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Government crackdown on peer-to-peer software sharing welcomed

The Federation Against Software Theft : 25 October, 2007  (Technical Article)
The Federation Against Software Theft applauds the UK Government's firm stance on IP infringements of software protection rights through file sharing.
The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) has applauded a recent public warning that intellectual property theft will not be tolerated from the so-called 'Minister for IP', Lord Triesman.

It comes after comments made by Lord Triesman, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Intellectual Property and Quality at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills who told the BBC the UK government could legislate to crack down on illegal file sharers.

John Lovelock, Director General of The Federation supported the minister's tough line: "For Triesman to make such a bold public statement, reinforces the message he gave when he took up his role - that Internet piracy and IP theft are not acceptable. It is promising to see a minister in this role who appreciates the need for enforcement and understands the work of enforcement bodies like The Federation; this level of support makes our worthy lobbying efforts extremely worthwhile.

Speaking on the BBC's iPM programme, Triesman called on internet service providers to take a "more activist role" in the problem of illegal file sharing and for the establishment of voluntary schemes between the creative industries and ISPs.

The Federation has already run two successful internet enforcement operations - Tracker 1 and Tracker 2 which uncovered and brought people to heel who were illegally sharing software via peer to peer networks, including a judgment against mobile phone engineer Derek Butterworth of Epping, who was ordered to pay damages and costs. As part of the operation, 10 Internet Service Providers were ordered by the High Court to hand over customer details following a 12-month investigation into the covert sharing of software by PC users. Plans for Tracker 3 are already in the pipeline.

Lovelock continued: "Triesman is right to point out that the government shouldn't have to regulate and The Federation would welcome further dialogue with government and with the ISPs to establish ways of working together to tackle the problem of internet piracy without having to resort to legislation."

He concluded: "However we work towards protecting our members' software and will not hesitate to support the introduction of legislation to bring those who abuse the system to rights if this is what it takes to get those responsible to take notice."
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