Digital Economy Bill given Royal Assent

DEB goes through
DEB goes through

The controversial Digital Economy Bill has made its final pass through the House of Lords and into Law after being granted Royal Assent.

Although, technically, the monarchy can prevent Acts of Parliament from going through it doesn't really happen any more, and even if Queen Elizabeth II was a staunch Pirate Bay supporter it would not have been blocked.

The Bill was pushed through the House of Commons late on Wednesday in a period when Parliament is about to be dissolved and few are present to debate or veto Bills.

Despite the controversial nature of the bill and criticism from the Lib Dems and some high profile MPs, the government and the opposition did a deal which saw MPs from both parties troop through to agree with the bill and win the vote.

Clause 8

That included the controversial Clause 8 which Google has strongly objected to - and hands the government the power to block sites that are 'likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright."

This wording could of course apply to the likes of Google or WikiLeaks which act as conduits through to sites that offer up copyrighted material.

With the Conservatives not likely to overturn the bill should they get into power at the next general election, and the Labour party in government it looks likely that the new laws are here to stay.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.