Lib Dem Lords offer concessions on Digital Economy amendments

Following a barage of criticism over amendments to the Digital Economy Bill, the backers of the amendment are to make concessions which, they hope, will answer many of the objections.

As the FT reports [free registration may be required to view article]:

The Liberal Democrats will publish changes on Friday to their original amendment, of which the Conservatives said they were “broadly supportive”.

Under the new proposals, which will be put to the vote on Monday at the bill’s third reading in the Lords, a judge could order copyright owners to pay legal costs and other compensation for asking a service provider to block a site. Content owners must also inform owners of sites they accuse of infringing their copyright before asking that it be blocked, and list the works illegally hosted.

Site owners or “any person aggrieved” would be able to appeal against a block under the latest amendments.

The overall tone seems to be “we did this with the best of intentions, we now accept it isn’t good enough and we think these changes will make it better.”

Whether the critics agree with this assessment remains to be seen.

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15 Comments

  • I’m surprised to hear myself say this (or rather, watch myself type this), but these are good concessions.

    I still want blocked sites to have a message “this site has been blocked by the UK government at the request of XYZ, to complain write to …” rather than have sites mysteriously disappear. If that could be done too, I might even support this amendment. Maybe.

    The whole bill, however, I still have a problem with.

  • Also, the error message should explain why the page has been blocked, and maybe list the copyrighted works that were infringed.

  • Andrew Suffield 12th Mar '10 - 9:16pm

    state censorship is unethical on any basis

    This isn’t state censorship, it’s corporate. That can be ethical sometimes. (In this particular case, I’m inclined to doubt it is, but I haven’t read the amendments yet)

  • Anthony Aloysius St 13th Mar '10 - 12:43am

    Jock

    You need to do a bit (actually, a lot) of basic reading up on copyright law.

    I know it’s fashionable to say “everything on the Internet should be free”, but you need to consider how that affects people whose livelihood is protected by copyright law. How would you react to someone suggesting that the fruit of _your_ labour (whatever that is) should be free?

  • These seem good ammendments. I’m not some anti-copywrite doctrinaire, nut that may be becasue I don’t know much about it. I find it odd that thwere would be more innovation without the economic incentive.

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