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Digital Economy

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have sought the advice of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the adviser to the Minister for the Cabinet Office on public information delivery, on clauses 4 to 20 of the Digital Economy Bill and on any impact on access to the internet; and, if so, what was his advice. [HL441]

While we are always interested in the views of acknowledged experts, we have not directly sought the advice of Sir Tim Berners-Lee in relation to Clauses 4 to 20 of the Digital Economy Bill. The policies that these clauses implement were proposed in the Digital Britain White Paper, published in June of this year.

We have consulted fully in relation to online copyright infringement, most recently in June 2009 with an additional government statement on 25 August. We received over 200 responses by the time the consultation closed on 29 September, many of them from individual experts, and all of which we have taken into account.

In relation to internet domain names, the Bill takes reserve powers where there is a failure which is likely adversely to affect the reputation or availability of electronic communications services or the interests of consumers. Consultation will take place before the powers are used.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is advising the Government on the Making Public Data Public project.