Digital Economy Bill amendments can endanger YouTube’s future

Sharing sites such as YouTube are under threat from 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 force broadband providers not to provide access to suspected infringing sites.

Such an amendment to cut copyright infringement will endanger the future of popular sites such as YouTube as the proposed amendment will have a long-lasting impact on them.

It should be noted here that sites such as YouTube often carry material uploaded without the consent of copyright holders.

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

The ISP Association has described the amendment as biased because it excessively favors copyright holders. In addition, opponents of the amendment are arguing that it would obstruct digital innovation.

On the other hand, the supporters of the amendment are of the view that it would assist the Government in tackling online piracy.

The amendment will also make broadband providers to pay costs to copyright holders unless the suspected infringing site is blocked before the High Court grants an injunction.