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Cable: Website blocking plans are 'unworkable'

Web censorship plans - is this the end of it?
Web censorship plans - is this the end of it?

Vince Cable, the UK business secretary, is set to brand government-backed website blocking plans as 'unworkable' in a speech on Wednesday.

Speaking at the British Library, he is also expected to announce his support for the legalisation of 'format shifting' (copying CDs and DVDs to a computer or media player), as recommended by the Hargreaves Report.

Another recommendation from the report was an online copyright exchange system to make it easier to access content licenses; Cable is expected to announce a "scoping review" into the plans, but without any firm support.

Not the answer

Cable's likely rejection of the website blocking plans will come in spite of a court ruling earlier this week, that saw BT ordered to block Newzbin2, a site known for sharing pirated music and movies.

The plans to introduce website blocking have been the matter of some controversy, from culture minister Ed Vaizey's seemingly closed-door meetings on the matter, to ex-business secretary Peter Mandelson's disregard for public consultation regarding the plans.

Both consumer groups and ISPs have expressed concerns over the Digital Economy Act's plans for web censorship; TalkTalk and BT challenged the act in High Court, only to be ruled against.

From the FT and the Guardian