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[News] ACTA and Its British Bastard Child the "Digital Economy Bill" Show Democracy Collapsing

  • Subject: [News] ACTA and Its British Bastard Child the "Digital Economy Bill" Show Democracy Collapsing
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:18:32 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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The Day Democracy Died: DEB

,----[ Quote ]
| The Lib Dem amendments I mentioned in my 
| previous posts - alongside some equally 
| sensible amendments designed in particular 
| to stop every search engine being blocked 
| under clause 18 - were rejected by the 
| Government this afternoon in the Lords, on 
| what appeared to be legally spurious 
| grounds, to the clear dismay and disquiet 
| of the Lords.
| Shortly thereafter it appears some kind of 
| deal was done whereby the Government 
| announced they would bring forward 
| unspecified changes to the disputed clause 
| 18 at "wash up" - the pre election stage 
| where legislation is pushed through with no 
| opportunity for MPs to propose amendments 
| or even , perhaps, make comments in debate, 
| let alone scrutinise. It seems all 
| opportunity for democratic amendment to the 
| Bill has now come to an end.
| [...]
| There is one way forward for here for 
| democratic scrutiny to be restored, and 
| that is for MPs to demand a debate at the 
| Commons stage of the Bill and refuse to 
| allow this messed up mockery of legislation 
| to pass on the nod. Write to your MP and 
| demand this. Go on one of the rallies and 
| flash mobs planned for next week by ORG. 
| Write to the BPI and tell then that you did 
| not vote for them to run the country. Make 
| your voice heard.


Yesterday in the Lords: DEB


UK Lords Pass Digital Economy Bill, Now Look To Rush It Through Commons

Third Reading DEB

,----[ Quote ]
| Very happy to note that the Liberal 
| Democrats, with some input from lobby 
| groups including independent academics such 
| as myself, Francis Davey and Simon 
| Bradshaw, have tabled amendments today 
| which alleviate the worst excesses of 
| amendment 120a. Good to see that even in 
| the time-compressed framework of the run up 
| to the general election, a party can still 
| speedily take account both of external 
| criticisms and its own grassroots and party 
| concerns. I would still rather see both am 
| 120a and clause 17 (now 18) go, since both 
| raise dangers of fundamentally interfering 
| with due process, proper scrutiny and civil 
| liberties; but if not that, this is a step 
| forward. Now let's see what happens today.


UK copyright law to be changed 'without scrutiny'

,----[ Quote ]
| A major change to UK copyright law is 
| likely to be introduced and debated within 
| the space of one hour on the last day of 
| the current parliament, according to Labour 
| MP Tom Watson.
| Watson said the lack of time available for 
| parliamentary discussion before the general 
| election â expected to be on 6 May â means 
| the Digital Economy Bill will skip the 
| weeks of scrutiny usually given to complex 
| legislation.
| "This is a fiendishly complex piece of 
| legislation, and it therefore requires 
| proper and adequate scrutiny," Watson said 
| to ZDNet UK on Tuesday. "At the moment, it 
| looks like it will get a day's second 
| reading where [MPs] talk about the general 
| principles of the bill, then it'll be 
| banged through in an hour on the last day 
| of Parliament."


Fight to Save the Net by UK Liberal Democrats

,----[ Quote ]
| Even if you are not in the UK, the UK 
| LibDems fight to Save the Net matters. A 
| LibDem emergency motion opposing copyright 
| measures to block the Internet which are 
| currently going through the UK Parliament 
| is to be debated at their conference 
| tomorrow.
| [...]
| A UK LibDems Save the Net Facebook page has 
| been started to gather support. It is open 
| to all, even non-Party members, and non-UK 
| residents. The point of it is to let the UK 
| government - and other EU governments - 
| know how much people want to keep the 
| Internet open, and how much they oppose 
| blocking it: 
| "This group needs proof that millions of 
| people like you care about the Net so that 
| they can convince the UK Government, or 
| indeed any government, not to block 
| websites or disconnect people from the Net 
| by law. Wherever you are in the world, 
| become a fan and show that the Net matters 
| to you. "
| And they explain that they have set up the 
| page because: "The UK's Labour Government 
| thinks people in the UK wants them to 
| control the Net. It's trying to push 
| through Lord Mandelson's Digital Economy 
| Bill before the UK elections in May/June. 
| The UK's Conservative Opposition seems to 
| agree with them. The UK Lib Dems are the 
| only mainstream party which is trying to 
| stop them. "


Well done Lib Dems: now ask what your candidates think

,----[ Quote ]
| Not a single speaker made any comment 
| against the text â and Liberal Democrats 
| reiterated their opposition to the closed 
| ACTA negotiations. They emphasised the huge 
| social, educational and economic value of 
| the net today.


Why I Bother Acting on ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| Well, the fact that two years ago very few 
| had heard of ACTA, whereas today many 
| people know and care about it, is 
| sufficient reason to carry on: it does make 
| a difference, and people are starting to 
| realise how serious this is. Moreover, 
| hints like this suggest that making noise, 
| even in that notorious echo-chamber that is 
| the blogosphere, gets noticed in rarefied 
| and exalted regions of power:
|     Recent informations have revealed to me 
|     that the worldwide anti-ACTA campaign 
|     is having an impact on EU officials, a 
|     number of which are following closely 
|     the highlights of the most well-known 
|     blogs and webs. This is a sign of the 
|     success of an effective public campaign 
|     that has forced the EU out of its 
|     bunker and into the open battlefield 
|     over the content of this important 
|     international agreement.


Written Declaration 12/2010 signatories list



Lib Dems to change their amendment to the digital economy bill

,----[ Quote ]
| The Liberal Democrats are preparing to
| change their controversial amendment to the
| digital economy bill, which has its third
| and final reading in the House of Lords on
| Monday.
| The change would give sites blocked under
| the bill the power to challenge it in the
| courts, and to demand legal costs and
| damages from any copyright owner that
| caused it to be wrongly blocked through
| court procedings.
| But the Open Rights Group, which campaigns
| on digital rights and freedoms, said that
| the amendment would not solve deeper
| problems with the bill â which may be
| rushed into law with barely any debate in
| the Commons â and called for it to be
| abandoned.


Wanted: a Groundswell of Massive Opposition

,----[ Quote ]
| Last week I wrote about the great news on
| the ACTA front, but sadly that's just one
| battle we need to win. Another is against
| the insanely retrogressive Digital Economy
| Bill â an ironic name if ever there were
| one, given that it seeks to impose the old
| rules of the analogue economy on the
| digital world. As such, it is likely to
| have a huge negative impact on companies
| using the Internet (that is, anyone in
| business not still using the abacus.)
| [...]
| That handily maps out is how we can stop
| the Bill: by creating that âgroundswell of
| massive oppositionâ. What I think we need
| to do is to make it clear to our MPs is how
| the music recording industry just expects
| them to roll over and accept the Bill as
| is, rather than to carry out their
| parliamentary duties and to examine it and
| amend where appropriate. We need to get
| across the fact that this Bill is not
| incidental, but will determine the economic
| and social landscape for this country in
| the next few years; as such, it needs to be
| drafted carefully, not thrown together at
| the last minute.


Lords pass controversial internet piracy bill

,----[ Quote ]
| Legislation to tackle internet piracy,
| including bans for illegal file-sharers,
| has been passed by the Lords.
| The Digital Economy Bill is now expected to
| be rushed through the Commons before the
| general election.
| Peers had earlier rejected a bid by
| ministers to include wide-ranging powers
| over future online piracy law.


BPI Says That UK Spies Are Against Digital Economy Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| The debate over the Digital Economy Bill in
| the UK (the attempt to ratchet up copyright
| law to repay favors to an entertainment
| industry that is slow to adapt) has taken
| an odd twist. Cory Doctorow over at Boing
| Boing has the details of a leaked memo from
| the BPI (pdf) to a bunch of recording
| industry execs and lobbyists, that details
| the state of the bill and the ongoing
| strategy for getting it approved. There are
| a few items worth noting:
|    1. The BPI seems to think that the UK
|    intelligence community is now the
|    biggest threat to stopping the bill.
|    Seriously. Apparently, UK spies are
|    afraid that passing this bill will drive
|    a very large number of people to switch
|    to using encrypted internet tools,
|    making it that much more difficult to
|    spy on them.


Europe trashes ACTA as Obama praises it

,----[ Quote ]
| Earlier this week, we noted that the major
| parties in the European Parliament had all
| agreed on a resolution trashing the Anti-
| Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and
| the secret process that has been hashing it
| out. That resolution has passed Parliament
| by a huge marginâ633 yes votes, 13 no
| votes, and 16 abstentions.
| The Greens/EFA coalition praised the vote.
| Greens MEP Carl Schlyter of Sweden said
| that "ACTA risks becoming known as the
| Absence of Commission Transparency
| Agreement... The EU cannot continue to
| negotiate on ACTA if the people are not
| allowed to take part in the process. It is
| also a totally absurd and unacceptable
| situation if MEPs, behind closed doors,
| have to ask the Commission about the
| content of the agreements we are supposed
| to vote on."


Act on ACTA: Write to Your MEPs

,----[ Quote ]
| One knock-on effect of that obsessive
| secrecy is that even ordinary
| parliamentarians are forbidden from seeing
| the drafts, which makes the negotiations not
| only a travesty of democracy, but also a
| more direct slap in the face of those
| politicians. Happily, the latter are
| beginning to wake up to the fact that they
| are being sidelined here, and starting to
| become more forceful in their demands for
| access to ACTA.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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