UK proposal gives copyright immunity to Google

A proposed amendment to a UK bill would give Google and other search engines immunity from copyright claims, basically giving Google permission to copy anything it pleases.

The Guardian of London reports a conservative member of Parliament is proposing a new clause to the Digital Economy Bill that requires any publicly accessible website to "give a standing and non-exclusive license to providers of search engine services to make a copy of some or all of the content of that website."

The amendment would rewrite UK copyright law and would have dramatic impact on how other countries allow Google to treat copyrighted material.

This is a huge deal for newspaper publishers, who would be considered in violation of the law if they block search engine crawlers from accessing their sites.

The broad Digital Economy Bill would also make Internet service providers warn subscribers accused of illegal downloading before interfering with their bandwidth or kicking them offline altogether. The bill is currently making its way through House of Lords committees.