Summer surprise -- British MPs to debate IP today

Here's a piece of hot news for a hot, sticky summer's day: the United Kingdom's Alliance Against IP Theft has just told the IPKat that a parliamentary debate on IP and the Hargreaves Review will take place at 14.30pm in Westminster Hall today.

The debate was secured by the All Party IP Group Vice Chair, former Runrig star and current Scottish Nationalist Pete Wishart MP, and is an opportunity for Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum (i) to highlight the contribution IP-rich industries make to jobs and UK economic growth, in their constituencies and across the country [difficult, but not impossible, says Merpel], and (ii) to ensure Minsters are aware of potential unintended consequences of some of the Hargreaves recommendations before the Government response is published this summer [Hmm. Better get Wallace and Gromit onside first ..  One Minister who presumably will have to listen through the keyhole is the Minister for IP, Baroness Wilcox, who does not sit in the House of Commons]. 

There's more to come:
Ahead of the debate, Vice Chair of the All Party IP Group, Pete Wishart MP, said:
“This is a very important debate and I am delighted to have secured it on behalf of the 2.7 million people whose jobs depend on the creative industries alone and countless others whose livelihoods depend on IP in other ways. It is great that the Government is taking a keen interest in IP but I am concerned that so many issues relating to IP seem to be piling up in the Government’s inbox at the moment, from the implementation crucial sections of the Digital Economy Act, to its response to Hargreaves. This debate is a chance for the Government to hear our concerns and reassure the House that its response will be accompanied by a clear action plan and allow for proper consultation.”
Susie Winter, Director General of the Alliance Against IP Theft said:
“UK IP law has proved excellent in supporting existing business transfer into the digital world and also allow for new digital entrants to the market. However, counterfeiting and piracy remain a huge drain on investment, creativity and innovation and, crucially, jobs. It is therefore very encouraging to see MPs from all sides of the House interested in this issue and keen to put their points to Ministers.”
The Westminster Hall debate takes place between 1430 and 1730 today.  Sadly, this Kat is spending a large chunk of that time being deliciously fed and watered.  He therefore urges readers who might be in the vicinity (i) to attend, and (ii) to email him their recollections and opinions, using the subject line "IP in Parliament".  Debates on IP in Parliament are about as rare as speeches by Gromit ...
Summer surprise -- British MPs to debate IP today Summer surprise -- British MPs to debate IP today Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, July 07, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. For anyone interested who can't get to London, it appears it will be available online, live.

  2. This debate seems to be broadcast live on Parliament TV:

    With best wishes,

  3. Yes it will be streamed on but only if you are running Microsoft Silverlight. Which is appalling and amusing in equal parts:

    Appalling because it formally or effectively ties democracy to a specific operating system

    Amusing because it looks like Microsoft will be abandoniing Silverlight in favour of HTML5 and all that money building will have to spent again.

    Maybe next time the IT bods will use something standards compliant, unencumbered and platform independent? I'm holding my breath...


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