Eric Joyce, Labor MP for Falkirk, says that many arguments used to pass the legislation were “nonsense,” and that it’ll only be “through experience gained through the application of the Act” that “significant amendments” will be crafted to fix its flaws.
More bad news about the UK’s controversial Digital Economy Act is piling up these days.
Last week a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said that thanks to a number of unforeseen administrative and regulatory obstacles the law wouldn’t be implemented until spring 2012 at the earliest.
Meanwhile the judicial review of the DEA concluded today in which the country’s High Court will determine whether or not a number of the Act’s provisions violate domestic or EU law.
Now Eric Joyce, Labor MP for Falkirk and chair of the Digital Economy All Party Parliamentary Group, says in an interview with PCPro that it’ll take several years to fix Act.
“I think in a year or two it will be useable, but I think it will be through experience gained through the application of the Act,” he says.
Joyce says that a number of the arguments used to pass the legislation were “nonsense,” and that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, head of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and whose job it was to implement the recommendations for reducing file-sharing as outlined in the Digital Britain report, “listened to some arguments, made a decision, went away and let the rest of us take the ball and go with it.”
He says that since everyone agreed with the Act there was no real scrutiny for flaws, and that it won’t be until actual “practice” and “experience” with the Act that people will see “significant amendments” to fix it.
Joyce does, however make a point to say that he thinks the argument made by rights holders that one illegal download equals a lost sale is a “ludicrous.”
Even more ludicrous, though not mentioned by Joyce, is the fact that music industry revenue is actually up since 2007, making the need for the DEA seem all the more elusive.
On top of that, last December the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) released a report that said 58% of file-sharers use Google to find free music. It also said that the use of cyberlockers and unauthorized MP3 pay sites – mechanisms beyond the scope of the DEA – are “rising alarmingly.”