Creative sectors express piracy concerns

A warning from a music giant to the UK government that is should press ahead with protections for artists under its wing would likely benefit all the creative industries if it was heeded.

Speaking at the weekend, Sony said ministers stepping in to create a legal framework that could safeguard the work of its artists from illegal downloads was long overdue.

Nick Gatfield, chief executive of the group’s UK business, also took issue with the Digital Economy Act still being on the sidelines, despite being put together five years ago.

If it or a similar framework was enacted then both technology companies, such as Google, who are expected to handle pirated content, and copyright-dependent creators would benefit.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Gatfield explained: “We need them [politicians] to create a legislative framework to protect the creative industries at the same time as helping the big technology companies.

“The Digital Economy Act’s…timeline is that the first letters [for consumers acting illegally] will be sent in 2014. The current Act almost looks anachronistic now.”

His comments relate to the Act stipulating that internet service providers must write to those of their customers which use ‘peer-to-peer’ file sharing sites, to warn them they could be breaking the law.

But Mr Gatfield’s concerns stem from the time lag between when the 2010 Act was drawn up and how content is being consumed today – increasingly, in the music sector, through people listening to tracks via their smartphones.

Meanwhile earlier this month, the trade body for video games developers asked firms, individuals and publishers to reveal how they are impacted by piracy, seeming to confirm that copyright infringement is far from isolated to the music sector.

Unveiling a survey to collect responses, TIGA said it wanted to gauge attitudes towards peer-to-peer sharing, piracy via Android handsets and, generally with piracy, “whether enough is being done to tackle it.”

The group’s call for developers and digital publishers to put forward their own individual experiences of piracy comes ahead of George Osborne’s Budget next month, on March 20, where announcements for the creative industries could feature.


24th February 2013

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