HC Deb 19 January 1998 vol 304 c392W
Mr. Maude

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to ensure that on-line service and access providers, including telecommunications companies, take legal and administrative responsibility for ensuring that material which is transmitted or delivered by them does not infringe copyright or consumer protection legislation. [23575]

Mr. Ian McCartney

The general principle is that the law applies on-line in the same way that it does off-line. Under United Kingdom copyright law, on-line service or access providers are legally responsible for copyright infringement if they themselves incorporate copyright material into transmissions without the consent of copyright owners. Existing consumer law covers electronic commerce in the same way as it covers face to face transactions and other forms of distance communications (e.g. mail order).