Digital Economy Bill [HL]
Lord Young of Norwood Green (Government Whip (technically a Lord in Waiting, HM Household); Labour)
My Lords, the amendment would provide for indemnification of internet service providers against any damage they might suffer from a wrongful accusation made against a subscriber by a copyright owner. We understand and share the concern of the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, in relation to this. I would suggest, however, that this is already properly catered for within the Bill, and indeed within the preceding text. This allows the code to provide for indemnification for an internet service provider for loss or damage from a breach or error by the copyright owner in relation to the code or the Bill's provisions. In my view this would cover an error in relation to the identity of an infringer. To reinforce this further, the code allows for copyright owners to be made to indemnify ISPs in the event that the ISPs suffer loss as a result of a failure by the copyright owner. In producing the code it would be an option for stakeholders to require other undertakings by copyright owners if it was deemed appropriate.
I share the concern of the noble Lord but I hope that in the light of my explanation and assurances he will feel able to withdraw the amendment.