Reply from Jim Murphy Re: #DEBill

Letter from Jim MurphySo, I sent an email to Jim Murphy, my MP (although technically he isn’t my MP just now as parliament has been dissolved, and that must take a lot of hot water…) about the Digital Economies Bill (now the Digital Economies Act). Yesterday, I got a reply from him by letter (yes…letter), nearly 3 weeks after I sent him the original email. There is obviously no point in writing to him again until after the election (and if he actually gets back in the seat, which I hope he doesn’t), so I thought I would post about it here. I scanned it in, and if you click on the small copy of the image, you will be able to see it in all of its large, scanned glory.

Take the jump to see extracts of it, and my opinions on what he wrote to me.

**UPDATE Image changed due to information that needed to be blurred out #fail UPDATE**

Thank you for contacting me recently about the Digital Economies Bill. I understand your concerns regarding this Bill however I do not agree that this important piece of legislation has been rushed through Parliament as all stages of the legislative process have been adhered to.

Ok, so he is saying this wasn’t rushed? A Bill that was pushed through by unelected members of parliament, that had a 3 hour debate in which loads of members stood up and spoke against it, and actively said that the Bill was being rushed through parliament, had just over 200 people voting on it (and many more less actually attending the debate), which Jim Murphy himself didn’t even turn up or vote on it, over 20000 people who wrote to their MPs were effectively ignored and people asking important things in the debate were told not to ask them by the Speaker.

Ok, yeah, you are right, Jim, this wasn’t rushed through. Or not.

As you may know before this Bill was passed the UK copyright framework was 300 years old therefore we needed to introduce measures to bring this up to date.

And here we have the only sensible thing he has said. We do need to reform copyright, but this is not the way it should be done.

I understand that you are concerned in particular about the measures intended to tackle online infringements of copyright.

Actually, no. I made at least 3 points in my original letter to him and only 1 of them was about the 3 strikes law. Yes, that point was larger than the other 2, but that wasn’t because I was worried about it more, it was because there were more things that I could say about it.

The UK Government believes that Internet Service Providers should play a role in helping to make online infringment a less attractive option.

Well, first of all, maybe you should do something that UK ISPs are actually happy with. Second of all, maybe you should realise that the 3 strikes law, which was actually put down in several countries, increased piracy in France. A law should be there to stop people doing something, and if it isn’t doing that, there is no point in it. It won’t stop piracy.

Rights holders would have to apply for a court order to get access to the name and address of serious repeat infringers in order to prioritise legal action against them.

Ok, well, this is new. Last time I looked it didn’t have this. It is a little bit of an improvement, but not enough to make it a good idea. They also don’t realise that it isn’t that easy for ISPs to do this. There are so many technical loopholes.

There are a few problems with this letter, and the bill in general:

I don’t have to highlight anymore of the issues with the Digital Economies Bill because you can read them in my letter, and in countless things written by other people and magazines. (Note the guardian, new scientist and talk talk articles)