Stealth copyright reform, act now!


A bit early on Sunday morning to try to organise an uprising, but this is what Lilian Edwards is doing this weekend. On Friday she wrote a long and detailed post about the way in which the 3-strike rule is going to be introduced by stealth this Monday July 7 2008. Yes, that is tomorrow.

Many of us thought that 3 strikes was on the way out, as this week saw Virgin Broadband look rather embarrassed when it attempted to send letters to people, and the effort backfired. But removing online connections to users who use file-sharing is the copyright industry’s top of the Xmas wish-list, so it is not surprising that they should try and try until they can get it written into legislation. This Monday the European Parliament will vote for a set of four directives dealing with obscure telecommunication regulation. Buried deep in those directives, are several measures that deal directly with ISP liability. Most worrying for me, internet service providers will be obliged by law to “co-operate” with content industries. As PanGloss points out, “…in EC speak , this is a euphemism for being required to put in place a system akin to a 3-strikes regime.”

Legislation by stealth is not new. The dearly departed Software Patent Directive was at some point subjected to the same tactics, when they tried to pass it in a Fisheries committee. The fact that this proposal is being sneaked through like this speaks volumes of the confidence that some of the proponents have on the strength of their argument. For more detailed look of the reforms, read this report by Monica Horten, or check out the Mobilisation Paquet wiki.

What to do? Write to your MEP if you’re in Europe. You can find your MEP if you are from the UK here. Blog about it. Shout about it. Join the Facebook event. Hugh Hancock, of Machinima fame, has done an emergency video on the topic. So, promote the video.

I love how he uses a Rogue as the evil character, as a Mage I hate Rogues.

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