Updated: Digital Economy Bill: Injunction Ping-Pong Over Website Blocking?

Update: The debate took place later on Monday. Read our full story

Original: Peers last week drew fire for adding Digital Economy Bill provisions, requested by the British Phonographic Industry, that would compel ISPs, by High Court injunction, to block access to websites that illegally host copyrighted material.

This provision is retained in amendments due for debate Monday evening – but the two Liberal Democrats who last week proposed the idea have now tabled new clauses that would let anyone peeved by such a block apply again to the High Court for an overturn injunction.

Amendment #22 from Lib Dem Lords Clement-Jones and Razzall, if adopted, would add to the bill…

“any person aggrieved may apply to the court on notice to the copyright owner and service provider to require the service provider to remove or vary the nature of the block; and

… the court must order that the block be removed if it considers that it would not have made such an order”

These and other amendments are due for Lords debate after 2.30pm on Monday. But they would seem to allow for a kind of injunction ping-pong, as copyright holders and then blocked sites (or fans of blocked sites) lodge their respective wishes with the High Court.

More amendments proposed to the controversial new clause…

— #14: Copyright holders who would seek a High Court injunction compelling ISPs to block infringing websites must first inform the ISP and website (ie. ISPs would then have the opportunity to voluntarily block the site before going to court).

— #16, #19: Before granting such an injunction, the High Court must consider “the extent to which granting the injunction would disproportionately not consider “any issues of national security raised by the Secretary of State”

— #21: A U-turn on costs – whereas the blocked website would have had to pay the court costs of the copyright holder which sought the blocking injunction, now this would be up to the court to decide.