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.

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Comments on “Lord Lucas Wants UK Digital Economy Bill To Include Remedy For Bogus Copyright Threats”

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27 Comments
interval says:

Re: 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.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

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?

Chargone (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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