Friday, April 09, 2010

British Parliament passes controversial Digital Economy Bill

As Canada begins to take yet another look at updating our copyright laws, systems and regulations for the digital age, those tasked with drafting new legislation will inevitably be looking around the world to see what everyone else is doing.

This week, Britain's ruling Labour Party gained enough support from the opposition Conservatives to pass the Digital Economy Bill with a decisive 189 to 47 vote.

Debate on the DEB caused a predictable public rumble as creative industry professionals and consumer rights advocates disagreed about what should and shouldn't be in the legislation.

Here are some links to various viewpoints on the DEB:

Canadian Intellectual Property lawyer James Gannon gives a nice synopsis of some of the more controversial elements of the legislation.

The BBC provides some video clips of the Parliamentary debate.

The Guardian's Mark Sweney writes about the Conservatives' "reluctant" support for the DEB.

And, in an ill-fated attack on potential disconnection aspects of the legislation, Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow provides a last ditch campaign video for those opposed to the DEB, comparing the Internet to water on the scale of importance to humanity.

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