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Write to your MEP - now, today!

On Monday, July 7, 2008 there will be an attempt to sneak through an EU law to clamp down on file-sharing. If it gets passed, you could end up being disconnected from the Net for ever if your ISP decides you've been file-sharing.

More information here. Worth bearing in mind that the two principal protagonists of this bad proposal are British Conservatives, Malcolm Harbour and Syed Kamall.

I have a certain amount of contact with MEPs, but perhaps not surprisingly very few of those who I know at all well seem to be directly involved with this.

Edited to add: Bart Staes, the sole MEP of the Flemish party Groen!, tells me that the Green/European Free Alliance group will vote against. Worth writing to them anyway to stiffen their resolve. More updates as I get responses.

ETA 2: Heide Rühle, the Green/EFA rapporteur, gives a somewhat different spin - she tells me that "most of [the rumours] are unjustified see my added explanation [which she attached, and I must say didn't make a lot of sense to me]. But we’ll meet once more with the legal service on Monday to clarify that no wording can endanger the freedom of Internet."


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
What do they mean by 'file sharing'?
Late to the party here, so colour me clueless: wasn't a major driver for the creation of the Internet to make file-sharing easy? Are they expecting everyone to share files as email attachments in the future?
Jul. 6th, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
Re: What do they mean by 'file sharing'?
Sharing of allegedly copyright material...

Though with the spread of encrypted P2P it seems likely that the 'rightsholders' will shoot first and won't ask any questions afterwards and since there will be no due process before disconnection the number of innocent people caught up in this is going to be vast.

And it no doubt will include people using FTP, SFTP and probably email attachments as well. After all how can you tell the difference between a few Gig of HST sent over SFTP and an MP4 of the latest Dr Who?

Edited at 2008-07-06 08:09 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 6th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
Urgh, Syed Kamall is one of my London MEPs, three guesses where my email will probably end up - in his deleted folder. But I have six other MEPs to contact, so I remain semi-hopeful.
Jul. 6th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)

Wrong... again... try emailing you might be pleasantly surprised.
Jul. 6th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
Done to all of mine, stressing the removal of judicial process and the spyware/human rights aspect. I have no objection to rights owners of IP being paid a reasonable fee for their work, but this is no way to go about dealing with the problem of copyright infringement.
Jul. 6th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
A note for anybody sending a message to MEPs: do not use the words "fair use"! This is a US legal concept and the related concept in the UK is "fair dealing". Referring to "fair use" will, sadly, convince anyone who knows a bit about IP that you are an ignorant anti-IP extremist who isn't worthy of being listened to.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 6th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Oops, had sent my letter through WriteToThem before noticing that one of the Evial Protagonists is one of the London MEPs I've just written to.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 6th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Reding is by some way my least favourite of the 27 Commissioners. Utterly out of her depth.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 6th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
If nothing else I've just found out that Kilroy is theoretically one of my MEPs. Most annoying. However, I've remembered that one of them is in fact lovely, so while I shall write to all of them, I think I can guess which one of them will be most use. Bill Newton-Dunn, I, and the rest of Leicester Uni Amnesty still love you.
Jul. 6th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
Done. :)
Jul. 6th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Well, I've just sent my missive to the 9 Northwest England MEPs - interesting to see which ones don't publish an email address on their Parliamentary page - Arlene McCarthy's (Lab) email is only on her own website, David Sumberg (Con) doesn't seem to publish an email address anywhere, and John Whittaker (UKIP) just seems to use the regional UKIP office's email! Anyway, I hope WriteToThem gets through to them all. I just pointed out at the end that it's an issue I feel very strongly about, and the outcome of this will strongly affect how I cast my vote in the next EP election (might just remind them that some of them may be out of a job by this time next year...)
Jul. 6th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Inspiring work, thank you.

Crazy(and hitting da internets)Soph
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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