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Copyright Infringement

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what budget his Department has set for helping businesses combat (a) copyright infringement and (b) industrial espionage in each year since 1997. (80240)

The Department, especially through the Patent Office, helps businesses to combat copyright infringement in a number of ways, for example through raising awareness of the intellectual property system and the value of intellectual property, as well as coordinating enforcement action against intellectual property crime. However, as our awareness activities usually cover the whole range of intellectual property and as copyright infringement on a commercial scale is usually associated with other offences, we do not have figures available relating specifically to copyright infringement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received on copyright infringement. (80241)

I have not received any recent representations specifically relating to copyright infringement, apart from the hon. Member, although I am aware of the concerns of the creative industries in this area.

In December last year the Chancellor asked Andrew Gowers to lead an independent review of the Intellectual Property Framework. The review is looking at practical issues affecting businesses and consumers and will report to the Government this autumn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many prosecutions for copyright infringements there have been in England and Wales in each year since 1997. (80242)

The following figures are the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts under the various copyright offences in England and Wales.

Number of defendants

1997

169

1998

158

1999

152

2000

151

2001

110

2002

97

2003

111

2004

134

Notes: Figures for 2005 are not yet available. Figures relating to specifically copyright offences before the crown court are not available.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts under various copyright offences, England and Wales, 1997-20041.

Statute

Offence description

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, Sec. 198 1a, b, d.iii. and Sec. 107 1a, b, d.iv and E.

Makes, imports or distributes illicit recordings. Makes for sale or hire, imports possesses or distributes articles which infringes copyright.

78

86

65

72

59

38

47

65

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Triable either way offences except sections included in 84/09.

2

2

2

2

2

2

8

9

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 S.107 2A and 4A as added by Copyright and Related Rights Regulations Reg. 26(1)

Person infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public.

2

2

2

2

2

2

6

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 S.198 2A and 5A as added by Copyright and Related Rights Regulations Reg. 26 (3)

Person who infringes a performer’s making available right in the course of business/otherwise

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Summary offences.

91

72

87

79

51

59

56

51

1 These data are on the principal offence basis. 2 Not applicable as these offences were part of the 2003 Copyright and Related Rights Regulations. Source: RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate he has made of the cost of copyright infringement is to (a) the UK economy and (b) the EU economy. (80244)

Currently there are no reliable estimates of the value of counterfeit goods being sold in the UK. This lack of evidence makes it impossible to estimate the cost of copyright infringement to both the UK and the EU economies. But our recently published National Intellectual Property Enforcement Report provides a general assessment of the threats and challenges faced by IP rights’ owners and how our IP crime strategy is dealing with these issues.

The Patent Office and the DTI are helping to sponsor the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in an international study to develop methodologies and a clearer assessment of the scope and scale of counterfeiting and piracy throughout the world. The Study is scheduled to produce its first results towards the end of 2006.

The EU-US action strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights statement issued last week recognised the need for the OECD study to provide reliable data.