UK Comedy Writer Takes The Digital Economy Bill Seriously… As A Threat To His Livelihood

Nathaniel Tapley, an award-winning comedy writer, writes “Yesterday, I wrote a blog post disagreeing with [Bernie Corbett,] the General Secretary of my union, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, who was defending the Digital Economy Bill. Surprisingly, he emailed me with a full response, which I have now posted at the link above, and I’ve answered a couple of his points in the comments section. Anyway, I thought it might be of interest to some of your readers, as it’s a detailed response from a supporter of the Digital Economy Bill.”

Tapley joins the many creatives that oppose the Digital Economy Bill. His original post that spurred Bernie Corbett’s response is a worthwhile read, as is his response to Corbett’s email. Tapley’s main point of contention is that it is stupid to disconnect anyone if they are suspected of violating copyright:

Internet disconnection works directly against writers, musicians and artists being able to get their works in front of audiences, and paying audiences. In the last five years a number of models have emerged for ‘monetising content’ (ugh!) At present, the residuals and tips and ad revenues make up a small but growing part of many creators’ incomes, and more sophisticated models are being developed.

Reducing the number of people who have access to my work is not the same as working on my behalf, Bernie.

It’s great to see more people come out of the woodwork who seem to understand how to approach new challenges as opportunities and not threats. That said, while it’s great that there is this discussion between people who disagree about the bill, it’s very unfortunate that the bill was rushed through Parliament with such haste.

After all, soon, for anyone suspected of copyright infringement, Techdirt will look like this. At that point, continuing such discussions online will be slightly more difficult.

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