The past, present and future of the Digital Economy Bill

We take an in-depth look at how the Digital Economy Bill has progressed so far and where it can go from here.

But it is not time for Lord Mandelson to break out the party poppers, nor TalkTalk and the Open Rights Group to get down in the dumps quite yet, as there are plenty more processes that need to go through parliament before the bill gets a yay or nay vote.

The next stage is the report stage, where the House of Lord will take two or three days to talk over the new amendments. It's currently scheduled for 1 March. Then comes a third reading with a vote attached.

If approved, it will it go back to the House of Commons and all the stages with have to be gone through again first reading, second reading, committee stage, report and third reading before the bill is either given the go ahead or kicked into the gutter.

With so much more debating to be done uncertainty remains as to whether the bill will make legislation before the expected general election, which is rumoured to be taking place on 6 May. But, as the parliamentary process continues, it is sure to raise more debate and lots of conversation between those with the rights to creative material and those who want to share them.

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