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Crime: Intellectual Property Theft

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they propose to reduce intellectual property theft in the audio-visual sector. [HL861]

The Government take the issue of intellectual property theft very seriously, and a great deal of work is already under way. Several initiatives will be of particular interest to the audio-visual sector.

The Intellectual Property Office has recently completed a consultation which considered the matching of online and physical copyright infringement (www.ipo.gov.uk/consult-gowers36.pdf). This included a proposed summary maximum penalty of £50,000 as deterrent. A report on this consultation will be published in the near future.

The Government also recently published the submissions received on a consultation on unlawful P2P file-sharing, along with a top-level summary (www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/digitalcon/p2presponses/page49707.html). The consultation called for comments on a range of possible regulatory options to address unlawful file-sharing, which has a significant impact on the UK's creative economy and on music and film in particular.

The Government are also in active discussion with representatives of the cinema industry in relation to illegal copying of films in cinemas, particularly through the use of camcorders and other devices.

On-the-ground enforcement is also a major issue. The Fake Free London campaign aims to reduce the level of counterfeiting and piracy in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. Funded by the Intellectual Property Office, and carried out in partnership with the police, trading standards and the film industry, a series of enforcement operations were carried out in three of the London Olympic boroughs in late 2008.