Page last updated at 22:37 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 23:37 UK

MPs approve Digital Economy Bill


On 7 April 2010, MPs passed the Digital Economy Bill, which implements many of the proposals put forward in the government's Digital Britain white paper.

It seeks to tackle online piracy and illegal file-sharing by enforcing internet bans for persistent offenders.

Under the terms of the bill, internet service providers would send letters to any of their subscribers linked to alleged infringements.

Copyright holders will be able to apply for a court order to gain access to the names and addresses of serious infringers and take action against them while ISPs would be able to suspend accounts of offenders.

The bill also provides for the digital switchover of radio by 2015 and updates Channel 4 functions to encompass public service content on TV and online.

But, with Parliament set for imminent dissolution ahead of the general election, ministers dropped plans opposed by the Conservatives to broaden the communication watchdog Ofcom's duties and give it the power to provide funds for regional news on ITV.

The government added new clauses to the bill, to replace opposition amendments made in the Lords, on blocking websites used for illegal file-sharing.


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