At the time of the Digital Economy Bill being passed, I emailed my local MP Maria Miller who is now the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Basingstoke.
I emailed her for two reasons. One was to express my disapproval that she failed to attend parliament on that day to vote for or against the bill â€“ Although she did vote strongly against revealing MPâ€™s expenses information earlier in the year. Secondly because I wanted to voice my concerns over the bill.
Here is her response to me today which ironically got flagged as spam by my mail server:
Dear Mr Green,
Thank you for your recent correspondence concerning the Digital Economy Bill. I share your concern about the way this piece of legislation has been handled by the Government. Since the Dissolution of Parliament, there are no longer any MPs, but I can continue with casework/correspondence.
The Bill contained important provisions regarding the regulatory environment for the digital and creative industries. It is completely unacceptable that the Government failed to allocate the sufficient time in the House of Commons for proper legislative scrutiny. It is wrong to push through these issues and because of this I did not support the Bill and I abstained from the vote.
The reason that I did not vote against the Bill is that a number of the measures within it have great merit – particularly tackling online copyright infringement. This is an extremely serious issue that costs the creative industries hundreds of millions of pounds each year. I want to make sure that Britain has the most favourable intellectual property framework in the world for innovators, digital content creators and high tech businesses.
Also, the measures in the Bill designed to tackle illegal peer to peer file sharing set up a proportionate regime that would, only following public consultation, repeated warnings and due process, lead to people having their internet connection temporarily suspended. It will not, as many have suggested, lead to people being disconnected without an appeal. Even if people are disconnected they will be able to sign up to another ISP immediately without penalty.
However, the Government should not push through such significant issues without proper debate – the handling of this Bill means that the debate on copyright is not over and my Party will seek to revisit options for a balanced solution as part of a broader update of copyright following the General Election.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes,
Maria Miller, Parliamentary Candidate
(Sent on her behalf by Lynn Fox, Secretary)
Iâ€™m not going to bother voicing my opinion to this email response because Iâ€™ve actually already made my opinions quite clear through over postings etc, however I read this article on TorrentFreak yesterday regarding a report produced in the US Government Accountability Office which is available from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423.
The report in summary states that â€œLack of data hinders efforts to quantify impacts of counterfeiting and piracy,â€ however it then goes on to point out the following that â€œFor instance, companies may experience increased revenues due to the sales of merchandise that are based on movie characters whose popularity is enhanced by sales of pirated movies.â€
So is the Digital Economy Bill really going to help anything and is it in actual fact going to further hurt the economy because people procuring these downloads now arenâ€™t going to buy the associated merchandise?