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Web giants lash out at Digital Bill

INTERNET giants united yesterday to urge Business secretary Peter Mandelson to change a clause in the new digital economy bill that could give future ministers sweeping powers to change copyright law. <br /><br />Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay wrote directly to Mandelson asking him to throw out clause 17 to coincide with the second reading of the recently announced bill in the Lords.<br /><br />However, the government says the introduction of Clause 17 will help reduce internet piracy and cut copyright theft.<br /><br />The letter voices support for parts of the bill and a &ldquo;shared respect&rdquo; for copyright but expressed &ldquo;grave concerns&rdquo; over proposed measures &ldquo;which risk stifling innovation and damaging the government&rsquo;s vision for a digital Britain&rdquo;.