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Digital Economy Act 2010

Volume 514: debated on Monday 26 July 2010

Ministers and officials have had recent meetings with copyright owners, consumer organisations and internet service providers, at which the matter has been raised.

Is the Minister aware of the deep concerns held about those sections of the Act among internet service providers such as BT and TalkTalk, among members of the public such as those who went to the Open Rights Group conference on Saturday, and among creative content providers? Given that the Act was rushed through in the dying days of the last Government, will he ensure that there is proper scrutiny of not just the details but the principle of those sections, which many of us oppose?

I am aware of the concerns that the hon. Gentleman mentions. It is important to emphasise that the technical measures in those sections would not come in until at least 2012, and that this House and the other place will have a chance to debate the matter in full under the super-affirmative procedure.

What representations has the Minister had directly from those who actually work in the creative industries—the 1.8 million people who depend on the sector for their jobs and the 250,000 whose jobs are at risk from illegal downloading? What does he have to say to them?

The hon. Gentleman’s point is well made. There are two sides to the story. I have met many content owners in the past few months to discuss the matter, and they are keen to have measures in place to combat illegal downloading.