my reasoning about this:
- There is not an affordable, convenient, preferably DRM free service that i can access. Yes there is Spotify and iTunes, but these have their issues. iTunes and its store are not affordable. Spotify is closer, you can pay for premium features, and to have adverts but it is streaming and doesn’t work so well with portable, and multiple devices. I have seen the Zune subscription and it is closer to what i want, but its not in UK
- Convenience and getting what i want. As a student in the UK i cannot get access to many American channels to watch American TV shows (not to mention the time zone issues), i also cannot download them, and why should i have to wait a year or so for the DVDs or even longer for them to be aired somewhere in the UK, what i want is a service that will let me download each episode as close to when it is aired as possible, for a reasonable price (maybe £1 for a 20-30 minute episode like the Simpsons, and more for longer episodes like CSI), if i could do this, i would.
- Non physical mediums, i do not want to have to buy a DVD, i don’t want the trailers, adverts, the special DVD extras, or copyright warnings, i just want the film, in a format that i can transfer across my many devices which can be used without a internet connection.
- If those services described existed, i wouldn’t pirate, i wouldn’t need to pirate, now while i suspect this is true for a number of pirates i would suspects that a fair number of pirates do it because they don’t want to pay for the content.
- Now lets get onto the serious issues in the bill that its opponents pick on. There is the “Clause 18” which allows with a Court Injunction to block a website, where it is begin used to infringe on copyright. People worry that this will be abused, but it requires consideration by a court (as far as i can understand from the rewritten clause, I’m not a lawyer), and the impact on legitimate users is to be taken into account. I think this part of the bill is reasonable, if you remove the sources of the illegal material, it makes it harder for people to pirate, if you remove the opportunity less people will do it.
- The other issue is the blocking people from the internet, in a 3 strikes type of law. People say this is unfair to people who don’t know what their kids do on the internet or don’t have properly protected wifi. There are ways of blocking P2P traffic, and as long as the first notifications of an infringement, include sources of information on how to do this, and i believe by the third letter, they will face more serious penalties, like having their connection restricted or even disconnected
I think this is fair, but only if they are treated as innocent, and a court finds them guilty before the measure takes place.
So yes i have a few minor objections but overall the bill generally makes good sense in my opinion.
On a side note, i saw a number of tweets this morning saying that that democracy had not been served, but in all honest there was not enough public action about the bill in its early stages, only in its final few days, also only 19,000 emails and letters sent to MP’s is not good enough, the top petitions on the goverments website get upto 200k+ supporters.
Hopefully the above post is fairly interesting and incite full, (i apologise for any grammar / spelling mistakes that i missed)