Dear MP – protect us from HADOPI-UK

The Open Rights Group has pointed out that Digital Britain – a major recent government report contains recommendations that Ofcom (hitherto the defender of citizens’ rights) now enforces a HADOPI-like policy to counter alleged copyright infringements. I have therefore written to my MP:

Dear David Howarth,

I wrote to you recently on the absolute need to maintain Net Neutrality
– the right of everyone to have the same access to the Internet. And
your colleague indicated that you and your party have taken the issue
on board and are researching this.

I have recently got more details of the very real threat (in “Digital
Britain”).The government are requiring Ofcom – originally a guardian of
citizens’ rights – to act as a “police force” to defend the rights of
big business (see
This article is a clear indication of the threat, e.g.:

“If secondary legislation (rubber-stamped papers to parliament) is
passed, new powers would be given to Ofcom to require ISPs to restrict
access of alleged infringers.

“There is no suggestion of a requirement to take users to court before
curtailing their access. This looks like HADOPI-lite: muzzling of users
and potential harm to the internets infrastructure and lawful
businesses, to protect failing business models in the entertainment.
Regulations around enforcement will be drafted by industry and approved
by the regulator, Ofcom.”

I commend this article and the OpenRightsGroup. In my own area
(scientific research, on which so much in Cambridge depends) there is a
real threat that large publishers could call on Ofcom to ban users from
access to scientific information that they felt had been illegally
accessed. The “guilty without appeal” process generates fear which is
destructive of innovation

Follow the link to see the whole article by the ORG.

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