Lords mull Hail Mary penances for file-sharers

Lucas is a self-styled libertarian, so he must realise the inherent contradiction of the state acting in this way.

The Lords this week discussed new compensation for copyright holders this week – including a voluntary ‘Hail Mary fine’ payable by file sharers, instead of suspension – but nobody noticed.

It was late on Wednesday night, and the Lords were six hours into their fourth session this month discussing the Digital Economy bill. Lord Lucas moved Amendment 156, giving an infringer a choice:

[It] requires the payment of an additional fee by the subscriber for the maintenance of unrestricted internet access, which is to be remitted to a licensing body established under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Lucas said he anticipated a more progressive licensing regime, similar to the performance right on compositions, which is non-exclusive:

"No one stops a person performing, but if they do perform, they have to pay a feeā€¦ Given the fact that someone is having a technical obligation imposed on them, it seems that they might choose to pay a fee to such an agency, which would go to relevant copyright holders. Terminating, suspending or limiting someone’s internet access just does someone harm."

Read more at The Register

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