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ISPs outraged at amendment to Digital Economy Bill
Thursday 04 March 2010 12:19:03 by John Hunt

Amendment 120A to the Digital Economy Bill was voted through the House of Lords yesterday that could force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites that are deemed to contain content that infringes copyright. Whilst this in itself isn't anything new (section 97A of the Copyright Act allows the same thing), 120A breaks the balance that currently exists under 97A between rightsowners and service providers, and shifts the bias in the favour of the former, which may scare ISPs in to having to act to avoid court action.

ISPA, a trade body for UK ISPs, is outraged that the amendment was voted through, and deem that this is negligent as the legal, technical and practical issues have not been debated in enough detail.

"ISPA has been supportive of Peers' excellent scrutiny of the Bill to date. However, in this instance, our members are extremely concerned that the full implications of the amendment have not been understood and that the reasoning behind the amendment is wholly misguided. We would therefore urge the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to urgently reconsider their position."

Nicholas Lansman, (Secretary-General) ISPA

Concern is raised over the far reaching affects of this amendment which could lead to websites such as YouTube being blocked as they may contain videos including copyrighted material, although these kinds of sites wouldn't be the intended target.

"The intention is also for the injunction to only be possible for sites where there is a substantial proportion of infringing material that is either hosted by that particular site or is accessed through the particular site in question.

The injunction will only be granted where copyright owners had first requested ISP’s to block access to the site and where they had also requested the site operator to stop providing access to the infringing material (either by removing the material itself or removing the ability to access the material).

There already exists a remedy under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (section 97A) which grants copyright owners a broad power to apply to the Court for an injunction. Therefore, all amendment 120A does is enhance this power by giving copyright owners a more clearly defined route."

Lord Clement-Jones

Full details of the amendment can be read on the Open Rights Group blog


Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
dinosaur thinking. The whole debill debate is proving just how misinformed the Lords are? And where is the Dark Lord who instigated all this tripe? The minister is the monkey, not the organ grinder, and the debates on amendments in the Lords are making us a laughing stock.
Posted by 12eason over 7 years ago
What a useless amendment. One £5/m VPN and all that work work be undone.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
...Enters proxy into browser settings... Oh look person can revisit blocked sites, so glad they took the time and tax payers money to make that decision :rolleyes:
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
When will these people understand the internet can only be tamed to a degree and never controlled?
Posted by dparr59 over 7 years ago
Welcome To The New China
Posted by wifigeek over 7 years ago
lets all just setup encryted darknets. all that will happen is that these sites will enable a tor service on them - then they are effectively impossible to find the origional source.

thanks for creating a whole new business model - p2p vpn services.

Posted by wifigeek over 7 years ago
forgot to add - cant filter https:// sites neither. all switch to https:// for "bad" sites and stop bothering us.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
funny, we criticise china's internet firewall and this country is fast heading to been the most censored in the world. In the copyright holder's pocket.
Posted by meldrew over 7 years ago
I can only say again and again that old fashioned copyright in the digital age is dead and buried. I have no desired for restrictions and censorship but am I the only one to be surprised that we do not hear of sites portraying extreme violence etc being banned.
Posted by Drefsab over 7 years ago
Waste of tax money, trying to block something that will be gotten around in seconds (IWF block on wiki anyone?).
Posted by cf492bcc over 7 years ago
They should take note of the concerns of the security services. These proposed actions are very likely to cause an evolution in the methods and technologies used to share media. They will decentralise the networks and bury the lot of it in encryption, and this is as an aside to increasing usage of VPN, proxies and already established darknets. It'll be a case of now you see it... now you don't.

Even if they were to censor the entire Internet it will not stop people copying media. It will also cause a lot of problems for many, many established services online.
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
Sounds about right, in Australia a very similar ruling got thrown out of court the judge ruled in the favor of the isp so for once common sense prevailed the full story can be found on the web site "THE REGISTER" they in oz tried to hold isp's responsible for it's customers actions, net neutrality is what is needed no censorship or dictactorship
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
tommy45, it seems our legal systems have been brought off tho, good old cash corruption.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
What if the ban VPN's and Proxies?
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
With darklord mandelscum involved i would have little doubt that he and others stand to gain financially, either directly or indirectly sometime in the future,As for what if they also ban VPN services & proxies,?
They we re-name england china ,may as well be in china the way things are going,
But that would be very hard for them to legislate against as vpn's are mainly used for legitimate use, such as remoting into the office ect,I can see this new ru;ling a big failure
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Looks like we might be safe for now, what about possible licensing of VPN's for each connection?
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
I would imagine that would be a non starter, as they couldn't do it, most vpn services that offer encrypted connections are overseas, so the uk deb would not be able to do anything to those companies that would be a matter for their own government's but what we are talking about here copyright infringement, is regarded as a CIVIL matter not a criminal act, So why should anything be restricted licensed or otherwise,
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

ACTA is looking at taking at that way though.

In the current situation, nothings really changed.
Posted by Blood-Donor over 7 years ago
Why don`t they make everyone dress the same, put implants inside everyone.
This Government is just too stupid to be stupid.
Posted by TheMusicVoid over 7 years ago
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...
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