MUMBAI: The UK Film Council today welcomes the measures announced in the Queen’s Speech to tackle online piracy and to embed Channel 4’s commitment to film.
The measures included in the Digital Economy Bill would involve two stages: a first stage process of legal action and educating consumers about online copyright, followed, if necessary, by a second stage in which reserve powers would be used to introduce technical measures, such as broadband disconnection.
Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said that the proposals should leave persistent pirates in no doubt that what they are doing is wrong and damaging to both the film sector and wider economy, adding:
"Piracy hits film revenues, threatens jobs, and restricts reinvestment back into new movies. The digital film future is a hugely exciting prospect, but one obvious downside to a fully digital world is that piracy will be made even easier, which is why we believe strongly that these measures should be supported and introduced as speedily as possible."
The Digital Economy Bill also proposes an update to the functions of Channel 4, all of which will be enshrined in law. One of the measures will be a statutory requirement to invest in film. The UK Film Council welcomes this measure as an important way of ensuring both public and private investment in UK film production and talent are protected into the digital future.
John Woodward, Chief Executive of the UK Film Council, said, "Including film in Channel 4’s remit for the first time is a prize the UK Film Council has been chasing for many years. Channel 4 has backed some great British films over the years, and strengthening its role in film production even further can only be good for the future of the UK film sector and UK film culture. For as long as Channel 4 has not been required, Film 4 has remained on a knife-edge. The new legislation will finally embed film at the centre of Channel 4’s public service remit."