A date to go down in history: 1 July 2007. Not because it’s Canada Day or 145 years since the Russian State Library was founded, or even because it’s the anniversary of when the Beatles released She loves you in the UK.
It is of course the day when England will become a no-smoking, clean-air, sensible shoe-type of country. Is it part of a plan to turn the world into George Orwell's draconian vision in 1984? What will be next? A ban on alcohol? A ban on cars? A curfew for all at 8pm?
It is unlikely of course, but as the UK huffs and puffs (not literally – no puffing now, at least not inside anywhere with more than three walls) itself into the greener, cleaner world, the IT industry also has a reason to note 1 July 2007.
The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive comes into force. This essentially means that producers of electrical equipment have to dispose of old kit responsibly for recycling, refreshment or in an environmentally friendly way.
This will effect every single player in the channel, from the smallest system integrator to the largest Super VAR; from the start-up vendor to the behemoths. Except unlike the smoking ban, this piece of legislation has been shrouded in ambiguity, delays and misunderstandings.
Recently, CRN highlighted a campaign to lobby the government to make last-minute changes to the scheme to help reduce the cost and impact for smaller players in the channel. Vital education to end-users and channel players has been invisible. Without defining each company’s role, be they vendor or integrator, distributor or producer, the government is running the risk that channel players will simply ignore the legislation until they fully grasp what their role should be.
And the last thing Mr Brown needs so quickly after his promotion is to see brand new legislation go up in smoke.
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