March 02, 2010 | Jim Killock

Lib Dems seek web blocking: ask them to stop

 

After Clause 16
 
LORD RAZZALL
 
LORD CLEMENT-JONES
112
Insert the following new Clause—
  
"Preventing access to specified online locations
  
In Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, after section 97A insert—
"97B
Preventing access to specified online locations
(1)  
The High Court (in Scotland, the Court of Session) shall have power to grant an injunction against a service provider, requiring it to prevent access to online locations specified in the order of the Court.
(2)  
In determining whether to grant an injunction under subsection (1), the Court shall have regard to the following matters—
(a)  
whether a substantial proportion of the content accessible at or via each specified online location infringes copyright,
(b)  
the extent to which the operator of each specified online location has taken reasonable steps to prevent copyright infringing content being accessed at or via that online location or taken reasonable steps to remove copyright infringing content from that online location (or both),
(c)  
whether the service provider has itself taken reasonable steps to prevent access to the specified online location, and
(d)  
any other matters which appear to the Court to be relevant.
(3)  
An application for an injunction under subsection (1) shall be made on notice to the service provider and to the operator of each specified online location in relation to which an injunction is sought.
(4)  
Where—
(a)  
the Court grants an injunction under subsection (1) upon the application of an owner of copyright whose copyright is infringed by the content accessible at or via each specified online location in the injunction, and
(b)  
the owner of copyright before making the application made a written request to the service provider giving it a reasonable period of time to take measures to prevent its service being used to access the specified online location in the injunction, and no steps were taken,
 
the Court shall order the service provider to pay the copyright owner's costs of the application unless there were exceptional circumstances justifying the service provider's failure to prevent access despite notification by the copyright owner.
(5)  
In this section—
 
"copyright owner" includes a licensee with an "exclusive licence" within the meaning of section 92 of this Act,
 
"infringing content" means content which is produced or made available in infringement of copyright,
 
"online location" means a location on the internet, a mobile data network or other data network at or via which copyright infringing content is accessible,
 
"operator" means a person or persons in joint or sole control of the decisions to make content accessible at or via an online location, and
 
"service provider" has the meaning given to it by section 97A(3) of this Act.""

Lib Dem peers are seeking to amend the Digital Economy Bill to allow site blocking for copyright infringement. This could lead to unwanted blocking of sites accused of copyright infringement, including sites like Youtube, and a massive chilling effect as any site with user generated content could easily fall foul of provisions like this.

Please write to Lords Razzall and Clement Jones (direct links at Write to them)

After Clause 16

LORD RAZZALL

LORD CLEMENT-JONES

112

Insert the following new Clause—

"Preventing access to specified online locations  

In Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, after section 97A insert—

"97B Preventing access to specified online locations

(1)  The High Court (in Scotland, the Court of Session) shall have power to grant an injunction against a service provider, requiring it to prevent access to online locations specified in the order of the Court.

(2)  In determining whether to grant an injunction under subsection (1), the Court shall have regard to the following matters—

(a)  whether a substantial proportion of the content accessible at or via each specified online location infringes copyright,

(b)  the extent to which the operator of each specified online location has taken reasonable steps to prevent copyright infringing content being accessed at or via that online location or taken reasonable steps to remove copyright infringing content from that online location (or both),

(c)  whether the service provider has itself taken reasonable steps to prevent access to the specified online location, and

(d)  any other matters which appear to the Court to be relevant.

(3)  An application for an injunction under subsection (1) shall be made on notice to the service provider and to the operator of each specified online location in relation to which an injunction is sought.

(4)  Where—

(a)  the Court grants an injunction under subsection (1) upon the application of an owner of copyright whose copyright is infringed by the content accessible at or via each specified online location in the injunction, and

(b)  the owner of copyright before making the application made a written request to the service provider giving it a reasonable period of time to take measures to prevent its service being used to access the specified online location in the injunction, and no steps were taken,

the Court shall order the service provider to pay the copyright owner's costs of the application unless there were exceptional circumstances justifying the service provider's failure to prevent access despite notification by the copyright owner.

(5) In this section—

"copyright owner" includes a licensee with an "exclusive licence" within the meaning of section 92 of this Act,

"infringing content" means content which is produced or made available in infringement of copyright,

"online location" means a location on the internet, a mobile data network or other data network at or via which copyright infringing content is accessible,

"operator" means a person or persons in joint or sole control of the decisions to make content accessible at or via an online location, and

"service provider" has the meaning given to it by section 97A(3) of this Act.""

Write via writethem them:

Please write to Lords Razzall and Clement Jones (via Write to them)