Another day, another consultation response.
This ‘consultation‘ from the BIS focuses on the “cost sharing” aspects of the Digital Retardation Economy Act. As usual, the document will be published by the BIS in due course, but I prefer to publish it myself, ahead of time – I have no reason to hide my answers away, or bury them with ‘trade secrets’ because they’re just plain honest facts and data. Alas, as has happened with previous consultations, the facts will be ignored in favour of projections, estimations, and allegations (or as a phrase made popular by Mark Twain put it, “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics“) Read more…
Today, we had the release of the Digital Economy Bill, which is basically a way of taking the Digital world, and forcing it to try and confirm to the ‘Old Economy’.
There is one sure sign though, that this is because they don’t understand technology. Are you ready? It’s the pdfs of the consultation responses.
I published mine back here a few weeks ago, right after I sent it to them in fact. You can download it here. It is 272kb in size. The version included in this zip file (labelled Norton P2P Research – yes, they put me in with the companies, rather than in the individual responses) is 3.88MB
What’s the difference?
- Mine has colour. The image on page 9, and the graph on page 11 lose some of their impact without colour.
- My version has working source links.
- Even if they were de-hyperlinked, you could still copy the text and input them. You can’t select any text on the BIS version
- The footers, with the page numbering (important if you end up printing it out) and filename are missing on the BIS version.
- You can’t search for text on the BIS version
- The text can be hard to read (pg12), pages are skewed (pg7), lines sometimes shrunk (pg6),
- Finally, they added an extra, blank, page at the end
For all these changes, for the WORSE, they’ve increased the filesize 14x.
More importantly, these changes are discriminatory to the disabled. My version can be easily read, and can be read aloud by screen-readers. The BIS version can’t. They have actively taken a disabled-accessible document and made it INaccessible. Why is that? I’ve fired an email off to the man behind the consultation, Mike Klym at the BIS, lets see what he has to say.
If they can’t even effectively handle a simple thing like a pdf, is it any wonder that that we have such an arse-backwards bill as the Digital Economy Bill?
Wow, mainstream media, or more specifically The Times, did you happen to read my consultation response to the UK Government? I did point out in it how much of an increase in sales there has been since P2P came about (pages 10 and 11), with a roughly 25% gain in both album and singles sales in 2008 compared with 1997.
However, the Times went further, in looking at how the revenue from sales is broken down between artists and labels, and included live gigs. The Times quite rightly labeled the graph as one they don’t want you to see, and you can understand why. Their own figures show that the claims made by the industry, about how artists are losing out, is patently false. My data which was, like The Times’, taken from the BPI, and other industry bodies, shows the lie of their ‘diminishing sales’ claims, like this one:
Why is it a problem; does filesharing damage music sales?
Aside from the fact that filesharing infringes and undermines the rights of the creators and investors in music, it’s enormously damaging to music sales. If record companies are unable to derive income from music sales, that means less money to invest in new music. This is not only bad news for record companies but also for musicians who rely on that investment and for consumers, who want to keep on listening to exciting new British music.
The ‘non-confidential’ responses (and I won’t even go into the whole confidential responses business right now) will be published sometime in ‘A matter of mere days…‘ according to BIS’ Mike Klym. Presumably, that would be the same time as the law goes to Parliament. They’ve had all the responses for at least 7 weeks, and they can’t give us a day or two to review them ourselves, to point out inaccuracies. Inaccuracies such as the bald-faced lies made by Audible Magic in their Digital Britain submission last year, as my long-time friend Ben has just pointed out.
It would be very embarrassing for the Government, and Lord Mandelson, if the bill he puts forward, ends up being based on false information, wouldn’t it. It would be better all round if the submissions were published as soon as possible, in the name of fair, transparent, and honest government. And if you can say that, thinking of the current Labour Government, and keep a straight face, you’re a better man than I.
The UK P2P consultation closed yesterday. I submitted mine 10 minutes after the deadline, which was to quote Mike Klym in response to a question from my longtime friend and co-worker Ben Jones, “One second to midnight tonight!”
Mine was a little after the deadline, Google records the time as 14 minutes after the hour when it was finally sent (some typos and formatting errors needed correcting last minute). In the email, I apologized for being a little late.
Luckily, they were a little flexible with it, which is unusual for a government department. At 8:25am (BST) this morning, Mike Klym sent me the following reply:
We do allow for injury time!
Which is good:-). He also commented to one of the members of the UK Pirate Party this morning, congratulating them on being the last response in before the deadline. It seems Mike has a sense of humor. That’s great! All I can say is that reading the consultation document, I was certainly not laughing.
So, my response. As always, produced in OpenOffice, and exported directly to pdf. You can download it here. The document, like the site, is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.