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Copyright

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to protect copyright privileges. (320580)

[holding answer 4 March 2010]: Copyright is a private property right. In the vast majority of cases of copyright infringement, the law provides this is a civil wrong. As such it is not for Government to intervene in the enforcement of a private right. The Government are however aware of the need to ensure that the copyright framework is fit for purpose, such that copyright owners are able to take action to enforce their own rights if appropriate. Our proposals in the Digital Economy Bill will improve the options available to copyright owners in the case of online infringement of their rights. Our strategy published last October, ‘Copyright—the way ahead: A Strategy for Copyright in the Digital Age’, takes a broader view at changes that may be necessary to keep pace with developments. It can be found at:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/c-strategy-digitalage.pdf

The Government also believe there must be an appropriate and proportionate legal framework in place to tackle criminal infringement of copyright. As part of this framework, the Digital Economy Bill will introduce increased financial penalties for online and physical copyright infringement.