Digital Economy Bill Passes

April 8, 2010 -

The UK’s Digital Economy Bill has been passed by the House of Commons, with MPs okaying the measure in a 189 to 47 vote.

The Bill, which also was granted Royal Assent, makes PEGI the UK’s sole rating system for videogames, introduces a variety of provisions for dealing with illegal file sharers, and debuts measures for blocking Internet access to online sites that may promote online copyright infringement.

The latter two procedures drew the ire of the Open Rights Group, whose Executive Director Jim Killock wrote, “What a debacle. Measures to allow disconnection of individuals from the internet, for undefined periods of time, web blocking laws; all with no real scrutiny and limited debate.”

Conservative MP Bill Cash, who spoke out against the bill, said, “Even in the 16th century, there was an attempt to track down people who set up secret presses; it made no difference.”

He added, “The number of people who have connected with their MP, with the public at large, on radio and on television, represent a significant core — perhaps even a significantly vast range — of people who simply are not prepared to accept the restrictions that the bill suggests should be imposed on them."

Game industry groups were, however, happy with Bill in relation to videogames. Laurie Hall, Director General of the Video Standards Council said, “This is an important moment for video games classification in the UK.  The Act creates a new, improved, single system for age-rating all games using the PEGI system.  It gives new powers to the VSC as the sole rating agency for games and this will strengthen child protection on the Internet."

ELSPA Director General Michael Rawlinson called the passing of the Bill a “huge victory for child safety, ELSPA and the games industry.”

The Guardian offers a handy quick guide to the digital Economy Bill here.

Comments

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

so, wait is the movie industry gonna dominate the video game market, now ?

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

Yay for freedom!!!

No? Oh... right... sorry. This one is the opposite of freedom. My bad.

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

All games will now be rated by the awful PEGI system. Great. Expect to see timid games get branded with an 18+. ("Did I see a same sex kiss? Oh, 18+ for you").

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

Is PEGI really that aweful? Because so far all I've ever encountered in differences is the fact they use 18+ instead of the M (17+) of ESRBorwhateveritwascalled.

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

I'm not comparing it to the ESRB (although they with PEGI are both really over the top when rating games with sexual content), but rather to the BBFC.

Mass Effect: BBFC - 12, PEGI - 18

Mass Effect 2: BBFC - 15, PEGI - 18

Heavy Rain: BBFC - 15, PEGI - 18

I feel that the BBFC ratings reflect the content of games much more accurately than PEGI's, and it can be misleading. If a parent was to play 18+ Mass Effect they would think that the content in Manhunt 2 would be similar, but they'd be completely wrong.

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

And I'm glad to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, or until Obama gets through with us.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Digital Economy Bill Passes

And Bush was somehow better? Riiiiight.

I have equal disdain lately for both political parties. Not a single politician alive right now has any idea of how to behave responsibly.

 
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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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