Amendment to Digital Economy Bill will hamper digital innovation: internet providers

Broadband providers have opposed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that will grant power to the High Court to issue an injunction against the service provider to force it to block websites accused of unlawfully providing access copyrighted material.

Under the amendment, copyright holders can apply for High Court injunctions to compel broadband providers to block suspected infringing sites.

Sharing sites such as YouTube are keenly watching the development as the amendment will have long-lasting implication on such sites.

The amendment was proposed by Liberal Democrat Lord Clement-Jones and Conservative peer Lord Howard.

The ISP Association said that the amendment is prejudiced as it unduly favours copyright holders. Opponents also argued that the amendment would hamper digital innovation.

Speaking on the issue, internet service provider Virgin Media said, “We are concerned that, as they stand, the proposals could increase costs and penalise ISPs.”

But, the supporters said that the amendment would help the Government in fighting back online piracy.