Digital Economy Bill and Your Rights

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I presented these slides at the Social Media Café Manchester on 2 February 2010. Thanks for those participated lively in the discussion.

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Digital Economy Bill and Your Rights

  1. 1. Digital Economy Bill & Your Rights Yuwei Lin Lecturer in Future Media School of Media, Music and Performance University of Salford www.ylin.org 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 1
  2. 2. Outline In the following 20 minutes, I will ● Provide background information about the Digital Economy Bill, which is being discussed at the House of Lords at present ● Focus on the “disconnection without trial” part in the Bill, and explain why this jeopardises rights of citizens and consumers ● Introduce some actions being taken by the Open Rights Group and how audience can participate in these activities 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 2
  3. 3. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 3
  4. 4. Fingers on Buzzers 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 4
  5. 5. Stephen Carter Minister for communications, technology and broadcasting 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 5
  6. 6. Digital Britain Report ● released on 16 June 2009 ● 3-year plan to boost digital participation ● universal access to 2Mbps broadband by 2012 ● fund to invest in next generation broadband ● digital radio upgrade by 2015 ● liberalisation of 3G spectrum ● legal and regulatory attack on digital piracy ● support for public service content partnerships ● changed role for Channel 4 ● consultation on how to fund local, national and regional news ● a new "more robust system" for the classification of video games 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 6
  7. 7. What's New Martha Lane-Fox was Race Online 2012 is a national challenge to help 4 appointed as million socially and digitally “Champion for Digital excluded people get online Inclusion” to get the by the London Olympics. disconnected online. See http://raceonline2012.org £300m Home Access scheme which aims to get PCs into low income homes. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 7
  8. 8. Then, in November 2009... 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 8
  9. 9. Fingers on Buzzers, again 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 9
  10. 10. Peter Mandelson Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 10
  11. 11. Summary of Digital Economy Bill ● extends the role of Ofcom to include reporting on communications infrastructure and media content ● imposes obligations on internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement, and allows the Secretary of State to amend copyright legislation to the same end ● allows the Secretary of State to intervene in internet domain name registration ● requires Channel 4 to provide public service content on a range of media ● provides more flexibility over the licensing of Channel 3 and Channel 5 services and allows Ofcom to appoint providers of regional and local news ● modifies the licensing regime to facilitate switchover to digital radio ● allows variation of the public service provision in Channel 3 and 5 licences ● provides Ofcom with additional powers in relation to electromagnetic spectrum access ● extends the range of video games that are subject to age-related classification ● makes provision for the regulation of copyright licensing ● includes non-print formats in the public lending right payment scheme 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 11
  12. 12. controversial elements of the Digital Economy Bill 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 12
  13. 13. Disconnect. Disconnect. Disconnect. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 13
  14. 14. Clause 10 and 11 Obligations to limit internet access ● Clause 10, 124G, Obligations to limit internet access: assessment and preparation (1) The Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to - (a) assess whether one or more technical obligations should be imposed on internet service providers; (b) take steps to prepare for the obligations; (c) provide a report on the assessment or steps to the Secretary of State. (2) A “technical obligation”, in relation to an internet service provider, is an obligation for the provider to take a technical measure against particular subscribers to its service. (3) A “technical measure” is a measure that - (a) limits the speed or other capacity of the service provided to a subscriber; (b) prevents a subscriber from using the service to gain access to particular material, or limits such use; (c) suspends the service provided to a subscriber; or (d) limits the service provided to a subscriber in another way. ● Clause 11, 124H Obligations to limit internet access (1) The Secretary of State may at any time by order impose a technical obligation on internet service providers if the Secretary of State considers it appropriate in view of - (a) an assessment carried out or steps taken by OFCOM under section 124G; or 02/02/10 other consideration.| Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester (b) any Yuwei Lin 14
  15. 15. Clause 17 Power to amend copyright provisions ● It reads: 302A Power to amend copyright provisions [Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988] (1) “The secretary of State may by order amend Part 1 or this part for the purpose of preventing or reducing the infringement of copyright by means of the internet, if it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so having regard to technological developments that have occurred or are likely to occur.” 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 15
  16. 16. Complaints from 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 16
  17. 17. Why is this problematic? ● You would be disconnected even if you are innocent. ● Three scenarios: - how if you shared the house with others? - how if someone broke into your wireless connection? (WPA and WPA2 is not secure) - how if you were misled to download copyrighted files illegally? 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 17
  18. 18. Internet Access as Rights ● In France, Internet access is a basic human right (June 11, 2009). (see http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6478542.ece) ● In Finland, 1Mb broadband access is a legal right (starting from 1 July 2010). - first country to make internet access a legal right. ● UN, Estonia, Greece made some statements, though vague. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 18
  19. 19. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 19
  20. 20. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 20
  21. 21. Some fallacies emerging in the debate at the House of Lords ● “File-sharing is not acceptable” (Baroness Morris) ● The internet is “lawless, unpoliced, and unregulated place” (Lord Birt) ● Churches should get “compensation” for the “unreasonable costs” of replacing old, analogue equipment (The Bishop of Manchester) 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 21
  22. 22. Actions taken ● Don't Disconnect Us Petition http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/ “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to abolish the proposed law that will see alleged illegal filesharers disconnected from their broadband connections, without a fair trial.” ● Submitted by Andrew Heaney of TalkTalk ● To date, 32,388 Signatures including Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Neil Gaiman 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 22
  23. 23. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 23
  24. 24. ● To summarise, the proposed Digital Economy Bill will ● result in innocent people being disconnected from the internet. ● “It's not me. So why am I being collectively published?” ● What next? 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 24
  25. 25. Meet Your MPs + Spread the Words ● How to find your MPs http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ ● How to make an appointment with them ● How to engage your MPs in this topic 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 25
  26. 26. Copyrights Acknowledgement ● Image from http://ressay.wordpress.com/ ● Image and info from http://www.flother.com/blog/ ● Images from BBC, Wikipedia, the Times Magazine, http://www.marthalanefox.com/, Open Rights Group, UK Parliament. 02/02/10 Yuwei Lin | Social Media Café Manchester at BBC Manchester 26

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