As a key element of Lord Carter’s Digital Britain campaign, the UK government is seeking to create a Digital Rights Agency, which will watch over copyright issues for music and video over the web and educate users about the hazards of digital piracy.
However, Lord Carter and the IP minister David Lammy advocated that such agency should be handed over to the industry, and government should not interfere in various issues in digital rights, including violations, markets, as well as several other business changes.
While laying out the plans on how the agency should function, the duo asserted that the new agency must focus on to curb peer-to-peer file sharing by setting up markets for digital contents, changing the manner in which the businesses function, enhancing consumers’ knowledge, and checking piracy.
The duo further asserted that the government should complement the industry’s efforts, by educating the people about digital piracy and by creating effective civil copyrights law.
Now the two main issues under debate are whether the new agency must be independently run by the industry and supported by the Ofcom, and what would be the funding options for the agency.
Commenting upon the role of such agency and the need for properly worked out strategy in dealing with digital piracy, Lammy said, “We can’t have a system where even net-surfing 12 year olds have to understand copyright in order to keep themselves and their parents safe within the law.”
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The position of Lord Carter and David Lamy is intriguing to say the least. They want to set up an organisation that will monitor the telecommunications and media industry and want that same industry to run it. It's like asking a bunch of footballers to be their own referees. In general, the industry doesn't need any regulations per se. The only few black spots in the past have been dealt with by existing organisations (OFCOM for eg) and mediation.