House Of Lords Has Serious Concerns About Digital Economy Bill
from the amendments-to-come dept
The Bill provides for the Secretary of State to have the power to require ISPs to take "technical measures" in respect of account holders who have been the subject of copyright infringement reports. The scope of the measures will be defined in secondary legislation and could be wide-ranging.There are also grave concerns over section 17, which would effectively let the Business Secretary change copyright law at will:
We do not believe that such a skeletal approach to powers which engage human rights is appropriate. There is potential for these powers to be applied in a disproportionate manner which could lead to a breach of internet users' rights to respect for correspondence and freedom of expression.
The broad nature of this power has been the subject of much criticism. In correspondence with us, the Secretary of State explained that the Government intended to introduce amendments to limit the power in Clause 17 and to introduce a 'super-affirmative' procedure. The Government amendments would limit the circumstances in which the Government could use their powers to amend the Act by secondary legislation and would provide a system for enhanced parliamentary scrutiny.On top of that, they're still a bit skeptical even of requiring ISPs to send notices when a user is accused of infringement, noting that while they don't think this would be a restriction on human rights or freedom of expression, they would like "a further explanation of why they [the backers of the bill] consider their proposals are proportionate."
Despite the proposed amendments we are concerned that Clause 17 remains overly broad and that parliamentary scrutiny may remain inadequate. We call for a series of clarifications to address these concerns.
Definitely nice to see that this bill isn't just getting rushed through, and there are some folks who are heavily questioning the more ridiculous parts of the bill.