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The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 is listed for business once again today before the Rajya Sabha. It was not taken up yesterday despite there being time for it to be debated. I don’t think the Bill is going to make it through the Rajya Sabha even today because the very, very controversial Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 are sought to be annulled by P. Rajeev, a MP from Kerala. The rules have been the sources of considerable controversy with most sections of the netizens opposing the sweeping powers the rules vest in the Government to censor the internet. CIS has some interesting material on these rules. It doesn’t help that the Govt. has proposed to replicate this model on the international platform.
As reported by Shalini Singh in yesterday’s Hindu, the Govt. has made some such proposal at a multilateral meet. A motion to annul rules notified under a legislation is a rare occasion and it remains to be seen the level of interest in the House. If this debate snowballs into yet another Opposition attack against the government, our man Sibal will once again have to bear the brunt because he’s now also the Telecom Minister and these rules have been notified by his ministry with his blessings. If that does happen, rest assured the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 will be buried.
Presuming that the motion to annul the rules is a tame affair, we will still have to contend with a Bill being moved by Salman bhai to repeal the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council or the upper house of the Tamil Nadu Legislature. ‘Amma’ Jayalalitha, had promised to repeal the same when she came to power last year since the DMK govt. had allegedly created the same for the sole purpose of filling it with its acolytes. If the DMKs MPs decide to ‘storm’ the well of the House, we could be in a spot of trouble with the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010.
In any case the government has only Thursday and Friday to get the Bill through in this session because on Monday the House is scheduled to discuss the maha-controversial Lokpal Bill and the day after that i.e. 22nd is the last day of the present budget session. This would mean that the Copyright Bill would be shunted to the monsoon session.