UK Officials Granted New Anti-Piracy Powers
The UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) has recently been updated allowing trade standard officials the power to seize pirated brands like fake handbags, clothing, and shoes but, until now, the legislation did not apply to physical copies of copyrighted works such as music and movies. New powers go into effect for the first time on April 6th.
The move had been recommended by the 2006 Gowers Review, an independent report that re-examined U.K. copyright law, conducted by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers. According to the most recent figures from the BPI, the U.K.’s music-industry trade body, the sector loses about 16.5 million units of albums to piracy. That is valued at an estimated Â£165 million ($326 million) a year.
Previously, only piracy raids backed by police authorities could seize illegal recordings. But the new additions to the Copyright Act give the U.K.’s Trading Standard officers similar powers to the police. Section 107a grants trade officers the power to seize illegal CDs and other pirated physical musical recordings; and Section 198a grants them the right to seize bootleg recordings of live performances.
The Future: Well it only took 13 years of constant badgering by the BPI for the British government to finally amend the law. But better late then never, ay?