The Government is Considering Options to Make Anti-Piracy Enforcement Easier

By Tom Pritchard on at

Our government has been very big on fighting piracy, and seemingly appeasing the entertainment industry in the process. Whether it's implementing strict ISP blocks or declaring it's actually still illegal to make digital back-ups of your CDs (even if it's only for your personal use). Now the Intellectual property Office has released its plans to further the anti-piracy blockade, and make the process of fighting it easier and cheaper for everyone. And by everyone I mean everyone except the pirates.

Specifically the IPO has released two documents this week, one outlining its corporate plan for 2018/19, and the other its overall strategy up to the year 2021. Naturally, given the IPO's role in copyright enforcement, there are sections dedicated to the internet and the topic of piracy. The general idea is to make the UK a hub of creativity and innovation, which it hopes to do by offering strict IP protection.

That means it's going to be investing in copyright enforcement and improving access to said enforcement for rights holders, as well as spending money to try and make people realise copyright infringement socially unacceptable. Part of that involves developing "voluntary measures" for online marketplaces, social media, and digital advertising. Though, as is generally the case with voluntary schemes like this, there's always the possibility the government will legislate those rules in the future.

Fortunately it has realised changing society's attitude towards things isn't going to change quickly, nor is it going to be easy, so at least it's not going to be wasting money on campaigns that are guaranteed to fail. I mean given how people don't like paying for content, there's a reasonable chance even a long-term plan will also fail, but at least the IPO isn't being naive about the challenges.

The IPO also confirmed that it will continue acting as an intermediary between rights holders and online companies. Part of that seems to involve reducing the costs for companies trying to protect their copyright, which will include reducing the time it takes for such cases to reach the courts - something that has been complained about in the past. Also on the cards are more administrative approaches to its work, including 'administrative blocking injunctions' (whatever that means) and hopes to detail the 'pros and cons' of such an approach by next March.

It's similarly confirmed that it will be working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport by supporting proposed roundtable discussions, which will include assessing evidence regarding fighting online copyright infringement and possibly agreeing on how to fight it in the future.

You can read the Strategy 2018 report here, and the Corporate Plan 2018-2019 here. [TorrentFreak]