That is why we back initiatives like the Collective Rights Management Directive. This will help get the legislative framework right and improve the operating standards of all collecting societies across the EU. I was also pleased to see the European Commission’s work with industry on cross-border licensing, through the Licences for Europe initiative. In addition, we provided start-up funding for the industry-run Digital Copyright Exchange – an online store for the buying and selling of creative content.
At the same time, we’re working hand-in-hand with business to make sure they know how to protect their IP assets when trading abroad. Earlier this year we set up a business outreach programme, which includes detailed guidance to help businesses identify, protect and grow their intellectual property assets.
And when IP rights are breached, which does happen, the UK has a strong enforcement system in place which includes an IP crime unit that was established last year. It has already stopped countless counterfeit goods from entering the UK and Europe, and has also targeted global websites that were providing illegal access to copyrighted content.