Australia allots $ 10 million to IP crimefighting

MUMBAI: The Australian government will provide funding of $10.2 million over the next two years to combat intellectual property (IP) rights theft.

The passing of Australia’s Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 in December has introduced more serious indictable offences for copyright crimes in Australia, supporting the application of the country’s Proceeds of Crime Act 2003 to copyright infringers, and helping prevent copyright infringers from benefiting from the proceeds of their crimes.

With the announcement of funding for intellectual property crime-specific investigation and prosecution, Australia’s Attorney General Philip Ruddock said, “If we want Australians to create IP and innovate, we need to help industry and creators by targeting IP crime. As a result of this Budget initiative, law enforcement will be better resourced to pursue organised crime, major importers and wholesalers, profiting from piracy and counterfeiting.”

“The MPA and our member companies applaud the Australian government’s allocation of funds specifically to support law enforcement efforts to combat intellectual property theft and the organized criminal gangs that dominate the trade in so much of the world. Copyright theft cost Australia’s film industry an estimated A$233 million (US$193 million) in 2005, and this theft most of all hurts the people who rely on the industry for their livelihoods,” said Motion Picture Association senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.