Guide

Digital intellectual property and your business

Intellectual property in specific sectors

Some types of digital asset are particularly prone to copyright infringement. Illegal copies are made and circulated, so that the copyright owner loses revenue. This is especially so with mass-market assets such as software, music and videos.

Systems of digital intellectual property (IP) protection such as encoding, encryption and watermarking have made this kind of infringement more difficult. Software owners, for example, often require legitimate purchasers to register their use with a unique key which is sent to a secure website. Music and film publishers use various forms of content scrambling in an effort to frustrate unauthorised copying. Even so, it is impossible to eliminate copyright infringement entirely.

Many producers of vulnerable digital assets have banded together in industry specific groups. These act to protect the business interests of copyright owners, tracing cases of infringement, misuse and piracy and pursuing claims for damages and other actions against offenders.

Business Software Alliance (BSA)

BSA is a trade association for the software industry and its hardware partners. Among its main objectives is to protect the IP rights of software producers, enforce software copyright legislation and encourage compliance among software users. Find out more about the BSA activities on the BSA website.

UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE)

UKIE (formally known as Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) is the trade association of the UK computer and video games industry and works to protect the interests of its members and prevent copyright theft and piracy. Find information on video gaming IP on the UKIE website.

Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft

The Alliance is a UK-based coalition of associations and enforcement organisations working to protect IP rights in a range of business sectors. Members include representatives of the audiovisual, music, video game and software industries as well as publishers, authors, retailers and designers. Read about Alliance on the Alliance website.

Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT)

FACT aims to protect the UK film and broadcasting industries against counterfeiting, copyright and trade mark infringements. Find out more on the FACT website.

UK Music

UK Music represents the collective interests of the UK's commercial music industry. Read about IP protection for music on the UK Music website.