QUEENS SPEECH CONFIRMS DIGITAL ECONOMY BILL

acidlobby09cpIn Her Majesty’s speech on the opening of parliament, The Queen has now confirmed that the Digital Economy Bill will be part of the legislative programme for the next parliamentary term. Although she did not mention IP specifically, the associated briefing from the Labour Party makes it clear that the Bill will include the following measures:

  • Introducing proportionate measures to reduce the widespread problem of unlawful sharing of creative work (such as a song or film) online. These measures will place obligations on Internet Service Providers to work with rights holders and if necessary to take technical measures against persistent infringers;
  •  Protecting authors by extending public lending rights to non-print books such as audio books and e-books;
  •  Updating the UK’s 300 year old copyright framework through the regulation of collection societies (who collect revenue on behalf of authors) and to make provision for the granting of licenses for “orphan works” – creative works where the copyright holder is untraceable

In terms of immediate next steps, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills should provide more details on the Bill which will be circulated by The Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft of which ACID is a member. The Speech will also be debated in the Commons which may raise some issues.

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