UK MPs Blast “Extraordinary Lobbying” to Quickly Enact “3-Strikes”

UK MPs Blast “Extraordinary Lobbying” to Quickly Enact “3-Strikes”

Several members of the House of Lords criticize “extraordinary degree of lobbying” by copyright holders to get “three-strikes” legislation passed as quickly as possible, but the MPs warn it’ll only mean years of trying to the fix “deficiencies of the present bill.”

The UK govt’s controversial plans to disconnect file-sharers from the Internet is coming under increasing fire from members of the House of Lords, due in part, it seems, to claims of a concerted effort by copyright holders to hurry the Digital Economy Bill’s passage into law.

Lord Puttnam is one of the critics, angry that some would even consider hurrying to enact such sweeping legislation without proper debate, and notes that a poorly written bill will just mean they’ll wind up having to revisit the “deficiencies of the present bill” in the future.

“What will end up leaving this chamber… and going to the Commons is a bill that none of us is particularly proud of,” said Lord Puttnam. “It will be a spatchcock that does part of the work it was intended to do but not all of it.”

He also spoke of an “extraordinary degree of lobbying” by copyright holders eager to see the law take effect.

Lord Young, the same individual responsible for recent govt plans to outlaw open Wi-Fi, is also raising eyebrows over declaring his intent not to submit the bill to the Office of the Information Commissioner, the country’s independent authority on data privacy, despite the fact that it contains some serious new govt forays into the personal information of the online public.

Why? It would take too much time, as though illegal file-sharing had become an imminent danger to the safety and security of the free world.

“Formally requiring the information commissioner to approve the code is not necessary and could add significantly to the time for the approval process,” said Young.

I guess he hasn’t read the latest study by Will Page, the Chief Economist for PRS for Music, a UK-based royalty collecting group for music writers, composers, and publishers, who concluded last July that total music industry revenues are up 4.7% since 2007.

Combined with today’s news that another amendment already proposed to the bill would force ISPs to proactively block websites accused of copyright infringement, online freedom in the UK appears to be on the verge of some very serious changes.

Stay tuned.

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