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Property Protection

by msecadm4921

Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable MP, launched the Hargreaves Review of intellectual property (IP) report ‘Digital Opportunity’ at the Alliance Against IP Theft’s IP Conference by stressing the clear link between IP and economic growth.

Around 100 delegates heard Dr Cable quote from an OECD study showing that countries with stronger protection for IP rights receive far higher foreign investment and generate more growth. He went on to promise a stronger enforcement regime through better training of prosecutors and an updated IP Crime Strategy but stressed the Government would now take some time to consider the report in detail before responding formally.

Also speaking at the event, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Ivan Lewis MP, broadly welcomed the ‘common sense recommendations’ in the report, including its rejection of a UK fair use doctrine, but warned the Government to work with industry to avoid unintended consequences of the recommendations and stressed that the Government must act swiftly to implement the Digital Economy Act now that Professor Hargreaves has given it a clean bill of health.

Vince Cable said: “The Government is wholly focused on boosting growth – and we can’t afford to shy away from looking at complicated or controversial areas. That’s why I welcome this report and its clear link between intellectual property and potential economic growth.

“The report highlights real scope for changes to copyright laws which could add enormous value to the UK economy.

“Intellectual Property has an enormous impact on individuals, businesses and industries across the UK. It affects what we can and can’t do in business, education and in our daily lives. Technological innovation, successful creative businesses and strong international brands need to thrive.”

Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary said: "I welcome Ian Hargreaves’ recommendation that a US style "fair use" system is not appropriate for the UK. The changes he proposes on a new digital rights exchange, private use and orphan works represent common sense modernisation. Issues such as compensation to creators for new rules on private use, the impact on photographers of changes to orphan works and the creation of a one stop shop for rights will require collaborative working with industry to avoid unintended consequences. Developing a stable and modern IP framework is central to jobs and growth in our creative industries."

Susie Winter, Director General of the Alliance Against IP Theft said: “The Alliance agrees with a number of the areas for action identified by Professor Hargreaves in his report, most notably the need for effective online enforcement. We welcome the clean bill of health he gives to the Digital Economy Act along with the acknowledgement that the problem of online infringement is not restricted to digital content. Government needs to partner industry in addressing the enormously damaging problem of fake goods being sold online. Policy, clearly, needs to be based on evidence and we fully support Professor Hargreaves’ comments that the neglecting of design within IP policy must stop.

“IP-rich creative and manufacturing industries are adapting and embracing the new digital markets. We look forward to discussing its issues and recommendations with government in the coming weeks.”

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