Our amendment to limit the damage

5946829399_e633991652_oAs the bell tolls for press freedom, the realisation that a whole host of tiny websites, including Big Brother Watch, would be covered by the provisions of the new press regulator is dawning on Westminster.

On Monday, the Lords will vote on the legislation “underpinning” the Royal Charter on press-self regulation. They will determine who is to be a ‘relevant publisher’ and at present risks catching broadly any site that is has more than one author, carries news or information about current affairs, or gossip about celebrities, and has some kind of editorial control.

We are urgently trying to garner support for the below amendment to exclude small organisations from the provisions of what is already becoming an unwieldy and unpredictable piece of legislative horse trading.

This is not an ideal situation – as with most things formulated in meetings at 2am – and it would make much more sense for this to be handled rationally and thought through properly. This amendment protects a few, but the principle has already gone.

The amendment has now been tabled by Lord Lucas – it’s now critical that the Lords adopt it.

Insert into New Schedule 5 of the Crime and Courts Bill ‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”

9) “A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”


Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Leveson | 18 Comments


  1. Dubble0h
    21st March 2013

    They are not offensive just politically astute or ahead of MSM. I find this interference by moronic stateops bad enough but the provisions of proposed Leveson regs are beyond draconian. Speaking the Truth to Power is an essential part of a democracy and has been hard won. I willl not bé cowed from doing so

    • Fahrenheit211.net
      21st March 2013

      DubbleOh, I agree, these Leveson regulations DO go beyond draconian and will neuter both press and independent and small scale bloggers. I heartened by the number of bloggers from across the political spectrum who have either said No to registering with the Leveson censor or who are considering doing so. It is shameful that British bloggers who cover British stories with British readership should be forced to site their operations off shore to avoid arrest and harrassment by the state. That is not the sort of Britain that I or many others want. This is not only an attack on news operations but also on those who comment or have opinions on news items.

      The Leveson rules will result in a bland, risk averse media dominated by fears of arrest or bogus complaint.

      • fitz fitzgerald
        21st March 2013

        But it is the sort of England which appeals to the EUSSR … dirigiste, failed, moribund, sclerotic …

  2. Lord Lucas
    21st March 2013

    Email me tomorrow. Lucasr@parliament.uk

  3. Breaking:+ + + Amendment to Protect Bloggers Put Down + + + - Guy Fawkes' blog
    22nd March 2013

    […] With only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here). […]

  4. Leveson: act in haste, repent at leisure? | Richard's Kingdom
    22nd March 2013

    […] Brother Watch have proposed an amendment which would exempt “[publishers] who do not exceed the definition of a small or […]

  5. Mark Jackson
    22nd March 2013

    Quite agree that this sort of legislation shouldn’t be rushed purely based on political pressure from Labour and the LibDems. It needs to go through the usual due process but in the absence of a proper and wider debate then I guess this amendment will have to do. I hope it’s supported otherwise.. goodbye free speech and hello chilling effects.
    Mark – ISPreview.co.uk

  6. Robert
    22nd March 2013

    For those who are interested, here are the links to Sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006. Do you qualify!?

  7. Craig King
    22nd March 2013

    You should be campaigning for ALL purveyors of news and opinion to be able to operate uncontrolled and free of political interference. What the hell is wrong with you?

  8. It's down to the House of Lords to save the bloggers » Spectator Blogs
    22nd March 2013

    […] for ‘wild west’ of publishing in their 2am deal. Big Brother Watch have taken up the case and successfully persuaded Conservative peer Lord Lucas to table an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill to take most […]

  9. RichardMitton
    23rd March 2013

    I don’t know why you feel the need to do this. After all, it’s provisions won’t affect BBW if you don’t sign up. From what I gather it is not compulsery to sign up.

  10. SATURDAY UPDATE – HELP! – Leveson Blog Regulation – THE STUPID, IT BURNS! – WE NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN! | dropsafe
    23rd March 2013

    […] Wednesday, Big Brother Watch drafted and released a suggested amendment text […]

  11. Gary D Chance
    23rd March 2013

    Voluntary today compulsory tomorrow. It’s a foot in the door that must be closed. There are too many people just waiting to pounce given the opportunity. I hope your amendment gets included. How did protecting against phone hacking get to this?

  12. DavidFahn
    24th March 2013

    The time to replace the ballot box with the machine gun is bought massively closer by this legislation.

  13. Press regulation and the Internet’s “ethical vacuum” | Robert Sharp
    26th March 2013

    […] the Royal Charter announcement earlier this week, there has been much concern over how the new system for press regulation will affect bloggers.  English PEN expressed concerns […]

  14. No Privacy with Smart Meters – Big Brother Watch | Real News World Wide
    7th April 2013

    […] Our amendment to limit the damage (bigbrotherwatch.org.uk) […]

  15. The Tap Blog | Blog Off!
    31st October 2014

    […] UPDATE -Update at Guido Fawkes://order-order.com/2013/03/22/breaking-amendment-to-protect-bloggers-put-down/With only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here). […]