Belfast Telegraph

Digital piracy cost ‘£1.4bn in 2008’

By Geoff Meade

Illegal downloading cost Britain 39,000 jobs and retail losses of £1.4bn in 2008, a report claimed yesterday.

Across Europe, the growing impact of ‘digital piracy’ could add up to 1.2 million lost jobs and £215bn in lost revenue, it warned.

The report, which was commissioned by Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), has been endorsed by trade unions representing the EU's ‘creative industries’, as well as the International Actors Federation (FIA).

In Brussels yesterday they joined forces to urge the European Commission to step up enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The group also asked MEPs to oppose the legalisation of file-sharing over the internet.

Labour Euro-MP Stephen Hughes said: “I encourage my fellow MEPs to acknowledge piracy as a problem and to work towards strong intellectual property enforcement to preserve European jobs.”

John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said: “The EU urgently needs to create the legal framework that will properly address infringement of intellectual property, both offline and online.”

Norwegian actress Agnete Haaland who also the president of FIA, said: “What we are talking about is actually a criminal act.

“We need to change all poor attitudes towards illegal downloading and recognise that it is theft.”

Belfast Telegraph