Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill will switch off public wifi

Another amazing and appalling consequence of the Digital Economy Bill has been unearthed by the Open Rights Group (ORG) and it's digital law team.

In a blog post analysing the detail of the Bill it seems that anyone offering wifi will held accountable if someone uses it to illegally download files. This means they'll face criminal proceedings and disconnection.

From the ORG blog:

"An end to internet cafes and shared networks

The Bill appears to impose obligations on account holders for the
behaviour of other users. This will adversely affect many businesses
and stop the many people who currently extend their access to the
internet to people in their community."

Take action now to prevent this from becoming a reality.

Locking down the future and what you can do to help

As a communicator with an understanding of the Internet, I’d always advise my clients that the web is fundamentally changing the ways we communicate, consume and produce media and culture and in order to survive (or at least stay relevant) they need to adapt.

Similarly, the web is making findamental changes in almost every other industry touched by society and culture and ditto they must adapt to maintain relevant in the networked world – both now and in the future.

However, when it comes to the music, film and entertainment industries it seems that they are investing heavily in preserving the past, rather than acknowledging where the future will lie.

Sadly, one result of this is a horribly flawed EU Directive which proposes doubling the current term on music copyright.

This action is opposed by all of Europe’s leading intellectual property research centres and makes little economic, technological or cultural sense. But don’t take my word for it. The UK-based Open Rights Group (disclosure, I volunteer time to support ORG) has produced this nifty little video explaining the issues at stake.

Having just finished Lawrence Lessig‘s Remix (review to follow) this is a major issue which not only risks atrophing the economy but also criminalises the next generation of artists/creators.

You can add your support in the following ways:

  1. Invite your MEP to attend the 27 January event on your behalf (you can get their contact details here: UK residents; Other EU residents)
  2. 3) Invite your MEP to sign the Sound Copyright petition
  3. 4) Ask your MEP to watch the Open Rights Group’s cartoon “How copyright term extension in Sound Recordings actually works”