January 29, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Second ORG networking evening

The Open Rights Group is proud to announce that Cory Doctorow, outgoing European Co-Ordinator for the EFF, novelist and editor of, will be our special guest speaker at our second networking evening on 7 Feb 2006. Don't let Hollywood hijack your rights Cory Doctorow American entertainment companies say they're fighting piracy, but they're going at it by punishing the innocent to get at the guilty. A pan-European digital television restrictions proposal will turn the studios from companies that can control copying of movies into companies that can control the design of all digital TV devices, that get to define how big your family is allowed to be, that get to take away all the rights you get under copyright law and sell them back to you, one painful, expensive dribble at a time. It's not really a business plan: more like a urinary tract infection. Europe's coming Broadcast Flag will ban open source for digital TV, break the devices in your living room, and turn you into a truly captive audience. Get your torch and pitchfork, for this genuinely sucks -- and you shouldn't take it lying down! This free event is open to digital rights campaigners, grassroots activists, the press and the general public, so please do send this information to anyone you think may be interested. Refreshments and nibbles will be provided free of charge. When: Tuesday 7 February 2006, 6pm

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January 25, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Wikinews interview Danny O'Brien

Our very own Danny O'Brien was interviewed by Wikinews earlier in the week, about digital rights issues in the US. Well, I say, 'our very own', but actually we share him with the EFF. Ok, maybe they very kindly share him with us... Anyway, well worth reading the interview. I'm just sorry I missed being able to contribute.

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January 21, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

RSA Economist Debate - The internet's golden age is over

February 23, 2006 - 18:30 - 21:00 - RSA Economist Debate - The internet's golden age is over - at RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ
Debate on the future of the internet. With Suw Charman, Open Rights Group; Danny Meadows-Klue, Chief Executive, Digital Strategy Consulting; John Naughton, The Open University, The Observer; Karen Thomson, Chairman and Chief Executive, AOL UK. Chaired by Tom Standage, Technology Editor, The Economist.

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January 21, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

A date for your diary

We are planning the next ORG event for the evening of Tues 7 Feb, at 01Zero-One in Soho again. Keep the evening free, and there'll be more information on speakers and registration soon.

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January 20, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

ORG invited to give oral evidence to APIG DRM public inquiry

The Open Rights Group has been asked by the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group to attend its oral evidence gathering session on 2 February. ORG will send three representatives - the maximum allowed - who will be questioned by MPs. Other groups that have been invited include:

  • Society for Computers and Law
  • British Library
  • Libraries Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA)
  • Share The Vision
  • British Music Rights
  • EMI
  • AIM
  • AOL
  • BBC
  • PACT
  • The Publishers Association
  • The Film Council
  • NCC
  • FIPR
It's notable that there don't seem to be any consumer electronics companies present. If you want to see our written presentation, along with others from Kevin Marks, the UK Unix User's Group, David Weinberger, the FFII and the National Consumer Council, it's all on the wiki.

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January 20, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

BBC music industry virtual panel

The BBC have put together a virtual panel of music industry representatives to answer your questions on DRM, downloading, and any other topic you feel important. The music panel comprises:

  • Brad Duea, president of Napster, once the scourge of the music industry and now one of the largest legal music download retailers.
  • Peter Jamieson, executive chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents the UK music industry and has been leading the anti-piracy campaign in Britain.
  • John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the trade body representing record labels worldwide, which has been instrumental in the global fight against piracy.
  • Steve Knott, managing director of HMV UK & Ireland, a leading high street chain that has recently opened its own online download store.
They'll be publishing the answers on 24 Jan, but I'm really not expecting to hear anything else other than the standard rhetoric that we've come to expect from an industry that feels threatened and defensive, but who don't seem capable of imagining a world where music fans and the music industry can peacefully, profitably and fairly coexist.

What I find most interesting is the focus of the questions that the public are asking on the BBC website - primarily they are excellent questions about DRM and downloading. They are intelligent, incisive, and clearly indicate to the industry that their very own customers are fed up of being treated so badly.

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January 18, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

A few FAQs about ORG

Is ORG a charity? No, charities are banned from political lobbying. Instead, ORG has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, Company No. 05581537.

I want to set up my own standing order with my own online banking. Can I do this? Yes. Please fill in our form, then choose Standing Order option, and the system will generate a standing order form which includes our bank details and your registration number. You can then use that information to create your own standing order. Please ensure that you include our reference number, so that we know who's paying us what.

Who is eligible for the concessionary rate? If you are unemployed, a student, disabled, sick, a pensioner, or for any other reason feel that you would be eligible for the concessionary rate, please use it. We aren't going to check up on you or demand proof.

Are people who pay the concessionary rate still eligible for Founding 1000 status? Yes.

I don't want to give you my personal details, but I want to donate. Can I do this? Yes. You can either send us a cheque, to Open Rights Group, 12 Duke

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January 17, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Dr Fun