Thursday, April 01, 2010

Will the MP Please Answer The Question?

The Digital Economy Bill does not go away.

Twice I have written to my MP Jim Fitzpatrick MP and twice he has failed to even acknowledge the points of concern raised. These relate the fact that IP addresses are not a safe identification of copyright infringement and that the IP owner may not be the guilty party. The fact is that as written the issue can effect and criminalise large families, people sharing communal hubs, businesses, people providing WIFi hot spots etc. You are not innocent until proven guilty, but rather guilty until proven innocent. We also raised the issue of clause 43 which enables collection agencies and parties to effectively land grab and authorises a grant of copyright in respect of works in which copyright is not owned by the body or a person on whose behalf the body acts. We now potentially give the Secretary of State power to approve clause 43 applications.

The first letter said that he had raised the issue with Stephen Timm MP, the Digital Minister and enclosed a 3 page letter written on 25th January in response to a letter raised by Mr Fitzpatrick on 1st December on behalf of another constituent. The 3 pages didn’t cover the points we had raised and frankly some would suggest was a fob off. This was pointed out and the issues again raised to our MP.

Today we now have another letter responding to points raised by several constituents and once again we are given a letter from Stephen Timm and Andy Bradshaw which is merely an update on the progress of the bill which Mr Fitzpatrick hopes ‘you find informative.’

We have again responded asking for a response to the points raised and remain hopeful that Mr Fitzpatrick may read it, some may say for the first time.

If this is reflective of the level of apathy that MPs have in responding to their constituents, it begs the question on the level of diligence they apply in creating the laws themselves.

1 comment:

Toby Bryans said...

I too have written to Jim. The results of my correspondence are here: