November 17, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Number 10 Petitions site launches

Back when I was in Brussels for EuroOSCON, the open source conference, Tom Steinberg asked me to think of a petition that I would like to see on a new petition site that mySociety was building for 10 Downing Street. I had a bit of a think, and came up with this one:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format.
It was a bit of a rush job, but I think it summed up what I wanted to say, and very much fit in with the thinking I was doing at the time about Release The Music. The petition site launched on 14 November, and to start with my petition was the most popular, then it slipped into second place, and now it's fourth on the site with 1030 signatories (compared to the hunting petition which has 5437). You have until 26 December 2006 to sign up, so please do pop along and add your name to the list. The chaps over at mySociety deserve applause for their hard work - it seems like the first 48 hours after the site went live were a lot of hard work as they ironed out wrinkles in the system. The site has been far more popular than I think anyone anticipated, with nearly 500 petitions suggested within the first few days, although I'll be interested to see how usage levels off when press interest dies down. However, I can see that this will be a tool that ORG will be using regularly as we step up our campaigning. And talking of petitions, if you haven't already signed the petition against term extension on sound recordings, please do. We have 230 names already, but we'd like at least a few thousand more!