Draft Clause 18 Published

At Report Stage in the House of Lords, a new clause 17 (now 18) was inserted into the Bill by Opposition amendment. At Third Reading Government committed to bring forward a replacement clause that ultimately achieves the same effect, while addressing the concerns expressed regarding the current clause.

The Government is now publishing its draft replacement clause 18 . Lord Mandelson has written to Jeremy Hunt and Don Foster setting out Government’s concerns with the current clause and explaining the draft amendment.

The Government proposes to introduce this amendment immediately after Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Government believes that the amendment delivers the effect that the House of Lords wanted to achieve when it voted clause 18 into the Bill, but in a way that takes account of the legal and other concerns to which the clause gives rise.

12 Comments on “Draft Clause 18 Published”

  1. 1 Tarkan said at 9:03 pm on April 1st, 2010:

    The Digital Economy Bill MUST not be passed until it is properly scrutinized and debated. In its current form it is a compromise to our civil liberties.


  2. 2 Paddy said at 7:19 pm on April 6th, 2010:

    Wow – are we now subject to the “barons” will again, did the Magna Carta get ripped up and I didn’t notice, this time it is the music and movie barons but still the same thing.

    These people need to realise that their 20th century economy doesn’t work in the 21st century. The world moves on.

    These industries are not even 100 years old, the record industry is only 50 odd years old, what did they think when it started, that it would go on forever and technology wouldn’t change?

    Now to protect themselves they are going to subject people suspected of a crime to the full force of the law, it used to be the case that you had to prove that someone was guilty before punishing them!

  3. 3 phill said at 9:52 pm on April 6th, 2010:

    do not pass this bill ! the internet and web is based on freedom to exchange idea and information and it belongs to the people of the world not governments ! our government has blamed china for controlling the web when they are doing the same to us. if this passes it just shows the money of the film studios and music producers speaks louder than the people.

  4. 4 Aaron said at 3:08 pm on April 7th, 2010:

    Does the government even understand new media?

    Movie industries should release films at the same time all over the world instead of one country at a time so they don’t loose customers to illegal downloading of that film!

    Wise up government this is the 21st century!

  5. 5 Vote Pirate said at 2:03 am on April 8th, 2010:

    8th April 2010 01:13
    Pirate Party UK Strongly Condemns Passage of the Digital Economy Bill

    This statement can be downloaded here.

    Today marks a sombre day for Britain’s digital future as Members of Parliament appeared from the woodwork to force through fatally flawed and disturbingly draconian piece of legislation, despite wide-ranging objections from all corners of the chamber both over the content of the Bill and the manner in which it was passed.

    The majority of MPs were reportedly under a deeply inappropriate three-line whip – meaning any revolt held the most severe punishments – effectively forcing a vote in favour despite it being one of the most contentious bills of recent years. Fewer than 50 MPs defied the front benches to vote against the bill.

    Members of the Pirate Party joined thousands of people from around the world in watching and commenting on the debate and were left profoundly disappointed, although unsurprised, with the outcome.

    Despite both opposition parties pledging to do their job by opposing the controversial aspects of the Bill, neither put up a significant fight with most of the debate being between the front and back benches of the Labour Party with the shadow ministers more interested in scoring party-political points than debating the issues at hand, and a very poor showing from the Liberal Democrats contrary to assurances that they would block the bill at every opportunity.

    Graeme Lambert, Pirate Party UK candidate for Bury North, said;

    “It was painfully obvious to anyone watching the broadcast from Parliament this evening that any MP that only turned up for the divisions and not the debate does not care about the views of their constituents, does not care about democracy and does not care about the future of Britain’s digital economy.”

    “The Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms, appeared to spend much of his time on the floor delaying debate, and refusing to answer questions put to him, instead relying on the party whips to force the vote through, essentially ignoring the concerns raised by voters in their questions put to ministers,”

    noted Mark Sims, Pirate Party UK candidate for East Ham.

    However, there were a few glimmers of hope amid the morass of apathy for citizen’s rights in the chamber tonight, in the shape of Labour MPs John Grogan, Austin Mitchell, Nick Palmer, Tom Watson, Conservative MP Bill Cash and Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, amongst others. These MPs not only listened to the electorate, but also to professionals, academics and artists, and realised that the bill was – to quote Nick Palmer, Tom Watson and Austin Mitchell – nothing short of a “front-bench stitch-up” that is a “bulldozer to democracy” and like “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

    The Pirate Party UK would also like to take this opportunity to applaud Tom Watson and the other valiant MPs who broke the three-line whip for having the passion and devotion to stand up for what they believe is right. If British politics were filled with more men like Mr Watson and his colleagues, the country might never have been brought into this dire legislative situation in the first place.

    One thing was made clear today; whether they realise it or not, many MPs support Pirate Party UK ideals, calling for non-commercial infringement to be exempt from the bill. John Hemming MP, Liberal Democrat (and, surprisingly, a member of the BPI, PRS and Musicians’ Union) even called for a total review of copyright, while echoing many Pirate Party freedom of speech policies, and making well-conceived, technical points on the flaws of the bill.

    The law will not stop copyright infringement, it will simply drive it behind encryption and obfuscation techniques, and will effectively criminalise over 6 million Britons, children, teens and adults alike, all for a protectionist attempt to protect a dying industry.

    Parliament does not need to protect, or even encourage analogue-age business models if it wants a Digital Britain; they must either engage with new technology or suffer the consequences, as with any other business. This is an adapt-or-die situation: the struggling sectors of the content industries have failed to conform to the digital revolution, and should not be rescued for clinging to their antiquated business model.

    It has been made abundantly clear tonight that the main parties in Parliament cannot be trusted to maintain and protect the rights of citizens and small businesses online in the 21st century, therefore it is time to vote for one that can. It is time to Vote Pirate.

  6. 6 Paul said at 12:59 pm on April 8th, 2010:

    It is scary to think where this country is going and what kind of regime we will be under by the time our children grow old. Freedom is becoming just a word rather than one of our basic civil liberty’s and soon the only way we will be able to achieve it will be to buy it from the MP’s just as companies can buy new laws that suit them. Money talks and freedom walks.

  7. 7 Jack Daniels said at 1:07 pm on April 8th, 2010:

    If this bill passes i will lose all faith in the government, is there such a thing as freedom anymore?

    File sharing may be a modern pay issue but please don’t just blame the people that download or “File Share”, if the product the copyright holder was publishing was a reasonable price and a decent product then people will buy it. I myself have downloaded copyrighted material but the stuff i have downloaded i would of never bought and some stuff i have downloaded i liked and went out to purchase it.

    There are many things that concern me with this bill, the blocking of websites at the ISP is a major one. This is currently a big issue in china with trying to get google to filter search results. How dare my own government try and filter my web browsing experience, i could fully understand if the content was child porn. But to block me from websites that copyright holders claim is infringing there copyright is dam right stupid. How long is it going to be before a innocent website gets blocked due to a misunderstanding in the system somewhere?

    Domain registration, this should also be an unmonitored service, monitoring and managing this isn’t going to achieve anything at all. All a domain does is point to a Ip address, so all people will do is start hosting sites under stupid names or a string of digits then use tinyurl.com to point to there site then pass that along newsgroups. message boards and chat rooms.

    It seems to me this bill has been written by some bureaucrats that don’t have a clue about online file sharing. If this passes then people are just going to find ways around it, so what your going to log my IP, big woop i’ll just bounce me downloads off a few proxies are you really going to work that hard to track me? i think not.

    At the end of the day bullying and blocking content isn’t the way to solve this, people hate bullies and will just fight back harder.

    Ps IMO file sharing isn’t that much of an issue people blow it out of proportion. If file sharing was that much of an issue services like Itunes wouldn’t be able to run because nobody buys content anymore right we just steal it? So who is paying for the downloads using Itunes because according to me research On 24 February 2010, the store served its 10 billionth song download.

    The copyright holders need to deliver the content to us in a new way, streaming services or a download store is needed. People will buy the content it just needs to be delivered differently.

  8. 8 Jay MacDonald said at 1:36 pm on April 8th, 2010:

    You’ll never detect me doing any illegal downloading. I put all my traffic through a 1024-bit encrypted virtual private network. To gain access to this network you need a cryptographic certificate signed by my certificate authority.

    If you decide to make the digital economy bill law, I’ll decide to make information on how to not get detected doing downloading from the Internet.

    You have to realize, we live in an age in which we have great mathematicians. These mathematicians invented encryption, and I love them for it. It means you cannot take any civil liberties away from me.

    Thank you, mathematicians.

  9. 9 Matt said at 6:14 pm on April 8th, 2010:


    I’ve now resolved to routinely use encryption.

  10. 10 bye bye the internet said at 4:24 pm on April 9th, 2010:

    this is going to really hit our economy hard now. this will just make people use more and more encryption. infact its pretty pointless because people will just become more advanced and learn more. i dont even think the music industry will benefit from this. i just like the rest of everyone is totally agianst this

  11. 11 Dave Kenyon said at 2:18 pm on April 12th, 2010:

    All of us -but ‘young people’ especially, will never forgive the Labour government for pushing through this bill. It will be a millstone around our digital economy, not an encouragement to it. It is like trying to legislate to defend portrait painters against photography in the mid nineteenth century. Where would the media companies who have lobbied for this be if their protectionist attitude had been invoked then?

    Poor old Lessig, will no-one with the power to change things listen to him?

  12. 12 Jakes poster printing said at 4:15 pm on April 12th, 2010:

    Waist of time and money. It will get everyone know were..

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