Tag Archives: don foster

Don Foster on the Digital Economy Bill: carrot, pause and then stick

Yesterday Don Foster (Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary) kindly gave over some time to talk about his views on the Digital Economy Bill and the line the party is taking. It’s a topic we’ve often covered on The Voice, particularly the question of the balance between carrot and stick in responding to internet piracy. Should the response be making it easier for people to buy legal content and a move to new business models (the carrot) or should it be a crackdown based on the existing copyright rules (the stick)?

Don’s answer was that the carrot should be tried …

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Lib Dems move to clip Mandelson’s power over copyright

The Digital Economy Bill currently going through Parliament would give Peter Mandelson huge powers to rewrite the country’s copyright laws in future – and all without much in the way of Parliamentary scrutiny or checks and balances.

But Liberal Democrat peer Tim Clement-Jones has tabled an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to delete the controversial Clause 17.

He’s said:

This clause would give the Government carte-blanche to change all copyright law relating to the internet as and when they please.

Such powers are unnecessary and over-reaching and we have tabled an amendment to delete Clause 17.

Good news.

Whilst the Parliamentary Party’s approach seems to the …

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Oh God … It’s Don’s “there’s too many repeats on telly” rant again

In what has become a tradition almost as eagerly anticipated as the Queen’s Speech, Lib Dem shadow culture secretary Don Foster has unleashed his annual broadside against telly bosses for broadcasting too many repeats. The Telegraph dusts off the same-old, same-old:

Nearly 600 hours of repeats will be shown on Britain’s four main television channels over the festive period according to schedules released by broadcasters. It is thought to be the highest ever number of Christmas repeats to be shown during the two week holiday period. … Over the four main terrestrial channels some 580 hours will consist of repeated

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Liberal Democrats back campaign to free our postcodes

Welcome news from the blog of Lynne Featherstone (who, apart from being a LibDem MP, is also chair of the party’s Technology Advisory Board):

We need postcodes to be owned by the public – not sold to the public. Postcodes are the basic pre-requisite for allowing services to be developed that support democratic accountability.

It’s an important issue because the Royal Mail’s decision to take a hard line in enforcing its legal rights means a range of useful public services – including ones to help unemployed people find jobs and to help residents hear about planning applications near them – have …

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Filesharing plans ignore legal rights, claims Foster

The rights and wrongs of filesharing may still be very much up for debate, but Don Foster again confirmed that, if Lord Mandelson wants support for his “three strikes and you’re out” policy against filesharers, he won’t get it from the Lib Dems.

Lord Mandelson wants those suspected of illegal file sharing to have their bandwidth restricted or to be cut off from the Internet altogether. Mandelson claimed that young people downloading content for free was morally unsustainable.

Don Foster, who just last week was speaking out for live music performers (the clown’s the one on the left) has made …

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Foster on online pay-per-view for England World Cup match: football’s “making a fast buck” at fans’ expense

Well, the good news for Lib Dems is that it should be safe to go knocking on doors on Saturday afternoon knowing you’re not going to interrupt an England World Cup qualifier on the telly. The bad news – if you’re a football supporter without home access to the Internet – is that you can’t watch England take on Ukraine.

The BBC explains:

England’s World Cup qualifier in Ukraine on Saturday will be shown exclusively live to subscribers on the internet who will pay at least £4.99. All previously broadcast England matches have been available on TV.

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Should product placement be banned from TV shows?

Here’s Don Foster’s take on the subject:

In the current financial climate, we have to look at all revenue options including product placement.

The previous Secretary of State, Andy Burnham, was wrong to have ruled out the option of product placement.

With Google now having a larger advertising revenue than ITV, the commercial television companies need to fight back and it’s welcome that the new Secretary of State is using common sense and allowing product placement to be part of their armoury.

Given how controversial product placement was in its early days in US TV and in films, I’m struck how muted the public …

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Film censorship “in chaos”, says Foster

As the BBC reports:

Retailers who sell violent video games and 18-rated DVDs to children cannot be prosecuted because of a legal blunder 25 years ago. Dozens of prosecutions under a 1984 Act have been dropped because the government of the day failed to notify the European Commission about the law. But previous prosecutions will stand, according to the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

Lib Dem shadow culture, media and sport secretary Don Foster was quick to react to the news:

The Conservative’s incompetence when they were in Government has made laws designed to prevent video piracy and protect

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Should BBC licence fee-payers foot £150k ‘Sachsgate’ fine?

No, says Don Foster, the Lib Dems’ shadow culture, media and sports secretary, following media regulator Ofcom’s announcement on Friday that it was fining the BBC £150,000 following the infamous prank calls made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on Mr Brand’s Radio 2 show:

This money should come out of Jonathan Ross’s salary so that broadcasting does not suffer.”

Hmmm. Sorry, Don, but you’ve not convinced me your statement is anything other than populist drivel.

Of course Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross bear ultimate resonsibility for their potty-mouths. But what they said was broadcast by the BBC, and the Beeb …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Lib Dems reveal one playing field sold off every day last year

Ahh, the wonders of government spin… here’s a BBC report from yesterday:

The Government is claiming greater success in its efforts to protect playing fields from developers. The latest figures show 97.5% of planning applications resulted in improved or protected sports provision. … “These figures are proof that the tough policies we put in place are working,” said sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

Let’s compare that claim with the news, revealed by the Lib Dems and picked up by the media today, that 360 playing fields were sold off in the last year, despite government safeguards which were meant to prevent …

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Foster brands BBC “disgraceful” for refusal to air charity appeal for Gaza

The BBC reports on the latest developments in the ongoing row over the Corporation’s decision not to screen an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee for Gaza because it does not want to compromise its commitment to impartiality:

ITV, Channel 4 and Five are to show a charity appeal for Gaza amid a row over the BBC’s decision not to run the film. Ministers urged the BBC to recognise “immense human suffering” and show the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. … Protesters gathered outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London on Saturday, and chants of “BBC, shame on you” were

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Lib Dem TV Guide

The Lib Dem DCMS team have clearly just had their Christmas Radio Times delivered, and they’re not impressed.

Don Foster has been campaigning against Christmas repeats for years. And this year it’s worse than ever!

  • More than a third of all programmes shown between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day will be repeats.
  • ITV is the only channel to not to have increased its Christmas Day repeats since 2003.
  • Channel Five is the worst offender with 60% of all the programmes shown over Christmas being repeats, including a doubling in Christmas Day

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 22nd Oct - 12:55pm
    After Industry (thank you, Peter Martin), poorly skilled people will have no productive platform anymore to earn a dignified living. Without complementary physical capital, the...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 22nd Oct - 12:54pm
    Interestingly I recall meetings where Mark Oaten, our then Shadow Home Secretary and later his successor in that role, one Nick Clegg, proposed that those...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd Oct - 12:42pm
    Reading that very helpful link you included, George, what Phillip Lee was talking about does not seem like what is normally referred to as “forced...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 22nd Oct - 12:28pm
    Also, it is frankly ludicrous to suggest that, just because the BMA haven't withdrawn a doctor's license to practice over a political stance, the political...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd Oct - 12:27pm
    Many thanks George
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 22nd Oct - 12:15pm
    Paul, I think you'll find that my most recent comment was around 5pm yesterday, therefore it is significantly less than 24 hours - and quite...