Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Suspected internet pirates will have 20 working days to appeal against allegations of copyright infringement and must pay £20 to do so, according to revised plans to enforce the UK’s Digital Economy Act.

So, you are entirely innocent of any crime, entirely innocent of pirating anyone’s copyright, but you are accused. It will cost you £20 to appeal your innocence. Reverse of the burden of proof or what? Note the words “suspected” and “alleged” not actual proven guilt.

Slowly, surely, we creep inexorably towards Napoleonic law.

Campaigners oppose the fee saying users should be innocent until proven guilty.

Welcome to the new world order where we are guilty until we demonstrate our innocence and have to pay for the privilege.

8 comments for “Guilty Until Proven Innocent

  1. June 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    And when the EU finally gets the legal system it wants, this will be extended into other areas. “Creative” Industries Minister Ed Vaizey eh? Right – he goes on the list.

  2. Mudplugger
    June 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    So, after proving yourself innocent, you then launch a claim in the Small Claims Court for the refund of your £20 (plus other costs). That could completely gum up the justice works if enough did it.

    If they don’t defend it, you win, recovering your £20 + all extra costs (including bailiff costs for recovery).
    If they do defend it, then their professional legal costs would be vastly greater than the £20 at issue, whilst your personal costs are limited even if you lose.

    • June 28, 2012 at 5:39 am


  3. P T Barnum
    June 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    There’s always one, isn’t there, snuggling up to tyranny, saying I’m good, thump the other ones?

    1 Hour ago

    Sorry to go against the grain, surely those protesting to spend £20 to prove your innocence are the guilty parties. I’d happily pay £20 if I was suspected of copyright infringement, I have nothing to hide. Then once proven innocent I would make an official complaint demanding my £20 back. You are right innocent until proven guilty but I suspect if pirate bay is on your IP guilty as charged!!”

    • June 28, 2012 at 5:40 am

      Does the Pirate Bay also carry non-copyright material? If so, that shoots down another section of his argument, doesn’t it?

    • Tatty
      June 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

      if pirate bay is on your IP guilty as charged!!

      Because just looking at a website the authorities don’t want you to is now, rightfully, illegal ? Really ?

      In which case, and especially in this case, I look forward to seeing all investigators state snitches who have visited the site charged accordingly, forced to defend their innocence and dragged through the rigmarole of reclaiming their £20, too.

      Does the Pirate Bay also carry non-copyright material? If so, that shoots down another section of his argument, doesn’t it?

      Good question but who would know now anyway ? ..not me…piratebay.*.* is blocked by my ISP. People are now forced to accept as fact that a site accused by the authorites of doing something they shouldn’t is actually guilty.

      You will do as you are told.
      You will see what we want you to see.
      You will believe what we want to you believe.
      You will NOT be given oppertunity to find anything out for yourself.

      Marvellous 😐

  4. June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    OK, so let’s look at this Ed Vaizey who chooses to ignore the “guilty until proven innocent at a financial cost to the accused” principle. The briefest research already reveals:

    1. He’s a signatory to the Henry Jackson Society. This was named after an American socialist:

    Its perspective has been described as Atlanticist. It supports the European Union and advocates a European Security and Defence Policy called “military interoperability”.

    It believes in the welfare state.

    The society was founded in March 2005 by academics and students at Cambridge (mostly affiliated with the Centre for International Studies)

    Its statement of principles has been publicly signed by

    * Members of Parliament Michael Ancram, Michael Gove, [note this one, John from Cheshire] Edward Vaizey, David Willetts, Denis MacShane, Fabian Hamilton, Gisela Stuart,
    * former MPs David Trimble, Jackie Lawrence, Greg Pope ……..

    2. OK, the CfIS – some of their members:

    # Jimmy Carr, comedian,[8] [anyone remember him?]
    # Dr Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow [9]
    # Johann Hari, journalist [10]
    # Jim Knight, Labour MP and Minister for Schools and Learners[11]
    # John Healey, Labour MP and Minister for Communities and Local Government[12]

    3. The Euston Manifesto

    There are similarities between the manifesto and the aims of the Henry Jackson Society which was launched at Cambridge University in March 2005. Some Henry Jackson Society members are among the signatories of the manifesto.

    The statement is a reaction to what are asserted to be widespread violations of leftist principles by others who are commonly associated with the political Left. The manifesto states that “the reconfiguration of progressive opinion that we aim for involves drawing a line between forces on the Left that remain true to its authentic values.

    And what are those values? Look closely at the authors.

    There are about thirty members of the group, four of whom were most heavily involved in authoring the document: Norman Geras, Marxist scholar and professor emeritus at Manchester University; Damian Counsell; Alan Johnson, editor of Democratiya; and Shalom Lappin. Other members include Nick Cohen of The Observer, who co-authored with Geras the first report on the manifesto in the mainstream press; Marc Cooper of The Nation; Francis Wheen a journalist and authority on Marx; and historian Marko Attila Hoare.

    Only three steps and we’ve got to the core values – through Norman Geras, Marxist academic. So it’s all pretty clear, is it not, why this trail leading to Vaizey should have a supposedly Conservative MP spouting the language of the Statists and global socialists and flying a kite for the principle of “guilty until proven innocent at a financial cost to the accused”.

    Whichever way you cut it, if it’s a Statist move to take away freedoms, you can be sure the left is behind it.

  5. Tatty
    June 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    “…according to revised plans to enforce the UK’s Digital Economy Act…”

    They can plan to do whatever the fuck they like. Existing law will decide whether they actually/eventually succeed.

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