Lords’ change to copyright law could see content sites blocked

A proposed change to copyright law could force ISPs to block access to content sites such as YouTube.

An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill proposed yesterday by the House of Lords could give a High Court judge the right to issue an injunction against a website hosting a “substantial” amount of copyright-infringing material.

The changes could affect many popular sites such as YouTube, which doesn’t scrutinise the content uploaded by users so could be hosting a large amount of copyright-infringing content.

The House of Lords said the amendment, put forward by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones, would be a more “proportionate, specific and appropriate” way to handle piracy and copyright infringement than previous proposals such as the three-strikes system.

It gives ISPs the power to close down access to a site if they receive a claim of copyright infringement. If they’re not deemed to have acted on the claim then copyright owners can apply to the court to get the block enforced.

“I believe this will send a powerful message to our creative industries that we value what they do, that we want to protect what they do, that we don’t believe in censoring the internet but we are responding to genuine concerns,” Lord Clement-Jones said.

The amendment has already been criticised by the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), which said the changes had been rushed through.

Nicholas Lansman, secretary-general of ISPA, said, “We’ve been supportive of peers’ excellent scrutiny of the bill to date. In this instance, however, our members are extremely concerned that the full implications of the amendment haven’t been understood and that the reasoning behind it is wholly misguided. We would therefore urge the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to urgently reconsider their position.”

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketoonist on whack-an-idea

Marketoonist

Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here