A world class Digital Economy for Britain
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20 November 2009
The Digital Economy Bill, introduced today, sets out Government plans to
ensure the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy.
Published jointly by the Department for Business and the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport, the Bill aims to support growth in the creative
and digital sectors and includes measures aimed at tackling widespread
online infringement of creative copyright, such as peer-to-peer
Other key proposals look to strengthen the UK’s communications
infrastructure, such as superfast broadband, via the introduction of new
Ofcom duties to encourage investment.
The Bill also puts in place measures to protect the creation of a range
of engaging public service content, from multiple providers, on multiple
platforms. Specifically, it addresses the urgent need for action to secure
provision of news in the nations, locally and in the regions.
Lord Mandelson said:
“On current definitions our digital economy accounts for nearly £1 in
every £10 that the whole British economy produces each year – so our
creative and digital industries are key to Britain’s future economic
success. This Bill will give them the framework to develop competitively and
make the UK a global creative leader.
“Better protecting our creative communities from the threat of online
infringement will ensure existing and emerging talent is rewarded and will
bring new choices for online consumers.”
“Creating the right conditions for investment in our communications
infrastructure will bring benefits for households and businesses in all
parts of the country.”
Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said:
"Our digital economy is worth around 8% of GDP.
“Britain's creative industries have become number one in the world as a
proportion of our economy.
“This Bill is a key part of the Government's active industrial strategy
and will maintain and build on Britain's leading position. It includes
measures to ensure universal broadband, the protection of music, film and
other creative content and the future of quality local and regional news.
The market will not provide these things, only Government action can.”
Key measures in the Digital Economy Bill
Online infringement of copyright
Take action on unlawful peer-to-peer filesharing by obliging individual
ISPs to take action against infringers.
An update to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act so that if, in
future, new communications technologies allow creative content to be
unlawfully copied in new ways, remedies can be developed and implemented
more quickly and flexibly than might otherwise be possible.
Extended Collective Licensing
Modernise the copyright licensing system to make it simpler and quicker
for licensing societies to make content available online to consumers and to
support innovative commercial services that rely on copyright material.
Unlock large volumes of previously unusable cultural content or ‘orphan
works’ where the rights holder cannot be identified or found, for public and
Independent and high quality news
Support the plurality of regional and local news, giving Ofcom powers to
appoint and fund Independently Funded News Consortia and future proof
Channel 3 and Channel 5 licensees, including adjusting requirements of
Channel 3 licence holders to produce or broadcast Gaelic programming.
Public Lending Rights
Extend public lending rights to include digital material such as audio
and e-books. This will mean producers and artists who have created this
content will be rewarded when material is lent out from public libraries.
Digital infrastructure and content
Give Ofcom new duties to promote investment in communications
infrastructure where this is needed and to make a formal assessment of the
UK’s communications infrastructure every two years. Alongside this a new
duty for Ofcom to encourage investment in public service content where this
Internet domain names
Ensure the efficient allocating and registering of internet domain names
in the UK by taking reserve powers.
Update the regulatory framework to prepare for moves to digital
switchover for radio by 2015.
Channel 4 Corporation
Update its functions to encompass public service content on all media
platforms - online as well as television – to make it fit for the digital
Mobile and wireless broadband
Enable development of next generation mobile broadband services by
allowing for the charging of periodic payments such as Adminstered Incentive
Pricing on auctioned spectrum licences and allowing OFCOM to levy monetary
penalties for failure to meet certain licence conditions.
Protect children by making age ratings compulsory for all boxed games
designed for those aged 12 or above.
The Digital Economy Bill is a joint Bill between the Department of
Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and
Sport. It was published today, 20 November 2009. For youtube clips, FAQs and
other digital media information, visit: http://www.bis.gov.uk/digitaleconomybill
The Bill is the legislative programme that realises many of the
recommendations made in the Government’s Digital Britain White Paper,
published on 16 June 2009. A copy can be found at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2009-10/digitaleconomy.html
Department for Business Innovation & Skills press enquiries: 020 7215
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business
success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone
the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster
world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing
in our future.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-11-23 12:11:58 in Legal Articles