Monday, April 19, 2010

The IP Party Manifesto

Well, we couldn’t scrape together the money for a deposit to stand for election, but we thought we’d go ahead and publish a manifesto anyway.

Universal Broadband

Providing equal access to those in rural areas is a priority if these areas are not to suffer from economic migration. Everyone in the UK should have access to a minimum guaranteed downlink connection of 2Mpbs.

Licences for rural provision will be made available that can be applied for by companies, community associations and local government, along with subsidies paid for from a levy on all broadband provision.

WiMax bandwidth spectrum will be liberated and made available for free.

Regulation

OFCOM is to be made fully responsible for regulation and oversight of the telecoms, media and broadcasting sectors.

This will implicitly include the BBC, Channel 4 and online services such as Google and YouTube.

No single broadcaster should be allowed to have more than 25% market share, or to own more than 25% of channels available on the three main delivery services (digital terrestrial, satellite and cable).

No single entity should control more than 25% of any online or offline advertising marketplace, directly or indirectly.

A new collection agency is to be created for the payment of non-music rights.

The Government will work with the industry to create a standardised taxonomy for the rights industry.

Behavioural targeting (tracking cookies) are to be banned.

Commercial Advertising

All restrictions on pricing will be lifted. Commercial broadcasters will be able to set their own prices for advertising slots.

Sponsored programmes will be allowed, along with product placement.

User Generated Content

Providers of user generated content, and any provider of video material will be brought in line with the EU A/V Directive and will be fully regulated as broadcasters are.

PSB

The BBC’s licence fee to be reduced and phased out.

All PSB expenditure to be reduced to a means test against commercial activities and to be capped at a total of $1bn per annum. Savings to be used to provide universal broadband. Any entity can apply for part of this budget, from community associations to publishing groups and existing commercial and PBS broadcasters. Online, offline media and publishing is eligible for support as well as traditional television and radio.

S4C and BBC Alba , along with BBC Asian to be disbanded, but a significant proportion of the remaining PSB fee to be given over to minority broadcasting. Minority film makers should be given priority in the awarding of grants. All minority content to be made available for the whole nation.

BBC Worldwide to be privatised with proceeds going into a community access fund for developing content and other PSB services.

Energy

Britain should aim to become self-sufficient in energy within a decade through a programme of alternative energy and nuclear power. All future nuclear power should be of a non-military nature. A levy of 1% should be charged on all derivative trading in the UK, along with a further levy of 10% on profits of energy companies to pay for investment in these alternative energy sources.

The rail network should be substantially increased with all future road building suspended and the money redirected towards rail. Nuclear powered rail transport should become common place.

Subsidies should be made available for data centres using natural means of air cooling.

Business

The capital gains tax taper should be re-introduced, with a rate of 10% after three years.

VCT allowances should be extended and added to existing ISA investment allowances, with any individual able to invest up to £10k a year either in VCTs or in qualified start up companies.

All development agencies, quangos, government investment vehicles to be disbanded with the cost saving used to reduce corporation tax by 2% across the board.

All regional and ‘national’ governments to be disbanded so that

A single tax entity to be created with a single portal to handle all business tax payments.

Areas of the UK can set their own tax regimes, but will no longer qualify for any central government subsidy if they do so.

No listed entity can be bought short for more than 25% of the issued share capital of that company.

A trading tax of ¼% to be added to stamp duty and levied on all corporate financial transactions and trades involving the UK or any UK trading entity.

Individuals to nominate if they are UK residents or not. If so, they are taxed according to the UK’s tax regime, if not, they are able to spend a maximum of 50 working days in the UK.

All commercial transactions in the UK will be liable to UK taxation.

IP

Intellectual property laws in the UK to be overhauled to allow software based inventions to be registered; registration process to be streamlined.

Anyone caught pirating content should be made liable for the direct cost of that content.

A central clearing organisation should be set up for video rights management.

The UK should establish rights management standards.


Maybe in four years we can create a coalition government with the LibDems...