Feeds

Google orders spontaneous support for Parliamentary motion

We need other people's stuff to run ads by

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Exclusive Google's influence on the UK copyright agenda is a little clearer today, thanks to an email seen by The Register. The email is a rallying cry to 'independent' copyright activists.

In the email, Google's head of UK policy, Theo Bertram, urges the recipients to rally supporters behind a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in favour of the controversial Hargreaves Review into IP and Growth. Quickly dubbed the 'Google Review', the review was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2010 at Silicon Roundabout, where Cameron cited Google's difficulties with UK copyright law as the cause for the review. The quote Cameron attributed to Google has never been found, and critics of the review have found the economic basis for the proposed changes to the UK's copyright laws highly questionable.

Recipients of Bertram's email include Saskia Walzel, of taxpayer-funded quango Consumer Focus, and Peter Bradshaw, of the Open Rights Group, which musters around 1,400 paying supporters. Both groups present themselves as independent voices of the consumer in the copyright debate. But the idea of Google initiating legislative changes, and then using citizens groups to provide 'support' for them, disturbs industries affected by the changes.

A rights-holder's representative who spoke to us on condition of anonymity told us:

It's an example of astroturf: of a corporation using the collective action of not-for-profit groups to further its own interests.

"What's that you said, Sooty? 'Copyright must be changed to accelerate the UK's digital economy?'
I'll tell the boys and girls."

We requested a clarification from Google but had received no response at press time.

The EDM has gathered 22 signatories so far.

Bertram was a special adviser at No 10 to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown before leaving for a short stint at O2 in 2010. He then joined Google.

The giant American corporation pays minimal corporation tax in the UK thanks to a series of complex legal avoidance mechanisms. Many of the independent creators affected by Hargreaves' proposals – illustrators, designers and photographers – are freelancers and can't afford lobbying muscle or PR companies. ®

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?