Envisional, a Cambridge-based start-up company, has agreed to supply the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) with Internet copyright protection software in a landmark deal.
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Internet piracy has been a massive problem, particularly for the music industry, which has resulted in several high-profile court cases in the US, such as those against music-sharing Web sites Napster and MP3.com.
The IFPI, a worldwide watchdog for the music industry, is the first customer for Envisional's Discovery Engine software which searches the Internet to help businesses find out what is being said about them, and whether their copyright is being infringed.
It claims to be more thorough than conventional Internet search engines, as it trawls the whole Internet rather than a cache of Web pages.
Chris Swannack, technical director of Envisional, said, "We set the company up because we recognised that there was a need to see intellectual property protected on the Internet.
"With this software, we will be able to do as complete a search as possible on any particular company," he added.
Other sectors that rely heavily on intellectual property, such as biotechnology, are also interested in taking advantage of the Internet while protecting their corporate assets.