Monday, 19 October 2009

UK Government out of touch on copyright

The UK is one of the main movers behind the Council of Minister's refusal to accept  'innocent until proven guiilty' as a guiding principle for cutting internet access to suspected copyright infringers...  However, at home things are far from quiet in opposition to the government's plans. 

Tom Watson's early day motion on illicit file sharing continues to gain MP's support, while the Open Rights Group has published the results of a survey that shows that supporting cutting people off from the internet for filesharing is a clear vote loserSixty eight percent thought that internet users should be disconnected only once evidence had been considered by a court - a pretty resounding chorus in defence of our rights to 'innocent until proven guilty'.

If you are one of those sixty eight percent then write to your MP and tell them so...  and also write to your MEP (right away!) and tell them to put pressure on the Council of Minister's to accept Amendment 138 as proposed by the EU parliament - it's the first and best way to ensure just due process is protected in law.

Meanwhile the government get a knocking too in the recently published report by the UK All Party Parliamentary group on Copyright.  It has lots of interesting reading, with details of the evidence from a wide range of parties on both sides of the debate.  On illicit file sharing the group concludes

"We conclude that much of the problem with illegal sharing of copyrighted material has been caused by the rightsholders, and the music industry in particular, being far too slow in getting their act together and making popular legal alternatives available.

We do not believe that disconnecting end users is in the slightest bit consistent with policies that attempt to promote eGovernment, and we recommend that this approach to dealing with illegal file-sharing should not be further considered.

We think that it is inappropriate to make policy choices in the UK when policy options are still to be agreed by the EU Commission and EU Parliament in their  negotiations over the “Telecoms Package”. We recommend that the Government terminate their current policy-making process, and restart it with a new consultation once the EU has made its decisions."

Which is pretty blunt, given that this is a cross parliamentary group.

Piratpartiet & The Pirate Party -  Working for copyright reform.

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