Friday, 28 August 2009

Copyright. Consultation UK style

And while the Canadians are doing their best to find out what the public want the UK government continue their Dickensian march towards public floggings and debtors jail for persistent copyright offenders. (Wouldn't keel-hauling or walking the plank be more appropriate?).

Having put out their plans for consultation they have come back before the consultation is concluded with more radical proposals for cutting off internet access for offenders a process that unfairly penalises other people relying on the same Internet accout). To conclude after the consultation that measures needed to to be tougher would be one thing... to change your mind mid-stream rather smacks of having made your mind up and not being interested in what the consultation results in, making a mockery of the whole process.

The Times has a thoughtful article on the issue by John Nouhghton, a professor in Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University.

The Open Rights Group is also clear in it's opposition to this latest move, encouraging people to contact their MP with their views. You can also contribute with your views to the copyright consultation. More information on doing that is available in a wiki here.

Labour MP Tom Watson also has an interesting blog post on why the government needs to tread warily on handling online piracy.

The Pirate Party are campaigning for copyright reform, including legalising non-commercial file sharing and reducing the excessive length of copyright protection.

Note that I've not commented on speculation that the process has been influenced by personal contacts between government ministers and influential media industry figures. Nothing so nepotistic would happen in Britain surely?

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