The U.K. Digital Economy Bill, which includes measures to tackle illegal file-sharing, has cleared the House of Lords with a controversial clause set to be introduced in the Commons.

The Bill's legislative process will now continue in the House of Commons. It has made fairly swift progress, but still faces an impending deadline: Parliament is likely to be dissolved by early April for a general election in May.

For opponents of the anti-piracy measures - a three-strikes style system that could lead to technical measures and suspension if the government believes file-sharing has not been reduced - the Lords was an ermine-clad re-run of the derided home-taping-is-killing-music campaign from the '80s. Internet Service Provider Talk Talk released this video and track with Dan Bull, which features the lyric "Our pop stars need to get paid so that they can buy jet planes."

The Lords vote had cross-party support. It passed after government minister Lord Young of Norwood Green pledged further changes to come in the Commons. The opposition had forced a change to an unpopular clause that would have given government ministers wide-ranging powers to amend copyright law to deal with any future piracy threat from new technology.

But the Liberal Democrat alternative which was passed March 3 got an even worse response: Internet firms such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook wrote a joint letter complaining about their amendment to the Financial Times saying that the measures would "threaten freedom of speech and the open Internet."

The measures would allow the High Court to grant an injunction requiring ISPs to block Web sites with a "substantial proportion" of copyright-infringing content. An attempt was made to change the amendment with "clarifications and improvements" last night (March 15), but the government said the amendment itself was not compatible with the EU Technical Standards Directive (TSD) and would "not be capable of being enforced."

Instead, the Lords accepted Lord Young's pledge that a clause would be added during the next stage in the Commons "to bring forward regulations to achieve the desired effect of site blocking." It would include "proper consultation and consideration of the evidence for the need and the proportionality of the measure," he added.

The vote in the Lords last night (March 15) coincided with a "Panorama" documentary on BBC One, "Are the Net Police Coming For You?"

While the BPI, Feargal Sharkey and even Louis Walsh from "The X Factor" diligently stated the industry's case, Talk Talk will be pleased their mocking video got an outing and Dave Stewart summed up the file-sharing measures as "the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard as a solution to tackle the [issue] that the entertainment industry is collapsing."

"Who is going to come up with something that is as clever as the next hacker who comes up with the thing to crack it?" he added.

Indeed, the BBC highlighted anonymity systems that can conceal IP addresses and prevent rights holders pursuing file-sharers.

Dr Richard Clayton of Cambridge University, who advised the House of Lords, was asked if the Bill would work. He responded: "I really don't think so because if people are going to find their Internet is cut off because people can find out who they are, then they will move immediately to systems where it's not possible to find out who they are." And he helpfully demonstrated an anonymity system to the show's 3.1 million viewers.

Billboard.biz understands that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was courted to take part from those on both sides - labels and ISPs - to support their case. It would have been potentially great free advertising on the BBC but, perhaps wisely, he didn't appear on the show last night.

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