Nick Clegg, leader of the UK Liberal Democrats party, has pledged to repeal the odious Digital Economy Act, which was rushed through without substantial debate before Parliament adjourned for the election. Time to start asking the other party leaders and MPs if they’ll support the repeal of the DEAct and a revisiting of the issues from the bottom up:
Q: Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill’s hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated [...]
My latest Guardian column, “Digital Economy Act: This means war,” explains how the latest round of dirty tricks from the entertainment industry — perverting British law, proposing an American police state, building an oppressive global treaty behind closed doors — changes the game. We’re no longer merely arguing about the future of control over culture: now it’s about the fundamentals of a just and free society:
In the US, the MPAA and RIAA (American equivalents of the MPA and the BPI) just submitted comments to the American Intellectual Property Czar, Victoria [...]
The expected call of a general election in the UK this week could delay plans to liberalise the UK airwaves, causing a potential ‘capacity crunch’ in Britain’s mobile phone broadband network, rendering smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerries almost useless.
This week’s expected call of a general election may send plans to liberalise the UK airwaves back to the drawing board, according to latest reports.
A serious headache
The Guardian warns that any delay to the liberalisation of the UK’s airwaves “or sale of a new spectrum would leave mobile [...]
It is looking increasingly likely that the Prime Minster, Gordon Brown is going to take a trip to Buckingham Palace today to ask the Queen to dissolve parliament in time for a general election next month on 6 May.
This is on the same day that the controversial Digital Economy Bill gets a second reading in parliament and gets debated by MPs in the House of Commons. (Well, that’s what many hope!).
Open Rights campaign
The Open Rights Group has advertised in today’s Guardian and Times newspapers demanding that MPs give the bill a “proper” debate – claiming:
The boss of BT has criticised the government’s plans to cut-off persistent illegal file-sharers from their internet accounts, suggesting that fining them would be a far more progressive option.
British Telecom’s Chief Exec, Ian Livingston, has teamed up with a number of other key industry figures and written a letter to the Financial Times urging that changes be made to the Digital Economy Bill.
Plans to cut off filesharers go against what Mr Livingston refers to as ‘natural justice’ and instead he wants to see those accused of filesharing either pay [...]
The Digital Economy Bill has courted much controversy since it was announced back in 2009.
But the news this week that the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are trying to amend the bill to include the banning of sites that persistently breach copyright has had web freedom fighters up in arms.
To get a different perspective, TechRadar spoke to a number of the UK’s ISPs to see what they thought.
Virgin Media explained to us that anything too heavy handed wouldn’t work, noting:
“We share the commitment to addressing copyright infringement and recognise that new laws have an important [...]
The government has backtracked on its initial Digital Economy Bill proposals to cut off people illegally sharing copyrighted movies and music online.
The latest move is seen as a tactical response to a recent petition on the Number 10 website “to abandon Lord Mandelson’s plans to ban individuals from the internet based on their use of ‘peer to peer’ file sharing.”
The petition said: “The increasing role of the internet in access to society should not be underestimated. Cutting off households deprives families of education, government services and freedom of [...]