Make jailbreaking legal

Today, the USA made Jailbreaking legal. This allows people who own mobile phones to remove the manufacturer's restrictions. This means they can install their own applications.

The UK needs to do the same.  We need to make Jailbreaking legal.

Why is this idea important?

Today, the USA made Jailbreaking legal. This allows people who own mobile phones to remove the manufacturer's restrictions. This means they can install their own applications.

The UK needs to do the same.  We need to make Jailbreaking legal.

Broadband providers must be truthful about their download speeds

Broadband providers should have to provide the service they say they will in their contract.  At the moment, companies can sell you a certain speed of internet access, but in reality get away with providing far lower than this, a lot of the time. 

You wouldn’t pay to stay in a five star hotel for a month, only to be given a four star hotel for two weeks and then a two star hotel for the rest of that month.  So we shouldn’t have to accept less than we pay for when it comes to Internet services.

As a bare minimum, Internet providers should have to provide speeds 95% as fast as they advertise, for 95% of the time you pay for.  If they fail in this, they should have to reimburse their customers for that month.

Why is this idea important?

Broadband providers should have to provide the service they say they will in their contract.  At the moment, companies can sell you a certain speed of internet access, but in reality get away with providing far lower than this, a lot of the time. 

You wouldn’t pay to stay in a five star hotel for a month, only to be given a four star hotel for two weeks and then a two star hotel for the rest of that month.  So we shouldn’t have to accept less than we pay for when it comes to Internet services.

As a bare minimum, Internet providers should have to provide speeds 95% as fast as they advertise, for 95% of the time you pay for.  If they fail in this, they should have to reimburse their customers for that month.

CE Marking imposed on small manufacturers over the last 10 years has killed Creativity, Productivity and lost Jobs!

CE Marking conformity assessments and examination facilities for EMC, R&TTE and LVD are simply too expensive at around 500 to 5000 pounds for the small manufacturer making one offs or small runs. These facilities need to be made available to all small manufacturers at a reasonable price. I don’t think the examinations should be for free, but I do think that they should be made at a cost that is affordable, maybe for the same price as a car MOT examination. Ofcom, Universities and some technical colleges have the test equipment to make these assessments and examinations very easily. Such an examination could be made in 1 to 2 hours. I know Ofcom have regional offices all over the UK in the major cities for policing communications in those areas. It is also Ofcom that is responsible for monitoring compliance with the EMC and R&TTE directives. Without evidence of this compliance you cannot CE Mark your product and therefore you cannot place it on the market. Surely it must be possible to make a program or process where the small manufacturer can take new designs for assessment and examination at the regional Ofcom offices for a small fee that will cover the cost of the time used by the of Ofcom employee. This would not result in any further cost to the taxpayer, in fact if enough assessments were made Ofcom may make a profit, this would open the market up to small manufacturers with new inventions, innovations and ideas that would lead to more jobs and skills.

Why is this idea important?

CE Marking conformity assessments and examination facilities for EMC, R&TTE and LVD are simply too expensive at around 500 to 5000 pounds for the small manufacturer making one offs or small runs. These facilities need to be made available to all small manufacturers at a reasonable price. I don’t think the examinations should be for free, but I do think that they should be made at a cost that is affordable, maybe for the same price as a car MOT examination. Ofcom, Universities and some technical colleges have the test equipment to make these assessments and examinations very easily. Such an examination could be made in 1 to 2 hours. I know Ofcom have regional offices all over the UK in the major cities for policing communications in those areas. It is also Ofcom that is responsible for monitoring compliance with the EMC and R&TTE directives. Without evidence of this compliance you cannot CE Mark your product and therefore you cannot place it on the market. Surely it must be possible to make a program or process where the small manufacturer can take new designs for assessment and examination at the regional Ofcom offices for a small fee that will cover the cost of the time used by the of Ofcom employee. This would not result in any further cost to the taxpayer, in fact if enough assessments were made Ofcom may make a profit, this would open the market up to small manufacturers with new inventions, innovations and ideas that would lead to more jobs and skills.

Give 50% of Govt ICT contracts to companies with turnovers under £20m

It has been reported that the Govt is paying £105m for the HMRC website over a period of three years. By any benchmark, HMRC is paying a top price for this. It has also been reported that 85% of Govt IT contracts go to only 6-8 large suppliers. Cut free the Govt ICT marketplace from this overpriced restricted supply chain where the major barrier to entry is not price or capability but a tendering process that puts off a lot of capable smaller companies from going through the bidding process. This can be done easily by reserving 50% of Govt ICT contracts for smaller SME's. This would not be anticompetitive as at least 50% of the UK's ICT industry outside Govt resides in these smaller SME's anyway. I plead to the UK Government, save money, get better ICT systems, stimulate economic growth, break up the current monopoly ICT supply chain.

Why is this idea important?

It has been reported that the Govt is paying £105m for the HMRC website over a period of three years. By any benchmark, HMRC is paying a top price for this. It has also been reported that 85% of Govt IT contracts go to only 6-8 large suppliers. Cut free the Govt ICT marketplace from this overpriced restricted supply chain where the major barrier to entry is not price or capability but a tendering process that puts off a lot of capable smaller companies from going through the bidding process. This can be done easily by reserving 50% of Govt ICT contracts for smaller SME's. This would not be anticompetitive as at least 50% of the UK's ICT industry outside Govt resides in these smaller SME's anyway. I plead to the UK Government, save money, get better ICT systems, stimulate economic growth, break up the current monopoly ICT supply chain.

Legalise building and selling computers

While the physical act of building a custom computer for a customer is not illegial, there are other laws which make it virtually impossible to build & sell a computer to a customer without it being illegial (Epecially for small shops).

CE Marking:

Most people don't know this, but companies that build custom spec computer systems are braking the law unless they spend around £500 – £1000 for CE compliance for each "variant" of the system. In I.T., there are thousands of "variants" (e.g. size of RAM, made of hard drive, style of case)

I am asking the government to remove the CE testing, marking and documentation keeping for the companies that assemble or upgrade computers.

WEEE Waste Regulations:

Currently, even if you build a single custom PC for a customer, you are classed as a "producer" and have to sign up to a "weee producer compliance scheme". Given that the cost of this is around £600/year, this is outrageous!

Why is this idea important?

While the physical act of building a custom computer for a customer is not illegial, there are other laws which make it virtually impossible to build & sell a computer to a customer without it being illegial (Epecially for small shops).

CE Marking:

Most people don't know this, but companies that build custom spec computer systems are braking the law unless they spend around £500 – £1000 for CE compliance for each "variant" of the system. In I.T., there are thousands of "variants" (e.g. size of RAM, made of hard drive, style of case)

I am asking the government to remove the CE testing, marking and documentation keeping for the companies that assemble or upgrade computers.

WEEE Waste Regulations:

Currently, even if you build a single custom PC for a customer, you are classed as a "producer" and have to sign up to a "weee producer compliance scheme". Given that the cost of this is around £600/year, this is outrageous!

DEbill

DEbill passed under the Labour government has major implications on civil liberties? I also believe the Conservative and Liberal Democrats were both against the bill?

Why is this idea important?

DEbill passed under the Labour government has major implications on civil liberties? I also believe the Conservative and Liberal Democrats were both against the bill?

Remove “Windows tax” on new computers

This "law" has not been created by the government, but has been established by a corporation which has created a monopoly in the software and computing industries.

In a country where values such as consumer freedom, innovation, free trade and competition are held with utmost importance, why is one technology firm allowed to carry-out practices which are essentially illegal?

There have been many anti-trust suits filed and won against Microsoft by the EU and the USA, but these practices continue.

When one purchases a new PC, one is forced to buy Microsoft Windows for £99-230. This is included in the price of the computer and the consumer has no choice in the matter. The UELA then states that the consumer may receive a refund if the software is not used, but this is almost impossible to attain and there have been only a handful of cases in the UK where consumers have received a refund for their unused software.

Microsoft then creates a further grievance to the consumer by not including office software (which is essential on any computer) and making its operating system susceptible to viruses. Individuals or businesses then have to pay £130-430 for office software and £50 a year for antivirus software subscriptions. Consumers should have the option to chose not to buy Windows or these products and chose a free operating system (Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris).

These costs are then replicated in the public sector. Taxpayers are being forced to pay for these software licenses on all computers used in the public sector. If schools, hospitals, the police etc. switched to Free and Open Source Software, it could save the taxpayer a bundle and the money could be put to better uses such as employing more staff in schools or making computers available to children with learning disabilities.

The French police lowered its IT costs by 70% by switching to Linux – http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu.ars

Small businesses could also benefit from lowering IT costs, especially in these tough financial times.

The solution: remove this de-facto law/tax by creating a new law that prohibits hardware vendors from bundling software with computers. Individuals/businesses/government would then have the choice between purchasing software or using free software.

Why is this idea important?

This "law" has not been created by the government, but has been established by a corporation which has created a monopoly in the software and computing industries.

In a country where values such as consumer freedom, innovation, free trade and competition are held with utmost importance, why is one technology firm allowed to carry-out practices which are essentially illegal?

There have been many anti-trust suits filed and won against Microsoft by the EU and the USA, but these practices continue.

When one purchases a new PC, one is forced to buy Microsoft Windows for £99-230. This is included in the price of the computer and the consumer has no choice in the matter. The UELA then states that the consumer may receive a refund if the software is not used, but this is almost impossible to attain and there have been only a handful of cases in the UK where consumers have received a refund for their unused software.

Microsoft then creates a further grievance to the consumer by not including office software (which is essential on any computer) and making its operating system susceptible to viruses. Individuals or businesses then have to pay £130-430 for office software and £50 a year for antivirus software subscriptions. Consumers should have the option to chose not to buy Windows or these products and chose a free operating system (Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris).

These costs are then replicated in the public sector. Taxpayers are being forced to pay for these software licenses on all computers used in the public sector. If schools, hospitals, the police etc. switched to Free and Open Source Software, it could save the taxpayer a bundle and the money could be put to better uses such as employing more staff in schools or making computers available to children with learning disabilities.

The French police lowered its IT costs by 70% by switching to Linux – http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu.ars

Small businesses could also benefit from lowering IT costs, especially in these tough financial times.

The solution: remove this de-facto law/tax by creating a new law that prohibits hardware vendors from bundling software with computers. Individuals/businesses/government would then have the choice between purchasing software or using free software.

Place a lower limit on WEEE regulations

Currently, even if you build a single custom PC for a customer, you are classed as a "producer" and have to sign up to a "weee producer compliance scheme". Given that the cost of this is around £600/year, this is outrageous!

Why is this idea important?

Currently, even if you build a single custom PC for a customer, you are classed as a "producer" and have to sign up to a "weee producer compliance scheme". Given that the cost of this is around £600/year, this is outrageous!

ALLOW SOFTWARE LICENSES TO BE TRANSFERRABLE

If I buy a book, I buy paper, cardboard and ink plus a licence to read it an unlimited number of times. When I don't want it any more I can sell it on an auction website and transfer the licence.

When I buy software I cannot transfer it in the same way and many times I cannot even transfer it to other computers that I own.

The UK law should be changed to allow software licences to be transferrable – just like books! 

Why is this idea important?

If I buy a book, I buy paper, cardboard and ink plus a licence to read it an unlimited number of times. When I don't want it any more I can sell it on an auction website and transfer the licence.

When I buy software I cannot transfer it in the same way and many times I cannot even transfer it to other computers that I own.

The UK law should be changed to allow software licences to be transferrable – just like books! 

Remove CE marking for computer shops

Most people don't know this, but companies that build custom spec computer systems are braking the law unless they spend around £500 – £1000 for CE compliance for each "variant" of the system. In I.T., there are thousands of "variants" (e.g. size of RAM, made of hard drive, style of case)

I am asking the government to remove the CE testing, marking and documentation keeping for the companies that assemble or upgrade computers.

Why is this idea important?

Most people don't know this, but companies that build custom spec computer systems are braking the law unless they spend around £500 – £1000 for CE compliance for each "variant" of the system. In I.T., there are thousands of "variants" (e.g. size of RAM, made of hard drive, style of case)

I am asking the government to remove the CE testing, marking and documentation keeping for the companies that assemble or upgrade computers.

Allow tinkering with electronics you own

Once we buy a piece of hardware (e.g. mobile phone), we should be allowed to tinker with it, add, remove and replace software on it, and even break it if we want to.

Current UK DRM laws prohibit us from removing software from a device, and replacing it with our own. Sometimes, even open-source software (against the will of the author) is surrounded by a "DRM wrapper" that prevents you from removing it!

I am asking government to restore the freedom to allow people to "remove" or "replace" software on hardware, and to forbid manufacturers from restricting people from doing such acts.

Why is this idea important?

Once we buy a piece of hardware (e.g. mobile phone), we should be allowed to tinker with it, add, remove and replace software on it, and even break it if we want to.

Current UK DRM laws prohibit us from removing software from a device, and replacing it with our own. Sometimes, even open-source software (against the will of the author) is surrounded by a "DRM wrapper" that prevents you from removing it!

I am asking government to restore the freedom to allow people to "remove" or "replace" software on hardware, and to forbid manufacturers from restricting people from doing such acts.

Allow rental of hardware which uses software

Not many people know this but rental out any products that contain software to customers (e.g. cars, computers), is illegial:

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988[38] (as amended by The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 S18 – "except that in relation to [..] computer programs the restricted act of issuing copies to the public includes any rental of copies to the public"

The aforementioned words from Section 18 of the Act should be removed, and replaced with something that excludes programs built into hardware.

Why is this idea important?

Not many people know this but rental out any products that contain software to customers (e.g. cars, computers), is illegial:

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988[38] (as amended by The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 S18 – "except that in relation to [..] computer programs the restricted act of issuing copies to the public includes any rental of copies to the public"

The aforementioned words from Section 18 of the Act should be removed, and replaced with something that excludes programs built into hardware.

Encryption laws

Annex I Section 5 Part 2 ("Information Security") of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists (Dual-Use Items) should be removed, as in today's connected digital world, encryption should not be classed as "Dual-Use".

Why is this idea important?

Annex I Section 5 Part 2 ("Information Security") of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists (Dual-Use Items) should be removed, as in today's connected digital world, encryption should not be classed as "Dual-Use".

Abolish Software Patents

Software patent law must be simplified if not completely abolished. The concept that a routine or function is somehow "intellectual property" is ridiculous. How many times have you had an idea and found out someone else had the same idea? Patents were designed to prevent stealing of ideas but two independent people creating the same idea are not stealing from each other.

Why is this idea important?

Software patent law must be simplified if not completely abolished. The concept that a routine or function is somehow "intellectual property" is ridiculous. How many times have you had an idea and found out someone else had the same idea? Patents were designed to prevent stealing of ideas but two independent people creating the same idea are not stealing from each other.

OPTING OUT OF THE NHS MEDICAL RECORDS DATABASE

The way the current system works,everybody is automatically opted in the medical record database system. My idea is to  make it neccessary for you the patient to opt into the system rather than opt out. The database managers should have to sell their idea to the patients, so that the patients can make an informed decision on this matter rather than automatically being added to this centralised database system.

Why is this idea important?

The way the current system works,everybody is automatically opted in the medical record database system. My idea is to  make it neccessary for you the patient to opt into the system rather than opt out. The database managers should have to sell their idea to the patients, so that the patients can make an informed decision on this matter rather than automatically being added to this centralised database system.

The right to reverse engineer “abandonware”

There is a large amount of software for older machines which could be of great use. The company behind it has either gone under or abandoned the software completely (so called "abandonware")

With changes in operating system versions, the software no longer operates but current UK laws make it illegal to reverse engineer the software and bring it back to life.

I am not for one second advocating current software be applied to this or that the ownership of the software change from the original author to the person who reverse engineers and keeps the software running.

Why is this idea important?

There is a large amount of software for older machines which could be of great use. The company behind it has either gone under or abandoned the software completely (so called "abandonware")

With changes in operating system versions, the software no longer operates but current UK laws make it illegal to reverse engineer the software and bring it back to life.

I am not for one second advocating current software be applied to this or that the ownership of the software change from the original author to the person who reverse engineers and keeps the software running.