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09 January 2012

UK Needs Tougher Piracy Laws

The Spanish government has approved tough new piracy laws: the US looks set to follow suit but the UK is dragging its heels.
New legislation that could see websites deemed to be trading in pirated material blocked within ten days has been given the nod by Spain.
The legislation has created a government body with the power to block websites who are infringing piracy laws.
The crackdown on piracy has been welcomed by the creative industries but criticised by net activists and comes at a time when the US plans to adopt similar tough new rules.
Government in the UK however have been criticized by the creative sector for not acting fast enough to protect against piracy.
According to BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor: "Other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our government (UK) is taking too long to act on piracy...Unless decisive action is taken in 2012, investment in the creative industries could fall again -- a creative crunch that will destroy jobs."
Meanwhile "The slow pace of implementation of the much-heralded Digital Economy Act is costing entertainment retailers millions of pounds," said Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) Chairman Paul Quirk.
Quirk pointed out that it is over a year since the Digital Economy Act (DEA) came into law, but so far none of its provisions against internet piracy have been enacted.
"The best information we have is that the first letters to suspected file sharers will not be sent out until the second half of 2012 and disconnections of persistent pirates will not happen before 2013. This is unacceptable. We need action on internet piracy - and we need it now."
Quirk pointed to figures showing that since the DEA passed into law on 8 June 2010, the annualised value of UK music and video sales has declined by 250m.
"Not all of that decline is down to piracy," he said. "But a substantial part of it certainly is and every further day of delay will only make those losses greater."
(LB)



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