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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Andrew EisenMarvel has replaced Manara on the variant covers for Thor #2 and Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #1. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Marvel is learning the right lesson here.09/23/2014 - 6:26pm
quiknkoldI'm 7 years old, and my cousin(Also 7, maybe 8 at this time) tells me has Battletoads. its Summer Vacation. We play and play and play until finally, We won coop. Those were the days.09/23/2014 - 5:29pm
quiknkoldlets take a moment to share some gaming memories, shall we?09/23/2014 - 5:28pm
MechaTama31I buy stuff off the eshop because it gives me the convenience of a flashcart without the guilt.09/23/2014 - 5:03pm
Montewell thanks for the info Eisen; try that the next time i need something off the eshop09/23/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgere: MP, i've sent tech support a note - thank you :)09/23/2014 - 3:14pm
IanCNah that wasnt directed at you Andrew :)09/23/2014 - 3:00pm
Papa MidnightRe: SIEGE 2014 Keynote: oh dear...09/23/2014 - 2:44pm
MaskedPixelanteDear GP, something called "doubleverify" is causing some nasty browser issues on my end. Probably one of your ads.09/23/2014 - 2:36pm
Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a dog's age just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while! (And it's still not there yet, in a lot of respects.)09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
 

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