U.K. ministers have granted a concession in the Digital Economy Bill, which in its original form would have provided "reserve powers" to introduce legislation to clamp down on any future technology that could enable copyright infringement.

The proposals in the Bill make up the U.K. government's package of measures to tackle copyright infringement of movies and music and other creative works. The legislation could ultimately lead to a three-strikes system, although that would likely be triggered if there was no reduction in the levels of file-sharing from warning letters.

There is also doubt over whether the legislation will pass before an election is called, probably to take place in May.

The clause in Section 17 would have given ministers reserve powers to draft new laws to tackle new methods of copyright infringement online without needing parliamentary approval. This measure was designed to deliver swift action against any future technological innovations that could aid piracy.

Google and Facebook were among those who complained that the clause would damage digital innovation. Opposition Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords threatened to vote against the measure.

"The government remains squarely behind the aims of clause 17 - we would not have written it into the bill if we did not think it was needed," the Department for Business said.

However, government officials confirmed they had moved to refine the proposals. The government has tabled amendments, which would mean copyright laws could only be amended by statute if the threat of copyright infringement was "significant." Parliamentary scrutiny would also be able to take place for any such amendments to the law.

Lord Lucas, a Conservative peer, has tabled several amendments including one that would provide immunity for search engines from prosecution under copyright infringement legislation.

Around 300 amendments have been proposed to the Bill in the House of Lords, where the ruling Labour Party does not have an overall majority.