Tag Archives: digital economy act

Labour sticks to its support for the Digital Economy Act

Cory Doctorow writes,

Harriet Harman, deputy leader the UK Labour Party, has explained her party’s programme for the British Internet: “implement the Digital Economy Act under a clear timetable including getting on with the notification letters.” “Notification letters?” Why yes, those would be the letters notifying you that you have been accused, without proof, of downloading copyrighted material without permission, and that everyone in your household is now at risk of being disconnected from the Internet, without a trial. If that costs you your job, if that costs your children their education, if that makes it harder to engage with politics, civics,

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Opinion: Why I’m supporting creators but opposing the Digital Economy Act

Kevin (not his real name) drives his son Danny to the shops. Danny pops in and emerges with various items in a bag, for which he has paid. In his pocket there is a packet of biscuits which he trousered while collecting the other items. CCTV spots the fact that he has done it and he is prosecuted for shoplifting.

A few weeks later, Kevin’s garage makes contact and says that the Government has issued an order that he take his car into the garage to be adjusted so that it can do no more than 30 miles per hour. He …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | 10 Comments

Opinion: Will the Lib Dems stand up for creative industries?

A Labour friend of mine was smugly telling me about last week’s launch of the Labour Creative Industries Network. Much of this reminded me of their ‘Cool Britannia’ efforts circa 1997.

However, it also got me thinking about how the creative industries see us. We too have some nice words about creative businesses on our website – but do we really have a sense of how we want to support and promote this economically and culturally important sector? The DCMS is the only department where Lib Dems have no ministerial presence. There is a hair’s breadth in arts policy between …

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Julian Huppert MP writes: Hargreaves and site-blocking: a good start

I was pleased when Vince Cable announced, yesterday, the government’s response to the Hargreaves Report. Like many people who are interested in IT & IP, I was pretty worried that it might turn out to be another damp squib, where an eminent academic publishes a set of excellent proposals, only for the government to fail to act. This, of course, is what happened after the Gowers Review.

Thankfully the Coalition is supporting all ten of Professor Hargreaves’ recommendations. They are important copyright reforms that could add as much as £7 billion, or 0.6%, to the UK economy – …

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Opinion: Digital Economy Act – The fight isn’t over

It’s difficult to quantify the mess the Labour government left us in. Sure, the £158,000,000,000 annual deficit they left behind was one big quantity. But there were also the thousands of children being held in detention, our civil liberties in tatters, university finances out of control, record low levels of house building… the list seems endless.

But seemingly this wasn’t enough for Labour. In their dying breath they created yet another mess for the next government to sort. The Digital Economy Bill was forced through Parliament in its last week before recessing for the General Election campaign.

Grassroots Lib Dems made their …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Vince Cable scraps Labour plans to block websites, outlines widespread changes to our copyright law

The government’s controversial plans to block unlawful file sharing websites were scrapped today by Vince Cable. Brought in by the last government in the hastily put together Digital Economy Act, the plans to force ISPs to block websites was shown to be unworkable in a detailed report from Ofcom.

The report, withdrawn embarrassingly hours after publication when it emerged that the redacted sections of the report could be read by simply cutting and pasting the document, detailed how website blocking as set out in the DEAct could be easily circumvented, would not be suitable for reducing copyright infringement …

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Julian Huppert MP calls for Digital Economy Act rethink

This week Julian Huppert tabled Early Day Motion 1913: Disconnection of Users from the Internet, which calls for a rethink on last year’s Digital Economy Act.

From the Register:

A Liberal Democrat MP is demanding a repeal of the Digital Economy Act having tabled an early day motion in Parliament yesterday, which so far has gained nine signatures from across the political spectrum.

Julian Huppert wants the UK government to debate the issue in the House of Commons. Signatories include Labour MPs Tom Watson and Eric Joyce as well as Tory backbencher Peter Bottomley.

The Lib Dem MP has made similar

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Julian Huppert writes… Digital Policy in a Coalition Government

Here’s a $64,000 question: how can we possibly expect decent digital policy to be made when too many of our politicians are technologically illiterate, and when our main political institution itself refuses to change with the times? I do not mean, of course, that most MPs are incapable of using a computer or sending an email. In fact, a survey in 2009 found, perhaps surprisingly, that 92% of MPs use email, while 83% have a personal website of some kind. (Perhaps we should be wary of how much even that means, given what some of these sites look like!)

However, in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Independent View: Website blocking should not be on the cards

Lib Dems are wisely taking a detailed look at whether website blocking would lead to excessive legal claims and censorship of legitimate material, or if it could be employed to reduce copyright infringement.

Ofcom, too, has been asked to look at whether the policy is “practical”. We at Open Rights Group met them to say: no it isn’t. And the collateral damage to people’s rights is likely to be very high.

As it stands, copyright holders can already go to Court to ask for websites to be blocked, as the result of previous lobbying. But they don’t use this legal

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Julian Huppert: Winning the battle on the Digital Economy Act

In common with many Liberal Democrats, I have opposed the Digital Economy Act since its introduction as a Bill during the dog-days of the Labour government.

Along with Bridget Fox, Obhi Chatterjee and an army of activists online and offline, I helped to get an emergency motion passed almost unanimously at Spring Conference last year that condemned the Bill, in particular for its provisions on website-blocking.

The motion also called for a working group to be created to draw up policy papers on information technology and intellectual property. I now act as chair of that working group, and you can find details of its progress at www.makeitpolicy.org.uk, among other places.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

DPMQs: Nick Clegg looks forward to Mañana

The LDV Collective have asked me to add the monthly Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions to my radar screen. When these sessions started they seemed rather manufactured and unnecessary. However, they have evolved into an important part of the Commons’ calendar, covering a wide range of key issues. They are of interest especially for those of us in the Liberal Democrats who are interested in hearing what Nick Clegg has to say in his official capacity, under scrutiny from MPs, in a mercifully Flashman-free environment.

But this will never be like Prime Minister’s Question Time. The chamber is only about a …

Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

Music revenue figures show industry outperforming economy despite online piracy

The UK music industry’s revenues declined by less than 1% in the last year, a smaller drop than in previous years and a change that looks particular good given the economy overall was in sharp recession at the same time. These figures are likely to reinforce the views of critics of the Digital Economy Act who have attacked its approach to online piracy.

As The Register’s story says:

Reporting research that will further fuel the debate about the effect of copyright-infringing file sharing on the music industry, Ofcom said that a jump in single sales of 27 per cent and

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