January 29, 2009 | Jim Killock

Digital Britain: leaving consumers out of the picture

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.

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Comments (12)

  1. Joss Winn:
    Feb 07, 2009 at 09:38 PM

    We've recently re-published the Digital Britain - Interim Report so that people can comment paragraph by paragraph. An Open Letter has been published and sent to Lord Carter and supporters working in government are spreading the word, too.


    More details here:


  2. This Week in "Three Strikes" : Easy Idiot - get better knowledge:
    Feb 02, 2009 at 11:35 PM

    [...] Another one of the Digital Britain report’s proposals, one that would create a “Rights Agency” where ISPs, copyright owners and users could address matters pertaining to copyright infringement, has set off even more alarm bells. While the report reassuringly states that its aim is not to “support business models that will become increasingly obsolete,” the Open Rights Group has warned that consumers are not adequately represented in the Rights Agency .... [...]

  3. Dynamo_ace:
    Feb 02, 2009 at 04:43 PM

    Once again, the state doesn't have a clue what its doing. Strangly, the element mentioned has not popped up once in any mainstream news report.

    So sadly, this is a showing that the ORG may need to take a stronger stance like its American Equivalents.

  4. Digital Britian | DEREK RICHARDSON:
    Feb 01, 2009 at 09:06 PM

    [...] Killock at the Open Rights Group expresses concerns that Digital Britain marginalizes the voice of consumers and ci..., saying: “We are concerned that there is no suggestion that consumers and citizens should be [...]

  5. Digital Britain to be just like Digital Brazil? « notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society:
    Jan 31, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    [...] to present the alternatives to destroying the Internet and all is messy, unruly creativity. The Open Rights Group are trying to do this - let’s get behind them and make this more than just a few tech-savvy [...]

  6. The Digital Britain Report « We Study Media:
    Jan 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    [...] they are threatened by the poor implementation and regulation of digital technology”) makes a brief comment here. Snip: “We are concerned at the government’s proposals for technical ’solutions’ for [...]

  7. Digital Britain leaves commentators dismayed | socialmediainfluence.com:
    Jan 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    [...] Killock at the Open Rights Group expresses concerns that Digital Britain marginalizes the voice of consumers and ci..., saying: “We are concerned that there is no suggestion that consumers and citizens should be [...]

  8. Joan Lunn:
    Jan 29, 2009 at 08:06 PM

    I think that we should have a say, so someone should have a seat on the public's behalf.

    Joan Lunn

  9. Anon:
    Jan 29, 2009 at 09:15 PM

    How can ordinary netizens go about promoting ORG as a consumers rights advocate? I will be honest and say that i have heard very little about ORG until today, when i read the report on the BBC website about Digital Britain. Perhaps ORG needs more publicity and media coverage in order to get its self more widely recognised as a voice for our rights online?

  10. Owen Blacker:
    Jan 29, 2009 at 05:09 PM

    I was thinking something pretty similar (despite having only read part of the 11-page Executive Summary!).

    Sounds like we could do with insisting ORG gets a seat at that particular table.

    I reserve further judgement until I've waded through the whole document :o)

  11. Digital Britain: uma visão totalmente incongruente da economia da Internet | Remixtures:
    Jan 30, 2009 at 08:16 PM

    [...] não lhes deu. Quem também criticou o texto foi organização de defesa dos direitos digitais Open Rights Group que receia que os consumidores e cidadãos acabem por ficar de fora da Rigths Agency. Por seu lado, [...]

  12. Jim:
    Jan 29, 2009 at 09:47 PM

    Anon, the fist things to do are to sign up to the mailing list, and if you feel like it, also join as a paying supporter. Link to us from your blog or website. When we campaign, help us out. We'll be doing more to help people promote us and campaign alongside, but now you've found us, stay in touch!

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