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October 19, 2009 | Jim Killock

YouGov poll: disconnection is a clear vote loser

Our new YouGov poll, paid for by the generous donations of ORG supporters like you, shows exactly why Mandelson’s disconnection proposals are such a bad idea.

As our press release explains, the poll shows that internet disconnection would be affect citizens severely, that they support the right to due process, and that perhaps a third would be much less likely to vote for a party supporting disconnection as a sanction.

Our conclusion must be that this is a politically unwise move, that will be unpopular and a vote loser for its architects. It will also fail to meet its objectives: it won’t make a single penny for artists, or help online music businesses get off the ground.

Last week, our arguments were strongly echoed by the All Party Communications Group (AP Comms), who advised that disconnection be rejected.

We know why the government has been persuaded to go down this disastrous path, but we’re not ready to let our rights be sacrificed. The right to freedom of expression, a fair trial, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty: and for proportionate punishments, these are basic principles on which democratic societies are built.

For these reasons, we believe that many MPs will understand and support what we are saying.

That’s why we will be asking you to write to your MP to support Tom Watson’s cross-party Early Day Motion, 1997, on file sharing:

That this House notes with concern the Government's proposals on file sharing which would allow rights holders to request internet service providers to disconnect for a period of time, or throttle, the internet connection of people who may be accused of copyright infringement via peer to peer networks; believes that disconnecting alleged offenders will be futile given that it is relatively easy for determined file-sharers to mask their identity or their activity to avoid detection; acknowledges that illicit file-sharing only costs rights-holders money when people download infringing content in preference to buying it; further notes that identifying offenders using the Internet Protocol address of a specific machine may punish those who share a web connection; and calls on the Government to ensure that any citizen accused of illicit file-sharing is given the right to legal redress in a court of law before sanctions are imposed.

This will be a big effort. We need to encourage every MP to sign up. We need all your help, there is a lot more at stake than our approach to copyright. So please write today.

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Comments (7)

  1. Rochelle Harris:
    Oct 19, 2009 at 01:34 PM

    Restricting internet access is an infringement of civil liberties.

  2. Anonymous:
    Oct 20, 2009 at 04:59 PM

    If they restricted someone's connection, from the sounds of it, it would be permanent at least for a set time. The government don't sound like they have plans to lift the speed restrictions when legal downloads such as ones from BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Demand Five, iTunes etc are being made. The restrictions would make it impossible or at least difficult for the affected users to use either legal or illegal downloading services. This would be a step backwards as far as I can tell because the aim is to encourage people to use legal services like iTunes. If the government impair this ability, it's just not going to encourage anything. If restrictions are imposed on users, these should never affect 100% legal services like BBC iPlayer, 4oD. iTunes etc because there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with using these and they need to encourage people to use services like this. People who have been illegally file sharing and had their connection slowed should still have the ability to using legal services without restrictions, but if they can't use the legal ones then they don't gain anything from trying to use these. If any restrictions are put in place, these should only be used while illegal file sharing is taking place. If the user then starts trying to use iTunes or iPlayer, the restrictions should be immediately lifted which would make using the legal services worthwhile. Also as I said earlier, the legal services should never be restricted no matter what because there is no issue with using them.

  3. Veritas:
    Nov 06, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    If you don't want to lose your internet access, then don't use the internet to break the law. The arguments presented here against the Government action are puerile. If you don't obey the law when driving a vehicle, they take away your right to drive. It is no different here, if you steal over the internet, then you lose your access - as you should. Those who are so set against this new law are a bunch of whiny little thieves, honest people will not be affected and as such have no reason to object.

  4. windows vista iscsi:
    Feb 09, 2011 at 08:40 AM

    The right to freedom of expression, a fair trial, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty: and for proportionate punishments, these are basic principles on which democratic societies are built.

  5. windows vista iscsi:
    Feb 09, 2011 at 08:41 AM

    The right to freedom of expression, a fair trial, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty: and for proportionate punishments, these are basic principles on which democratic societies are built.

  6. windows vista iscsi:
    Feb 09, 2011 at 08:42 AM

    Last week, our arguments were strongly echoed by the All Party Communications Group (AP Comms), who advised that disconnection be rejected.

  7. earbuds:
    Feb 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    I agree. I think there should be much harsher punishments for those who choose to disobey laws on the internet. Pirating music is stealing and is illegal. Revoking internet access would be hard to enforce, but should be just a minor punishment. Music artists lose millions of dollars because of pirating. It isn't good for the music industry and just isn't moral anyway.

    -Tara Putnam



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