Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Digital Economy Act 2010

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What is the Digital Economy Act?

The Digital Economy Act is a newly passed piece of British legislation that is meant to protect copyright online and increase regulation and control of the way people use the Internet.

What can you do about this?

  • Ask your candidates whether they oppose the Act. If your MP didn't bother to vote, ask why. Given the important implications this legislation has, it's vital that politicians make their position on the issue clear. E-mail your candidates directly using this tool: http://bit.ly/emailyourcandidates

  • Inform your friends about the implications of the Act and the way it threats civil liberties and the future of Internet use.

  • Join the Open Rights Group's Action e-mail list. This will keep you informed on further developments and give practical advice on how you can protest against the Digital Economy Act: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/sign-up-against-disconnection
How did it happen?
  • The entertainment industry is refusing to adapt to new models, clinging to obsolete 20th Century thinking.
  • The Bill was drafted by unelected officials after lobbying from the entertainment industry.
  • It was passed in a hurry during the Parliamentary "wash up" process without full scrutiny.
Why should you be worried?
  • Websites will be blocked for alleged copyright infringement.
  • Families accused of sharing copyrighted files will be disconnected without trial. They will have to pay to appeal.
  • Even if you don't live in the UK, it sets a worrying precedent for other countries to follow suit.
Disconnection or "technical measures" like bandwidth throttling will kick in if file sharing does not drop by an incredible 70%. There are no alternative punishments to disconnection, no matter what the damage it will cause, and there is no statutory limit on the length of these disconnections, called, in the weasel words of the Act, "temporary account suspension".
Despite thousands of letters of concern and a petition with over 35,000 signatures of protest, the Bill was rushed through in the final days of parliament during the "wash up process" - it was not given the full scrutiny that it deserved.
This is a piece of legislation that gives potentially unlimited power to unelected officials, and assumes guilt on the part of those accused of copyright infringement. We can expect the industry lobbies to be out in force to roll back our human right to freedom of expression in the name of copyright very, very soon.
What's happening now?
Now that the Bill has been passed and the election is underway, candidates from all the main parties are keen to distance themselves from it. They admit that there are serious concerns and that the Bill did not receive the scrutiny and debate it deserves.

Dan Bull / Songwriter

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

VIRGIN GAMING PARTNERS WITH UBISOFT, CHALLENGES GAMERS TO EXPERIENCE THE FUTURE OF WAR

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TORONTO, CA, August 3, 2010
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“Ubisoft is one of the leading video game publishers  in the world and we are thrilled to offer our members the opportunity to compete in some of their best multiplayer console games,” said Rob Segal, CEO of Virgin Gaming. “Virgin Gaming is a unique convergence of social networking, video games and competitive gaming, and we are excited that Ubisoft shares our vision for the platform and its potential.”“Ubisoft is thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Gaming on its new venture. We have an exciting lineup of multiplayer titles this year that we believe will be a perfect fit for gamers to play and compete against each other in a tournament setting,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America.Sir Richard Branson unveiled Virgin Gaming to an enthusiastic reception at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The overwhelmingly positive response helped Virgin Gaming to quickly take the industry by storm, being the first online platform for gamers of all skill levels to compete in some of the best games for the biggest prizes. In true Virgin style, Branson kicked things off with dramatic flair, announcing that Virgin Gaming would give away over $1 million in cash and prizes over its first 12 months.Ubisoft headlines a slate of industry partnerships with key publishers and retailers to be announced by Virgin Gaming in the coming months. Additional details on these partnerships will be announced soon.To experience Virgin Gaming firsthand and to learn why It Pays To Have Game™, please visit: http://virgingaming.com.