Supporter update - August 2009

Stop press 1: Please support ORG by setting up a direct debit Stop press 2: 38 Degrees have started a petition telling Mandelson not to rush through extreme internet laws Welcome to the latest Open Rights Group supporter update. In this edition:

- Three Strikes: Coming to an ISP near you? - - Website relaunch: 9 September - - Google Book Search: ORG evidence to Brussels -


  • Three Strikes: Digital Dictator Mandelson coming to an ISP near you?

    Government has crumbled under pressure from music and film industry lobbyists. It wants to fast-track sanctions, including blocking, throttling and disconnection. Initially published in the Digital Britain report, the so-called technical measures should have been delayed until letter-writing campaigns and new legitimate services were given a chance to reduce illicit filesharing. Now Mandelson wants the power to disconnect users without court action, infringing freedom of expression and the right to due process, on his personal say-so. Every ORG supporter needs to get in touch with their MP and explain why three strikes is disproportionate and counter-productive.


  • Website relaunch: 9 September

    Heads up - we'll be relaunching our website on 9 September and will need supporters to drive a veritable stampede of traffic in our direction. Save the date and keep an eye out on mailing lists and networks for when we ask you to post the link. Following that we'll have a month of recruitment activity, including a volunteer meeting on 25 September to plan a new digital rights Zine.


  • Google Book Hearing: our evidence to Brussels

    The European Commission is consulting as to the effect of the Google Book US Settlement Agreement on the European publishing sector, European authors, European consumers and society at large. We have produced, with a lot of help from Daithí Mac Síthigh, a written submission (link to PDF) about our concerns with the settlement in terms of consumer rights, privacy and access to knowledge (5). We have also been invited to attend the hearing in Brussels in early September.

Press Every week, we spend time talking to the media and connecting them with experts or giving an alternate point of view on current issues.



  • Associated Press - 'UK says illegal downloaders may lose Web access'
  • UK citizens who repeatedly download copyrighted films and music could have their Internet connection cut off under proposed laws to tackle illegal file-sharing unveiled by the British government on Tuesday. ORG says suspension would "restrict people's fundamental right to freedom of expression." This piece (and another from the Press Association) got ORG quoted far and wide - Jim also recorded interviews with the BBC (radio and TV), Sky (radio) and Russia Today.



  • The Scotsman - 'Download pirates facing internet ban'
  • Guv says their thinking has evolved on the filesharing question. We say its a "a knee-jerk reaction at a time when copyright infringement is reducing and online revenues are increasing." We also note the threat of disconnection contradicts Digital Britain's view that internet access is fast-becoming a fundamental right.



  • ZeroPaid - 'UK ISP Now Requires Court Order for Disconnection'
  • After we caused a kerfuffle, Karoo has backpedalled from its 'one strike' policy and requires copyright holders to obtain a court order before they disconnect customers. Its progress, but only just.