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Digital Economy Bill: The Half-Billion Pound Price Tag

One item definitely not in this year’s post-Christmas sales: ISPs estimate that the proposed Digital Economy Bill, the government’s newest effort to combat digital piracy, could cost consumers up to £500 million if it is put into effect.

The bill offers up a graduated response to illegal file sharers, with warning letters being followed by slowed down internet connections and eventual cut-off if they do not cease their activities.

ISPs, according to a report in the Times, claim that the Bill would translate into charges of around £25 per subscriber to execute the measures. While those figures have not been confirmed by independent sources, ministers do say that the initial letter-writing campaign, which could cost £1.40 per subscription to implement, may lead up to 40,000 subscribers giving up their internet connections.

Not everyone is losing out, though: impact assessments for the Bill say it could generate up to £350 million in extra tax for the government, and would bring in an extra £1.7 billion in sales to content owners.

ISPs weighing in with their opposition to the Bill include Talk Talk, the country’s largest consumer broadband provider, as well as incumbent BT (NYSE: BT). Charles Dunstone, the CEO of Talk Talk, is pushing for content providers to pay if the legislation goes through:

4 Responses to “Digital Economy Bill: The Half-Billion Pound Price Tag”

  1. Mandy’s Meddling’s will cost us all a lot more than £500 million.

    If Mandy gets his bill into Law to enable Copyright material to be re-written under ‘Section 17’ of this proposed act. Once the Law is in force all Copyright Material will be deemed as ‘Legally Compromised’, hence made Nil in Void and as Copyright is matched to the Patent the Patent is also ‘Legally Compromised’ made Nil in Void.

    I’m sure Bill Gates (for one) will be chuffed to bits when he finds this out. One of the biggest losers would be the Drug companies as all their products for sale or distributed in the UK during the time that law is in effect deems their rights Nil in Void.

    Most all documents used in the transfer process of the Stock Markets are Copyright Protected so these to will be deemed as ‘Nil in Void, legally worthless. The far ranging effects of Mandy’s meddling will cause havoc as Share Prices are lost and Patents and Copyright’s are lost. Even currency is Copyright Protected hence it also would become ‘Nil in Void’ worthless, non-legal tender.

    Hence Mandy’s so-called ‘Digital Rights Act/ Digital Economy Bill’ is legally seriously flawed.

    Why will Mandy’s law makes all Copyright material ‘Legally Compromised’ made Nil in Void you ask?

    Click on link to read legal info and supporting links:

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

    Digital Economy Bill sparks peers’ protest

  2. I work for the Open Rights Group, who are campaigning against the Digital Economy Bill on the basis that it is unfair and disproportionate.
    We’re asking UK citizens to get in touch with their MP and explain to them why the Bill must be stopped, and possibly to meet them at one of their surgeries to discuss the specific problematic points of the Bill in detail.

    We believe that visits and letters from voters will help change the minds of MPs currently for the proposals; our representatives will then see that people care about their rights and, as their duty is to vote in accordance with constituents’ opinions, we hope that they will then oppose the Bill.

    If you, or your readers, want to know more details about the specific problems picked out by ORG and its supporters, don’t know who your MP is, need help with wording a letter or arranging a meeting with them, drop me an email – [email protected] – and I’ll do my best to get you the information you need; all you have to do is the talking.

  3. The more I hear about this law, the worse it gets.This won’t increase music sales. Just the opposite.
    If I’m having to spend £25 extra a year on my net connection because of music industry monitoring, I should be allowed to download £25 worth of tracks.

  4. cyberdoyle

    I have said it before and will no doubt say it again. It is up to the music industry to sort this out, not the government. Their business model is outdated and shouldn’t be protected. Times have changed. They have to change too. You can’t expect to have free content available and not expect people to take it. T’internet isn’t gonna change. Pirates will always exist whilst high prices or complicated DRM sites make it easier to torrent. Also with many crappy UK connections a torrent is a sure fire way of getting a file whereas putting credit card details into sites which time out puts people off using paid for content. Once we have ubiquitous reliable broadband people will migrate to paid for sites to escape from all the crap and viruses on pirate sites. It would make far more sense for govt to concentrate on that rather than protecting an obsolete business model and stifling innovation.