Alliance welcomes support from Parliamentary Committee for intellectual property
The Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft (the Alliance) welcomed the prominence given to intellectual property in the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee’s report into the creative industries, published today.
In its oral and written evidence the Alliance urged the Committee to acknowledge the threat to the creative industries of intellectual property crime and called on it to make specific policy recommendations to enhance the IP legislative regime. The Alliance is pleased that such acknowledgement and support comes out loud and clear in the Committee’s recommendations.
The Alliance welcomes the clear recommendation from the Committee that camcording in cinemas needs to be made a criminal offence. The illicit recording of films in cinemas is a major contributor to film piracy in the UK with the illegally recorded product being the primary source for pre-release pirate DVDs sold on the streets and in markets across the UK. When films have their first release in the UK camcorded copies are exported to other countries, damaging their economy in turn. The Alliance will be pressing the Government to accept this recommendation and to find parliamentary time for such a measure to be introduced.
The Report also clearly accepts the need for the damages regime to be reviewed, amended and for a deterrent factor to be introduced. The Alliance strongly supports this recommendation, as the profits made from IP theft can be vast. At present it is regarded as a ‘soft’ crime and an element of deterrence when damages are awarded will play a crucial part in changing this perception.
In addition, the Alliance applauds the Culture Committee for calling on internet service providers to take a more proactive lead in fighting IP theft online. The Committee’s call for the ISP industry to set up a body parallel to the Internet Watch Foundation to monitor breach of copyright in material hosted on websites is interesting and the Alliance looks forward to hearing industry’s response.
Commenting on today’s report, Susie Winter, Director General of the Alliance said:
“Intellectual property (IP) theft is a growing problem and one which inflicts significant damage, not just on industry, but on consumers, local traders and communities and the wider UK economy. The Culture Committee’s recognition of the important role intellectual property plays, both in the economy and as a driver of creativity and innovation, is hugely welcome. IP needs to be properly protected and we urge the Government to take on board these recommendations.”
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