BIS Discriminates Against the Disabled

Today, we had the release of the Digital Economy Bill, which is basically a way of taking the Digital world, and forcing it to try and confirm to the ‘Old Economy’.

There is one sure sign though, that this is because they don’t understand technology. Are you ready? It’s the pdfs of the consultation responses.

I published mine back here a few weeks ago, right after I sent it to them in fact. You can download it here. It is 272kb in size. The version included in this zip file (labelled Norton P2P Research – yes, they put me in with the companies, rather than in the individual responses) is 3.88MB

What’s the difference?


  1. Mine has colour. The image on page 9, and the graph on page 11 lose some of their impact without colour.
  2. My version has working source links.
  3. Even if they were de-hyperlinked, you could still copy the text and input them. You can’t select any text on the BIS version
  4. The footers, with the page numbering (important if you end up printing it out) and filename are missing on the BIS version.
  5. You can’t search for text on the BIS version
  6. The text can be hard to read (pg12), pages are skewed (pg7), lines sometimes shrunk (pg6),
  7. Finally, they added an extra, blank, page at the end

For all these changes, for the WORSE, they’ve increased the filesize 14x.

More importantly, these changes are discriminatory to the disabled. My version can be easily read, and can be read aloud by screen-readers. The BIS version can’t. They have actively taken a disabled-accessible document and made it INaccessible. Why is that? I’ve fired an email off to the man behind the consultation, Mike Klym at the BIS, lets see what he has to say.

If they can’t even effectively handle a simple thing like a pdf, is it any wonder that that we have such an arse-backwards bill as the Digital Economy Bill?

My version, as submitted

Uk p2p Consultation Response 290909

The Version released by the UK Government

Norton P2P Research