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“When disputes arise, your commercial objectives are our main concern” – Whose interests does Lib Dem Lord Clement-Jones really represent?

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Lib Dem sleaze? Lord Clement-Jones takes £70,000 a year from DLA Piper, a law firm specialising in copyright and patent law, who would stand to gain a great deal if this draconian bill gets passed into law.

From the Guardian:

One of the most contentious parts of the controversial digital economy bill was voted down by the House of Lords last night – only to be replaced by a clause that campaigners say is even more draconian…

Putting forward the amendment, Lib Dem peer Lord Clement-Jones said… that it was a “more proportionate, specific and appropriate” way to approach infringement than the previous proposals made by the government…

But instead of making the proposed system more transparent and accountable, critics say it will simply leave it open to abuse.

“This would open the door to a massive imbalance of power in favour of large copyright holding companies,” said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group. “Individuals and small businesses would be open to massive ‘copyright attacks’ that could shut them down, just by the threat of action.”

“This is exactly how libel law works today: suppressing free speech by the unwarranted threat of legal action. The expense and the threat are enough to create a ‘chilling effect’.”

From the Register of Lord’s Interests

CLEMENT-JONES, Lord

*12(b) Parliamentary lobbying

Partner of DLA Piper (international law firm) and adviser to its global government relations practice.

The member is paid £70,000 in respect of his services as Co-Chairman of DLA Piper’s global government relations practice

The member acts personally for TransMedics Inc, a medical technology manufacturer

The member acts personally for Eli Lilly and Company, the pharmaceutical manufacturer

The member acts personally for University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate

The member acts personally for Raytheon Company a defence and homeland security technology company

*12(f) Regular remunerated employment

Partner DLA Piper UK LLP

*12(h) Secretarial research and assistance

Secretarial assistance paid for by DLA Piper UK LLP

And here’s what DLA Piper have to say about their work on “Intellectual Property”:

DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice is one of the largest groups of IP lawyers in the world… When disputes arise, your commercial objectives are our main concern…

Our IP experience includes IP litigation as well as representation in areas such as applications, prosecution, and filings for patents, trademarks, and copyrights…

The ability to advise on all aspects of technology law expands the efficiencies and breadth of service for our clients – we offer advice on all related IP matters such as advertising and promotion law, data security, digital media content, e-commerce/Internet transactions, and privacy protection. We also help develop compliance programs in response to new corporate policies or national and local government regulations, including IP, privacy, or quality control audits.

Wherever you are, and whatever your industry, you need people you can trust to meet your IP business objectives…

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Written by Richard Wilson

March 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

6 Responses

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  1. [...] The things that are wrong with this bill are almost too numerous to mention, it’s obviously written with either no technical understanding at all, or with the deliberate intent to be wide open to abuse. The current government does such things so often I’ve given up trying to work out if they’re deviously evil or just incompetent or even some odd mix of the two. The latest silliness added to this bill oddly doesn’t come from the government benches but from Lib Dem peers who want to be able to force ISPs to block “access to specified online locations“. Now not only is this silly it’s pointless. (it may be worth noting that the Lib Dem peer concerned gets money from a law firm specialising in copyright protection. [...]

  2. The real shame here is that it seems the lawyers are trying to destroy the fundamental principle of the internet – freedom of information – with the only seeming purpose being increasing their fees and commissions.

    SInce the internet was opened to commercial activity in 1994, companies have wrestled with ways of taking a free property and turning it into real estate for which people have to pay. They need not have struggled for 20 years: simply ask the legal hawks!

    To be fair to the legislators, it is likely that the term “online locations” will be subject to scrutiny and redefinition in further readings in both chambers of the House, becoming much more narrow in the process.

    I think it unlikely that websites such as YouTube, Vimeo et al will ever be pulled down as a result. Not only this, the difficulty of pursuing such matters across international borders and jurisdictions will be high, let alone the idea of trying to get the ISPs to play ball in conjunction with individual websites: the communications process alone is a logistical headache of biblical proportions!

    Larry G

    March 5, 2010 at 9:19 am

  3. [...] with Liberal Democrat values?  How about “it isn’t” as an answer?  How about a little research into Lord Clement-Jones?  After all, there must be a reason why someone claiming to be Liberal and Democratic could [...]

  4. [...] many more have been involved in efforts to railroad through a draconian law, parts of which have been written in their entirety [...]

  5. [...] firm DLA Piper, a firm that has close links to the creative industries and IP specialism – one writer argues that Clement-Jones and DLA Piper have a great deal to gain from implementation of …. In addition, he is known for the somewhat infamous S.17 of the DEA mentioned by Smith and Fares in [...]


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