UK Digital Economy Bill

A recent Out-Law.com tweet caught my eye with the headline YouTube threatened by changes to Digital Economy Bill. The article has some good links and background information, including:

Courts will have the power to block access to entire websites from the UK because of allegations of copyright infringement under an amendment to Government legislation that has been adopted by the House of Lords.

The amendment currently being debated in the Lords deals with injunctive powers to block content rather than the current practice where YouTube removes copyright infringing content when given notice by the copyright owner.

We haven’t talked about the Digital Economy Bill at Slaw, nor do we usually spend time discussing foreign legislation.

There are excellent resources from the UK Parliament – much like our LEGISinfo site – to give background information on the bill, track the progress, and of course, see all of the documentation and latest version of the bill.

The bill makes some very significant chamges to the Communications Act 2003. That act is intended: “to confer functions on the Office of Communications; to make provision about the regulation of the provision of electronic communications networks and services and of the use of the electro-magnetic spectrum; to make provision about the regulation of broadcasting and of the provision of television and radio services; to make provision about mergers involving newspaper and other media enterprises and, in that connection, to amend the Enterprise Act 2002; and for connected purposes.”

Considering the global impact of these changes to UK legislation, should they come to pass, we had best inform ourselves.

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  1. Update April 8, 2010 – The bill has passed and is awaiting Royal Assent – Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

  2. Last week The Music Void met with Lord Lucas in the House of Lords. He wanted to have a chat about what the Lords could do to help artists and music creators. As soon as we sat down, he brought up the Digital Economy Act. Read more here about his discussion…