Digital Economy Act 'Unworkable'

Today the Pirate Party UK would like to welcome Business Secretary Vince Cable's increased opposition to the web blocking measures (as proposed in the Digital Economy Act) and his positive stance toward reforming the law regarding private copying and exceptions for parody.

The legalisation of "format shifting" is an overdue common sense update to the law.

Formalising the right to burn CDs or push music you have already bought to your phone has been a key goal of the party. It is sad that Lavinia Carey, director-general of the British Video Association, said such a change would be “extremely damaging”. Once again the big entertainment bosses have shown how out of touch they are.

“We do recognise the need for protection but it has to be protection that’s proportionate to needs and it’s got to be based on evidence,” ... "We can’t carry on saying that businesses should embrace technology but then not allow consumers to use everyday technology to play works they’ve paid for," - Vince Cable.

We would thank Mr Cable for echoing some of our long standing positions and taking a principled stand on this matter, even in the face of opposition from his own government and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. It is extremely positive to see Mr Cable standing up once again against vested corporate interests and putting the needs of the country first.

The Business Secretary also pointed out that key parts of the Digital Economy Act dealing with site blocking are now 'unworkable'. It has always been the Pirate Party's position that much of this controversial legislation is unworkable. This shift of policy on web-blocking has not been brought about by a change of heart on Internet censorship, it is the Newzbin2 case that has forced the government's hand. Web blocking is now a reality in the UK, and yet again this shows how the digital rights agenda is being framed by big entertainment companies.

"The coalition now seems fundamentally divided on this issue. While Mr Cable wants to liberate restrictions on the digital economy, Mr Vaizey wants to create more with web blocking. It's time to choose the way forward." - Loz Kaye PPUK Leader

The Pirate Party will continue to fight for the rights of British consumers and workers to ensure that the United Kingdom has the best legislative environment for creative artists and innovators. It is clear to us that appropriate legislation on patents and copyright is a large step forward in that direction.

John Barron
Business Spokesperson
Pirate Party UK

Wednesday, 3 August, 2011 - 10:30
Press Office
+44 (0) 161 987 7880

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