Clause 4 — Obligation to notify subscribers of reported infringements

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 7 April 2010.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 10:00, 7 April 2010

My hon. Friend has identified a further flaw in the clause that I had not. The importance of the postal address is that if clause 4(8)(d) goes through and the number of notifications is taken into account when it comes to technical measures, there is an incentive for people to appeal at the first notification, even if they know that it is their next-door neighbour who has stolen their bandwidth and downloaded something that infringes copyright. They may have put a security measure on, but this could still be taken into account if a further copyright infringement takes place, so my proposal seeks to provide clarity on that.

Amendment 26 is about the powers of the Secretary of State. The Bill, as drafted, provides for the Secretary of State to decide to take technical measures at any point. If a Secretary of State were less charitable than the current incumbent-let us suppose that a successor was a lickspittle to a media oligarch who just gave instructions from his tax haven abroad-people could be cut off as a result of a single allegation of infringement by some hokey rights holder. The amendment seeks to remove or curtail the powers of the Secretary of State.


Harley Faggetter
Posted on 8 Apr 2010 4:59 pm (Report this annotation)

Unfortunately left out by Tom Watson, but clause also fails to outline a system for proof of receipt (virtually impossible with email, but Signed for or Special Delivery post would work).