- Federation Against Copyright Theft
The "Federation Against Copyright Theft" (FACT) is a trade organisation in the UK established to protect and represent the interests of the film and broadcasting industry against copyright and trademark infringements. Established in 1983, FACT works closely with statutory law enforcement agencies to combat the growth of copyright-infringing and counterfeit DVDs, film and other forms of broadcast material, including the threat to film and broadcasting companies from online/internet-based copyright infringement. FACT has been accepted as a prosecution authority and engages in criminal prosecutions in its own right.
However FACT's name is misleading since there is no such offence within the United Kingdom of 'Copyright Theft' under the
Theft Act 1968. When copyrighted material is copied it is not removing the material permanently from its owner. Copyright infringement is not theft, stealing or 'twokking' (taking without consent) as it is the possession of a copy or copies of copyrighted material without a suitable license from the owner.
In 2007 FACT seized over 2.8m pirate DVDs and states it has "enhanced its enforcement capabilities against those involved in the manufacture, distribution and sale of copyright material both online and in hard copy format".
Also in 2007, FACT, in collaboration with UK police, took down well known hot-linking site
Tv-links.co.uk. FACT makes the claim that the 26 year old man from Cheltenham was arrested in connection with offences relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement on the internet whereas the arrest was over a matter of possible trademark infringement, though no such infringement appears to have taken place [ [http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/site/latest_news/index.htm "TV LINKS WEBSITE OWNER ARRESTED FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT "] , "FACT", October 18 2007] cite web |url= http://technollama.blogspot.com/2007/10/tv-links-clampdown.html |title= No charges filed, man released pending further investigation |author= Andres Guadamuz |work= TechnoLlama|date= 23 October 2007|quote= ] . While arrested under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 he has now been released 'pending further investigation' with no charges filed against him as of 25th October. cite web |url= http://technollama.blogspot.com/2007/10/tv-links-clampdown.html |title= No charges filed, man released pending further investigation |author= Andres Guadamuz |work= TechnoLlama|date= 23 October 2007|quote= ] cite web |url= http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/25/piracy.intellectualproperty |title= Why was someone arrested over the TV Links website? |author= Kevin Anderson |work= The Guardian|date= 25 October 2007|quote= ] . Strangely, Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 deals with falsely applying signs to goods that may be mistaken for a registered trademark, something which the website did not do cite web |url= http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://tv-links.co.uk |title= Archive of TV-Links.co.uk |author= Wayback Machine ] .
FACT has produced several adverts which have appeared at the beginning of videos and DVDs released in the UK.
During the 1990's, FACT created a 30 second piracy warning called "Beware of Illegal Video Cassettes", reminding customers to check whether they have a genuine video and how to report questionable copies. [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=mXCYMI54XHg YouTube - Broadcast Yourself ] ] This was placed at the beginning of practically every commercially released VHS tape in the UK, analogous to the FBI Warning found on tapes in the United States. In many, but not all cases, this warning was followed by a
public information filmfeaturing a man attempting to return a pirate video purchased from a market after discovering that the sound and picture were rubbish, ending with the tagline "Pirate Videos: Daylight Robbery." The public information film has been parodied by websites such as Medlo [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=wdzD97AKxy0 YouTube - Video Piracy (deleted by YouTube) ] ] .
With the advent of DVD, FACT developed a new anti piracy spot, which concentrated more on illegal downloading and less on purchasing pirate copies. The spot related downloading movies to stealing a handbag, a car, and other such items (similar to the US FAST "
Piracy is theft" slogan of the 1990s). This was parodied in an episode of " The IT Crowd" [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=MTbX1aMajow YouTube - Anti-Piracy Ad from The IT Crowd ] ]
The advert has been criticised by the general public and TV personalities alike. The most common complaint being that the advert only appears on genuinely purchased DVD's and cannot be skipped by fast forwarding or pressing the DVD menu button. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnCQwvpZYjs] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSQQ1NqOaA4] [http://www.weeklygripe.co.uk/a565.asp] In a recent episode of the TV show "
Mock the Week", comedian Ed Byrnesaid, whilst performing a sketch about the entertainment industry, "Before I watch it, I have to sit through the DVD piracy warning, which I think we can all agree; is beginning to get on our collective tits." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdhS2AiZ6A]
Lucky and Flo
* [http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/ FACT homepage]
* Trade Marks Act 1994 [http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmact94.pdf] (pp46-47)
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