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Labour: France's pirate-bashing Hadopi laws work

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Shadow culture minister Ivan Lewis has cited new research from France to support anti-piracy enforcement online.

Lewis quoted research suggesting that 50 per cent of internet users state Hadopi prompts them to use more legal content and 41 per cent said it persuaded them to change their net habits, while 50 per cent supported the Three Strikes system.

France's pioneering "graduated response" comes with a large bureauocracy attached, and has seen vigorous counter. But it appeared to be justified, said Lewis, because of the importance of IP to the economy.

"There's the view that however much of a regulatory framework we create, it's a finger in the dyke. But evidence from Hadopi, is that the laws do influence people, not just on a punitive basis, but that they start to think differently."

Lewis described intellectual property as "a remarkable driver for jobs and growth".

Lewis was positioning himself as friendlier to the IP industries than the coalition. This morning the IP review published its recommendations, and although these are yet to be accepted by the Government, and some may not be, Hargreaves was indifferent to copyright enforcement.

Lewis was speaking at the Alliance Against IP Theft, which largely battles against rip-offs of physical goods. The issues here are fewer and simpler than in the copyright jungle: it's really about enforcement and little else - how many dodgy market traders, men with raincoats, and seedy counterfeiters you can catch.

Attendees included real copyright cops, and they carried the knuckledusters and bunches of freetards' scalps to prove it.* At the back of the stage was the ominous mission statement of AAIPT, all in capitals: "INSTILS RESPECT AND VALUES".

You get the idea.

Responding to the "Google Review", Lewis said: "We are delighted [Hargreaves] has recommended against introducing a Fair Use system in the UK. The system does not, contrary to what Prime Minister said, need to be replaced. Hargreaves has made that very very clear."

He said much of it, particularly the rights exchange, was "common sense" - but warned that the "devil is in the detail". What exactly? He thought that new orphan works legislation might have unintended consequences, and that uncompensated format shifting put Britain out of line with the rest of Europe, where a small copying levy is paid to copyright holders on sales of blank media (for example).

Labour's supporters in state academia are strongly opposed to IP, but Lewis was responding to the demands of organised labour which in the past 18 months has lined up strongly behind IP enforcement. Freetards used to rage against record company executives, now they have to rage against trade unionists, too. Lewis agreed IP companies were good for growth and jobs.

"This is at the heart of debate about how we get our economy moving and how it continues to be success in an incredible competitive global marketplace."

At the same time he said the creative industries "need to be grown up" and modernise.

"An awful lot of talent is going by the wayside because young people can't take part in the creative industries." ®

Bootnote

*This may or may not be a joke.

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