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Yesterday's rotten vote approving bad legislation made in haste was notable for how few of our legislators could be bothered to show up. Happily, you can find out if yours did, thanks to didmympshowupornot.com.[via @carolinelucas]
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Democracy in action, folks:1) The bill was passed 189 votes to 47, which is odd when you consider that there was only about 40 people listening to or taking part in the debate.2) The bill allows the secretary of state for business to order the blocking of "a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright". Obviously, such a broad ranging power will only be used sparingly. Ahem.3) The debate lasted 2 hours. An astonishing 42 clauses were debated in 5 minutes.4) Bastards.
A location that is LIKELY to be used for or IN CONNECTION WITH an activity that infringes on copyright? Heh.Back in my homeland, the late Soviet Union, "Suspicion of Espionage" was an official crime punishable by death. Not espionage itself, but being suspected of it was the most common way of getting shot or being sent to Siberian work camps.
Well, almost anyone is connected to illegal file sharing. If you introduce someone to a new TV show by simply suggesting they might like it, and they go on to down load the whole thing, aren't you in some way connected? It's like that time I wrote, "Yay, can't wait till the Placebo concert!" on Facebook, and Placebo's Web Sherif sent me a warning about any possible illegal activity I might be engaging in concerning Placebo...
As has been pointed out elsewhere, clause 8 (...has been, is being or is likely to be used ...[to] infringe copyright...) could be used to block practically anything on the web, from Google to Wikileaks. Thank goodness the secretary of state for business isn't in anyway Machiavellian or a shit of epic proportions.
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