Introducing new powers to fight copyright crime

The UK recorded music industry has today praised the introduction by the government of new measures to tackle commercial music piracy, and has outlined plans to work alongside the authorities to help them tackle the problem effectively.

Tomorrow (April 6) the Government will implement the recommendation of the Gowers Review to bring into force sections 107A and 198A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

The BPI has for 13 years lobbied government to bring these sections of law into force, and Trading Standards officers will now have the power to seize pirate and bootleg CDs that breach copyright law, even if they do not bear infringing trade marks. The implementation is bolstered by the provision of a further £5m from the Treasury to fund Trading Standards' activities.

The BPI has reiterated its commitment to work closely with Trading Standards to help ensure that the extra funding is used to tackle music piracy, and will work closely alongside The Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft (AAIPT) and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) to help authorities implement procedures that will see the problem effectively tackled.

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said:

"We are pleased that the Government has now corrected the long-standing anomaly that prevented Trading Standards from protecting copyright in the same way that they protect brands. This opens a new front in the fight against music piracy. People who try to make an illegal profit by ripping off musicians, record companies and consumers, in CD-R labs or at car boot sales, should take note that they are now more likely to face criminal prosecution."

"Our creative industries, including the record industry, are key drivers of the UK economy, but they can only flourish if robust action is taken by Government against copyright theft. It is therefore vital that the Government ensures that Trading Standards uses the new resources that accompany the new powers to target copyright crime."