27 June 2007
A group of trade bodies representing the film, video, music, games, software and publishing industries have produced a handbook to provide trading standards services with practical guidance on how their new copyright enforcement powers, which came into force in April this year, can help reduce crime in the community.
The Alliance Against IP Theft has joined forces with the Industry Trust for IP Awareness to publish this resource, due to be launched at the Trading Standards Institute annual conference, opening on 26 June in Manchester. Industry has worked closely with trading standards for many years, supporting their enforcement work with investigators, intelligence, forensic and legal resources. In 2003 the Alliance produced their report, Proving the Connection, highlighting industry evidence of the links between IP theft and organised crime, to encourage public enforcement agencies to use IP crime as way of tackling crime in their communities. The Industry Trust for IP Awareness also plays a role in providing public education materials as to the links between IP theft and organised crime and trading standards have used all the legal tools at their disposal to carry out their enforcement activities against trade in illicit product to protect legitimate businesses and consumers.
However, until now, if no other breach of law could be detected, trading standards have been powerless to act against people engaged in copyright theft from creative industries. “We’ve spent well over 10 years lobbying government to give trading standards the power to enforce copyright law as well as trade mark law,” says Lavinia Carey, chair of the Alliance and Director of the Industry Trust. With this handbook we hope to demonstrate how valuable we believe this missing weapon can be today, in the face of very different threats presented by technological change compared with the circumstances that existed in 1994, when the measures in section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act were introduced, but not enacted.”
The initiative has been welcomed by trading standards professionals, as it complements the legal guidelines issued by the UKIPO when section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act was finally implemented in April this year. Incoming TSI Chairman, Bryan Lewin comments, “Trading Standards officers are on the frontline in tackling criminals who earn fortunes from peddling pirate CDs, DVDs computer games and business software. The new powers give us additional weapons to protect consumers and help legitimate businesses.”
To download A Practical Guide to Copyright Enforcement for Trading Standards Professionals, please visit www.allianceagainstiptheft.co.uk or www.copyrightaware.com. A pocket guide is being produced to accompany this handbook for easy reference in the field.
Please come to the Alliance mini-seminar on Wednesday at 2.30 to hear more!
Lavinia Carey, Director General, British Video Association, mobile: 07770 476160
The British Video Association is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in the United Kingdom, registration number 1525485. Registered office: 167 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PE