A coalition of the U.K. creative industries has called on the government to take action against illegal file-sharing in its Digital Britain report, due next week.
The call comes amid changes in the departments involved in the report, which will set out a response to P2P activity - although there is no sign that ministers will be proposing cutting off copyright infringers' Internet access.
"Any chance to avoid unnecessary job losses must be seized - and for the film, music and TV industries, there has never been a more urgent time," writes Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, in the Daily Telegraph. "The government must make Internet Service Providers live up to their responsibility to stem the flow of jobs caused by piracy."
The lobbying effort is backed by organizations including the BPI, the Federation of Entertainment Unions, the Musicians' Union, the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU), British Video Association and the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
The Digital Britain report is due June 16 and a Twitter posting by the Digital Britain team states that the appointment of a new Culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, will not change the timing of the report.
Other government changes include the new Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), following a merger of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). It will be led by Lord Mandelson, while it is expected that David Lammy will continue to take charge of the Intellectual Property brief, although his role has not been officially confirmed.
A week ahead of the report, the U.K. 2009 Digital Entertainment Survey showed that only 33% of Internet users believe that warning letters about copyright infringement are a deterrent. ISPs began sending out letters after a memorandum of understanding was reached with rights holders last summer.
However, the survey of 1,500 people commissioned by media lawyers Wiggin found that 80% said the threat of having their Internet connection cut off would stop them illegally downloading.
- The Daily Telegraph,
- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform,
- Department for Business, Innovation & Skills,
- Musicians' Union,
- Federation against Copyright Theft,
- Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills,
- Federation of Entertainment Unions,
- British Video Association