Ammendment to Digital Economy Bill Taken Straight From Lobbi

The Digital Economy Bill, which could block sites such as YouTube, has been amended this week with text lifted almost word for word from a lobbyist's draft.

The controversial changes will now be put forward for consideration in the House of Commons despite disagreement from some of the UKs biggest internet providers including Google, Ebay and Yahoo. The Chief executives of these firms argue that this amendment would threaten freedom of speech.

Today, a spokesman from the pressure group BPI said that he was not ashamed that this information had come to light. "This was a suggestion that we made to the government in 2009, with this wording. This version of the proposal was sent to the government and also to the opposition parties. The government decided it wanted to go a different way. The opposition parties, while not fully agreeing with it, saw it as a good framework for what they wanted to put down," the spokesman said.

Jim Killnock, head of the Open Rights Group opposes the amendment which he sees as a threat to digital rights. He argues that the Government should be questioned over this incident but that the BPI did nothing wrong.

"The BPI has got every right to do this," said Killock. "The question is why the politicians have said in such a complicated arena that they will take the BPI's ideas wholesale without consulting anybody else."

However the BPI spokesman defended the actions of the government for passing the amendment. He stated "[the peers] made changes to our proposal which was then tabled by them, debated fully in the House of Lords, before being agreed and made part of the bill."

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