Feeds

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

Don't ya think we're sexy?

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.