Mandy’s Dangerous Downloaders Act

This morning’s Observer column.

The trouble is that in Westminster (or on Capitol Hill) nobody speaks for the future or for the wider needs of society. So we wind up with biased legislation framed in a rearview mirror. The fact that the internet makes it easy to copy and remix does indeed pose a challenge for IP regimes framed in the era of print. But that should be a spur for rethinking the regime, not for switching off the net – because that’s what we will have to do in order to stop what’s now going on.

The dangerous downloaders act won’t stop file-sharing, but it will certainly inhibit online creativity. This government has legislated in haste; it will be for the next one to repent at leisure.