While the digital revolution thunders along at a giddy rate in the real world, UK politicians prove to be all mouth and no trousers. Despite the rhetoric of making Britain a leader in digital content, the reality is the government just doesn't understand that this isn't business as usual, and that something has changed fundamentally, and requires a fundamentally different approach, not just some fine-tuning of old ideas.
There's more proof of this in the Digital Britain Imp
elementation Plan, one of whose actions is:
Legislate to ensure matched penalties for online and physical copyright infringement.
Right, this would be because online and physical instantiations of copyright are identical? You know, stuff like the fact that the on-cost is zero for digital, and non-zero for analogue? Or the fact that everyone commits copyright infringement thousands of times a day, just through completely normal, innocent online activities, whereas few outside the criminal community commit the analogue kind?
Actually, if you want the perfect metaphor of the government not really getting this online content stuff, you need look no further than the [PDF] title of the new document: “Digital Britian [sic] Implementation Plan”. Yup, as far as the UK powers that be are concerned, the real Digital Britain is little more than a typo.
Update: After some interesting to and fro with the Digital Britian [sic] team on Twitter, this typo seems to be visible only to certain PDF viewers: for example, Document Viewer. Just goes to show that free software reaches parts other OSes cannot.
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