Digital Economy Bill approved by Parliament
The Digital Economy Bill, which includes some changes to the UK’s anti-piracy laws has now been approved by Parliament. Some of the measures in the Act will come into effect immediately with others coming into effect in two months’ time.
The Act, which has been passed by the House of Commons and House of Lords, will include powers to send warning letters to file-sharers - and suspend their internet account or reduce their bandwidth if they do not stop. It could also see websites hosting unlicensed music and films being blocked. The music industry has hailed it as a victory for the rights of artists and record labels, but opponents say it is draconian and will be impossible to police.
As well as introducing the anti-piracy rules, the government has told the music and internet industries to give fans more attractive legal alternatives to file-sharing. In October, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said anti-piracy laws would “only ever be part of the solution.” He suggested that the best long-term solution is to create “a market in which those who love music and film, for example, can find a deal that makes breaking the law an unnecessary risk.”
Published: 12 April 2010