Response to My Digital Economy Bill Email

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 – Although she did vote strongly against revealing MP’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)


I’m not going to bother voicing my opinion to this email response because I’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

The report in summary states that “Lack of data hinders efforts to quantify impacts of counterfeiting and piracy,” however it then goes on to point out the following that “For 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.”

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 aren’t going to buy the associated merchandise?

The Passing of the Digital Economy Bill

Unless you live an anti-technological cave and don’t listen to the news, you will know that as has been feared amongst many people for a while now, the government have rushed through the Digital Economy Bill without a proper democratic review and have ignored the pleas of ISP’s such as TalkTalk, large numbers of the voting public along with IT experts advice all to please music industry.

The good news is none. The bad news is that as of now, copyright agencies can demand information regarding the subscriber of an internet connection to begin legal proceedings over alleged copyright infringements without gathering a shred of concrete evidence.

Evidence used in Peer-to-Peer file transfer cases has been and will continue to be disputed and has time and time again been proven to be incorrect and not uniquely identifying the to accused, however this aside the government still feel that these copyright agencies have it right. It’s like sentencing someone to murder without finding a murder weapon or having any evidence linking them to the crime. All the Digital Economy Bill will do it drive the users of Peer-to-Peer applications deeper underground and into using VPN and other encryption technologies.

The result of the Digital Economy Bill could even mean that people who provide public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those provided by McDonalds, BT OpenZone or the likes would be held responsible if their network was used for illegal Peer-to-Peer transfers and law now makes to distinction between being the person doing the downloading and being the person providing the means which is disgraceful.

What I personally find more disgraceful however is that my MP in Basingstoke didn’t even bother to turn up to parliament and cast a vote. The site ‘They Work for the BPI’ at shows a list of all MP’s who voted and how they voted. The MP for Basingstoke, Maria Miller of the Conservatives didn’t attend the vote, nor did Julian Lewis, the MP for Totton where I am originally from.

An online comic website, DotGif has made a vey funny strip comic about the passing of the bill. Although funny, it’s sadly true at the same time to show how the music industries have managed to poison our democratic system. You can see the original at


I think that in the case of the Digital Economy Bill the British democratic system has failed its people and the nation that it is designed to serve and I think that the MP’s who voted in favour of the bill should be utterly ashamed of themselves for allowing this bill through to drive money deeper into the pockets of the music industries who have failed to keep up with consumer demands and changing media trends and for ruining the potential technological growth of Peer-to-Peer based services in Britain.