After an excellent debate at Liberal Democrat federal party conference this morning, the motion on ‘Freedom, creativity and the internet’ was passed.
You can read the full text here, but the key points included:
a) the principle of net neutrality, through which all content, sites and platforms are treated equally by user access networks participating in the Internet
b) the rights of creators and performers to be rewarded for their work in a way that is fair, proportionate and appropriate to the medium
Conference therefore opposes excessive regulatory attempts to monitor, control and limit internet access or internet publication, whether at local, national, European or global level.
Conference calls on the Federal Policy Committee to commission a new policy working group to draw up a full policy paper on Information Technology and related aspects of intellectual property which should, in particular, consider:
1. Reform of copyright legislation to allow fair use and to release from copyright protection works which are no longer available legally or whose authors cannot be identified (orphan works).
2. The ‘common carrier’ concept, under which internet service providers would not be liable for material that they may carry unknowingly on their networks.
3. The creation of a level playing field between the traditional, copyright-based business model and alternative business models which may rely on personal copying and legal filesharing.
Alex recorded the debate which you can hear over at Liberal Democrat Voice (including my own speech, third person in).