An open letter to London MEPs (including the UKiP one)

TO: London MEPs Charles Tannock, Claude Moraes, Syed Kamall, Gerard Batten, Mary Honeyball, Seb Dance, Jean Lambert and Lucy Anderson

RE: Fixing EU’s copyright laws to be rational and giving UK citizens personal freedoms its country

The following is a copy of the letter I’ve just sent you via WriteToThem. I’ve also tweeted each of you a link to the Save Copyright Reform website which either you or the lackey managing your Twitter account has most likely ignored.

Actually, the lackey may have given it a click, watched the video and possibly even read a bit before getting back to tweetdeck with one or (maybe) two columns actually devoted to your office’s work. This reform is for the likes of them more than it is for you. They’re the ones now struggling to stay afloat in this bog of an economy polluted with laws born out of robber-baron notions of what constitutes intellectual property rights. The current rules are like a clog on a drain that’s finally backing up into the sink.

But it’s not too late. as of this writing there are 7 days left to do something about it. We can reform copyright to catch up with the twenty-first century. One of your colleagues in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, has made a whole website about it. There’s also another one with shortcuts, if that one’s got too much text for you.

That’s the beauty of letting people reuse and adapt works. The first site is comprehensive, but the second one is far easier on the eye. Take your pick. Democracy in action, that.

And now, here’s a video along the same issues, boiled down into just one minute and some change. You’ve got to have time for that!

So, copyright reform’s on the agenda. Let’s get down to business. Here’s the 12-point ask. 1-11 are from the recommendations you can find at copywrongs.eu. Item 12 is a bonus item from yours truly. These policies are good for free speech, culture, society and economic progress.

  1. Take a stand against all kinds of geoblocking, regardless of whether the blocked content is for purchase directly or funded by ads or public funds. Vote for amendments #412 and #322 and point #16 from the IMCO opinion.
  2. Support harmonising exceptions and limitations and making them mandatory across the EU so that my rights don’t end or change at each border. Reject the amendments to point #11 of MEP Reda’s report. Support the additions#353, #366 and point #15 from the IMCO opinion.
  3. Support protecting artists from exploitation and unfair contracts. Vote for the compromise amendment on point #3 of MEP Reda’s report and support the additions by amendments #107, #200 and #527.
  4. Support extending quotation rights to audiovisual mediaReject the amendments to point #14 of MEP Reda’s report.
  5. Take a stand against an ancillary copyright for press publishers which would restrict linking to news articles. Reject amendment #204. Support the compromise amendment on point #21 of MEP Reda’s report.
  6. Safeguard the public domain by clarifying that making a digital copy of something that’s free of copyright doesn’t grant new copyright. Reject amendments that would water down point #6 in MEP Reda’s report – support amendment #264 which clarifies it. Please allow libraries to e-lend books. Vote for amendments #348, #350 and for points #16 and #22 from the ITREopinion.
  7. Ensure freedom of panorama in Europe, so that sharing photos of public buildings is legal – no matter whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Reject any amendements that water down #16 of MEP Reda’s report, vote for the original text or the compromise amendment if there is one.
  8. Support a copyright exception that allows educational use of copyrighted materials, also in the digital world. Reject amendments that would water down point #19 in MEP Reda’s report – that is, all except amendments #466-468.
  9. Support a harmonisation of copyright terms at the Berne Convention standard of life + 50 years. Reject the amendments to point #7 of MEP Reda’s report and support point #18from the ITRE opinion.
  10. Ensure that technological protection (DRM) does not obstruct legal use of purchased content. Vote for point #26 from the IMCO opinion and point #29 from the ITRE opinion. Support the compromise on point #23 of MEP Reda’s report and reject all amendments to point #24.
  11. Stop the criminalisation of personal, not-for-profit file sharing. Vote for amendments #507 and #355.
  12. Give your London constituents real talking points for staying in the EU, by empowering it with policies far more democratic and liberating than UK’s own regulations. Brussels can bring the liberty, fairness and opportunity that member states can’t seem to provide on their own. Copyright reforms such as these are the way to start doing that.

Sincerely,

yours truly

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