The government's ‘Digital Britain' plan has been described as a failure that only benefits the music industry.
The Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS) criticised the report and claimed that it showed bias towards the music sector. It claimed that the government should protect all digital industries equally, and not give special treatment to one.
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST IiS, said: “The entertainment sector appear to have lobbied the government to consider establishing a ‘pirates tax' on all of us as well as yet another quango to oversee it, meaning more cost, and more hassle.
“FAST IiS contend that the government's interim ‘Digital Britain' report investigating the state of the digital economy has failed to approach the issue of intellectual property rights in a coherent way; and until the government works with all the digital content providers representative bodies any attempts to legislate in favour of any one particular sector is not only unfair but also seriously misguided.”
The report said that the government would pass laws forcing internet service providers to gather information about record label-identified illegal file-sharers, and pass the information on under court order.
Lovelock said: “All digital content is equal before the law and so too should be all digital industries. A piecemeal approach will confuse digital consumers, both the public and businesses, will muddy the legal framework and will therefore ultimately impede Britain's success in the new digital economy of the twenty-first century.
“Put bluntly we all need this sector to be working effectively and fairly. Favouritism is not going to help ailing business methods, and making all consumers face a ‘broadband tax' to cover the few that steal content smacks of cynical revenue protection.”