The Digital Economy Bill continues to be discussed and amended in Parliament but is facing fierce criticism in and out of government, notably from author and web guru Don Tapscott, who publicly challenged Lord Mandelson for a debate last month.
After having their say on the draft provisions aimed at reducing copyright infringement last week, the Lords are still ploughing their way through hundreds of amendments which acknowledge their concerns.
Last week, the Lords continued the line-by-line examination of the Bill, particularly on clauses eight to 10, where issues examined included administering and enforcing internet service provider (ISP) and copyright owner compliance, use of legal access to copyright material and assessment and preparation related to obligations to limit internet access.
While UK ISPs are moving to implement controlling measures such as piracy detection software, Tapscott maintains that file sharing is key to creating a thriving digital economy and that restricting it would be retrograde.
In this interview, he also suggests possible alternatives for file sharing and criticises the government’s ‘criminalisation of web users’, while discussing the wider impact the UK economy will suffer if restrictions are imposed.
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, Computing blogger and social media adviser and commentator also participates in the Q&A.