Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Lord Mandelson today accused the bankers of being the "unacceptable face of capitalism".  Isn't this somewhat hypocritical, given that he wants the Internet industry to spend £500 million on an electronic fence to protect the rich in the music industry (ie, the Digital Economy Bill)?  Is this acceptable when the country is virtually  bankrupt?

A quick search of the Sunday Times rich list produces a veritable catalogue of rich musicians. These are the beneficiaries of the graduated response and website blocking measures proposed by Lord Mandelson in the Digital Economy Bill.

Estimates of the cost of Lord Mandelson's measures have been as high as £500 million. Moreover, the actual cost is not known, because ISPs will have to invest in new infrastructure to implement the measures in the Digital Economy Bill. That will take away money from investment in the broadband fibre network. And the Internet users will have to pay for it in increased subscription charges, as well as the threat to their rights to freedom of expression.  

Moreover, an article in the Daily Telegraph today says that it will cost consumers £300 million as they will have to buy additional IT equipment to meet the obligation in Clause 14 of the bill to protect their Internet access. 

I've pasted a sample of the  the Sunday Times Rich list below, from the search results for musicians and others who have made their money from music: 

Rank Name Worth Source of wealth
28= Clive Calder £1,300m Music
52= Lord Lloyd-Webber £750m Entertainment, Music
120= Sir Paul McCartney £440m Music
146= Sir Cameron Mackintosh £350m Entertainment, Music
178= Simon Fuller £300m Entertainment, Music
297= Sir Mick Jagger £190m Music
309= Sting £180m Music
322= Keith Richards £175m Music
322= Sir Elton John £175m Music
333= Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas £170m Films
388= Olivia and Dhani Harrison £140m Inheritance, Music
388= Sir Tim Rice £140m Music
406= Jamie Palumbo £130m Entertainment, Music
406= Sir Tom Jones £130m Music
426= David and Victoria Beckham £125m Football, Fashion, Music
438= Eric Clapton £120m Music
438= Ringo Starr £120m Music
438= Simon Cowell £120m Music
492= Barry and Robin Gibb £110m Music
503= Phil Collins £108m Music

To view the full list, go to The Sunday Times Rich List search page and type "music" in the search box.  

Lord Mandelson's comments were reported by The Times


Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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