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News

FAST backs new law proposals on illegal file sharing

The Federation Against Software Theft : 27 August, 2009  (Company News)
UK Government plans for cutting bandwidth for persistent illegal file sharing offenders seen as a positive step by the Federation Against Software Theft
FAST has responded with approval to the news that the Government has proposed tough new laws aimed at curbing the epidemic of illegal filesharing.

FAST is the UK not-for-profit organisation that promotes the legitimate use of software, focusing on educating business users, promoting standards, lobbying the Government for intellectual property (IP) protection and ensuring copyright compliance for the health of the industry.

FAST Chief Executive John Lovelock explained, "This is an unexpected but very welcome development for the future of the UK's creative industries. FAST has lobbied long and hard for a sensible change to the law that maintains a level playing field for the legitimate user."

The proposed measures include quicker sanctions to cut off serious infringers' Internet connections.

This is a step further than Lord Carters' Digital Britain Report that recommended merely "technical measures" to slow the connection speed of persistent infringers.

Lovelock continued, "The Digital Britain work is set to go on until 2012, so it is heartening that the government has decided to look into practical solutions that will offer help to some of the most vibrant sectors in the UK economy: Software publishers, games developers, music, films etc. The whole of the creative industries contribute £53 billion to the UK economy through their IP investments. Having the power to cut off serious infringers' access to the Internet, provided the evidence is there, would take away their ability to access and distribute content they have no right to in the first place. Tough action is required to tackle hardened content thieves.

"People see software piracy as a victimless crime, but it robs organisations of their legitimate revenue to invest in new products, employees of their livelihood, and the government of taxable income from sales which all UK citizens benefit from eventually. What is rarely mentioned in the digital content debate is that 27 per cent of the software used in UK businesses is illegal which equates to £1.3 billion loss per annum to the software industry alone - more than the losses to the film and music industries combined."

Eight per cent of the UK gross domestic product is down to IP, and 1.9 million people are employed in the UK's creative industries, and this country needs all the industries functioning for all our benefit.
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