The Digital Economy Act, which could restrict illegal downloaders from accessing the internet, is proving to be the most popular topic with web users in the run-up to the general election.
Web users submitted 5,300 questions on topics such as tax, the NHS, Afghanistan, petrol and technology. The questions were then voted on by 180,000 web users to select 10 to put to party leaders.
Labour leader Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg answered the questions on videos, which can be seen on YouTube and Facebook. The most popular answers and the overall winner will be revealed on 3 May.
The top question chosen by the vote concerns the Digital Economy Act. The legislation, yet to be enforced, will punish illegal file sharers in order to stem the revenue losses of copyright holders in industries such as film, music and software.
So-called 'three strikes' legislation will see culprits kicked off the internet after multiple attempts to download copyrighted material.
Hotels, libraries and public Wi-Fi providers stand to be affected by the policy because they may lose their internet connections if customers download copyrighted content. Critics have said that the Act will cause businesses to shut down their open Wi-Fi to the detriment of society in general.
The Liberal Democrats stood against the Bill, but the Conservative Party gave its support to the government and allowed the legislation to be passed in a hurry through the so-called parliamentary 'wash-ups' before the general election.
The question, posed by 'Dave' from Coventry, asked: "May I ask why only 20 people debated the Digital Economy Bill in the Commons despite a lot of opposition? May I also ask why 200 MPs from Labour and Conservative rammed the Bill through despite opposition from normal people with normal lives?"
Brown acknowledged the need for further discussion in his video, saying: "I think there's got to be a lot more debate about the digital policies of the future."
Cameron, meanwhile, blamed the government for the rushed process, saying that it went through "too quickly and the Labour government delayed the bill for much too long".
Clegg also criticised the wash-up process through which the Act was passed saying: "It wasn't a wash up, it was a stitch up."
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