Lords Pass Digital Economy Bill

The British House of Lords has pushed through the latest version of the Digital Economy Bill, which features provisions that would put the onus on ISPs to track and report illegal file sharers and copyright violators.

The Bill, which now moves to the House of Commons for approval, would have ISPs issue such reports to both the copyright owner, as well as to the British Office of Communications (OFCOM), reports a story on Beta News. If passed, OFCOM would control how ISPs monitor their users and how long information is retained by ISPs.

In order to “prevent or reduce” Internet copyright infringement, the Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to limit, suspend or cut off ISP user access for “some or all relevant subscribers.” New measures would also reportedly enable courts to force ISPs to block websites that contribute to copyright infringement.

Junior Business Minister Lord Young said such measures would “not be capable of being enforced” and were incompatible with the European Union Technical Standards Directive.

The changes, which are alleged to have been copied almost word-for-word from a music industry lobby group draft, caused Pirate Party spokesperson Andrew Robinson to state, “The public will not respect a law that was quite literally written by the record industry, for the record industry.”

Open Rights group Executive Director Jim Killock added:

The Bill doesn’t require any test of evidence before harsh punishments are imposed on people accused of copyright infringement, and opens the door to a ratcheting up of unwarranted powers without democratic scrutiny.

Thanks Andrew

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  1. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Agreed, the whole thing puts the entire control of Copyright law, not only now, but in the future, in the hands of a man who has been frequently seen being wined and dined by the Music Industry, and who has no voter opinion to be responsible for whatsoever. If there are laws to be arranged over the people of this country, at the very least, they should be made by those who have actually been voted into the job by the public.

  2. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Indeed. Sure such things CAN be used for illegal purposes, and no EULA will change that. The industries need to FINALLY learn that just because someone can doesn’t mean they will.

    Hell, I COULD have illegally pirated Half life 2 as I have Daemon tools and an internet connection, but I didn’t, I bought it legally because I wanted to support Valve.

  3. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    Ah, the Mandleson Bill. It can suck my left nut. The computer savvy downloaders that this is aimed at will simply stick 2 fingers up at it, mask their ISPs or use other people’s networks. The record companies are scrambling to try and halt internet piracy, when they only have themselves to blame for pursuing an outdated business model that aims to overcharge people for inferior content.

    I pirate DVD movies. Why? Because I can download a video file, which I can then transfer to my iPod easily. Because of these outdated copyright laws, companies are forbidden from making and distributing legal software that would allow me to transfer LEGALLY PURCHASED DVDs from my collection to my portable devices. If I had such software, I would buy more movies. As it is, I simply pirate them, as I can then watch them how I want to watch them.

    Copyright laws ENCOURAGE piracy. Not the other way around.

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