Open letter to BPI and UK Music

To: Richard Mollet and Feargal Sharkey

Cc: Adam Liversage

Dear Richard and Feargal,

I am writing to ask for clarification on an important point: do you believe the Digital Economy Bill requires full debate in the House of Commons?

The Bill has been debated in the Lords, but it has not received scrutiny and debate from the democratically elected chamber of Parliament.

The Open Rights Group strongly believes that full democratic scrutiny is vital for this Bill, since it includes measures that would affect people’s access to vital services and to free speech – rights that should not be legislated away without full debate of all the consequences.

Your organizations have recently appeared to be in favour of excluding genuine debate in the Commons from the passage of the Bill, minimizing the scrutiny given to its most controversial clauses.

The leaked email from Richard to BPI members, and statements from Richard Mollet and Feargal at Counter2010 and the Black Music Congress event on Tuesday all suggest that your view is that the Bill should be passed as rapidly as possible, before the General Election – without further scrutiny, if necessary.

However, you are now making statements that effectively deny that this is your position.

I and other campaigners would be very grateful if you would clarify whether you do in fact support full democratic scrutiny of the Digital Economy Bill. And, if so, ask you to join us in calling, clearly and publicly, for a full debate of its provisions in the House of Commons.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Killock

Executive Director, Open Rights Group