DEB: Harming Creative People

We believe that Digital Economy Bill will harm creative people. If you believe that you will be affected, please consider adding your name here, so that we can show MPs just how many people's livelihoods it could damage.

People who will be harmed

Hugh Hancock ( -- pioneering digital showrunner, author and educator. Founder of, director of numerous internet-distributed films and shows. I'm concerned by chilling effects on all downloading, protectionism on the part of incumbent industry groups attempting to prevent competition from the Internet sector, and erroneous identification of people downloading my works as illegal.

Philip Hunt ( -- software developer. Currently self employed / unemployed, I need to use the internet both to develop software and to look for work. If I am falsely accused of illegal downloading and disconnected, I won't be able to earn a living; that's why I think no-one should be disconnected unless they've been proven guilty of a criminal offence by a court. Furthermore, if I create software that communicates on the internet using a defined protocol, and create a business ecosystem around it, and someone uses that software for illegal purposes (entirely possible, since computers are of their nature entirely general-purpose), then the secretary of state may, by the stroke of a pen, make that protocol illegal, destroying the value of all mine and others' work; it goes without saying that this is not a firm base on which to build a business.

Charles Stross ( , -- award-winning novelist and freelance tech sector journalist, currently published in the UK by Little, Brown. In addition to the more commonly cited issues, I'm concerned that the restrictive regime indicated under clause 42 (Extension and regulation of licensing of copyright and performers’ rights) would impose onerous licensing requirements on literary agents and magazine and journal editors. Intended to regulate the large collections agencies, this section is so broadly drawn that it could easily destroy the fiction magazine and anthology markets, and force huge changes on the magazine business and academic journal publishing.

Ralph Bolton ( -- Internet Services Professional. Technologically speaking, it's very difficult to accurately detect Internet related wrong-doing. The risk of 'false postives' is extremely high and the DEB in its present form removes what safeguards currently exist, making it too easy to erroneously disconnect people and businesses from the Internet. A tiny fraction of web sites are hosted on dedicated connections, so one disconnection could lead to numerous, completely innocent, web sites being lost. Routes of appeal are cold-comfort when one's business is unable to trade. I worry that the 'collateral damage' that this bill creates, no matter how faithfully executed, will damage the prosperity of my employers and others.

Adrian Carter ( - musician. From a creative standpoint there are many instances where legitimate behaviour as a musician/producer could easily be misinterpreted under the Digital Economy Bill. There are often instances during collaboration with other musicians where we exchange component audio files and pieces of music that are in various states of completion. As far as I see it, there would be no way to discern between legitimate and illegitimate transfers. The bulk of my recent work has been with people in the US where the internet has played a vital role in the creative process and would have been impossible without it. I strongly believe the same problems would be encountered across the artistic community, the internet as a tool for creatives would be seriously compromised and opportunities would be lost.

Daniel Davies ( , , , - self-employed 3D designer/modeller/sculptor, aspiring author, furry fandom artist, user of free and open source software. From a business perspective, the Digital Economy Bill will not help in distribution of my work, rather it will cut off potential customers from the main medium of advertisement and sales; the internet. As someone using mostly Lego(R) products to create the designs, models, sculptures, mosaics and other items I sell, I am concerned that the Digital Economy Bill will lay the foundations for a wider attack on the freedom of the internet, potentially leading to the alienation of internet users, the removal of alternative suppliers to the Lego(R) Company themselves and possibly leading to more stringent copyright rules under which larger companies would feel obliged to move against creativity. As an author, my first book which is about two-thirds done will when completed be difficult to publish in the current climate. Since I'm not writing it for the fame or the money, I intend to share it through Peer To Peer networks, with the option to buy it in hard copy available through a link. This distribution method will not be successful should the Digital Economy Bill take precedence over common sense and socio-economic evolution. As an artist, I create the occasional picture for fun to share with my friends through various websites. What will the Digital Economy Bill do to our ability to share and collaborate artwork? How many websites will be forced to remove pictures made by fans of their favourite cartoon characters or mascots? Whether these pictures are made as jokes, examples of artistic capability or as derivative characters to go with a spin-off story, the implications remain worrying. Open-Source Software is free to redistribute and copy as much as you like, but how do we do that if the means to do so are cut off one by one? If the Digital Economy Bill leads to the blocking of all Peer To Peer network traffic, which I can sadly see as being a resort the industries in question will use, 'illegal' filesharing will just jump ship to another network and the cycle will repeat. The Digital Economy Bill itself is tough, but I can also see it as being the tipping point for allowing in much tougher measures. Give them (the incumbent industries) an inch, they'll take a mile.