Calls for website-blocking to be included in UK-US trade deal

23-01-2019

Calls for website-blocking to be included in UK-US trade deal

weerapatkiatdumrong / iStockphoto.com

Film and music industry groups are calling for anti-piracy measures including website-blocking to be included in any UK-US trade deal.

As the UK is currently set to leave the EU on March 29, it will need to negotiate a new bilateral trade deal with the US should the two countries pursue negotiations. EU member states can only agree trade deals as part of the 28 member bloc.

In November 2018, the US Trade Representative requested submissions from the public on negotiating objectives for any trade deal with the UK.

Included in the responses were submissions from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

In its submission, published on January 15, the RIAA highlighted the UK policy of allowing copyright owners to have websites infringing their IP blocked.

“Blocking has been successful in the United Kingdom with 63 music sites being ordered to be blocked following music right holders’ initiatives,” according to the RIAA.

“On average this produces a reduction in the use of those sites by UK users by approximately 75%”, the submission added.

The RIAA cited the powers given to the Premier League in tackling illegal streaming. In March 2017, the English High Court issued blocking orders requiring internet service providers to block any websites that are streaming live Premier League matches without the organisation’s permission.

The MPAA also praised the UK’s efforts on tackling online piracy and suggested that the US should look to mirror some of these reforms.

“In many ways, the UK has more nimbly and effectively responded to digital piracy than the US,” the MPAA said.

Motion Picture Association of America, Recording Industry Association of America, US Trade Representative, Brexit, trade, online copyright

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