TechCrunch backs the launch of The Coalition for a Digital Economy in the UK

Today TechCrunch Europe is backing the creation of a new entity to support a lasting, sustainable and innovative Digital Economy for British businesses based on modern thinking around the Internet. Coadec (The Coalition for a Digital Economy) will represent the new wave of British businesses built on technological innovation.

What’s prompted this move?

Well, we think the UK’s Digital Economy Bill in its current form will impact the innovation sector of the UK’s digital/tech economy in a host of negative ways. We could start a simple campaign on this blog, but that would just be us.

What is required is either an umbrella organisation to put the case for the digital economy to politicians, or a simple lobby organisation.

The problem is is that lawmakers are coming up with bad legislation based on misconceptions about the Internet.

Ironically, the DE Bill risks choking innovation in the long term, actually leading to a less innovative digital economy and thus less copyright to actually protect.

The DE Bill contains too many protectionist measures which indirectly damage innovation, especially internet and mobile companies, which are the companies of tomorrow.

The UK’s digital businesses have to recognised as equal parties in “the creative sector”. Too many industry bodies attached to the traditional creative sector seem happy to be mute when bad law is being made, and the lobbyists for large record companies have clearly held sway over the politicians.

This is leading to unintended consquences with far reaching implications.

For instance, the DE Bill’s current approach to WiFi will mean small business will be left open to penalties for copyright infringement making it impossible for them to offer these services and thus compete in the digital economy.

So we’re backing the creation of Coadec (The Coalition for a Digital Economy).

Coadec will not compete in any way with the Open Rights Group, but simple tackle the issues form a different angle: business.

In fact the Open Rights Group is supporting the creation of Coadec.

I realise that as a journalist this puts me in a compromised position, but I decided that I’d rather help out in winning the argument in favour of innovative technology businesses than sit on the fence and pretend the consequences of this Bill were something someone else would have to do something about. I don’t intended – at this stage – for this to be something I “head up”, but that others eventually take up the guantlet.

Read the first blog post, subscribe to the newsletter and/or the Facebook Group and Twitter Feed.

Please now go read Coadec’s Initial Statement of Principles, and watch out for an initial meeting to be organised on Wednesday March 17 at lunchtime in London.