Update at Guido Fawkes:
With only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here).
The aim is to insert a new Schedule into the Crime and Courts Bill:
‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”
“A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”
This effectively takes out all small independent bloggers and re-calibrates the legislation to only cover what Tom Watson rightly calls “Big Media”. Hopefully this will command cross-party support…
An attempt to limit the UK’s attempt at blogosphere regulation is under way:
As the bell tolls for press freedom, the realisation that a whole host of tiny websites, including Big Brother Watch, would be covered by the provisions of the new press regulator is dawning on Westminster.
On Monday, the Lords will vote on the legislation “underpinning” the Royal Charter on press-self regulation. They will determine who is to be a ‘relevant publisher’ and at present risks catching broadly any site that is has more than one author, carries news or information about current affairs, or gossip about celebrities, and has some kind of editorial control.
We are urgently trying to garner support for the below amendment to exclude small organisations from the provisions of what is already becoming an unwieldy and unpredictable piece of legislative horse trading.
This is not an ideal situation – as with most things formulated in meetings at 2am – and it would make much more sense for this to be handled rationally and thought through properly. This amendment protects a few, but the principle has already gone.
We are still looking for a peer to table this amendment – any help is appreciated – please call the office on 0207 3406030.
Insert into New Schedule 5 of the Crime and Courts Bill ‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”
9) “A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”
And another one here:
Representatives of Common Purpose front group Hacked Off were in the room along with its other graduates whilst the Royal Charter was being finalised:
“Present at the meeting were Mr Miliband, his deputy Harriet Harman, Mr Clegg, Oliver Letwin for the Conservatives and Evan Harris of Hacked Off with three other pressure group members.”
Tell them all to BLOG OFF!
Governments only outlaw Freedom of Speech when they wish to suppress TRUTH.
LIES can always be shown to be lies – it is TRUTH that is must be suppressed.
“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”
— St. Augustine