Monday, 9 September 2013

Regulating the economy? No, economy in regulation

In case you missed it in the course of a sunny, sport-rich summer (as this blogger did), here's the ipsissima verba of clause 26 of the United Kingdom's Deregulation Bill 2013 which was published in July.
26 Repeal of power to make provision for blocking injunctions

In the Digital Economy Act 2010, omit sections 17 and 18 (which confer power on the Secretary of State to make regulations about the granting by courts of injunctions requiring the blocking of websites that infringe copyright).
But don't think that this provision has anything to do with the British government's attitude towards copyright; it's all about something quite different -- public money.  One of the functions of this Bill, outlined in the Foreword, is this:
"Publication of the draft Bill is the latest step in the Government’s ongoing drive to remove unnecessary bureaucracy that costs British businesses millions, slows down public services like schools and hospitals, and hinders millions of individuals in their daily lives".


Francis Davey said...

Those provisions were a dead duck a while ago. Really they were a complete waste of time resulting, I suggest, from timidity by certain pressure groups who had not (then) tried to use s97A and put pressure on the government to grant wider powers.

Now a different copyright interest group has shown that it is possible to use s97A effectively (in my view, without sufficient safeguards in place, but that's another argument) it is no longer clear exactly what sections 17 and 18 could be for, except perhaps to be used to limit the situations in which s97A could be used or the process to be used.

Jeremy said...

I would not characterise the provisions as a dead duck. As ducks gom I'd say they were in a state of suspended animation from which they were unlikely ever to be resuscitated.