20th August 2012 - The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has welcomed the recent announcement made by Virgin Media to block access to Newzbin2.
The ISP has become the third major ISP to block the site, following moves made by Sky and BT. Virgin Media, as well as a number of other ISPs, have also recently blocked access to The Pirate Bay.
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, Federation Against Software Theft, stated: “The ISP acted after receiving a court order. Rights holders such as those we represent in the software industry, see such court orders as an important tool to crack down on piracy. While we recognise that the fight against the illicit files sharers as outlined in the Digital Economy Act has been slow to gather speed, what we are now beginning to see hopefully is a concerted effort to tackle online copyright infringement,”
“Virgin Media made it clear in its statement to the media that it “strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives to give consumers access to great content at the right price.” The strategic approach to changing consumer habits is one that we have long advocated as we have seen from research that if infringers are challenged they invariably change their behaviour patterns,” added Julian.
Measures to combat piracy outlined in the Digital Economy Act have been slow to come into effect as a result of legal challenges. However, the active element of the Act is to send letters to alleged copyright infringers. This is scheduled to go live from 2014.
FAST recently conducted a survey into what the priorities should be for protecting intellectual property and the results pointed to a strong preference for greater government education on the matter as well as enforcement campaigns.
The main findings were:
- 53 per cent felt that not enough is being done to protect IP rights
- Over half (58 per cent) of the sample did not know what the Government’s current IP strategy was. This represents an welcome decrease from 2011 when the figure stood at 66 per cent
- When asked what the most important action government could take to protect IP 23 per cent stated it should increase punishments for infringers; 19 per cent felt Trading Standards should have increased powers; 19 per cent felt that ISPs should block copyright infringers
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, concluded: “In spite of numerous Government led reviews on copyright reform and IP protection, businesses and individuals remain somewhat in the dark as to what their specific rights and protections are. Whereas larger software houses often possess the knowledge or the economic clout to seek out and pursue copyright infringers, many micro or SMEs are simply not in a position to do so. It’s therefore important that we empower micro businesses / SMEs to act when their IP is being threatened and make the legislative process as efficient, cost effective and straightforward as possible to help them deal with IP theft.”
About The Federation Against Software Theft
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) was formed in 1984. FAST is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members. It was the first organisation to protect software publishers’ rights and advances its mission through education, enforcement and policy initiatives, together with promoting standards and best practice in the professional management of software. FAST advocates IP for growth. www.fast.org.uk