I regrettably entered the debate on the European Copyright Directive rather late on the scale of things; I wish I had had the chance to influence matters with MEPs at an earlier stage. Nevertheless, here you can find a timeline of the various communications I had with the Patent Office, DTI and my MP on the matter. I believe strongly in openness on matters like this, so copies of all correspondence are freely available – make your own judgement.


15 October 2002 – Initial Response to Patent Office proposals

I send my response to Tessa Arnesen at the Patent Office’s Copyright Directorate.

I also send a long and comprehensive letter to my MP Simon Burns, enclosing a copy of my response and a copy of the former eurorights.org document Why The EUCD Is Bad.

21 October 2002 – Acknowledgement

Tessa Arnesen acknowledged my submission

21 October 2002 – Response from Simon Burns

Simon Burns replied with an interesting response to my letter of 15 October. In particular, he identifies his lack of awareness of this important legislation – I wonder how many other MPs are completely oblivious to it?

31 October 2002 – Reply from Melanie Johnson

Simon Burns clearly passed my letter to him on to Melanie Johnson at the DTI for comment. She responded to him and he passed her comments on to me. Melanie’s response is similar to responses received by other parties who have corresponded with her. It attempts to provide some weak justifications/assurances about the proposed legislation but ignores most of the key issues.

13 November 2002 – I respond to Melanie Johnson

I send a response to Melanie Johnson, covering her previous letter. This is worthwhile reading, as I believe I managed to put across a number of key points quite forcefully, and comprehensively deconstruct all of Melanie’s previous arguments.

2 December 2002 – Brian Simpson from the Patent Office responds

Melanie Johnson clearly realises she is out of her depth and being used as a puppet by the Patent Office, so skips the pretence completely and just passes my letter of 13 November on to the Patent Office for reply. Brian Simpson sends a fairly sympathetic if insubstantial reply, but I would rather have heard from Melanie Johnson.