BPI Welcomes Government Crackdown On IP Theft

September 2004

Reord Labels, Music Publishers, Broadcasting, Internet, Artists

The UK recorded music industry’s association the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) today welcomed the Patent Office’s increasing commitment to fighting the escalating problem of intellectual property (IP) theft – piracy and counterfeiting – in unveiling the UK’s first IP crime strategy. Music piracy generates over million annually for counterfeiters, and this figure grew by 13% in 2003- six times the growth in legitimate CD sales. Intellectual property crime cheats consumers, costs jobs and helps fund organised crime. Piracy and counterfeiting, including DVDs, perfumes, clothing and alcohol, costs the UK economy billions of pounds and undermines the success of many of the UK’s best companies. The national strategy, developed by the Patent Office and launched by Industry Minister, Jacqui Smith MP, brings together brand owners, police, trading standards and customs to:

– increase the sharing of intelligence between different agencies;
– improve training for those working at the front-line;
– better co-ordinate the agencies involved in the fight against intellectual property crime; and
– monitor progress and success by publishing an annual national enforcement report

The Industry Minister, said “Pirates and bootleggers cheat consumers and place a drain on our economy We cannot and we will not simply turn a blind eye to copyright and trade mark crime. Intellectual property crime is not victimless. As well as cheating consumers, the trade in counterfeit goods costs UK companies billions of pounds and thousands of jobs every year. That is why we are working together with industry and law enforcement agencies to clamp down on this illegal trade.” Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, said “I am greatly heartened by the speed with which the Patent Office has been able to pull together such a broad range of interests so quickly to deliver this important strategy. Clearly a common purpose is shared by the police, customs, trading standards and many brand owners to co-ordinate their efforts to best effect. This bodes well for our fight against IP crime.”

Source : BPI (British Phonographic Industry) Press Release. Official website: http://www.bpi.co.uk

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