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,
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...?