Fighting copyright term extension: the Home Front

European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy may have surprised us with his rogue call for copyright term extension from Brussels last week, but there are battles to be fought closer to home, too.

On 7 March, a Private Member’s Bill proposed by Pete Wishart MP will have its second reading in the House of Commons. It is vital that you write to your MP now to ask him or her to attend the Commons on 7 March and stand up and object to this Bill. If you don’t the Bill is likely to pass through to committee stage without debate.

What can you say to persuade your MP to show up to the Commons on a Friday? Perhaps you might point out that all the economic evidence points against term extension. Or that every other UK citizen is expected to contribute to their pension out of income earned in their working life. Or that retrospectively extending copyright term won’t encourage Elvis Presley to record any more new tracks. Or that if governments continue to draft intellectual property legislation on behalf of special interest groups, it will only further erode the respect that ordinary citizens have for the letter of the law.

However you choose to pitch it, you should find the ORG briefing pack on copyright term extension useful. And remember to specifically ask your MP to oppose this Bill on 7 March in the House of Commons. Writing to your MP doesn’t take long, and we’ve developed a handy guide to help you get the results you want.

And as for the European front, expect news very soon of how you can get your voice heard as an EU citizen. Together, we can stop copyright term extension, but only if we take action!