EDM 1913

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EDM 1913

Postby glambert » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:44 am

I can't believe that searches for 'early day motion' and '1913' haven't brought up anything related to it on this forum.

Anyway, I thought I would share with PPUK my letter to my MP, David Nuttall.

I write to you to urge you to sign the Early Day Motion 1913 'Disconnection of users from the internet'.

I am sure you will agree that laws should be made in Parliament and enforced by the police and court of law. It is therefore wrong that Ed Vaizey is holding private meetings with rights holders to determine policy on web censorship. The latest meeting was closed off to the Open Rights Group and other rights groups, with only Consumer Focus being present as the official consumer watchdog, making this meeting completely bias and not being allowed the balanced debate that this issue desperately needs.

Consumer Focus summarized the meeting as follows; "the trade associations are proposing that the Applications Court of the High Court issues permanent injunctions on the basis that a ‘Council’ and ‘expert body’ have come to the view that the evidence submitted by copyright owners is valid and the blocking access to the website is appropriate." How can it be right that an 'expert body' can decide what breaks the law and what doesn't? This 'expert body', if Mr. Vaizey's meetings are anything to go by, is to be extremely bias and will likely flick the switch on anything they don't like.

My concerns are;
    that we will be relying on this 'expert body' to interpret legislation when it should come down to the decision by a court of law,
    that we are yet to see any proposals for an appeals process and innocent websites could be blocked for an indefinite period,
    that censorship of websites is unlikely to work as seen with websites such as TV-Links and The Pirate Bay in recent years which simply relocated it's servers and/or changed TLDs,
The other aspect of EDM 1913 is the disconnection of users from the internet. Disconnecting a household from the internet simply will not stop file-sharing. 5/6 years ago, we shared songs via bluetooth on their phones. Not that long ago, we recorded songs from the radio onto cassettes. Now, we choose to share our purchased media with others via peer-to-peer technology, which in itself is perfectly legal and is used in other legal services such as Spotify. We used different methods prior to the internet and prior to peer-to-peer technology and if we are to lose our connection to the internet or have our services throttled to make peer-to-peer unusable, we will find other ways to do it.

This is simply not the way forward and will likely increase the number of people file-sharing out of rebellion. I would suggest to the Government that if they really want to stop illegal file-sharing that they encourage the usage of the free, but legal, services out there such as Spotify. Surveys have revealed that a large amount of people share files illegally over the internet simply because of how convenient and easy it is. Even though it may cost people jobs in the retail sector, I believe the Government should encourage any services that provides this level of convenience but also allows the rights holders to make their money and reward the creative artists properly.

I hope you will join your 27 fellow MPs, sadly only 2 of which are members of the Conservative Party, and vote in favor of repealing sections 3 to 18 of the Digital Economy Act 2011 and call on the Government to re-examine the website blocking proposals of the Prevent strategy.



I hope others are writing to their MPs to get them to sign on the dotted line too...?
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby azrael » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:24 pm

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Re: EDM 1913

Postby glambert » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:15 pm

Yes I've seen the Twitter stuff and suggested #AxeDEAct on the piratepad, but I didn't get the newsletter because, well, I'm not a member anymore.

Anyway, onto the reason for posting this letter here, has anyone had any replies stating their intentions to sign or reasons for not doing?
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby scuzzmonkey » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:47 am

Got a response from my MP - below - it's just Party line and waffle mostly.

Dear Will Macdonald

Digital Economy and Internet Disconnections


Thank you for contacting me on such an important matter. It is also a very complex area, though one with which I am familiar having spent six years within Ofcom, as Head of Telecoms Technology.

Firstly let me clarify that as a Shadow Minister I am not in a position to sign EDMs. But to be frank if I were in a position to do so I am not sure I would sign this one, as of I do not agree with all of it, particularly the proposition that it is never acceptable to disconnect someone from the internet. If someone does not pay their broadband bill surely it is acceptable for the broadband provider to withdraw service? After all, the same is true with other household service providers.

I understand that you are concerned about the Digital Economy Act, specifically the implementation of the act's "three strikes" law. The Government has not yet set out a clear framework on how they will deal with this provision of the Digital Economy Act. Until the Government sets out how it will be implemented then it is very difficult to understand the full implications of the law.

As you may know, the High Court recently ruled in favour of the Government in a judicial review of measures to tackle online copyright infringement in the Digital Economy Act. After the ruling the Government directed Ofcom to review section 17 of the Digital Economy Act. On June 7, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture reported that he recently received Ofcom's report on the workability of sections 17 and 18 of the Digital economy act, and he claims the Government will publish a response in due course. I am watching closely for the Government's response to Ofcom's report.

I will also press the relevant Ministers on the implementation of this provision, and will relay your concerns to them.

I do believe that the current proposals raise many concerns. However until the Government sets out how it will be implemented then I cannot assess the full implications of the code.

We need to protect the rights of copyright holders - this helps promote innovation and jobs.

But we also need to protect the rights of internet users, particularly as internet access becomes more of a requirement than a lifestyle choice.

I am not sure that the proposals as they stand achieve these two objectives but I will write to the Minister to seek clarification and get back to you. I would be happy to discuss your views on how to deal equitably with copyright theft at a surgery or by email.

All the best

Chi

Chi Onwurah MP
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby Gavman » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:31 pm

I am not sure that the proposals as they stand achieve these two objectives but I will write to the Minister to seek clarification and get back to you. I would be happy to discuss your views on how to deal equitably with copyright theft at a surgery or by email.


Take him up on this offer ^^^
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby tuoni » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:01 pm

Gavman wrote:
I am not sure that the proposals as they stand achieve these two objectives but I will write to the Minister to seek clarification and get back to you. I would be happy to discuss your views on how to deal equitably with copyright theft at a surgery or by email.


Take him up on this offer ^^^

Especially with the phrase "copyright theft"...
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby scuzzmonkey » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:22 am

Gavman wrote:
I am not sure that the proposals as they stand achieve these two objectives but I will write to the Minister to seek clarification and get back to you. I would be happy to discuss your views on how to deal equitably with copyright theft at a surgery or by email.


Take her up on this offer ^^^


And I'm on it :)
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby scuzzmonkey » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:29 am

Ok, replied (with a bit more of a local slant that before), as follows.

Dear Chi Onwurah,

Firstly, I am sure that you agree with me that the Internet in its many guises is one of the (if not the) most important developments in human history, and that the late-20th/Early-21st Centuries will be characterised and shaped by it.

The power of the Internet to influence public opinion, disseminate information at high-speed, increase accountability and communication between distant parties is staggering, and even 100 years ago were thought to have been previously impossible.

The free and open nature of the Internet has enabled Newcastle, and the North East in general to become a second-city outside of the M4 corridor for Technological Innovation and Development. Regularly Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and the surrounding areas promote and host conferences such as Thinking Digital (http://www.thinkingdigital.co.uk/) and GameHorizon (http://www.gamehorizon.net/) as well as being home to organisations such as Codewords (http://www.codeworks.net/), CCP Games (http://www.ccpgames.com/en/home.aspx), Palringo Ltd (http://www.palringo.com) and Eutechnyx (http://press.eutechnyx.com/).

Almost all of these organisations would not have been able to operate in a world where the Internet was restricted greatly - say, more akin to Television, and other 20th Century inventions.

For example, Palringo Ltd operate an Instant Messaging client that is nearing its 10 millionth user worldwide, from the UK, to America, to North and South Sudan, to Syria, and Australia. They develop and operate their own protocol and software on multiple platforms, all operating over the Internet, which can be accessed from computers, and almost any 'phone made in the last 8 years, which provides an ability for people worldwide to stay connected as long as they can find a signal.

A project such as this would be impossible if a more restrictive Internet was allowed to come in to existence - from both a technical, and financial standpoint.

Net Neutrality (http://dig.csail.mit.edu/breadcrumbs/node/144) isn't a new concept - it is the cornerstone of how the Internet and the WWW have been for many, many years - but we are now starting to move away from it.

The Digital Economy Act (DEAct) has the potential to be very damaging for the future of the Internet in this country - the ability for multi-national corporations to shut down websites, and terminate user's connections based on often bias, and always inaccurate data (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news ... now-it.ars) is not acceptable in a democratic society where we have the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The shameful behaviour of firms such as ACS:Law (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 ... le-sharing) should be a warning sign for everyone of what this legislation means.

The adoption of a 3-strike policy is particularly worrying after the multiple failures of the French HADOPI system - including a dismissal of it by the very people it is claimed to protect, Feature Artists Coalition (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 43217.html) as well as the UN recently declaring Internet Access to be a fundamental human right (http://singularityhub.com/2011/06/12/un ... t-as-open/). The greater issue however comes from the obvious disadvantages from not having access to the Internet. For example, is it fair to punish a 16 year old studying for their GCSEs because their 12 year old sister listened to the new Rihanna song online - without the appropriate permissions?

The DEAct is a poor piece of legislation at best, and a bought, ill-thought-out abomination forced through in the dying days of a Government at worse.

I am sure that we agree that there are many reasons to protect copyright holders - however, I am also sure that we probably disagree on details such as duration, and methods of enforcement. I am absolutely certain that we both agree that Artists, Inventors, et al. should be properly accredited for their works, and be able to make money from said works, if the money is there to be made. I am also sure that we agree that 3rd Parties should not be harmed due the actions of another.

Sadly, the DEAct does not live up to these expectations - it contains collective punishments, it doesn't protect the author, and only provides a whip for big business to punish their fans - the very people they should be nurturing and protecting.

In closing - the Internet is a force that is simply far too positive, and powerful, to be idly cast aside through the process of poorly written, and ill-thought-out legislation - the idea that "something is better than nothing" cannot afford to be applied to something as important, wide reaching and impactful as this. The UK is one of the Technological centres of the world - and the North East plays a very big part in that.

I implore you to ask questions, to research this topic fully, and work in tandem with your fellow MPs such as Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromich East) and Tom Blenkinsopp (Lab, Middlesbrough South and East) as well as Academics and Organisations such as Tim Berners-Lee, Richard Stallman, The Open Rights Group, Pirate Parties International, The EFF, Wikimedia Foundation, and Google to ensure that the Internet can continue to be a thriving haven of free thought, free expression, and free speech, as well as rampant innovation, entrepreneurship and also working towards the next big thing.

Regards,

-Will Macdonald.


We'll see what happens.
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby scuzzmonkey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:12 am

and another response...

Dear Will

Thank you for your detailed – and immediate - response. I believe I address most of your concerns in my previous email which set out my views and the importance of waiting to see what is being proposed in order to understand the implications. In addition you do raise some more philosophical points to which I will now try and respond.

I do believe the Internet is one of the most important developments of this century and I also believe it is important to keep it as a platform for innovation. As you suggest broadband infrastructure is an important prerequisite for the industrial resurgence of the North. I am very glad that the North East has so many innovative companies and believe it is part of my role as a local MP and Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science to do all I can to ensure there are more and more successful innovative companies. I certainly believe the Internet should continue as a haven of free expression. But it is for the people to shape the century, not any technology.

As such I do not believe that the internet is beyond or outside of the law. Neither is it beyond or outside of economic forces. Building out the broadband infrastructure we need requires a lot of investment. That investment should be a mix of private and public sector investment if we are to be fair to all our citizens. It is therefore necessary that there are effective business models which reward those who invest in infrastructure and those who produce content whilst ensuring that everyone can have access to it.

These business models are being developed. It is a painful process for some old-world companies and they have not yet woken up to the scale of the change required. But I have confidence that they, and the Internet, can adapt. Certainly when we see the detail of the proposals from the Government, I will be doing all I can to speed up that adaption process.

All the best

Chi


Any suggestions of how to respond? I'm a bit lost as how to reply to any of this in a way that is party-line, rather than person opinion (e.g. on the split of private and public infrastructure).
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Re: EDM 1913

Postby azrael » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:22 am

One possible answer ... along the lines of encouraging business to invest in providing broadband is to not hit them with huge costs in order to monitor their customers and track their potential breach of someone else's copyright. Don't make 'new world business' pay the costs fro trying to prop up 'old world business'
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