The Minister for Intellectual Property sounds like a Jim Hackeresque set-up for a "... and he apparently doesn't own any property" punchline, but it's a real job. Currently, it's a role taken by Lord Triesman, who has warned UK ISPs that if they don't do something about filesharing, the government will be forced to act.
"Forced to" in the sense of "the largess of the media multinationals depends upon it", of course.
- although since file-sharing has been going on for years, and the "creative economy" is still doing rather well, we're a little at a loss as to what this damage would be. Fewer tickets for government members to go to the Brits awards or Glastonbury?
David Triesman is an interesting man to be fighting for the rights of Sony-BMG in the House of Lords. He was a Communist in his youth - presumably back then believing that all intellectual property was theft?
His warning to ISPs that, should they not come to a voluntary agreement with music and film companies, he'll push Gordon Brown to introduce legislation in the next Queen's Speech is also a bit curious: He's currently waiting to be rubber-stamped for a plum job at the Football Association and is unlikely to be a minister by the end of next week, never mind the start of the next Parliament. Which gives a pretty good indication of his commitment to seeing this job through.