Feeds

Software body slams uk.gov's 'special treatment' of music biz

Don't ya think we're sexy?

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Government's Digital Britain plan is a failure that gives favourable treatment to the music business and props up failed business models, a software trade body has said.

The Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS), which promotes the legitimate use of software, has launched a stinging attack on the Digital Britain report and on the way the music industry has approached the threat of digital piracy.

“The entertainment sector appear to have lobbied the Government to consider establishing a ‘pirates tax’ on all of us as well as yet another quango to oversee it, meaning more cost, and more hassle," said FAST IiS chief executive John Lovelock.

FAST IiS said that the Government should protect all digital industries equally, and not give special treatment to one.

"FAST IiS is urging the Government to commit itself to ‘joined-up’ government and consider all forms of digital content when investigating changing the law and legal approach to digital content theft," said a statement from the organisation.

"FAST IiS contend that the Government’s interim ‘Digital Britain’ report investigating the state of the digital economy has failed to approach the issue of intellectual property rights in a coherent way; and until the government works with all the digital content providers representative bodies any attempts to legislate in favour of any one particular sector is not only unfair but also seriously misguided," it said.

The Digital Britain report said that the Government would pass laws forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to gather information about record label-identified illegal file-sharers and to pass on that information under court order.

It also said that ISPs will be forced to notify illegal file-sharers that their conduct is against the law. The plans stopped short of a demand that ISPs disconnect offending users.

"All digital content is equal before the law and so too should be all digital industries. A piecemeal approach will confuse digital consumers, both the public and businesses, will muddy the legal framework and will therefore ultimately impede Britain’s success in the new digital economy of the twenty-first century," said Lovelock.

“Put bluntly we all need this sector to be working effectively and fairly. Favouritism is not going to help ailing business methods, and making all consumers face a ‘broadband tax’ to cover the few that steal content smacks of cynical revenue protection,” said Lovelock.

The Digital Britain report proposed a new rights agency to work to protect copyrighted content, and suggested that it be funded by industry. This has led some commentators to conclude that a 'tax' will be levied on broadband connections.

FAST IiS said that its industry had changed the way it conducted its business to deal with the challenges of piracy and that the entertainment industries should do the same.

"Over the past decade the software industry has evolved to become more user focused and ever more adaptable to changing market conditions. The right to use software, that is to say licensing, has evolved from ‘single instance’, ‘per user’ and ‘site’ licences to encompass Application Service Provision, Software-as-a-Service, Pay-As-You-Go and so on," said Lovelock.

"I think it’s time that [the entertainment] industries came up to speed in the modern market and changed their business models to encourage their customers to use the internet for their purchasing," he said.

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.