UK to Google, Bing, Yahoo: Act against piracy or face legislationBy Himanshu Arora 24 comments
The UK government has warned Internet search firms like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and more that it would not hesitate to bring in a legislation if they don't stop referring people to pirate sites.
Addressing senior music industry executives at the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) AGM, UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said that he along with Business Secretary Vince Cable had written to leading search engine companies requesting they work with record firms to come up with a way to tackle websites that infringe copyright laws.
"I know some people say the IP genie is out of the bottle and that no amount of wishing will force it back in. But I don't agree with them", he said.
Pointing to statistics from the communications regulator Ofcom, Javid said that in just one quarter of last year almost 200 million music tracks were consumed illegally, and another 100 million games, films, books and TV programs were pirated.
Javid also talked about the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which is being funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and run by the City of London Police to combat intellectual property crime.
"The first unit of its kind in the world, PIPCU is working with industry groups - including the BPI - on the Infringing Websites List. The list identifies sites that deliberately and consistently breach copyright, so brand owners can avoid advertising on them", he said.
Detailing the Creative Content initiative, which the government is supporting to the tune of nearly £3.5m, Javid said it retains the basic idea of the Digital Economy Act, but will be quicker, more responsive, and cheaper to enact.
He also said that when it comes to tackling IP theft, the Government, the music industry, and the technology companies are "three sides of the same triangle", and all three must work together to build a fair and legal online economy.