Clarify section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 (online free speech)

Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 has been used recently to prosecute a man who used Twitter to make a remark that was incorrectly interpreted as a threat to plant a bomb at an airport. Paul Chambers was found guilty of sending a menacing message under paragraph 1 of this act. There has been debate about whether or not mens rea (guilty mind) must be proven in order to convict. This needs to be clarified such that the provision requires mens rea, and that mens rea must be in the context of targeting a particular person or group.

Why is this idea important?

Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 has been used recently to prosecute a man who used Twitter to make a remark that was incorrectly interpreted as a threat to plant a bomb at an airport. Paul Chambers was found guilty of sending a menacing message under paragraph 1 of this act. There has been debate about whether or not mens rea (guilty mind) must be proven in order to convict. This needs to be clarified such that the provision requires mens rea, and that mens rea must be in the context of targeting a particular person or group.

Air traffic radio listening & rebroadcast

Under the 1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act it is illegal to listen to air traffic radio communication in the UK on a scanning receiver which can be bought in any High Street. It is not illegal to OWN an airband radio, you just can't use it ! The law permits the listening to broadcasts that are intended for "general reception" only, including amateur, CB and public broadcast radio. The listening to air traffic communication is not, and never has been, a security issue to the UK and we are the only country that does not allow the rebroadcast or even discussion of such transmissions. In today's multimedia world, this is something that needs to change.

Why is this idea important?

Under the 1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act it is illegal to listen to air traffic radio communication in the UK on a scanning receiver which can be bought in any High Street. It is not illegal to OWN an airband radio, you just can't use it ! The law permits the listening to broadcasts that are intended for "general reception" only, including amateur, CB and public broadcast radio. The listening to air traffic communication is not, and never has been, a security issue to the UK and we are the only country that does not allow the rebroadcast or even discussion of such transmissions. In today's multimedia world, this is something that needs to change.

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.

Make “format shifting” of music etc. legal.

At the moment, technically, it is illegal to "format shift" data, because of copyright laws. For example, I own a lot of music CDs. Technically, I am not allowed to copy the music from these onto my computer as MP3s to put on my MP3 player. I have to purchase every song I want, again, as an MP3. A similar issue will soon arrive with the advent of e-book readers. This is simply because the copyright law has not yet caught up with technology. The law should be altered so that, if someone legally owns music, video, book etc *in any form* they should be allowed to convert it into any other form, for their own, personal use. i.e. the purcahse and copyright should apply to the  material (i.e. music, film, book etc), rather than the specific physical or digital representation of the material purchaed.Obviously the restrictions on supplying this new form of the material to other people should remain in place.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment, technically, it is illegal to "format shift" data, because of copyright laws. For example, I own a lot of music CDs. Technically, I am not allowed to copy the music from these onto my computer as MP3s to put on my MP3 player. I have to purchase every song I want, again, as an MP3. A similar issue will soon arrive with the advent of e-book readers. This is simply because the copyright law has not yet caught up with technology. The law should be altered so that, if someone legally owns music, video, book etc *in any form* they should be allowed to convert it into any other form, for their own, personal use. i.e. the purcahse and copyright should apply to the  material (i.e. music, film, book etc), rather than the specific physical or digital representation of the material purchaed.Obviously the restrictions on supplying this new form of the material to other people should remain in place.