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Copyright law: Music industry launches attack against piracy law delay

A music industry report has labelled the UK Government's slow progress on new piracy legislation "disappointing". The delays in implementing the new Digital Economy Act 2010 mean that levels of piracy in the UK are still very high.

In its report, the International Federation of the Phonographic Institute (IFPI) says that the UK lags well behind France where new anti-piracy legislation has led to a 26% drop in the levels of illegal downloading previously recorded.

However, despite the legislation in France some 28% of all internet users still access unlicensed sites which infringe copyright law.

The Digital Economy Act was one of the final pieces of legislation rushed through under the last Labour Government. It has since seen a number of amendments but the main provision remains intact.

This law would see the introduction of a letter campaign targeting those who download content illegally. The letters would advise internet users of the law, and would offer legal advice on how to avoid copyright infringement. The letters would not make demands, nor would they threaten users with disconnection.

The Digital Economy Act has been challenged by online service providers such as TalkTalk and BT who argue that it unfairly forces them to monitor their users' behaviour. This case went to appeal last week, and a judgment is expected on the matter soon.

The IFPI chief executive Francis Moore is disappointed by the ISPs attitude.

"The ISPs, instead of getting on and helping us to implement the law, have challenged us in every court. With their help we could be turning the piracy problem around now, instead of waiting until 2013," he said.

The Government remains committed to tackling the problem of online piracy.

"Unlawful downloading demands a strong response," said a statement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

"If you create a song, a film, a book, you have the right to charge people for that content. We will help people enforce that right."

Related links:

Read more on the story (BBC)

What are the dangers of illegally downloading MP3s and films? (FindLaw)

Find local copyright solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)