Repeal Digital Economy Act, say Lib Dems

Web blocking and potential account suspension for suspected copyright infringement mean the law should be repealed and recast, according to Nick Clegg

The Digital Economy Act is fundamentally flawed and should be repealed, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Technical measures proposed in the law, such as blocking websites for suspected copyright infringement, "simply aren't good enough", party leader Nick Clegg told ZDNet UK on Thursday.

"The only way to improve bad law is to take it off the statute book and replace it with something better," said Clegg. "We managed to get measures like account suspension delayed for a year, so there is still time to repeal technical measures that won't work and put in place laws to tackle these issues in a fair and appropriate way."

Clegg said while the Lib Dems agreed with most of the act, not enough time had been devoted to the law before it was passed during wash-up. Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the law when the Digital Economy Bill passed through the House of Commons, particularly due to concerns over account suspension.

On Thursday, Clegg also told students on social-networking site The Student Room that the Digital Economy Act "badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited".

The Conservative Party front bench backed the Digital Economy Bill at its third reading, despite raising concerns about some of its provisions. Some Tory back-bench MPs voted against the bill.

The Labour Party had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

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