Thursday, March 11, 2010

ORG discover BPI drafted web blocking amendment

The ever vigilant and enegetic Open Rights Group has discovered that the BPI drafted the contoversial web blocking amendment to the digital economy bill passed in the House of Lords.  Here's Jim Killock of ORG:
"Just in case you were wondering where the idea for a web blocking amendment came from, we attach to this blog post a copy of the BPI’s draft, along with their justification for it.
Now, amendments often come from lobby and campaign groups, including us, not least because it’s the easiest way for them to show parliamentarians what they want. But the fact that twice, with the original copyright by diktat proposal, and then the web blocking proposal, the BPI essentially got to write what they wanted and get it proposed more or less wholesale as law, in such a tremendously sensitive area and in such a one-sided manner, shows something is very wrong with the way this debate is being conducted.
Parliamentarians need to recognize that copyright touches everyone and every technology in the digital age. It is no longer a question of inter-business regulation and deals. Getting copyright wrong has the potential to mess up our freedom of speech, prevent us from getting the benefits of new technologies, and damage society in other very profound ways.
It is therefore deeply inappropriate for such fundamental proposals to have been introduced by both the government or the opposition parties at the behest of one side of the debate. That applies just as much to disconnection, which Mandelson introduced in the sumer at the last minute under pressure again from the BPI and other rights holders.
As the Conservatives launch their digital policies today - we again ask why these proposals are being supported, in such direct contradiction to their apparent aims?"
And as Lilian Edwards points out in comments, since the BPI drafted the law, they can claim copyright in it and once it is passed ask an ISP to block the ORG site for posting a copy of their copyrighted material in full. Then as Francis Davey, Richard Clayton and others have pointed out the ISP has nothing to gain and significant money to lose by refusing to take the site down.

Something smells...

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