>"I just don’t think these draconian measures are the way to do it."

So, what's your answer? If we all agree that TPB is bad, and wish it out of existence, what is so wrong with it not existing? I think it's something to do with this :

>"Worse, I fear that they will lead to something more sinister."

More sinister than anonymously run commercial enterprises outside of all normal legal jurisdictions that takes pride in being accountable to nobody? More draconian than forcing normal people to pay more tax because of falling tax revenues? How much money does the UK have to lose before it crosses your line? What cost is too much for you? Schools? Hospitals? We're in a recession, again, we're fighting hard to keep ourselves afloat and you're moaning about http error codes on TPB. What about my freedom to feed my family? My rights to sell my work in an open and fair market?

>"That’s why I’m trying to kick up a fuss."

...about HTTP error codes - I see your logic...they close an unscrupulous establishment and you complain about the sign on the door!

>With regard to the artistic merits of Dan Bull...
>it’s hardly worse than TOWIE, is it?
>That’s not much of an argument.

I hope you were referring to your previous line, if so I agree - it's not much of an argument, why would we measure human artistic endeavour against TOWIE? Do you assess a lot of things this way? If there is some great free art by TPB members post it here and demonstrate, hopefully it'll be of a higher standard than your prior example. Either way, I think these fringe cases (budding politicians and musicians) will find another platform just fine, maybe more appropriately titled for their respective causes. If you're going to TPB for the politics and musicians, I can recommend some alternatives that might be a better fit, but I suspect you already know this was a bit of bluster.

>"Fascism is the subservience of the state to commerce"

No it isn't, that's a plutocracy; according to Wikipedia - "Fascists advocate a state-directed, regulated market economy that is dedicated to the nation; the use and primacy of regulated private property and private enterprise contingent upon service to the nation". Which sounds a lot like the argument against IP put forth by TPB supporters to me (all IP should be available to and for "the people"). It's no coincidence that regimes that don't respect or protect IP are also the most authoritarian, so before you tell us that the UK is on a slippery slope to becoming like China or Iran, consider their position and record on IP protection.

>"That, to me, looks like creeping fascism."

That's because of your fallacious definition of fascism! To me, it looks like nothing to do with this issue and a distraction from the fact that you'd rather the government didn't prevent access to a site that's primary raison d'être is to distribute other peoples work for free, illegally. I'm sure you've got your reasons, but I don't think you've articulated those yet, you've just stated that there are some legit uses for Pirate Bay...so if a crackhouse had a Citizens Advice Bureau attached you'd argue it was wrong to close it? It's called "The Pirate Bay", it's where you can get pirate stuff - I don't see where the confusion comes from. You're against it, but you don't want to stop access to it, because Dan Bull and some political activists will have to find another forum?

...and you say I'm confused. 😀

>"Me choosing to moderate comments is not censorship."

Then why do it? Don't you want to censor blog spam, etc? I think you've got every right to censor/moderate your comments, but I also think democratic government has a right to moderate the internet when it's against the interests of citizens. When you do it, it's OK, but when a state does it there's something inherently wrong/evil/draconian - slippery slope, according to you. I think you're both entitled and it'll probably result in better quality content if you do...I don't want to read blog spam any more than you do.

Also, what exactly do you think is being censored by preventing TPB access? All of the stuff on Pirate Bay is available elsewhere, maybe asides some commentary that's completely free to migrate wherever the content owners choose. Censorship is preventing free speech or communication, not stopping people from torrenting stuff - you can purchase the stuff elsewhere and there are plenty of internet forums to discuss the revolution in. There's no evidence the government is trying to stop free speech or communication, just prevent some piracy, get some tax revenues in. I think a lot of this is in your head and bears no relation to reality - they're not trying to stop the forums, just the torrents.

Regarding your understanding of the Google/copyright/Moog situation : in the US and the UK Oli could claim fair use because "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work" was negligible; his usage made no difference to Google, financially. Had they of been selling the image, and/or clearly marked it as being protected he would be in a different position, but that wasn't the case. This is an error you've arrived at because you seem to think that absolutes are the only way forward - it'll either be completely unregulated or it's 1984. Maybe things will be reasonable and the government will merely seek to optimise its tax take from UK digital companies, is that so hard to believe?

Your view is implicit in the language you employ; you consistently use negative words (probably internally and externally) to skew your perspective. If you look at those words (draconian, fear, censorship, creeping, etc) carefully you'll find them fairly meaningless in the context you're attempting to apply them - they convey no meaning without direct proof of the suggested intent; they're simply scaremongering, and that's obscuring very real issues here. I still don't understand, I think I've made my point clear but I'm still no further to understanding yours yet, only that you're afraid of something that you call fascism; by which you actually mean the limiting of individual freedoms by the state because of pressure applied by commerce, right? Yet in the instance you've given, you've agreed that these freedoms hurt the freedoms of others (content creators)? I assume you'd agree that a freedom or right that allows you to hurt others is not really an appropriate right to have? Then what is your point?

I think the government is simply trying to prevent counterfeit goods, as it has done for much of the past 400 years - everything else is a reflection of your psyche; and that's the bit that interests me. If they try and close Twitter, I might think you've got a point and we'll rise up against those nasty fascists together, but with TPB the clue is in the name.

An enjoyable discussion, nonetheless. Liked your Martin Niemöller thing, ironically very trade union - but we're not in Nazi Germany, thanks in part to UK Intellectual Property!