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News

Digital Economy Act Reinforced By New Minister

The Federation Against Software Theft : 25 May, 2010  (Company News)
The Federation Against Software Theft welcomes the continuation of Government support for the UK's Digital Economy Act and the positive effect this will have on fighting software piracy
New Minister for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, has been reported as saying that the Digital Economy Act is here to stay; news greeted with approval from software industry body FAST.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of FAST commented: "This is great news for the software industry, long struggling with internet piracy, together with other intellectual property rights holders. Our hope is that the graduated response provisions of this Act will be proportionate and drive traffic towards legitimate downloads. At this time of economic pressure this is great news for the country too, since more legitimate sales will mean more tax revenue and more workers in employment - everyone wins."

Hunt's Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Ed Vaizey has been charged with overseeing the implementation of the Digital Economy Act as a go-between for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Vaizey will be responsible for implementing the copyright enforcement that the Digital Economy Act makes possible.

Latest piracy figures show that the UK faces software piracy rates of 27 per cent costing the UK software industry alone £1,096 million every year.

According to Lovelock, Vaizey has a tough task ahead of him: "The UK now has an online culture of 'free', even when not. This harms the companies working to produce generally expensive and high quality software works, the creation of which takes much time to research and develop. For users there is a risk that malware, including viruses, may be downloaded rather than the desired product."

"The provisions of the Act must be allowed to have a chance to work for benefits to be seen."

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