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News

Confusing Government messages over IP infringement policies

The Federation Against Software Theft : 02 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
The Federation Against Software Theft highlights the contradictory messages coming from the Government regarding intellectual property infringements
Lord Mandelson's much hyped announcement on the Government's intended '3-strikes-and-you-are-out' policy over IP infringement and illegal file-sharing, is at odds with the intellectual property minister, David Lammy MP. This is according to Chief Executive of the Federation Against Software Theft, John Lovelock.

"We have consistently questioned the Government's commitment to the findings and recommendations of not only the Gowers Review into Intellectual Property but the final Digital Britain Report that was issued less than four months ago. But is has failed to implement a single recommendation to date. Then out of the blue Lord Mandleson announces that the Government will in fact introduce legislation to introduce what we have been calling for all along - the so-called '3 strikes' policy," commented John.

"And yet the day after Lord Mandleson announces one policy up pops the Minister for Intellectual Property David Lammy, who stated at the Cabinet Forum: 'A great deal of policy making is harmonised at European level and progress can't be made without a European consensus'. The question we have to ask therefore is just what is the policy now?"

"We also have it on good authority that Trading Standards budgets have been cut by local or central government, after Gordon Brown 'committed' £7.4 million to their enforcement of copyright offences following the Gowers recommendation for enactment of Section 107A of the copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 giving them the Duty and Power to do so. What is this: 'hide-and seek'?

"The industry is beginning to think that this is nothing more than political grandstanding to gain some cheap headlines to make the Government look like it is actually doing something and not stuck in paralysis," he added.

"So come clean Secretary of State! Are we going to see some positive action on this or is this nothing more than froth as you are either scared of taking on the ISPs, who are against this policy in the main, or are you just going to leave it languishing in the long grass hoping it will be forgotten about and hope an incoming Government will deal with it?" he added. "Such mixed messages and contradiction is leading to many in the software sector questioning the Government's commitment to the creative industries. Put simply: Gents please get your act together - is this going to be implemented at a national level or are we now going to have to wait years for a European wide solution?"

"Either way the creative industries which are "so vital to the future of our economy", need a supportive legislative framework for the future. So come clean and stop pontificating," he concluded.
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