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Intellectual property theft targeted in Government paper.

The Federation Against Software Theft : 22 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
The Federation Against Software Theft welcomes action by the British Government to introduce new legislation to clamp down on the theft of intellectual property.
The launch this morning of the Government's strategy paper on the Creative Economy, published by the DCMS, strengthens the arsenal in the fight against IP theft.

The Report sets out three clear commitments by the government:.

* Introduce new legislation that would require internet service providers to cooperate on taking action on illegal file sharing by April next year.
* UK IPO will put into action a plan on IP enforcement.
* The government will promote a better understanding of the value and importance of intellectual property.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive, The Federation Against Software Theft, stated: "This is a major step forward in the fight against software theft. The legislation will take away the last hiding place for those breaking copyright law as they can no longer hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. At the same time Internet Service Providers will have a duty to cooperate when evidence is presented that illegal activity is taking place on their network."

The Strategy Document has also made a clear commitment to bring together for the first time the penalties for physical and online crime.

The Report itself states: "The UK-Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) will put into action a plan on intellectual property (IP) enforcement. The aim is to use the current enforcement regime more effectively through innovations such as a National Centre of Excellence to offer expert police resources to local enforcement. We will promote a better understanding of the value and importance of intellectual property. This will be delivered through the curriculum in schools and public awareness campaign."

John continued: "The Government has made a clear statement that it will support the creative industries with the expansion of the apprenticeships scheme by 5,000 people a year. There is no doubt in my mind that these jobs would be under threat without the support of an effective enforcement environment."

The Report backs up the work The Federation has been doing with Trading Standards and the police and particularly welcomes the establishment of a National Centre of Excellence to deliver expert police resource to tackle IP crime. Additionally the commitment to work with the Association of Chief Police Officers to provide extra focus on enforcement activity has been welcomed.

"The Report also makes a clear commitment to make maximum use of the Proceeds of Crime Act which will be a real deterrent to criminals," added John Lovelock. "We are clear though that the soon to be established National Centre makes use of industry experts - industry needs to be involved at grass roots level."
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