Alliance Against Counterfeiting & Piracy comment on
CIPR Report: “Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy”
The Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (“the Alliance”) is a cross-industry group representing the interests of intellectual property rights owners in the UK. Its members are: the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Anti-Copying in Design, the British Association of Record Dealers, the British Brands Group, British Jewellery and Giftware Association, British Music Rights, the British Phonographic Industry, the British Video Association, the Business Software Alliance, the Copyright Licensing Agency, the Entertainment Leisure Software Publishers Association, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the Federation Against Software Theft, the Film Distributors Association, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Newspaper Licensing Agency and the Publishers’ Licensing Society. The objectives of the Alliance are to raise awareness of the value of intellectual property rights and campaign for legislative reform in the area of IP rights protection. This is in the context of the globalisation of IP crime, which is costing British industry alone £9 billion in lost revenue.
The Alliance endorses the submissions made to Government by representatives of rights owners and creative industries, particularly with reference to counterfeiting and piracy, which are as much a threat to emerging economies as to developed countries.
Copyright Protection Issues
In recognising that copyright is “an essential element” in the business model of rights owners because they give exclusive rights over reproduction and distribution of their works, it acknowledges that without this protection the basis for making a work economically viable is removed. Therefore copyright protection must be as important to creators throughout the world as patents, in order to allow a fair return that will enable creation to continue and flourish, whether in developed or emerging economies. Indeed, it should be particularly highly valued in developing nations in order to encourage and foster the cultural individuality of those countries.
The risk of not adopting the latest intellectual property protection measures at a time of global piracy of copyright works would seem to the Alliance to be perverse if national cultural identities are to be conserved and generate revenue for creative economies. Given that modern telecommunications systems have spread rapidly throughout the developing world that enable digital piracy, it seems even more critical and beneficial for the provisions of recent intellectual property protection legislation to be implemented on an international scale. It should also be noted that widespread intellectual property theft funds international organised crime, such as arms and drugs dealing, fraud, money laundering and human trafficking, evidence of which is becoming clearer with the growth of global IP crime.Recommendations
The Alliance strongly urges the DTI, the Patent Office and the DCMS to recommend against the relaxation of copyright legislation in developing countries:
1. WIPO copyright treaty should be endorsed
2. TRIPS provisions should be complied with
3. IP protection measures relating specifically to digital and on-line dissemination, such as those provided for in the EU Copyright Directive and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, encourage and support creative industry which can produce valuable returns not only to rights owners themselves but to the economies in which they operate.
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