Could it be the curse of Gowers? It’s been over 3 years since the former Financial Times editor made his seemingly doomed 39th recommendation in his otherwise excellent review of intellectual property:
Observe the industry agreement of protocols for sharing data between ISPs and rights holders to remove and disbar users engaged in ‘piracy’. If this has not proved operationally successful by the end of 2007, Government should consider whether to legislate.
Since then, it seems every minister tasked with overseeing implementing his idea has only just got in post before they are running for the door again. The news today that Sion Simon MP will step down as creative industries minister (and, indeed, get out of Westminster altogether) inspired me to write a list of all the other Ministers I could think of who’ve once been responsible for this policy, then legged it.
- Baroness Delyth Morgan (reshuffled)
- Baroness Shriti Vadera (stepped down to advise G20)
- Andy Burnham MP (promoted)
- Lord Stephen Carter (resigned)
- Sion Simon MP(resigned)
I’m not sure this list is chronological, or indeed exhaustive – please help me revise it if you can. And of course, it may yet be incomplete. Last Summer, I predicted that the Digital Economy Bill – the latest zombie incarnation of this wretched policy – would be Peter Madelson’s undoing. I remain hopeful I was right.