Friday, 9 April 2010

Digital Economy Bill Passed Through House of Lords

The UK government passed the controversial Digital Economy Bill, following its third reading in the House of Commons. The bill was approved by MPs by a majority of 142 votes and it passed through the Lords last night, Thursday.

The bill –aimed at supporting artists' copyright and tackling illegal file-sharing – was passed very quickly as part of the "wash-up period", the time left before parliament is dissolved for the general election campaign to officially begin on April 12.

However, the speed at which the bill was rushed into law has angered the likes of internet service provider’s, MPs and internet freedom campaigners. Its sparked online campaigns, protest groups and petitions.

More than 20,000 people have written to their MPs, complaining that it is being rushed through. Opponents claim the bill is too vague and needs more debate.

Under the terms of the Digital Economy Bill:

 Users who illegally download music and videos will have their internet connection cut-off following warning letters from their ISP. There is also an appeals process.
 Force internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites that host content illegally. The company that owns the copyright would have to go to court to get this.
 Copyright holders will be able to apply for a court order to gain access to users' name and address details to copyright owners who could then sue them for stealing their content.

However the government says the bill has been given plenty of discussion in the Houses of Commons and Lords, which has led to several changes along the way.

No comments: