Rights Agency could be funded by ISP levy

LONDON — The U.K. government has proposed setting up a new body to combat online film and music piracy.

The Rights Agency, outlined in the Digital Britain report, published Thursday, could be funded by a levy on Internet service providers. 

Stating that illegal content sharing needs to be addressed urgently, the report identifies “a fundamental change in consumer expectation, particularly among young people, that digital content can be found and shared for free.”

Content providers need to make their video and music available in ways consumers want and within a rights framework that is internationally enforceable.

U.K. Film Council CEO John Woodward said the move showed “a real determination to get to grips with the problem for the first time.” 

He added: “The fact that piracy is now at the top of the agenda will be widely welcomed by our industry, and we now need to work with government on the best way forward.

“Digital Britain is going to offer massive commercial and job opportunities for people working in film and content production, but if illegal downloading isn’t halted then the upside for content owners and artists — and ultimately for British audiences — will be lost.”

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