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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Late Amendments To The Digital Economy Bill (UK)

Late Amendments To The Digital Economy Bill (UK)

Late Amendments To The Digital Economy Bill (UK)

Added: Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
Just days before the Digital Economy Bill is due to be read and debated in the House of Commons, Lord Mandelson the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has proposed an introduction of more stringent legislation to battle the increase in copyright infringement and file sharing in the UK.

The second hearing of the bill will take place on Tuesday the 6th of April in the House of Commons, where these proposed changes will be debated. The main change to the bill is the introduction of clause 18 (replacing clause 17). The original clause 17 from the bill would have given the government wide ranging powers to amend the existing copyright laws without having to discuss with parliament first, this clause was dropped from the bill after opposition and a vote in the House of Lords. The clause 18 amendment will be added to the bill right after the second reading.

In a letter from Lord Mandelson to his counterpart on the opposition, he discusses his proposals for the new clause which include,


The main aspect of this amendment would mean that UK courts would be capable of ordering ISP’s to a UK wide bar on all connections to sites that are considered to be likely to be/ or are hosting copyright infringing material, even if there is no actual proof that they are indeed hosting this material. In reality this new legislation would in fact allow the courts to block any website they thought were being party to the access of illegally copyrighted materials, including P2P client sites and those offering P2P software and also internet search engines (will they try and take on Google?), whether they are legal sites or not. Looking at the actual draft legislation, in many areas it seems to be vaguely written with phrases like “is likely to be” or “there may be regulations or there might not be” where there are possibilities the bill could be interpreted in many ways and the courts and judges who usually have little or no knowledge of copyright or the internet will be allowed to do as they deem fit and order blocks on virtually any website they like, and possibly have a detrimental effect on our freedom of speech. From personal experience and knowledge of the UK legislation system this is a trait that has been appearing in all new UK legislation for the last five or six years, where laws are made up that previously covered a few areas of law but know encompass a vast area of crimes and infringements due to the way they are worded.

In a quote from Lilian Edwards, (professor of internet law at the University of Sheffield),

"Mandelson pledges in his open letter that this has now been changed in the interests of due process. To quote, "ISPs should not be expected to pay court costs"."Great! But if you look at the actual regulations, all it says in s 97B (7) (c) is that there MAY be regulations to this effect. Or there may not. Nothing may be said in the regulations (quite likely, quite usual) in which case it will be left to courts to develop their own rules - and who knows how that might go.”

This comes down to the fact that the new legislation is looking at the ISP’s also paying for any court fee’s that arise from their actions following the court orders for them to block the websites that host the copyright infringing material.

At the moment in the UK there is again very strong opposition for this new clause from companies such as Yahoo, BT, and eBay as well as from civil liberties groups and all the major ISP’s


With the bill heading to its seventh stage of twelve to become law it is time for all of those in the UK, to sit with baited breath to see what happens with this new amendment and the passing of the bill through the House of Commons.

Download Lord Mandelson full letter from here,


For more information and documents on the Digital Economy Bill


If you are interested in more news about the bill or wanting to help oppose it please

visit, http://www.openrightsgroup.org/

April 2nd, 2010

Posted by: 

Date:  Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Comments (7) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2010-04-02 11:46:20)
Mandelbrot avatarThanks Sam, great topic. Basically P2P is being targeted specifically as a way of curbing freedom of speech. Once this legislation goes through, and it will, it just opens up the flood gates for more draconion laws in the future.I`m moving to China!

posted by Supermanimmortal (2010-04-02 12:10:18)
Big_A_Little_A avatar@ Mandelbrot,LOL moving to China,just wait till my next article comes out,then you'll think differently, at the moment their is approx 50(probably many more we dont know about) people locked away in Chinese jails as "internet dissidents"

posted by (2010-04-02 13:17:52)
Mandelbrot avatarNo doubt, and if Mandelson gets his way,it will the same here soon lol.Seriosly though,It`s not the first time he has enjoyed a lovely stay at a fantastic villa then came back to the UK and passed legislation.This time it was Hollywood media mogul, David Geffen. Stop those evil file sharers!!!!!!!!!!! What`s really scarey is it`s not only P2P, but freedom of the internet in general through censorship that`s at stake. Make the most of it people, your freedom is being eroded! RESEARCH IT -IGNORANCE WON`T HELP YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by (2010-04-02 17:29:53)
4JIMi2sTEXAS0 avatarthanks for the article...

posted by (2010-04-03 08:08:44)
jdrav avatarI went through the links and I feel angered. If this bill is brought in then democracy and free speech as far as the internet is concerned will be a thing of the past.The bill if I understand it correct means thet the government want to make it law wash their hands and leave it to the courts to rule.
The problem with England's courts is that they are so out of touch with the real world I fear that wrong judgements and sentences will be handed out becuase evryhting is black and white to them.
This is very worrying.

posted by (2010-04-03 19:22:38)
katep avatarif they are going to block sites that you can download copywright stuff from how long before youtube is gone and facebook and myspace and all of that type of site we all know you can download music and videos from youtube with the help of sites

this is very wrong

posted by (2010-04-04 00:10:15)
kingtiger01 avatarman at this rate, i might just go ahead and open my own private network.... atleast then they cant regulate it.

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