Digital Economy Bill vs SaaS


This evening I was supposed to be doing a lightening talk on PaaS at London CloudCamp, which would cover the stuff that I did over Christmas and New Year. Hopefully I’ll get to do that another day, as right now I feel obliged to speak out about an amendment that’s been introduced to the Digital Economy Bill by the House of Lords.  Here are the slides that I’m going to be presenting  (register at if you’d like to come along):

There’s been some good coverage already of the (unintended?) consequences of amendment 120. Cory Doctorow pointed out what this could mean for ‘web lockers‘, and Richard Clayton examines whether it’s intended to be a wrecking amendment.

My concern is that it could be used against Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, especially their storage services such as Amazon’s S3. Such action could have enormous collateral damage on Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that rely on these underlying storage services. A good deal of the SaaS that I use day to day, that we depend on to run our firm, makes use of S3 and similar.

I hope that Richard is right, and that this wrecks a massively misconceived piece of legislation. I do however fear that there’s worse to come under the auspices of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Whilst I’m as sick of the sight of knock off Louis Vuitton bags as the next man, and don’t want to be buying brake pads that are made from cheese, I have deep fears that ACTA will impose an international copyright regime that will break the Internet as we know it. Of course it’s hard to substantiate these fears as the whole thing is being negotiated in secret, and the established media aren’t doing much to report on it (as it’s their owners that we find behind the whole thing). The first step is to get the agreement out into open public debate – sunlight is a great disinfectant – and it’s good to see some steps in that direction coming from the European Parliament.

2 Responses to “Digital Economy Bill vs SaaS”

  1. Thanks for mentioning ORG in your slides – we need more support than ever, as you say with ACTA coming down the road. ORG is also extraordinarily good value – we manage to match supporter donations with grants, so we try to make sure every £1 you give is matched by at £1 we find from other sources.

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