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BPI Responds To UK Internet Lobby On Digital Economy Bill Amendment March 10, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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In a letter published in the Financial Times, the UK’s major ISPs joined forces with Internet giants Google, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo to publicly demonstrate their opposition to a recent House of Lords amendment to the Digital Economy Bill.

Opponents of Amendment 120A – which seeks to tackle the growing threat posed by non peer-to-peer online copyright infringement – say the new clause would threaten freedom of speech and the open Internet.

Responding to the letter, BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor clarified the implications of the new provisions.

“The amendment adopted by the House of Lords provides a clear and sensible mechanism to deal with illegal websites. Contrary to the claims in the letter, service providers would in every case be able to ensure that the decision as to whether a site should be blocked is made by the High Court. The court would be required to consider the extent of legal content on a website, any impact on human rights, and whether the website removes infringing content when requested. So the suggestion that the clause would lead to widespread disruption to the Internet or threaten freedom of speech is pure scaremongering.

The signatories to the letter recognise that dealing with illegal websites is a legitimate concern, and have argued in the past that action against illegal downloading should focus on commercial operators. Removing unfair competition from clearly illegal websites will encourage investment in legal online services and improve the legal internet experience for everyone.”

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