Supporter update - June 2009

Welcome to the latest Open Rights Group supporter update. In this edition:

- Filesharing to be throttled in digital Britain - - Do your MEPs agree with ORG? - - Calling all recruiters - - ORGzine needs you! - - Press -


  • Filesharing will be throttled in digital Britain
  • ISPs will block, filter and otherwise throttle net access unless anti-piracy letter writing campaigns reduce the incidence of illicit filesharing. ORG is brewing up a campaign to show that this would restrict innovation and competition as well as (further) undermine copyright's reputation. To kick things off, we're meeting the relevant ministers and officials to push the digital rights perspective, and recently appeared on Radio 5 and the BBC News channel. Please do your bit by writing to your MP to remind them that it is our human right to have a legal process before being found guilty and punished.

  • Do your MEPs agree with ORG?
  • The Open Rights Group questionnaire to all candidates in this month's elections to the European parliament lives on as a record of your MEPs' views on digital rights. Its not quite complete so we'll soon contact the sitting MEPs who have not responded to get their views on data protection, copyright reform and our other concerns. And if there's no reply yet from any of your MEPs, please follow the instructions to chase up an answer. Thanks to Harry Metcalfe for making this happen.

  • Calling all recruiters
  • We're planning a supporter drive to run this September. For it to work, and for our campaign successes to continue, we'll need a lot of help. Following the success in 2008 of our ORG-GRO campaign, we need you to be our street team by convincing your mates and colleagues that digital rights matter and joining Open Rights is the best way to protect and extend their rights online. To help you we'll post out a recruiter pack to any of our existing supporters who offer to recruit a single person. Send a blank email with 'recruiter' in the subject line to supporters at openrightsgroup dot org if you're up for it.

  • ORGzine needs you!
  • If you've got something to say about digital rights - any issue, any place - then get involved with the ORGzine (name TBC!). We're starting this up to use the creative energy of our volunteer community to raise awareness of digital rights. It will basically work as a multi-user blog - including rich content too - coordinated by a volunteer editorial board. We'll include articles by and interviews with influential voices in these debates, with the bulk of the output coming from the supporter community. So, if you have something to say about digital rights, drop a blank mail with 'zine' in the subject line to supporters at openrightsgroup dot org. Give us some idea about what you'd like to do (graphics, video, audio, photos, blogs, interviews, cartoons etc) and point us to examples of what you've done elsewhere.


Every week, we spend time talking to the media and connecting them with experts or giving an alternate point of view on current issues. Please see the press archive for more details.

  • Financial Times - 'Amateurs race professionals to uncover great truths from little details'
  • As newspapers and consumer organisations turn to crowdsourcing to analyse Parliament's expenses claims, ORG is very pleased to say that, "having constituents looking through their MP's expense records is going to make them think long and hard about how they spend our money."

  • BBC - 'Music industry 'missed' Napster'
  • Commenting on the the revelation that the music industry has been slow to use the net to promote and sell records, ORG said, "It's great that the BPI are willing to apologise [...] but they are busy [...] 'clamping down' on illicit P2P. By trying to get the government to clamp down on users, they risk alienating music's greatest fans, and bringing copyright into disrepute."

  • ITPro - 'ID card scheme to be scrapped by Conservatives'
  • Contractors bidding for the ID card scheme have been warned that the Conservatives, if they win the next general election, will not complete the work. ORG notes that, "there's a difference between commercial needs and trying to subvert the ability of a future government to make it own decisions." - 'MEP election campaigns ignore online policy issues' Our pre-election survey of MEP candidates pointed out that regulation of online access and data protection typically flows from Brussels rather than national governments. More generally, it raised awareness that voters need to know they are electing people with power to make these decisions, and that candidates do not place enough emphasis on digital rights issues.