back to article Mandybill: All the Commons drama

Live TV and internet coverage allowed the nation to feel grubby as the Mandybill was shunted through the House of Commons late last night. The government’s replacement for Clause 18 – a catch-all illiberal web-blocking measure that few in the music business ever expected to survive – was approved, and the photographers cemented …


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  1. oldredlion

    Not surprised

    Those filthy bastards.

  2. Turbojerry

    The Great Firewall of Britain is born

    Not a surprise really, the only thing that could have stopped it would have been Guy Fawkes, I guess if we want open access to the Net we'll have to use a proxy service like the Chinese do.

  3. David Simpson 1

    The pain is calling, oh Mandy

    And Mandy's already sweet retirement plan gets alot bigger.

    Thanks for selling our rights down the river Lord Mandelson no-one voted for you anyway, welcome to encrypted P2P and in fact encrypted web traffic because who in their right mind wants private information deep packet inspected

    The internet arms race takes another step forward and all the MPs who voted this through have no idea whats it all about.

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    @ Andrew Orlowski

    On the 23rd of February you wrote an article entitled "The myth of three strikes". Perhaps it is time to revise that document to reflect this unfortunate reality?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Three Strikes is Still a Myth

      No, because Three Strikes is still a myth. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

      1. Smokey Joe

        To those downvoters...

        Those who have just downvoted Andrew's post are really missing the point here. The "three strikes" thing IS GONE! The bill does away with any need for three strikes and is far wider reaching.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: To those downvoters...

          The "...and you're out" of Three Strikes has gone. Permanent disconnections will not be a sanction.

          And since we don't know how many "strikes", Ofcom will choose to implement (after a year's consultation) then it's daft to even think in terms of Strikes or Threes. It's able to order some kind of technical measure, that's all.

          That's quite a victory from three years ago, people prefer want to keep the myth alive because it suits them. Keeps the donations rolling in.

          Augmented Reality trumps reality every time.

  5. Duke


    I find it slightly ironic that someone described as being "on our side" by a certain industry figure and proponent of the Bill (who shall remain nameless) is blaming the ORG who at least attempted to stop the unpleasant parts of it from going through (whether or not their methods were appropriate). Perhaps part of the failing of the ... well, you would call it "freetard", some might call it "copyright reform", "pirate" or "pro-rights" groups and movements is that they are so fractured; failing to unite and prevent a strong opposition.

    It took a couple of weeks and quite a large campaign for 38degrees to raise the £20,000 they needed for their (perhaps badly-worded) advertisement and yet the "Creative Coalition" was able to get a much shinier one knocked up in a couple of days. While it is clear that there is strong support for these ideals, until they can be united, I think we will see more days like today.

    Is it surprising that this Bill went through largely unchanged? No. [Although encouraging that at least Clause 43 and the extended licensing scheme fell - something close to what you criticised Tom Watson for suggesting] That doesn't mean it wasn't disappointing. It does make a fitting end to this government, though, having a bill such as this forced through in the manner it was in the last hours of parliament.

    1. Matt Bradley

      On the other hand

      "It took a couple of weeks and quite a large campaign for 38degrees to raise the £20,000 they needed for their (perhaps badly-worded) advertisement and yet the "Creative Coalition" was able to get a much shinier one knocked up in a couple of days"

      Some might argue that the reason funding and organisation was so difficult is that that many of those who will be directly affected by clause 18 / revised clause 1 are the kinds of people who don't like paying for stuff?

      On the other hand, Nominet and the ISPs had something to lose too,. but couldn't seem to get their voices heard.

      I think the problem is that a lot of the argument was along the lines of "copyright is broken - stuff should be free"

      From my won POV, I'd rather the argument had been - "Intellectual Property should be protected, but this bill is broken, and will not achieve the stated goal."

      Sadly, with organisations like PPUK doing the rounds, that latter argument gets drowned out somewhat by the former.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    ok now i just need a list of addresses of MPs who approved this shit, a big bag of bricks and a 'you're a cunt' stencil.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Cunts - Seconded...

      Any and all MPs canvassing on my doorstep will be asked one question - How did you vote on the digital economy bill. Any "yes" answer will be met with a swift slamming of the door, with the hope that it breaks their corrupt, Mandelson-supporting, face.

      Anon - don't want them MPs getting smart and avoiding my house...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        My tosspot MP

        Will be getting this treatment if he show up

    2. matt 115


      It'll be on the when its updated with all the new stuff

      1. seanj
        Thumb Up

        List of MPs...

        The meagre, pathetic list of 236 of 650 MPs who voted, having been dragged from their taxpayer subsidised bar by their party whips, is here:

        If you need anyone to chip in for the cost of the bricks, I'm in.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          236 may have voted

          But only about 10% of them were ever in the chamber. Ben Bradshaw who was in charge of the bill in the Commons couldn't even be bother to be there for the third reading because of a much more important commitment - appearing on Newsnight.

          The sheer cuntitude of both front benches is almost beyond belief. But I'm sure they'll console themselves safe in the knowledge that David Geffen and Feargal Sharkey will be able to buy a new LearJet.

          So who wants to bet how long it will be before someone in the media business is stupid enough to request a site be taken down because it might be used to infringe copyright at some point in the future?

          And how long before they find some reason to block WikiLeaks?

          1. PirateSlayer


   have to be over 18 to vote and your parents will want to speak to the politican while you rant away upstairs ripping off content on an encrypted way upstairs in your lair?

            I do agree with you though Mike regarding the blocking sites of sites like WikiLeaks and future thought crime. While I don't like this bill at all, I can't see how the government could have reacted in any other way to the wall of cretinous 'new business modellism I want everything for freeness' that they were presented with from an unrepentant (and militant in their own cute little way) pirating population.

    3. Winkypop Silver badge

      errrr yes, indeed

      what that chap said...

  7. Someone

    Wot, no statutory licensing?

    Andrew, all this time, I’d honestly thought you’d been advocating compulsory licensing. That’s the only way I can see your vision of lawful, licensed and monetised file-sharing happening. With it, Virgin Media’s offering wouldn’t still be on the drawing board. It’s not a negative. It’s a positive. It would force things forward. And, in a few decades’ time, people would find it hard to think of copyright being any other way, just as there’s a failure to think beyond the copyright laws of today.

    With regards Stop43, they had a much easier task. Even if you’d managed to convince the MPs that the quoted losses from the content industries are out by an order of magnitude, which they quite possibly are, even if you could convince them that the direct and indirect costs of clamping down on file-sharing will be similar to those true losses to the content industries, they’d still want extra legislation to hammer file-sharers.

    That MPs could perceive of file-sharing as an exuberance of youth is important. Their stance is partially a moral one, brought on by envy. When we were young, we taped stuff off the radio and from vinyl records. And with vinyl, we got both the crackles from the record and the hiss from the tape – it’s all so unfair. We couldn’t infringe copyright so flagrantly when we were young, so the youth of today aren’t doing it either.

    I still, however, agree with you about the Open Rights Group. There’s a touch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation about them. While often a force for good, sometimes Americans wish they’d be a little less ‘helpful.’

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Wot, no statutory licensing?

      Interesting points.

      The statutory/compulsory issue is a common confusion - not helped by the fact it means different things in different places.

      Virgin's P2P service didn't need a compulsory license. It was all voluntary, created through agreements between private parties, acting in enlightened self-interest.

      To make file sharing "legal", record companies agree to give up one of their exclusive rights, the right to make a copy of a sound recording, in exchange for an agreed share of the money. No law is needed, no rate board sets the price of music.

      I'm guilty of advocating a statutory in the past to make p2p legal, as a quick fix, that's true. I now think it isn't far on a lot of people, and the disadvantages and dangers far outweigh the advantages.

      1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

        "Enlightened self-interest"

        You'll have to go a long way to convince me there's much enlightened about self-interest. A lot of the problems our world faces today wouldn't be if people were capable of thinking beyond themselves. The "me and mine, and to hell with everyone else" attitude is [static].

        Suffice it to say, regardless of the "rights" that content owners would have to hand over as part of something like a statutory licence, it may well be the only path forward. That isn't a freetard viewpoint, it's someone looking for balance in copyright.

        Hey, I'm a content creator too. (Writer, not recording artist.) I have a day job as a sysadmin, but only because I don’t yet make enough writing to support myself full time. I have a vested interest in making sure that the “rights” of content creators trump those of everyone else’s.

        That said, I still think that we can’t go backwards; the internet’s power of distribution simply changes the game. We need to sit down and rethink intellectual property from top to bottom; the rights of content creators and of regular citizens need to be considered. What needs to occur to encourage more content to be created? What needs to occur to allow regular citizens convenient (but not necessarily ‘free’) access to the content that makes up their culture? What about educational, or satirical uses?

        Once all these questions have been answered then you set the laws, and let the business interests involved adapt or die. The interests of content /owners/ is not relevant anymore because they all too often simply aren’t the content creators. People don’t exist to serve business. Business adapts to fill available niches in the economy or they die.

        As a content creator, I feel that those who put their hard work into the creation of content need to be compensated for this time and effort. Without it, there is little incentive to continue creating content. By the same token, as a content consumer the current marketplace for content consumption is absolutely poisonous. Because of “enlightened self-interest” everyone involved wants an ever-increasing share of a diminishing pie. The folks at the top of the economy have been pulling money out of the system (with little if any reinvestment back into it) for decades. The folks who produce a widget, chunk of software or piece of content are under constant pressure to increase their profit more and more every year so that their stock values soar and yet more money can be pulled out of service.

        The consumers simply don’t have any more money to give, which results in lower sales. This in turn is used to create a huge scare around “piracy is costing elevnteen squillion dollars!” (Not every download is a lost sale.) All of this is in turn used as a lovely excuse to grant more “rights” to content owners, and fewer to content creators and consumers.

        I understand that you likely don’t agree with the above, Andrew. You will likely call me a freetard and be done with it; but I simply can’t let your comment about “enlightened self-interest” pass unchallenged. It is exactly this attitude which completely screwed up everything for everyone in content creation and distribution. What we need as a level-headed rethink, not all sides coming at this with nothing but their own self-interest in mind.

        Both the putonomists and the freetards are completely, utterly and terminally wrong. Nothing that has existed prior will work. Forcing something on either side won’t work. It’s time for mediated negotiations between all interested parties, with a view to what’s best for the greatest number; and to hell with “me, me, me.”

        You can all of you downvote the crap out of this post if you wish; I’ll just hold onto the faint hope that my ranting and raving has at least caused a few of you to think about your entrenched beliefs in this regard.

        Thank you to anyone who bothered to read it this far, and have a good day.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: "Enlightened self-interest"

          You don't sound like a Freetard to me (actually I know you're not), that's a very good summary of the situation Trevor.

          I don't know where the phrase enlightened self-interest comes from. That wasn't me.

          I would say that since neither of us has a crystal ball it may be worth waiting until the market develops. The music business hasn't made the fundamental supply side reforms it needs to make.

          It's still difficult/impossible to get a music license if you make doorbells, or are a social networking site or a listings paper, for example. Tesco should be selling a P2P service you can subscribe to via sms. Most things that, could be tried have not been tried yet.

  8. ShaggyDoggy


    When mandy leaves politics there's a nice non-job waiting for him there ?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    sod 'em

    only the terminally stupid or children stand any chance of being caught

    1. PirateSlayer


      Surely they can't put ALL of the Pirate Party in prison.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Armageddon Clock Started

    So, one year until we all go iPredator? (Or route all our surfing through TOR and cripple it...?)

  11. Annihilator

    Home taping is killing music

    No, Simon Cowell is killing music

    (with apologies to Nick Doody)

  12. Neil Greatorex


    But then anything touched by Mandelson has a peculiar smell, doesn't it.

  13. Gizzit101

    What worries me...

    ..are some of the howlers that MPs came out with last night.

    I don't expect them to be geeks, but surely they have access to professionals who can adequately brief them on the technology and how it actually works.

    In addition to the examples cited in the article, one MP appeared to believe that on taking out a contract with an ISP, a subsequent change of address would be transparent and potentially unrecorded.

    As can be seen from my previous posts, I don't subscribe personally to the "anything goes" freetard culture, but at the same time, I have no desire to see the internet become no more than a shop-front for old business.

    Regarding the much cited "losses of billions of pounds to the creative industries", I have to ask: How many "Frankie Freebooters" will actually start paying for what they consume? I suspect that unrepentant pirates will simply find other ways of getting stuff for free.

    I also have grave concerns about ACTA, and what the implications are, especially taken in conjunction with the provisions of the Digital Economy Bill.

    I cannot see any legitimate recourse except for boycott, and I'll be doing everything I can to encourage a month-long boycott of commercially licensed creative works on a sufficiently large scale as to be noticeable and significant.

    I urge everyone who reads this post and who agrees with my sentiment to do the same. You'll probably find me on various fora (Techcrunch, Boing Boing et. al.) trying to seed this as an idea.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Are MPs all stupid?

    I suppose this is a quite technical issue but when, as reported, an MP thinks you can create a hotmail account to get back online when disconnected you wonder if they are the right people to be discussing these issues. We have had controversy with the government ignoring their scientists but I think it would be ideal if they had parliamentary panels with special skills like IT, areas of science and the MPs ask them for a condensed idiots guide to what is proposed so they can understand it before debating!

    1. Oliver 7

      Most are, yes!

      I saw a quote this morning from one Tory MP, characterising the bill, that went something like 'We got an Amstrad when we wanted an iPod'. Is he just being fatuous or does he actually fail to appreciate the difference between a PC and an mp3 player?

      Those parts of the bill that deal with file-sharing demonstrate a blithe deference to our outmoded copyright laws and a complete lack of understanding of technology.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd

        I assumed...

        he was comparing crappy '80s Amstrad music systems with iPods rather than Amstrad PCs.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Look on the bright side

    A lot of Reg readers are going to be making some serious cash out of VPN services....... and in the long run its probably good news for net privacy as general folk will start to take an active interest in it.

  16. Peter Galbavy
    Big Brother

    pay-to-play law making

    I haven't had the time to actually read the original bill or the subsequent amendments so apologies if I seem to have fallen to the "nu meeja" hype, but the entire thing smacked of a menu of items designed to be sold to media interests for future favours and hard cash. I guess once the selling of peerages was given an airing and then the expenses gravy train was outed one of the last remaining ways for these scum that seek to rule us is to sell their roles as lawmakers - nothing new of course, but has it ever been so blatent ?

    Was there anything in the whole thing, backbench opposition amendments aside, that attempt to deliver any benefit to the public as voters, tax payers and consumers ? At least the original idea of copyright was a trade - e.g. "we protect your work for 14 years and then it becomes public property for the good of all" ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Goodies for customers

      At one point the bill said that the media industry would have to look at ways of making more online material available. It didn't say what they had to do, when they had to do it, that it had to be affordable, useful or that there would be any penalties if they somehow forgot to get round to doing it.

      Knowing this lot, that was one of the bits of the bill that got chucked overboard.

      In short - this was a bill written by the media business, for the media business and presented to them on a silver plate by a bunch of tossers who hope to get into the media business.

  17. Da Weezil
    Jobs Horns

    30 pieces of Silver?

    "It appears that now laws can be made by large and powerful lobby groups, that are prepared to pay money to an unelected politician who has some hold over the government to force those views through. There is no other way to view this other than as a poor day for democracy."

    A friend in the US says this is exactly the problem with politics there, so it seems that as well as "presidential style government", and TV debates we have now fully imported yet another bad idea from the states thanks to nu Liebore. While his party in government attacks everyone else's pension plan its nice to see Mandlescum ensuring he is looked after in retirement - I wonder what his price really was?

    What a reach around!

  18. JamesW

    more details?

    Could we get a detailed breakdown on exactly what passed and how it will affect us, if such an article is not already on it's way ?

  19. irish donkey

    Well they have had their Vote - Time for us to have ours.

    Labour - We now know that 'A Fairer Britain' won't be any different from the unfair society we live in today. More money for the Banks, and Big Business

    Conservative - 'Vote for Change' a change from Labour nothing else. Not much to base your Election Campaign on. Oh and tax is for peasants

    So who do you vote for I can't tell you that but......? I'm voting for the Lib Dems as I want to see a change from the norm.

    You can vote for who you like. Just as long as you vote for somebody.

    this post is supposed to be a troll but here's the icon anyway

  20. JoeBreg


    Why not spend the money that's going to this on incentives for media companies to get their stuff online and create new business models. Just look at the options for watching movies - iTunes and....pirating.

    Why not create a Steam style shop where you can buy films and have your collection available where ever you are? Oh no, deep packet inspection is obviously the way forward.

    People will always pirate is this good - no, of course not. However it's like Police who go after the guy selling some drugs to his friends instead of the guys who are importing it. Going after this little guy is a waste of time and doesn't actually stop piracy (look at sweden's IPRED law) - all it does it make money off consumers (some completely innocent).

    A step in the right direction is - basically an aggregator for UK online on-demand services.

    1. PirateSlayer


      I think you'll find that going after the 'little guys' is highly necesary since they normally inform police about the big guys! Also, dealing with the anti social behaviour of 'the little guys' is in no way a waste of time to the communities they blight. The police are there to enforce the law. Not to judge what is worth enforcing and what is not worth enforcing.

      As with the pirates. Go after the little guys, find out where they're getting their shit and hopefully light up the little parasite distributing it. If this is not possible...oh well. At least you have erradicated one little pleb from poisoning the planet with their illegal activity.

  21. Jimmy Floyd

    Hereditary vs Crony

    Don't the House of Lords get a say in all of this? For a bunch of unelected peers from privileged backgrounds they've been providing the closest thing to Common Sense (tm) recently in the palace of Westminster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      House of Lords

      The Lords get final approval, but short of a miracle it will go for Royal Assent in the next couple of days.

      Both Labour and Conservative front benches support this atrocity and the Lords wouldn't dare to try upsetting the 'will of the Commons' this close to an election.

      There might be some muttering, but Mandelson (if he can be bothered to turn up between stage managed photo opportunities with carefully picked voters) will mutter calm words about super-affirmative procedures and how reasonable he and his successors will be when the media industry come to them asking for Google, YouTube, Apple and the rest of the Web to be taken down because Simon Cowell hasn't been able to afford a new island this year.

      1. PirateSlayer

        Two words...

        Parliament Act.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge
          Thumb Down

          Several more words.

          The Parliament Act is genuinely a "three strikes" procedure. If the Lords decided to block it, there's no way the Government could turn it around three times and then invoke the Act before Parliament dissolves for the election.

          So, the Lords could actually kill this one (or at least give it a good, solid boot into the post-electoral long grass), but they won't.

          1. PirateSlayer

            A couple more words!

            Lets see.

            Remember the tories are the party for big business (as are Labour), so what's to stop them parliament acting this through when the new government is established? Assuming the tories win of course.

  22. Wizzy

    Voting Record

    About half way down, you can see which MPs voted Aye, and which voted No.

    My MP didn't even vote.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Voting Record

      Mine voted against (John Grogan, Labour MP for Selby) - pity he's standing down, as he's that rare breed of MP who actually gives a toss about his consitutents.

      Compare and contrast with the Blairite arse-licker who supposedly represents the people of York.

      It's a frightening indictment of the state of the country when the only candidate in the new-fangled Outer York constituency with any semblance of a clue is the Tory.

    2. irish donkey

      Write to them and ask...........

      'Where the fuck were you?

      It takes 2 minutes. Will it achieve anything? Don't know but at least Geoffrey Robinson knows one vote he can't count on.

  23. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Mandelson's game plan

    "Foster said that it “was disgraceful a bill of this complexity is given so little time”"

    Which was I suspect exactly Lord Mandelson's game plan, so he forced the bill through at a time he knew he had a good chance of success.

    At this point in time, the Labour MP's don't care as they are probably planning their new high paid jobs in European politics or planning their move back into high paid business jobs, where they can profit from their powerful connections in politics they have built up over the years. Whilst the MP's in other parties can deflect blame by saying it was done under Labour's final weeks of rule over us. Meanwhile their rich friends in business celebrate adding more controls over us all, as they continue to prop up their failing business plan, which is itself ultimately based on the concept of controlling the distribution of media.

    Looks like they all win and we loose. :(

    All this caused by an extremely two face somehow Lord who is unelected and twice thrown out in disgrace as a politician, who has somehow come from nowhere back into one of the most powerful jobs in UK politics, working as effectively number two under an unelected prime minister who refused to call an election when he moved into the job and has since taken us through one of the worst economic nightmares the country has ever seen and was directly responsible (whilst working as Chancellor of the Exchequer) for allowing the city to get away with such corrupt behavior for years before it finally crippled our country financially! Yet now they expect us to suffer another Orwellian move and insult from them all!

    Its just incredible how messed up this all is, yet now we have to suffer more repercussions from their mismanagement of our country!.

    So ultimately, as always, the control freaks seek more ways to control (so they can ultimately personally profit from their ability to control us all), and so now as a result, we have to suffer even more Orwellian scrutiny and control over our lives. :(

    Thats just such wonderful news. :(

  24. Dazed and Confused

    Lord Mandy in "his" house?

    So did they also force this through the Lords too last night?

    Normally their Lord ships are less inclined to rush through things, particularly where the "other place" is in such a hurry the Lords tend to delight in winding them up and taking as long as possible over everything.

    Of course since this is "Lord Mandleson"'s own bill he would be able to jump up and down and scream at his peers.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Titles? We don't need no stinkin' titles...

    It's good to know that the Government has got it's priorities right... With everything else that needs sorting out in this country - the final thing passed before the end of Parliament was something to stop people sharing music.

    Fucking pathetic.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Ecrypted files, vpns, tor, https

    Good luck catching anyone who knows how to avoid DPI. I suspect there will be many a guide going up on popular file sharing websites and forums.

    1. PirateSlayer


      ...which makes your job harder.

  27. TonyHoyle

    What a fiasco

    Couple of people I know definately aren't going to vote because it would prop up this obviously corrupt process. I'm not even sure myself any more. We're effectively an elected dictatorship.. you could knock down the commons chamber and replace it with a theme park for all the difference it would make.

    Pulling 190 pissed up MPs from the bar to vote with the government isn't any kind of democracy I recognize. It made me physically sick to watch it happen.

    Tom Watson - who really tried - actually admitted this was the first time he'd ever voted against the government. If that's normal, why have a vote at all? Just elect a PM with supreme executive power and do everything he says.. that's what happens anyway.

    1. Marty

      bah... humbug...

      "Couple of people I know definately aren't going to vote because it would prop up this obviously corrupt process. I'm not even sure myself any more."

      The big problem with not voting at all is that the gubbermint elected was done so on an even less of a % of the population eligble to vote...

      I belive that voting should be compulsory, but a option should be available for a non vote on the balot paper with an explanation on why you felt that you could not support any of the people that have been nominated.

      The problem with a no vote in the way of a protest is that you cant tell the difrence between that and a "cant be bothered to go and vote"

    2. Anonymous Coward

      The party system...

      ....has outlived whatever usefulness it had. Governments have always been able to use their Whips to force through legislation, it's well past time it should stop.

      Can't see much chance of that, but if enough pressure were applied to make MPs really represent their constituents then it would be less likely that they would be used as lobby fodder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        and with AV being proposed it only makes the government whips stronger. The two party system is here to stay and it's gonna get more one sided.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    question to those who understand the Bill

    does the Bill specify the ISP as they *ONLY* "Service Provider" or does it leave it the imagination of the person enforcing it?

    I am a network engineer, and to me, VPN and Proxy sites are "Service Providers". Therefore, if people start using VPNs, the government can ask the VPNs to block access to those sites (at the very least to people using the *service* from the UK), *if* the VPNs decline to do so, then the government can because the VPNs facilitate access to the blocked material.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think this is right...

      If the proxy/TOR end point declines I think the IP address can be blocked.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Can't tell yet

      The draft as of yesterday PM defined an ISP as "anyone who provides an internet connection"

      This definition includes me as I let my fellow tenant use my internet connection, my employer, my sister's pub and probably most of the readers of El Reg.

      It basically includes everyone from the operators of the transatlantic fibre, right down the chain to anyone who shares their connection.

      And any "ISP" can have "technical obligations" applied, facing a £250,000 fine if they don't (or can't) implement them.

      I don't know about you, but I don't have the technology to block my fellow tenants from accessing any particular addresses, and neither does my sister. Sure, we could buy that technology but it simply wouldn't be worth it - we'll just stop providing the service at all.

      My MP claims that some changes were made with respect to internet cafes, but I find Hansard incredibly obtuse so I don't know what they were.

      He also told me that he decided to go home early and avoid the vote on most of the more contentious amendments. I've been trying to have a proper discussion with him about this (and some other issues) over the last few months, but at the rate of one or two replies per week it was taking a while.

  29. Colin Miller

    Clause 17

    Clause 17 of the Digital Economy Act allows the Home Sectary to amend copyright law at will.

    1. SirStrider

      Re : Clause 17

      I didn't think Clause 17 got into the bill - it was re-written as a clause 18? Can I second JamesW asking for a more detailed breakdown on what passed, as its got quite muddled with all the amendments.



      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re : Clause 17

        Fair shout - a new story up explains this:

        The Govt calls them New Clauses 1 & 2.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Guy Fawkes was right.

    Emigrate, only real answer. Let the EU cross borders regulations work in our favour for a change.

    In the mean time I welcome encrypted data transmission, legal or otherwise. Make it so difficult for the ISP's to monitor and manage, they have to complain upwards and stop this shenanigans.

    Though I will also wait the law banning encrypted data transmission for the sake of the security forces and the already lost war on terror.

    1. CraigRoberts


      "Though I will also wait the law banning encrypted data transmission for the sake of the security forces and the already lost war on terror."

      That'll be the next thing... And because the Paedo's have been using it... Probably...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet we won't get cut off

    Too much money for the ISPs from us consumers. Do you really think that BT and all will cut us off?

    1. Stephen 5

      RE:I bet we won't get cut off

      They don't have to cut you off, the new legislation grants them the powers to block off sites and content on the internet on request.

      of course those technical skilled enough will get around them, those that are not will be screwed.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You're right...

      ...we won't be cut off as such, but BT (and many other ISPs) already throttle and block the internet for peak-time (5pm to midnight), the big problems with this bill are the extended power to censor whole swathes of the internet that the publishers (not the creators) don't like.

      "It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

  32. yossarianuk

    Best news for Tor

    To only good thing I can think about this is I imagine the uptake in Tor will increase in the UK now and thus increase the speed...

    Obviously you should also use an OS that doesn't hide processes from you also (i.e windows) to be more secure.

    1. Danny 14


      that p2p through tor sort of defeats the main purpose and ruins it for the people who want anonimity rather than a free mp3

  33. Ned Fowden

    can they ...

    revoke this following May 6th ?

    it's gotta go through the Lords before finalising anyway, all they need to do is take their time on it or just refuse it based on the grounds that it's been rushed

    or am i missing something ?

  34. PirateSlayer
    Thumb Up

    Oh good!

    I wonder how long it will take the pirates of today to adapt to this 'new business model' :D

    1. Ocular Sinister


      No time at all... sneaker net plus a big **** off portable hard drive works a lot better than peer-to-peer anyway...

  35. Slappy

    What a bunch of wankers

    That is all.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some of the finest brains in Britain at work...

    Seriously folks - Siôn Simon was a Labour minister. He's standing down at the election but I think he might go far with clear thinking like this:

    Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)

    I understand the point my hon. Friend is making, but does he not think there is a danger that the Bill will criminalise large numbers of imaginative young people and education establishments who frequently share material on the internet and use the medium as a form of creative expression? Are we going to kill all that off and cut people off as a result of this Bill?

    Siôn Simon (Birmingham, Erdington, Labour)

    No, it does not criminalise anybody; all it does is simply seek to enforce the existing law. We should, however, be very careful that the Bill does not have the unintended consequence of bringing about the end of public wi-fi. I was assured by the experts in the various Departments involved in this legislation that there were clearly existing technical measures that made it perfectly possible to run public wi-fi with these measures.

    Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)


    Siôn Simon (Birmingham, Erdington, Labour)

    Obviously, I do not claim to know what the technical measures are, but when I am told that they exist, I take it in good faith that they do exist, and unless my hon. Friend can prove to me that they do not exist-

    Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)


    Siôn Simon (Birmingham, Erdington, Labour)

    My hon. Friend cannot prove that to me, however, as I am not going to give way to him again because I have not got the time.

  37. nzbMoon

    Hadrian's Firewall

    This is the thin end of the wedge for complete internet censorship in the UK, the first foundations of Hadrian's Firewall have just been laid.

    RIP Internet Freedom & Innovation in the UK.

  38. Bernie Cavanagh
    Thumb Down

    I feel dirty

    Why is it whenever Mandy is involved or I read about him in the news I feel like I need a shower.

    The grubby little oik finally managed to get censorship on a national scale, I wonder how much David Geffen gave him in backhanders and other less savoury presents. Eeewww.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gordon and Mandy's election strategy - Paddy Power book.

    And they’re off. Will Mandelson take one where the sun doesn’t shine for the country?

    1. Mandelson leaking loads of filth stories about Tory politicians and their time at Eton or wherever. 1/7

    2. Mandelson leaking stories that Gordon Brown is no longer leading the party. 4/3

    3. Mandelson leaking stories denying that Ed Balls will be the chancellor after the election.3/1

    4. Mandelson leaking stories denying that he will be Foreign Secretary (god help us,) after the election. 7/2

    5. Mandelson leaking stories that no political experience is somehow worse that driving the world’s 4th most productive economy into the ground with a 1.4 trillion pound debt and record taxation, in just 13 years. 1/7

    6. Mandelson leaking stories that Cameron (with a first in PPE at Oxford,) doesn’t understand economics. 11/2

    7. Mandelson leaking stories that Brown isn’t really mysognistic, English hating megalomaniac, and that Caroline Flint’s comment “he has my full support” followed a couple of hours later by Caroline Flint’s “I thought it was for shitting out of, until he screwed me up the arse” is mental illness on her part, not Gordon’s. 36/24/36

    8. Mandelson leaking stories that Petrol Cost £2.40 a litre when they came in. 23/1

    9. Mandelson leaking stories that Tony Blair was a success greater than the BNP could ever achieve because he secured the oil and killed a million muslims. 10/3

    10. Mandelson leaking stories that the resignations of nearly a dozen MPS from the cabinet are a show of unity. 23/1

    11. Mandelson leaking stories that the Ofcom ruling on Sky TV, is nothing to do with the Sun supporting the Tories. 11/2

    12. Twice resigned through allegations of corruption and sleaze, Former minister without portfolio, First Secretary of State, Baroness of Foy, Hartlepool, and Eurodisney, renowned master of spin, Lord Mandelson, leaking stories that the housing crisis, unemployment, war, and lack of Gold reserves, and the four MPS facing jail for corruption, plus the hundreds who should be (mine claimed 85K for housing, despite living just 17 miles from parliament, are actually the fault of Margaret Thatcher, and corrupt bankers. 7/4

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      Would you mind awfully appending a "not suitable for those prone to pissing themselves with laughter" tag if you post something like that again please?

      I came perilously close to asphyxiation at the Caroline Flint bit.

  40. Jamie Kitson


    Is my hon. Friend sure that a postal delivery will suffice? Many people may have chosen to form a contract with an ISP at some stage before moving, and may not have seen any particular reason to notify the ISP of a change of address.

  41. King Edward I

    My comment on the BBC article crossposted...

    For all the furore raised by the pirates, it's the blocking laws which worry me. The ability for parliament to censor websites is a dangerous road to go down and should be gaining the focus of the attention.

    The problem on the piracy front is, it will only catch the technically incompetent, the young children, the older generations and anyone else not up to speed. The Tech literate will simply move on, as napster's cloure forced them onto decentralised servers, so this two will move them on, perhaps onto The Darknet,or perhaps onto Tor or Freenet. Piracy is not going to be stopped by technical means!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      It's not parliament censoring the web that you want to worry about.....'s when it's being done by a minister under an SI that's been kept quiet....

  42. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Paddy Power book

    Mandy surfacing in the new tory government in a year or so - evens

  43. DirkGently

    I'm not worried

    I'll just create a new Hotmail account when they cut me off! So there!

  44. Josh 15

    Thanks, Andrew...

    ...For reporting on this for as long and as consistently as you have here on El Reg. You and Jon Ozimek in particular are both to be congratulated for your dogged persistence with stories the general media seem content to ignore. I'd have had little idea about this or the dreadful 'Cartoon Porn' laws recently passed, without the two of you quietly - and diligently - reporting on such troubling matters here on the Reg over a considerable period of time.

    Keep it up! This place is fast becoming a more trustworthy voice of current affairs reporting than good old Auntie, for me!

    Right, having thoroughly brown-nosed my contribution to this thread I'll be getting my coat, then...

  45. Matthew Harris
    Black Helicopters

    Steal this comment!

    As notes, one of the main reasons for piracy of music/films is simply because it's the easiest method of getting hold of them.

    For example, if I "buy" a film via xboxlive, I get a digital copy that I have to watch on that one device, can't transfer to other devices and disappears mysteriously after 30 days or so. The same/similar is true of various other services I've looked at over the years. And even a legitimately bought DVD is an absolute pain to do anything with apart from just stick in a player and have to put up with the noise & waste of electricity caused by the motor.

    Ideally I'd purchase all my music & dvds digitally and be able to download them on any machine etc. (a la Steam) or at the very least, be able to do what I wanted with them (short of making money out of them ofc) without the immense hassle of having to circumvent both the deliberate obfustication/drm and the law just to be able to watch/listen to music and films I have bought how & where & when I want to.

    It'll be interesting to find out whether they'll (ISPs or OfCom or the police or the record companies or whoever is decided can accuse people) be able to accuse you of piracy on the evidence of using P2P software (like the desktop version of BBC iPlayer, or the updaters for many games or even legitimate bittorrents (yes, they do exist - a lot of large free software (such as linux iso's) is distributed by torrent to keep the bandwidth costs for the publishers low)) and then point at your mp3 player and say: Well, you couldn't have purchased the music using this device so you've obviously purchased it on a computer and copied it to the mp3 player, thereby breaching the "Thou Shalt Not Copy" terms of most music licenses. Or even worse, you've bought the CD or vinyl and ripped it onto a computer and then copied it! At least they can't confiscate your mp3 players (yet) :P

    Interestingly, the fastest growing sector of the PC games market is the digital distribution market, and yes, while they do have some level of copy protection, it's not exactly that strong and the ease of purchase/transfer/use wherever/whenever means that "piracy of convenience" is considerably less. Yes, there'll always be people who refuse to pay for anything, but no amount of copy protection or legal sanction is going to change that, so why in the name of the frosty testicles of hades can't the big record/film companies realise that and start making their vast collections of stuff available simply and easily for a reasonable (say 75% of the cost of a dvd or something for a digitally downloadable film) and thereby boost both their profits (more people will buy films if it's less hassle) and go some way towards reducing the vast resentment measures like this are creating amongst the public.

    I'm gonna stop there and not mention due process or political corruption or Count Mandeltwat or any of the huge range of other issues tied up in the god-awful process of passing the DE bill, mostly 'cos if I don't I think I'll be typing all night and I've frankly got better things to do than yell about this crap (oops, really stopping now, honest).

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    we all go download V for Vendetta at the same time?

    Does anyone know how you go about starting a new political party? I'm sick of this 2 party country.

  47. Turbojerry

    Wikileaks will definately be blocked

    Joseph Goebbels said it best, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

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