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Digital Economy Bill passed third reading in House of Commons
Thursday 08 April 2010 01:14:08 by Sebastien Lahtinen

The Digital Economy Bill has passed third reading in the House of Commons at around 23:00 last night, with the dropping of clauses 18 (preventing access to specified online locations for the prevention of online copyright infringement) and 43 (orphan works) being the only significant changes. The Guardian notes that although clause 18 was dropped, an addition was made to clause 8 which gives ministers the ability to order blocking of a particular website.

Although both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party front benches were quick to criticise the government for the handling of the bill, pointing out that it could have been brought to the house earlier to allow for more debate, only 47 members of parliament voted against the bill at third reading with over 189 in favour. During the debate, the chamber was quite empty at times, with one MP intimating that colleagues were waiting outside to push the bill through.

This leaves in place provisions for Internet Service Providers to send letters to those accused of copyright infringement and to apply 'technical measures', including limiting access, subject to further regulation on the matter.

The bill will now pass to the House of Lords to consider the recent amendments, although it is expected to pass into law prior to the general election.


Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Oh dear.

Don't think this just extends to music/movies etc.

Political dissent can now be censored as well.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@otester: Stephen Timms suggested the purpose of the bill was not to infringe on freedom of speech, although others argue it will be used in such a way.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
we have debated the debill in many places, and right or wrong it is now passed, but the real disappointment was in our so called democracy, and the lack of knowledge that was so obvious during the readings. It proved what many have said all along, that our illustrious 'leaders' don't get IT.
A sad day for digitalbritain.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
"Political dissent can now be censored as well." - only if it's copyright.

You have to laugh at all the FUD being spread by people that claim to understand. If they did actually understand they would have put forward coherent robust alternatives, fact is they don't believe in intellectual property rights and are just using any tactic available to protect their "log on, go anywhere, steal anything" approach to life.
Posted by CommanderZendo over 7 years ago
@cyberdoyle - Spot on!
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
One of the MPs was talking about having to change to Googlemail to get round restrictions - worrying.
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
You could be forgiven for thinking that some fools actually believe that pre-p2p there was no such thing as piracy. The bill is a win for vested interests as opposed to an attack on piracy. On the plus side, geek kids are going to be cool, again!
Posted by Capn over 7 years ago
It's a good day for anyone who runs an anonymising service business :)
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
As someone said time to simply use a encrypted vpn service, as i won't have my access to sites blocked on the say so of these incompetent shower goons called government,and as for piracy it makes me feel like sharing ,lol
Bottom line they don't have a clue,
Posted by tommy45 over 7 years ago
if i was an ISP i would start advertising vpn services,and would investigate the possibilities of setting one up for use by my customers, that would be better than having to send out silly warning letters out, risking loosing customers too
Posted by tommer over 7 years ago
I have to play devils advocate here:

The bill comes in, oh noes, people either get banned, restricted, cut off etc or just stop using p2p/torrent...

People that know what they are doing will use sftp, vpn, proxies or just encrypted usenet or torrent to get their 'stuff'...

Later "the graph" is produced and there is a fall in the amount of people using p2p/torrent.. government is happy.. music/movie/tv studios are happy.. ISP's are happy (less bandwidth).. and generally the Internet will be quicker place in the UK.

Eventually everyone will use an encrypted service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I buy on average 3 movies a month on dvd/bluray at an average of £10 a time or £360 per year. Once this is made law it will no longer be the case.

Most of the MPs in this debate did not understand anything about the internet many had no interest and those that did and asked sensible questions were good as ignored.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
A question was asked about what happens to people who have their wireless hijacked to bandwidth thieves. Mr Timms answered the owner of the connection would be sent a letter.
No doubt this letter will falsely accuse them of downloading copyright material and if it happens more than once theres no telling what will happen. The person could have their internet cut off, be fined, and perhaps even worse if it goes that far face a criminal record, even imprisonment, all the while being an innocent victim.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
That shows to me this is not about law or protecting a copyright holder but pandering to the music and film industry and what they want to happen with the internet.

Oh and before someone says use WPA or WEP on your wireless, WEP is easily broken in literally seconds and WPA likewise can be broken in minutes. WPA2 is more secure but many routers out there dont even have that.

Innocent people due to this will suffer, may be a year or more down the line but its gonna happen.
Posted by brett7 over 7 years ago
I'm running an open wifi network at home because it is helpful to my neighbours and visitors. Running open networks helps local communities, and innovation, and it's legal. Now awaiting infringement notifications that I will fight as far as I can (because I am not the internet police).
Posted by brett7 over 7 years ago
btw, doing this safely requires two routers, or a router that can create multiple w-fi networks. My own network is nicely locked down..
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
Shame my MP did not bother to show up. A bill this important pushed under the mat but will lead hundreds to be victims of TBI and ACS:law still, important free speech sites will be blocked as people will say the speech is a breech of copyright (wikileaks etc).
Encrypted VPN usage will increase (At least foreign ISP's will make money while UK blocks everything)
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

CJA '94.......Terrorism bills....

You really think they could resist abusing this one to the max as well?
Posted by JttB over 7 years ago
Copyright is a complicated business, here is a link showing how even the people involved with this stupid thing get it wrong.

Personally I think we should petition the queen to have them banned from the internet until after May 6th

Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago

Posted by shaunhw over 7 years ago

If I had a relative who was an MP I'd probably disown them right now. I wouldn't want such people as part of my family!

Posted by Darkness123 over 7 years ago
You guys are forgetting 1 thing. If your friend uploads a picture of you onto Facebook, you can use this as a way to block Facebook. Same goes with any picture sharing websites. Hell even social news websites like Digg can be blocked. Google can also fall into this as well since you can find torrents using it, or any other search engine.
Posted by Darkness123 over 7 years ago
Sorry also I think YouTube will also get blocked as well.
Posted by ComputerMoses over 7 years ago
Hi, I'm new to this, but does this Digital Economy Bill mean I can't record music or films broadcast on radio or tv on my radio cassette recorder or on my video cassette/dvd player/recorder? Or is this method of recording allowed? Confused!
Posted by antsnest over 7 years ago
Legally speaking you've never been allowed to record TV or radio broadcasts (except live sports events I believe, not sure about that).
Almost everyone using VCRs/PVRs and recodable DVDs is technically breaching the law.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ No they are not there are fair use clauses for using VCRs

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