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Dan Bull – Dear Mandy [an open letter to Lord Mandelson]

The Digital Economy Act 2010

What is the Digital Economy Act?

The Digital Economy Act is a newly passed piece of British legislation that is meant to protect copyright online and increase regulation and control of the way people use the Internet.

How did it happen?

  • The entertainment industry is refusing to adapt to new models, clinging to obsolete 20th Century thinking.
  • The Bill was drafted by unelected officials after lobbying from the entertainment industry.
  • It was passed in a hurry during the Parliamentary "wash up" process without full scrutiny.

Why should you be worried?

  • Websites will be blocked for alleged copyright infringement.
  • Families accused of sharing copyrighted files will be disconnected without trial. They will have to pay to appeal.
  • Even if you don’t live in the UK, it sets a worrying precedent for other countries to follow suit.

What can you do about this?

  • Ask your candidates whether they oppose the Act. If your MP didn’t bother to vote, ask why. Given the important implications this legislation has, it’s vital that politicians make their position on the issue clear. E-mail your candidates directly using this tool: http://bit.ly/emailyourcandidates
  • Inform your friends about the implications of the Act and the way it threats civil liberties and the future of Internet use.
  • Join the Open Rights Group’s Action e-mail list. This will keep you informed on further developments and give practical advice on how you can protest against the Digital Economy Act: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/sign-up-against-disconnection

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