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UK's ELSPA Outlines 2007 Manifesto Changes

Officials from British game trade organization ELSPA have outlined details of its new plans for 2007 - outsourcing some of its Anti-Piracy Unit duties, focusing on online and digital theft, and announcing an intent to increase its focus on political polic
Officials from British trade organization ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), the UK equivalent of the United States' Entertainment Software Association (ESA), have outlined details of a new manifesto for 2007, with a process of modernization and re-organization that will govern the body’s strategy for the next five years. The so-called Leadership Initiative will focus on three main areas: modernizing ELSPA’s structure and expenditure, providing more focus and research on outreach and increased resources for servicing ELSPA members and positing the UK as “the world’s cultural capital for games”. ELSPA also intends to increase its focus on political policy and broader communication outside the industry. As a result, the association has established five main policy objectives on which to work with government to improve its image and stature within the British government and with the public at large. These objectives are: - education, promoting higher skill levels among new industry entrants through better learning opportunities at school and improved course provision in higher education - crime, challenging policy makers to attack intellectual policy theft more vigorously - economic value, highlighting the importance to UK wealth generation of a vibrant games industry - heath and wellbeing, improving understanding of the educational and social value of gaming - culture and convergence, demonstrating that games are “at the core of the digital and creative revolution”. In regards to piracy in particular, the ELSPA Anti-Piracy Unit will begin to focus on online and digital theft and lobbying for greater power for Trading Standards, the police and HM Revenue and Customs. With a call for stronger laws on intellectual property theft and improve enforcement. The changes to the Anti-Piracy Unit will involve the closure of the Evesham office and the redundancy of the office manager position, with the software forensics function being outsourced to a third party. The number of investigators will be halved from six to three. “Whilst we are sorry to lose some of the team, it’s vital we re-organize and channel resources into new areas that respond to the challenges of tomorrow” said ELSPA director general Paul Jackson. ”I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work over the last ten years. The closure of the Evesham office marks the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one.”

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