Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stacking the cards in the labels' favour

As the Digital Economy Bill makes its way through parliament, it attracts amendments and its shape clarifies itself.

For example: if you get accused of listening to music without a licence, and your internet connection hangs in the balance, you have a right of appeal, yes?

Well... sort of. Only if you can afford it:

People wrongly accused of illegal downloading would be able to appeal the disconnection before it happened and could be charged by Ofcom, the media regulator, to cover the administrative costs of the appeals process run by the Tribunals Service.

So, to clarify what Mandelson's bill is proposing: if you're unjustly accused of sharing material without the correct licence, you're still going to have to pay a levy to a government body to keep your internet connection.

The whole concept of copyright has gone so far from being about fairness, it's perhaps not surprising that those innocent of all charges will end up out of pocket just to keep access to their blameless connection. The record labels want this; they should fund this.