Photo: AP/Alik Keplicz
The fight against SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA may not be over yet.A British minister made a statement in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday to the effect that the British government was looking at introducing new proposals to prevent online copyright infringement, IPtegrity reports.
“We are closely considering the issue around blocking access, whether to block access to websites that infringe copyright… An announcement is imminent, and I think that it will be welcomed,” Minister of State for Business Mark Prisk said.
He did not give any details, saying he did not want to “pre-empt” anything.
A number of pro-copyright MPs support Prisk’s statements, saying the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the telecoms regulator, OfCom, have been giving too much leeway and support to IT industry lobbyists, and not enough to the music industry. Scottish Nationalist MP Pete Wishart went so far as to call them “anti-copyright”, alleging that the government was being unduly influenced by Google.
But the government seems to have distanced itself from Prisk’s comments, Wired reports, perhaps because of fear of public backlash.
A spokesperson from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said there were no plans to introduce further site blocking measures: “…Rights holders can already seek injunctions to have ISPs block access to websites dedicated to copyright infringement under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act. The government will see how useful this ruling is to rights holders but we have no plans to introduce duplicate legislation.”
However, the site-blocking proposals have been under consideration for at least six months by Ofcom and the DCMS, and the Intellectual Property Office has launched a consultation on how to implement those recommendations in the last few weeks. They could possibly be introduced in a ‘green paper’, a document about the discussion points and the first step to legislation, soon, according to Wired.
Once the green paper is published, there will be further debate about its contents before a white paper is drafted.
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