Lord Lucas Keeps Wanting To Chip Away At Digital Economy Bill: Exempt Search Engines

from the how-will-rupert-murdoch-survive dept

We've been discussing how Lord Lucas in the UK has spoken out against Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, which would give Mandelson (and his successors or anyone he deputized) massive powers to change copyright law on a whim. Beyond that, the technology-savvy Lord Lucas has been proposing various amendments to the bill, including requiring copyright holders to detail actual damages and also a penalty for bogus copyright threats.

Another proposed amendment, as pointed out by Copycense would automatically exempt search engines from copyright law. While, for the most part, what search engines do seem to be covered by existing law (fair use, and the like), there are still some questions about whether or not the fundamental actions of search engines do or do not infringe. Clearly exempting them, however, could expand what search engines could do in some pretty impressive ways. This would also serve to negate the threats by the likes of Rupert Murdoch to remove News Corp. content from Google (since Google could then ignore any attempted block, as there would be no copyright violation).
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Filed Under: copyright, digital economy bill, exemption, lord lucas, search engines


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  1. identicon
    Doctor Strange, 29 Jan 2010 @ 1:03am

    Re:

    Aggregation is a particularly effective and profitable form of free-riding, especially when you have no incentive or need to contribute in any way to the things you're aggregating.

    The Internet has given people incredible power to act with unprecedented degrees of anonymity and impunity. While there are a few good reasons to provide a measure of both anonymity and impunity (e.g., political dissent, whistleblowing), it seems that far, far more people will just abuse both privileges.

    The attitude around this site seems to be that maximum anonymity and impunity are absolute goods that need to be encouraged. Yet when a natural consequence of having them occurs, like spam, nobody steps up to defend the spammer.

    "Search engines" that broker primarily unauthorized, highly-desirable content while also providing anonymity and impunity are especially good free riders.

    In an era where original, socially-valuable content is becoming more and more of a public good (in the economic sense), doing everything in our power to encourage more free-riding isn't the best idea.

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