The government is coming for your torrents. Well, not your torrents, since you would never dream of illegally downloading content, but everyone else's. The new Industrial Strategy white paper published this week outlines Parliament's plan to work towards tighter anti-piracy legislation for the good of Britain's creatives.
"Online piracy continues to be a serious inhibitor to growth in the creative industries," the white paper argues. "Technologies like stream ripping and illicit streaming devices enable illegitimate access to content without rewarding its creators [...] This sector deal sets out measures to make it easier for creative businesses to get the finance they need to grow."
To that end, the government plans to oversee talks between British creative industries and various digital service providers—including online marketplaces, social media, media/content upload platforms, and advertisers—regarding copyright protections and content distribution controls. These talks expand on last year's initiative to broker anti-piracy agreements between creative industries and search engines, intending to target many more potential avenues for piracy.
According to the white paper, the aim is to reach a point of "voluntary" agreement by the end of 2018, where the involved parties can decide on whatever copyright and IP protection measures might work best for them.
“These measures could include proactive steps to detect and remove illegal content, improving the effectiveness of notice and takedown arrangements, reducing incentives for illegal sites to engage in infringement online and reducing the burdens on rights holders in relation to protecting their content,” the white paper states. However, "[i]f sufficient voluntary progress is not made" by year's end Parliament may have to step in and enforce some measures of their own.
To back up these initiatives, the government will also take steps to increase public awareness of piracy being a bad thing. An extra £2 million will be allocated to informing consumers about copyright infringement in the digital age and the risks incurred when pirating content. In the meantime, you may want to tread extra carefully the next time you click on a third-party link. [TorrentFreak]