Monthly Archives: March 2010

Copyright Stakeholders

There are four interested parties in copyright law, authors, distributors, makers and users. Why is today’s copyright law only in one group’s interests?

Actually there are five, because the lawmakers are meant to hold the ring?

Why aren’t they doing this in the UK?

And why are authors identifying with the distributors? You need to change sides, the people you support aren’t your friends.

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Against the DE Bill again

Yesterday afternoon, I posted some of my current thoughts on the Digital Economy Bill at  http://members.labour.org.uk. This is I believe a Labour Party members only site and the article hopes to provoke Labour Party members and supporters into campaigning to see this bill defeated or amended.  It’s still on the front page so if you want to catchup with my thinking, check it out, especially if you are a Labour MP.

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Maps and History

Just back from a busy weekend in London, yesterday we visited the British Museum and Library yesterday, looking for John Rocque’s Map of London, which we didn’t find. We went to the Museum’s Enlightenment room and did find out that the British Library is planning a Maps Exhibition next month. Yesterday was the first time I’d ever been, but I expect I’ll be back next month to see what they’re doing.

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Wifi and academic freedom

One of the, some would claim unintended, consequences of the DE Bill debate is the fear that public wifi will become impossible. A number of public sector organisations including many Universities, but also hospitals and public libraries are becoming concerned that their current policy of offering free or cheap unauthenticated access to wifi will open them to suit by rights holders or their agents if their nomadic, or mass user base decide to behave in such a way as to incur the attentions of rights holders or their agents.  The Government are proposing to give these organisations no protection against the provisions of the DE Bill.

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Against the DE Bill

I went over to Westminster earlier this evening to participate in the Open Rights Group’s demo against the Digital Economy Bill. We had a number of speakers from across the political spectrum. I think there’s a growing realisation in the House of Commons that they can’t leave it to the Lords and the Lobbyists.

It’s a long time since I have been on a demo; I was trying to work out what my last one was.

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Panorama and the DE Bill

So, just seen the Panorama article,”Are the Net Police coming for you?”. Interesting! Only Billy Bragg has it right.

Capitalism is killing music.

It’s like confiscating your record players and complaining you aren’t buying music

Music is thriving, it’s the record industry that’s dying on its feet.

The Panorama URL is a BBC iplayer address and so may become unavailable 7 days after its publication. He didn’t say Capitalism is killing music in the show, he said it elsewhere.

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Defeat ripped from the jaws of victory or what do you call two ex monopolists?

After last night’s triumph in replacing my home hub with a third party gateway,  I was musing about BT’s ability to support their Hub and my suspicions that there is a DHCP bug on the home hub and how large organisations really need to understand the software they use and how open source products make skills acquisition easier; although  BT have no excuse, since the hub is a Linux derivative, hence open source but they outsourced the development, and for months have denied any knowledge or responsibility for its functionality.

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Perhaps it’s not so bad

Paul Carr in his column on TechCrunch, wrote an interesting and balanced article on the DE Bill. He argues that, the law is not that bad but that

  • businesses should not be disconnected, only fined and only if it can be proved they have colluded,
  • site filtering should be replaced by borrowing from the US DMCA by implementing take down notices and rights holders and their agents should be fined for vexatious behaviour
  • there isn’t a rush, speedy law is usually bad, this can wait ’till after the election but most importantly ’till after a proper debate
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