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No more moodling from your local coffeeshop?

 
Picture of Sonja Grussendorf
No more moodling from your local coffeeshop?
by Sonja Grussendorf - Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 9:05 AM
 
The digital economy bill is up for its second reading (i.e. the first chance for MPs to debate the bill's main principles) in the House of Commons this afternoon.

A key area of the bill with direct impact on how & where students learn today is that "[the bill] imposes obligations on internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement." Many fear this will lead to the shutting down of free internet access points (wifi hotspots) in cafes, public libraries and so on - punishing the innocent many for the "crimes" (civil offences) of the few. picture of coffee by marfis75
Obviously, copyright infringements are a serious concern, yet it could be argued that it is rather more controversial to charge internet service providers with the policing of such infringements and dishing out the punishment (disconnection). An article in the Times HIgher Education argued in November that the bill will bring "the age of digital enclosure", rather than safeguard creativity and collaboration.
The Open RIghts Group, who have been campaigning to prevent parliament from rushing this bill through before the next general election offers a useful page summarising why "you should care" about this bill.

Why should you care? Choosing just one example, the freedom and convenience we enjoy right now to access the internet from free wifi hotspots in cafes, libraries, airports, local community centres might be under serious threat. In other words, no more access to Moodle with your cappuccino!
If that doesn't have you quaking in your boots & sobbing uncontrollably, I don't know what will...

Picture "cafe con leche" by marfis75 on flickr.