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Government urged to combat online piracy

Daniel Thomas

The government and the internet industry have been urged to address online piracy and make buying goods on the web easier for consumers.

The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) said the lack of digital rights management (DRM), which prevents content being replicated for free, and micropayment services, which allow consumers to buy goods online quickly and easily, is stifling broadband adoption.

"DRM and micropayments are becoming 'make or break' issues for the whole of the broadband value chain," said Antony Walker, chief executive of the BSG, a government advisory body.

"They are the missing links that are preventing broadband from delivering its real potential for consumers and businesses alike." 

"If we don't look at these issues now, we could see broadband take-up start to flatten off because the value proposition fails to evolve, or the further erosion of 'value' in the content sector, due to illicit file sharing,” Walker added.

“Neither of these scenarios is acceptable. Now's the time for the government and industry to show leadership and start to resolve these issues once and for all."

In a report released on Thursday (24 July), the BSG identified 11 key recommendations which, it said, must be addressed for the UK to become a leader of globally accepted DRM and micropayment platforms.

These include the government formulating “effective measures for enforcing intellectual property rights” and the UK content industries establishing codes of practice to boost consumer confidence.


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