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Under pressure, government removes lines copy-pasted from music industry lobbying papers

Lib Dems change amendment to Digital Economy Bill

The Government has changed an amendment made to the Digital Economy Bill ahead of its final reading in the House of Lords today.

According to the Guardian, the move came about after the Liberal Democrats pushed to change an amendment they made to the bill after it was revealed to have been copied almost directly from music industry lobbying papers.

Amendment 120a could have resulted in sites like YouTube being blocked to the British public with limited evidence. Under the new changes, websites targeted by the rules can resort to legal means to have the block lifted or changed. If the block is lifted, the courts may hold the person or body initiated the block liable for court costs.

“The bill is now out of line with Liberal Democrat policy, which is against web blocking in this manner following a motion that was passed at their conference at the weekend,” said the head of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock.

“The problem is that this could now go to the Commons, and because of the budget it could be pushed through to a second reading which will mean it gets debated for a total of an hour. It’s now too late to do anything about this bill except get rid of it. We are calling on people to complain vociferously about it because the disconnection policies in it are still flawed.”

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