Digital Economy Act Lite To Roll Out

The "Digital Economy Act lite" programme of sending spam "education" emails announced under a voluntary agreement between copyright industry bodies and ISPs is to roll out.

The four big ISPs - BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky - are set to surveil their customers and send out emails under the scheme called Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap).

The controversial Digital Economy Act, forced through in the dying days of the Gordon Brown Government set out a similar scheme, but it has not been enacted.

This is to be accompanied by a copyright promotion campaign championed by Vince Cable using £3.5 million of tax payers money.

The Vcap programme announcement has caused some confusion with some online news sources reporting that "the British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy". It is not the case that Vcap does this.

Jack Allnutt Pirate Party spokesperson said:

"It's ridiculous to think that a spam programme will do anything to benefit artists. These emails will no doubt end up filed in the same place as appeals for bank account details from ex-dictators.

The real worry is that when this proves to be a complicated flop, this will be used as an excuse for more draconian Internet crackdowns. The copyright fundamentalists could not get the Digital Economy Act through by democratic means, so now the plan is to shove it through by the back door.

It's amazing that £3.5 million of taxpayers money is to be used on what amounts to an advert for big music and film companies. At the same time the government has cut arts companies doing fantastic work in the community. If we really want to support creativity we should use this money to support the artists slashed by the coalition."

Maria Aretoulaki, Pirate Party spokesperson, said:

"The Government has denied many people access to free culture by closing down local Libraries and Arts Centres. Instead we have to pay -as taxpayers- for our right to pay to access culture. Is that not a confusion of its role and function as a public service organisation? Lobbying for the so-called Creative Industry (which boils down to a handful of Big Business Corporations really and has nothing to do with the majority of Creators) seems to be a distortion of and a drastic departure from its real responsibilities."

Tuesday, 22 July, 2014 - 16:00
Jack Allnutt
+44 (0) 161 987 7880

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