Britain’s House of Commons Makes the Case for IP Protections

September 30, 2013

A new report released last week in the U.K. further underscores the prevalence of online piracy and offers some suggested prescriptions for addressing it so that content creators can be appropriately compensated for their work.

The report – aptly titled “Supporting the Creative Economy” – was released by the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee of Britain’s House of Commons and argues that government should be a “powerful champion” for the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights.

It noted that there is “a systemic failure to enforce the existing laws effectively against rife online piracy.”  To address this deficiency, the Committee recommends the enforcement of penalties that will help deter intellectual property theft.  It also condemned search engines for failing to take action to limit the role of search in facilitating piracy and said tech companies should take proactive steps to tackle the problem.

The report also pointed to the economic impact of piracy, which can be especially detrimental for those in the creative industries trying to make a living off the work they produce.  According to the Committee’s conclusions, “millions of pounds are being lost by the creative industries with serious consequences for the wider economy.”

The House of Commons report is further evidence that everyone in the Internet ecosystem must continue to work to develop collaborative voluntary solutions to the piracy problem so that creators and innovators can continue to thrive.