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Editors' preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 November 2010

Jane C. Ginsburg
Affiliation:
Cambridge and New York, December 2009
Lionel Bently
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Jennifer Davis
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Jane C. Ginsburg
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

Copyright infringement has been high on the national, regional and international political agenda for some time. The creative industries – publishers, the film and music industries and broadcasters – have lobbied hard for improved mechanisms of enforcement and stronger penalties in the face of what they describe as rampant ‘piracy’ of their products. The UK government increased criminal penalties for copyright infringement in 2002 from a maximum of two years' imprisonment to a maximum of ten years, putting copyright infringement on a par with assault and other violent crimes. The French government in 2009 introduced a mechanism (dubbed ‘graduated response’) that would oblige Internet service providers (ISPs) to cut off (or reduce) Internet access for users implicated in peer-to-peer file sharing. This initiative has been imitated in the UK, where the Digital Economy Act 2010 provides a framework for imposing similar obligations on ISPs to impose ‘technical restrictions’ on the services offered to subscribers who appear to have been involved in repeated copyright infringements. In 2007, the US launched an action at the WTO, complaining that China had not complied with the TRIPs Agreement because the relevant Chinese laws set certain thresholds for prosecution of copyright piracy. New initiatives are being discussed in the EU, the US, Japan, Australia and several other nations for an ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’.

Although the question of copyright infringement has gained a great deal of political attention and is unquestionably controversial, academics have generally attended more to other questions, particularly, ‘authorship’.

Type
Chapter
Information
Copyright and Piracy
An Interdisciplinary Critique
, pp. xvii - xix
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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