Dear Tom Reynolds
Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed to Open Rights Group that Government ministers are talking to copyright lobby groups and Internet Service Providers about a voluntary “Great Firewall of Britain” website blocking scheme. We need you to act now.
They want to block websites that music and film companies accuse of copyright infringement.
But a ‘self regulatory’ censorship scheme places decisions about what you can and cannot look at online in the hands of businesses. It would remove the vital judicial oversight required by existing powers. Inevitable mistakes would lead to the censorship and disruption of legitimate traffic from businesses, publishers and citizens. And there is little evidence it will have any beneficial effects for the creative economy.
The good news is that the Minister has promised to include civil society groups in future discussions. We need to be there to counter the pressure rightsholders are exerting on decision makers.
You can do your bit by letting your MPs know that website blocking is not acceptable and that the voice of civil society needs to be part of the discussions. Please email them now to tell them to oppose web blocking.
Read more on the legal and technical background here
Executive Director, Open Rights Group