Lord Lucas Wants UK Digital Economy Bill To Include Remedy For Bogus Copyright Threats

from the seems-like-a-good-idea dept

We've heard so many stories of copyfraud that many of us have been wondering why there aren't greater penalties for making bogus copyright claims. It appears at least someone over in the UK is asking the same question. We already noted how Lord Lucas, a technology aware member of the House of Lords who can program and has run some digital businesses, was speaking out against Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, noting that the entertainment industry is to blame for not adapting.

Now, via Michael Scott, we learn that Lord Lucas has introduced an addition to the Digital Economy Bill adding remedies against those who bring "groundless" copyright claims:
"169A. Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings

(1) Where a person threatens another person with proceedings for infringement of copyright, a person aggrieved by the threats may bring an action against him claiming--
(a) a declaration to the effect that the threats are unjustifiable;
(b) an injunction against the continuance of the threats;
(c) damages in respect of any loss which he has sustained by the threats.
(2) If the claimant proves that the threats were made and that he is a person aggrieved by them, he is entitled to the relief claimed unless the defendant shows that the acts in respect of which proceedings were threatened did constitute, or if done would have constituted, an infringement of the copyright concerned.
(3) Mere notification that work is protected by copyright does not constitute a threat of proceedings for the purposes of this section.
(4) A copyright infringement report within the meaning of section 124A(3) of the Communications Act 2003, if notified to a subscriber under section 124A(4) of the Communications Act 2003, does constitute a threat of proceedings for the purposes of this section."
While it would be nice to see those who are falsely accused of copyright infringement have at least some stronger legal rights, it seems unlikely that this gets anywhere.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Hooray for smart people!

    Lord Lucas is my hero of the day.

     

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    Rebel Freek (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Hell, He is the Hero of the decade for me...

     

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    Brian (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    He is your hero until someone takes him out for a nice fancy dinner :P

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    "Lord Lucas"

    OK, how many other people initially assumed this referred to George Lucas?

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      "OK, how many other people initially assumed this referred to George Lucas?"

      Me...right up until I got past the word "Include" in the headline....

       

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        harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Re:

         

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          identicon
          interval, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Only until I realized "Lord" read "l-o-r-d" and not "G-e-o-r-g-e". GL may be a lot of things, but he's no lord. Only men with peerage and the iq of a lemon can be members of the House of Lords. Although this particular lemon seems to have put on his shiny helmet, not his dull one, and thought this through. Yay for shiny-domed lords.

           

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            Niall (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 3:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's ok, I originally read it as Lord Lucan...

            For those readers not from Britain, he was a famous Earl who vanished after the death of his children's nanny in 1975, and no-one has verified seeing him since then.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_lucan)

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Made me think of Lucas Electric. Right up your alley DH:
        "Joseph Lucas, the founder of Lucas Industries was humorously known as the Prince of Darkness in North America because of the electrical problems common in Lucas-equipped cars"

         

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      That was my first impression too. ^_^

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      Actually George Lucas was born in California not the UK ... so I kind of figured it was the other one.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      Being English, I thought Lord Lucan till I realised they never did find him...

       

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    things that make you go hmmmm .....

    Since we are moving toward criminal penalties for infringement. It might also be nice to have criminal penalties for copyfraud and non payment of artists, and writers. Lets also throw in open accounting standards for copyright holders ...

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 5:33pm

      Re: things that make you go hmmmm .....

      "Since we are moving toward criminal penalties for infringement. It might also be nice to have criminal penalties for copyfraud and non payment of artists, and writers."

      Also prequel makers.

      BTW, if this somehow gets made law of the land, what are the odds of the US "harmonizing" its laws with the UK?

       

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      tyneham, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:27am

      Re: things that make you go hmmmm .....

      Agree, but that will never happen. Only individuals are criminalised, and not (global) corporates who pay almost nothing to the writers. So corporates will never accept accounting standards. They will lobby against individuals.

       

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    Jimr (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    I could not help but keep thinking of George Lucas the whole time. But since no Jar Jar me think it is a different Lucas.

     

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    SteveD (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    And people say hereditary peers are worthless....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    awww, i was planing on making so many bogus claims of infringement against lots of MP's and certain entertainment industry address too. now my anarchist plans may be foiled if this goes ahead.

     

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    Anonymous Coward2, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    boycott all copy-threateners and outrageous media

    boycott all copy-threateners and outrageous media

     

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    Anshar, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    I Think I See a Hole...

    This provision is all about the threat of legal proceedings. If this goes through wouldn't it just encourage people to send the notification of infringement (which specifically does not constitute a threat), and then proceed to sue without any further warning?

     

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    tim, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 5:55pm

    umm.

    wouldnt it be wiser to say 'when a person or entity threatens another person or entity'. Or does the law make no distinction between a person and company? Actual question, I dont know if there is a distinction.

     

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      Chargone (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 1:46am

      Re: umm.

      Don't know about the UK, but there are places where, in legal speak, 'person' includes corporations, and when they want to Specifically mean Only actual human beings, the law reads 'real person(s)' ... which just goes to show, once again, how ridiculous the modern corporation and it's associated laws actually are.

       

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        slander (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re: umm.

        And if this comes to pass, I can pretty much guarantee that the courts will determine that in these types of cases the concept of corporate "person" does not apply...

         

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    Dave, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 5:22am

    Good stuff

    Jolly good show, chaps. Wizard prang, stiff upper lip and all that sort of stuff us Brits are supposed to say. Need more like him, unlike our "friend" Mandy, who seems to be totally clueless.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Maybe I misread this:

    2) If the claimant proves that the threats were made and that he is a person aggrieved by them, he is entitled to the relief claimed unless the defendant shows that the acts in respect of which proceedings were threatened did constitute, or if done would have constituted, an infringement of the copyright concerned.
    But what I get out of that is that if the original claimant (the one threatening based on infringement) states that if the infringing acts took place and would have been an infringement, whether they actually took place or not, the aggrieved is not entitled to relief.

    That make sense to anyone else?

     

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