Following, hot on the heels of the forward thinking French (with regard to intellectual property), the latest move by Government is a severe warning that legal sanctions will apply to ISP providers from April 2009 unless they take a firm stance to curtail the illegal downloading of films and music.
Andy Burnham, Culture Secretary, told Jean Eaglesham, Chief Correspondent of the Financial Times on Thursday that the deadline was a “clear signal” of the government’s determination to tackle rampant piracy, which the music and film industries blame for the slump in CD and DVD sales. “Let me make it absolutely clear: this is a change of tone from the government,” Mr Burnham said. “It’s definitely serious legislative intent.”
This would appear to fall in line with moves by Government following the Gowers Report on intellectual property published in December 2006 to create a more robust anti copying strategy to support the creative industries. This is something which, on behalf of designers, ACID has been lobbying for years. ACID comment, “Whilst it is encouraging to address the problems faced by music and film IP owners, there is still very little awareness and political will to deal with product design infringement which attracts no criminal sanctions and is still very much the underdog in Government attention. Precisely how this will be implemented remains to be seen and if, according to Mr Burnham, “There is no burning desire to legislate” it will be interesting to see what pressure can be put on ISP providers to change the culture that it is considered perfectly OK to continue to download music and films. If this can be achieved without legislation then the method could provide a blueprint for other creative industry sectors such as design. ACID remains optimistic!