Digital Economy Bill [ Lords]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 4:44 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 4:44 pm, 6th April 2010

My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the issue of costs, because that is very important. There is a need for responsibility on both sides of this debate. Internet service providers have to recognise that they have a critical role in tackling digital piracy, and it is not satisfactory for them just to say that they are a mere conduit and can have no responsibility for what is carried on their networks. On the other hand, however, the legal costs of securing court orders must be borne by the rights holders, whether in the music, film or sports industries, because they are the ones with the commercial interest in ensuring that digital piracy is stamped out. So getting that balance right is one of the areas of which it would have been good to have had much more scrutiny.

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Owen Blacker
Posted on 7 Apr 2010 5:11 pm (Report this annotation)

Under the "mere conduit" principle, enshrined into UK law in The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, network operators have no legal liability for the consequences of traffic delivered via their networks: