Digital Britain report proposes to save Britain's future by destroying the Internet

Glyn sez, "The UK Government today published it Digital Britain interim report and not surprisingly, are proving controversial. The Open Rights Group have already stated:

We are looking at the report in detail, but we are extremely concerned that the voice of consumers and citizens is being marginalised.

We are concerned that there is no suggestion that consumers and citizens should be represented on the proposed copyright 'Rights Agency'. Without our voices, such an agency could easily be dominated by industry's concerns at the expense of civil rights. Consumer would be very likely to get a bad deal.

"We are concerned at the government's proposals for technical 'solutions' for rights enforcement – technical 'solutions' to social issues tend to be expensive and fail."

"One by one digital music providers like iTunes and Amazon are moving away from DRM, and trusting their customers. This is a much better example for industry and government to follow."

"We also intend to look closely at proposals for recording and reporting alleged rights infringers. While we welcome the proposal to ask the courts before taking action, we are concerned at the potential for further erosion of privacy online."

"Part of the Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham speech showed a clear lack of understanding that alleged behaviour does not equals unlawful:

"We will only maintain our creative strength if we find new ways of paying for and sustaining creative content in the online age. We therefore explore the potential for a new rights agency to be established and following a consultation on how to tackle unlawful file sharing we propose to legislate to require internet service providers to notify alleged significant infringers that their conduct is unlawful."

"The main recommendations that Boing Boing readers will be interested in are:

By the time the final Digital Britain report is published the Government will have explored with interested parties the potential for a Rights Agency to bring industry together to agree how to provide incentives for legal use of copyright material; work together to prevent unlawful use by consumers which infringes civil copyright law; and enable technical copyright-support solutions that work for both consumers and content creators. The Government also welcomes other suggestions on how these objectives should be achieved.

Before the full Digital Britain Report is published we will explore with both distributors and rights-holders their willingness to fund, through a modest and proportionate contribution, such a new approach to civil enforcement of copyright within the legal frameworks applying to electronic commerce, copyright, data protection and privacy to facilitate and co-ordinate an industry response to this challenge. It will be important to ensure that this approach covers the need for innovative legitimate services to meet consumer demand, and education and information activity to educate consumers in fair and appropriate uses of copyrighted material as well as enforcement and prevention work.

Our response to the consultation on peer-to-peer file sharing sets out our intention to legislate, requiring ISPs to notify alleged infringers of rights (subject to reasonable levels of proof from rights- holders) that their conduct is unlawful. We also intend to require ISPs to collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers (derived from their notification activities), to be made available to rights-holders together with personal details on receipt of a court order. We intend to consult on this approach shortly, setting out our proposals in detail.

digital britain – interim report

(Thanks, Glyn!)