Friday, 9 April 2010

Ni Hao Great Britain

A crying shame, it is. This blog is not meant to be political in nature and is (usually) not prone to hyperbolic hand wringing. This post does both, unashamedly. I just could not believe that the Digital Economy Bill was “passed”, or rather rushed through the British House of Commons. Actually what took place was the ‘Third reading”, which is not the same thing as passing. But we won’t get into quaint British parliamentary traditions where worthies have to yell “Hear Hear” when they actually are meaning &^%$ @#$. They effectively passed that bill. See the photo in this article to see how vigorously attended this debate was.

I am not a British national; I do not live in the UK and have no business commenting on British policy or laws. But I am a self confessed Anglophile. I hold great fondness for all that is good and great in Her Majesty’s kingdom. That paragon of virtue, fair play and freedom, passes such a thing as the Digital Economy Bill - that is difficult to stomach.

95% of the bill is all good and fine, even though it will never achieve the objective of making the UK an IT power house. You cannot make an IT powerhouse when one third of the population reads The Sun, one third drinks 75 pints a night at the pub and one third’s religion is called Manchester United !!

It’s the 5% that is horrible. It gives the power to the government to block internet sites. Read that again – block internet sites. They can block sites that “is being, or is likely to be used in connection with an activity that infringes copyright”. Read my lips – Blocking any website, whatever be the reason, is just wrong. If you believe a website is violating copyright, go to a court of law ; prosecute the site owners; that’s the correct process. Not blocking their site.

This bill has all sorts of provisions on copyright. They can get ISPs to disconnect people who are supposed to be violating copyright. The bill seems to have been lobbied for hard by the old world news and music dinosaurs. A certain old man with big interests in the UK media comes to mind, but we shall refrain from going in that direction.

These dinosaurs are just flailing around as the internet is destroying their old cosy models on copyright. Remember how the music dinosaurs forced you to buy an expensive CD full of rubbish just to get at the one good song you liked. Remember how the music labels forget that the world is global and restrict stuff to certain countries. Remember that if they sensibly priced it and offered reasonable terms, a la iTunes, people will pay for them. Remember that declining costs and profitability are a factor to be tackled in all industries and there is no God given right to media that they should be exempt from it. Remember that content creators on line do succeed if they have appropriate business models. But then dinosaurs are not adept at adapting, as we all know.

Instead they go and get a law such as the Digital Economy Bill. I would expect such a bill in the country which the title of post alludes to. Not in the land of hope and glory.

20 comments:

  1. i the first :D :D avvvvvvvvvvvvv.....evlo naalachu !!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. !! thalaiavary..naan kadaila enaku kudukara billa kuda ozhunga padika maaten....sila per (yarupa athu g3 nu padikarathu) saapataprum billa kannaala kuda paaka maatanga.neenga ivlo peria billsa akku veru aani vera alasi aarayareenga!!! thiru kungfu karate nu evlo per venumnalum vaikalam ungaluku

    ReplyDelete
  3. @gils LOL for your comment

    BTW, did the thought ever occured, you could be sued for libel, cause you talk about the grand old man of old news world ;)

    I dint know even UK was a land of Hope and Glory,I thought it was only applicable only for the US of the A :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous9/4/10

    i do payroll for them..one look at their tax structure..no one wud ever want to earn there!!! horrible place to earn. and "grand old man" commentkagaa neenga thalayoda rasigar pattalathuku badil solliye aganum...auto ila lorry vara poguthu parunga :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The dinosaurs are not adept at adapting and hence they are extint! The traditional rules of commerce, society, cultures are in a serious need of remodelling. The old rivets are on the verge of giving away. They arm-twist a few and get this bill passed in UK, but how far it will achieve this purpose, is an elementary guess. They have plugged a Google in China, doesn't mean the Chinese won't find a way to access information they want to see. How long can someone contain such a dynamic force of media and information? When there is need, people make the way. I have a feeling that there will be some very radical changes in the information technology scenario in next couple of years. (I may sound like an ultimate optimist, but its just the law of evolution.)
    ------------------------

    @Gils- I know you right some hilarious comments with amounts of LOLs and :D:D:D in everyone's responses! Plz don't deprive me of the humour! [:'(] Atleast leave a one-liner in english (atleast the punch-lines)! I always go thru ur comments 10 times, hoping that I may understand something. This time I saw "Thiru Kungfu Karate" and was in splits! And that leaves me more curious about what the entire sentence meant! Curiousity will kill this cat someday, I am telling u!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @gils- oh I meant 'write' btw! :P

    ReplyDelete
  7. @gils - Ha Ha - You are hereby conferred the title Mokkai Mannan ! All hail the king.

    @Zeno - I would surely be sued except for the fact that my blog readership is in single digits and therefore difficult to prove that any damage was done :) The hope and glory is a reference to this song which is a sort of unofficial national anthem.

    @gils - really ?? Saar konchum avanga payrolla deduction panni in tha pakkam thallunga saar !!

    @Deepa - Totally agree. Btw gils' comment was "when I buy something in a shop I don't look at the bill; when others (dig at G3) eat in a restaurant they don't lookn at the bill and then you do such analysis paralysis of such a big bill". He has then suggested the karate addition to the name !! He's a class act, isn't he ?? Oye gilsu - provide English translations for your mokkais ; you are building a fan following in the comments section too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Thiru!! I am just laughing and laughing and laughing! :D I give away the prize to you for your name! :D Thiru Kungfu Karate- I can almost visualize Thiru in a karate pose.

    ReplyDelete
  9. the comment which i posted last night vanished :-((

    Maybe some commentor more closer to the land of hope and glory would have thought on similar vein and so got my post deleted under digital economy bill:-)

    every change is for the positive. in case, one encompasses the change, one benefits with it. one who runs away, may be secure from the turbulence but may not draw benefits. i still feel that a portion of the copyright is required. If AR Rahman composes a beautiful song, he should make money, the person who has been investing on recording equipments to make it sound better to me need to make money, the government need to collect taxes. so i should not be able to download the song for free on some site. but as you rightly said, i dont need to buy that full cd at exhorbitant rates for the one song which i liked. the industry needs to innovate and learn how to compete in the changing landscape.

    Irrespective of what has been passed, the sanity with which things are enforced will go to show whether the country is progressive or otherwise.

    as deepa rightly said, people will find their way.


    B.t.w - Thiru K'ung Tzu Karate is a good one as it creates a nice rhyme TKTK. but i think i will stick to TKT. coz Thiru is one who if he ventures into Karate he has so much of resolve in him that he will also become an enormous success in that field as well. but I like my K'ung Tzu this way :-)(I dont know - i have started getting possesive about the name)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Deepa - Gils in his befuddled state (rumour has it is that he's rather busy with his nǚ​ péng​you) has got his countries wrong. Karate is Japanese. K'ung tzu wouldn't be caught dead doing Karate. Tai chi is more like it. But then Kung Tzu Tai Chi doesn't roll off the tongue !!

    @Sandhya - The Net nanny didn't like your comment yesterday. Thanks for trying it again. Oh sure artists and everybody deserve their money and we should pay for it. If they charge 5 bucks a song and made it easy to download, nobody will file share Rahman. But then music labels are still in cuckoo land.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Ramesh for suggesting Gils to provide english translations. Everytime I read his comments, I try to figure out the meaning by segregating english words. I am really a poor fellow with no understading of Tamil ;) ... would definitely relish Gils' comments, given his fan following at this space.

    As for the bill, blocking is no way a right procedure to handle such matters. Remember one similar post on copyrights by you. We all enjoy hosts of benefits on internet for which we should actully pay.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Thiru- Gil's "Nu Pengyou"!! Juicy piece of gossip!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Vishal - I am valuing the principle of freedom of the internet much more living in a country rife with censorship.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh you wrote about libel suit and withut fear you have written this too.
    Well,not sure why this kind of blocking is practised,here in UAE,orkut is blocked,somehow facebook is available,no calling cards,not even internet telephony.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @ambulisamma - I have no fear of getting sued ; you need a minimum readership to be accused of libel - this blog has no danger of reaching more than 10 people !!

    Yeah; censorship is rife everywhere. That's why we should value the precious freedom we have in India. Not misuse it and not allow such gentlemen like the Thackerays to misuse it either.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous12/4/10

    //this blog has no danger of reaching more than 10 people !!
    /

    ithelaam aniyaayam..ithai ketpaar ilaya??? (this and all is not fair..no one to question this??)

    avvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv....major sundar rajan mathiri rendu baashaila pesa vachitaangalay!!!

    (cryyyyyyyyyyyyyy...me made to talk in dual languages like major sundar rajan!!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous12/4/10

    //Thiru K'ung Tzu Karate is a good one as it creates a nice rhyme TKTK/

    LOL :D :D TKTK :D :D suppppperrrraaapppu

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous12/4/10

    // Gil's "Nu Pengyou/

    ??? Nu peng you?? bad wordla scolding?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Funny comments, fun-o-fun.

    I think Australia and some other European country also passed a similar bill. Well, Big Brother will watch, no matter what paint you spray it with and the Brits are anyway doing a ton of passive spying and working on algorithms that can siphon out a suspect in a crowd photo. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. @gils - Good job at translation gils.
    Nu pengyou is not a bad word. Lazy gils; I thought you'll look it up yourself. Ok - go here and type "nvpengyou" ; note the v and its all one word and see the result for yourself.

    @RamMmm - Yes, the comments are getting racier and racier day by day !! The video cameras we can tolerate; because they don't really affect you and is a defence against terrorism. But blocking websites ??? Awful. I know, because I live in such a place.

    ReplyDelete

Follow by Email

Blog Archive

Featured from the archives