I was very flattered to be asked along to a Conservative party think tank about future technology policy. I was sure they had me mixed up with something else, but I wasn't going to miss a chance to hang out with the big nobs, so to speak. Unfortunately, I couldn't go. I wrote a letter instead and I thought it might be fun to show it here...
I received an invitation last week from Mr. XXXX YYYY concerning a Conservative Party event on Xth March. Much as I would love to contribute I'm afraid it clashes with [an important event that] I will be attending. I imagine that the invitation stems from our previous conversation about XXXXX?
Incidentally, I read in the Saturday Telegraph a story concerning House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee chairman John Whittingdale. The story claims that he is a Tory and that he responded positively to an approach from Mr. Edward Clarke, a sometime member of the popular beat combo Motorhead, concerning the extension of copyright for song composers.
I mention this not merely because I am an infinitely bigger fan of Motorhead than Mr. Whittingdale claims to be -- as my good lady wife will testify, because I took her to see Motorhead on our first date -- and not because I have anything against Mr. Clarke personally (in fact, I am second to none in my admiration for "Fast Eddie" Clarke's lead guitar playing), but because I was wondering if this is the sort of topic that your Forum might be discussing?
If so, could you please ask them from me my why on Earth it is Conservative Party policy to extend copyright? I realise that the blandishments of producer interest groups are seductive -- and that the glamour of the pop world might temporarily blind MPs to economic first principles -- but if you are to have a policy on this topic it should be to reduce copyright significantly to the great benefit of everyone else in society apart from [pop stars].
In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]