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FAST welcomes anti-piracy Digital Economy Bill

Simon Quicke

The Digital Economy Bill might have been passed through the House of Commons but the controversy surrounding the attempts by the government to prevent illegal file downloading is rumbling on.

Throughout the day there have been reactions from individuals as well as organisations criticising the Bill and its rushed passage through parliament. But there are those in the channel pleased at the prospect of anti-piracy laws being toughened.

Most of the controversy surrounds the idea that users that download software, music and films will be warned, given reduced web speeds and finally cut off altogether by their ISPs.

As the debate played out last night to an almost empty Commons chamber it became clear there are still several MPs not happy with the way the Bill has been introduced and the changes that have been made to make sure it gets through before the election.

But those fighting software piracy have welcomed the Bill with the protection it will offer to the creative industries.

"IP contributes a total of £53 billion to our GDP, which equates to around eight per cent overall, while the creative industries that include software, film, music, games, eBooks and other sectors are responsible for employing 1.9 million people," said John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST.

"Issues of software piracy, counterfeiting, illegal file-sharing, lack of compliance in business together with a lack of appreciation for copyright among the public are all current and serious threats to the economy," he added.

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