Thursday, 5 November 2009

UK Culture Minister - filesharers to be guilty until proven innocent.

MP Tom Watson has an interview with UK Culture Minister Ben Bradshaw on government plans for cutting off illicit filesharers.  Right at the start he answers the question:

" Given ... the proposals to temporarily cut people off as a result of accusations of illicit file sharing by some sections of the music industry, do you think that those people deserve to prove their innocence in a court of law."

To which the answer was " Absolutely, Yes".  He then goes on to explain how court orders will be taken out on the basis of accusations - and only then will accused copyright infringers be given the opportunity to prove their innocence. 

I was gobsmacked....   How is this an acceptable and fair judicial process? - the burden of evidence (not accusation) ought to lie in proving guilt - not in proving innocence.  What sort of tin-pot country are you running over there? 

It does of course get around the problem seen in countries like Denmark where prosecutors have more or less given up because providing evidence that stands up in court has proved almost impossible to get.

This neatly sidsteps that issue and instead puts the defendant in the tricky position of proving they weren't the one making downloads....

Reading on in the interview we hear that he doesn't know how much the new systerm will cost to implement, and he doesn't know how much artists can expect to gain as a result.  He does however know that the music industy is losng £200m a year from piracy - because they told him.

Then in a wonderful piece of double talk he goes on to tell us that illicit filesharing is potentially devastating for the creative industries - industries that are growing much faster than the rest of the economy.  Strange that - if they have such strong growth given the current levels of file sharing, doesn't that kind of say there is no problem???

Some days I wonder what planet these people are on.....
(There's no date on the blog post so I don't know when it was posted - it is reported on P2PNet as being from Novemeber)

Piratpartiet and The Pirate Party -  Working for copyright reform.

1 comment:

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