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The government's plans for a Digital Britain appear somewhat confused, according to one IT commentator.

Writing in his Guardian technology blog, Richard Stallman noted that ministers are pushing for faster broadband speeds with one hand, but attempting to restrict internet use with the other.

He claimed that the anti-filesharing provisions included in the current digital economy bill are opposed by the majority of consumers, with thousands of Britons "trying feverishly" to express their views to their local MP.

Referencing Labour's plans for universal high-speed connectivity by 2020, Mr Stallman commented: "More Britons with broadband could mean more Britons accustomed to filesharing, more Britons who realise that sharing is good, and more Britons prepared to demand that their government serve them instead of the record companies."

He suggested that the government should spend more time attempting to support the creative arts in the digital age, rather than impeding filesharing activity.

There is "no shortage of methods" ministers could try, including a special tax to be distributed to artists and the wider use of voluntary consumer payment, he claimed.

Earlier this week, the digital economy bill received its second reading in the House of Commons, moving a stage closer to becoming law.

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