Stop43.org.uk stopped Commercial Orphan Works Exploitation in the UK Digital Economy Bill Clause 43






"Public Affairs" lobbying companies "amend the Digital Economy Bill"

Channel 4 News has broadcast an item exploring the burgeoning world of Parliamentary lobbying companies (“public affairs” companies) and their influence, especially in “weak” areas such as the House of Lords. Starting at around 2 minutes 34 seconds into the broadcast, the item discusses lobbyists’ influence on the Digital Economy Bill:

3.07: Gary Gibbon for Channel 4 News: “Get a Bill where there are enormous commercial interests at stake and you’ll usually find lobbyists getting their way. Some MPs think the Digital Economy Bill, just completing its way through Parliament at the moment, is a very good example.”

3:20: John Grogan MP (Labour): “For about the last six months there’s been lobbying companies crawling all over the House of Lords. They’ve been handing out Amendments to Peers, some of which have now got into the Bill.”

It may be fruitful to explore a conflation of the lobbying row, the excommunication of Hoon, Hewitt and Byers, and the indecent haste in which the Digital Economy Bill, a supposedly non-political Bill that might be expected to survive a change of Government, is being rushed through in a barely-constitutional way, if that. Parts of the Bill remain highly contentious; not only the provisions for terminating Internet connections but also the vague powers to implement Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing schemes in secondary legislation and to empower Lord Mandelson (or his successor) to change copyright law at will.

For photographers, these powers (in Clause 43) have the paw-prints of Big Media all over them. Big Media have Big Pockets and can afford Big Lobbying Fees.