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IP Crime and Enforcement

Our friends at the Intellectual Property Office have produced their annual blockbuster report into IP crime and enforcement. Weighing in at a hefty 117 pages, it covers both physical counterfeiting of goods and online IP infringement, and contains many encouraging examples of action being taken to tackle what is theft by any other name. Take a look at it here.


NLA media access is supportive of the efforts being made by the IPO and its partners in copyright enforcement for the very simple reason that we believe that creativity has value, and that value has to be protected. That applies to journalists and publishers just as much as it does to the many other areas of IP in the report. All of us in the creative industries – whether in publishing, music, film, TV, photography or design – have a common interest here.


In our case protecting IP is not only a matter of rhetoric. Our work translates into money that is reinvested into journalism - £35m to publishers in 2016, for example. That is a return which we have worked to increase, year by year, since the NLA was established.


Our commitment to boosting publisher revenues is a constant. But how we do that has changed – and the IPO report makes clear that change is essential, simply because IP infringement has itself become more sophisticated and digital technology has made copying and distributing content very simple for the unscrupulous.


We take action wherever we can. We ensure that the use of copyright material produced by newspaper and magazine publishers is paid for; we’ve moved from licensing physical copying to online distribution; and we pursue offenders including via our online copyright infringement service OATS. We are committed to innovation in copyright protection and licensing – and that includes making the licensing system simpler and more affordable to encourage compliance.


As Jo Johnson, the minister responsible for the IPO observes in the report: ‘without [IP] innovators do not get paid, legitimate business cannot thrive, consumers suffer and…criminals prosper’. In that spirit NLA is going to continue to work to ensure that newspapers and magazines get a fair return and infringement is minimised.