Business News Digital Legal Live Business Top Stories

Pop celebs call for more action on piracy

By | Published on Tuesday 24 July 2012

Warning Letter

A plethora of pop celebs have put their name to an open letter calling on that PM bloke, Dave Cameron, to get his arse into gear and get the copyright elements of the Digital Economy Act up and running. Using the upcoming Olympics as an opening gambit, the music types also call on the government to put more pressure on search engines and online ad networks to do more stop unlicensed sources of music from getting traffic and advertising revenue.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Elton John, Simon Cowell, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Robert Plant, Professor Green and Tinie Tempah are among the artists whose names appear at the bottom of the public note to the PM and his government.

It says: “As the world’s focus turns to the UK this summer, there is an opportunity to stimulate growth in sectors where the UK has a competitive edge. Our creative industries represent one such sector, which creates jobs at twice the speed of the rest of the economy. Britain’s share of the global music market is higher than ever with UK artists, led by Adele, breaking through to global stardom”.

“As a digitally advanced nation whose language is spoken around the world, the UK is well positioned to increase its exports in the digital age. Competition in the creative sector is in talent and innovation, not labour costs or raw materials. We can realise this potential only if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that UK creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content. Illegal activity online must be pushed to the margins. This will benefit consumers, giving confidence they are buying safely online from legal websites”.

As much previously reported, while the music industry was successful in pushing the copyright elements of the DEA through parliament in 2010, the three-strikes style system the Act was meant to initiate is yet to get off the ground, though OfCom has been working on it ever since the legislation became law. Meanwhile this year rights owners have been putting ever more pressure onto Google to do more to ensure illegal sources of content do not appear in search results when web-users type in the names of their favourite artists. Google would claim that it is doing all it can already, though some in the music and movie industries are pushing for more.

Of course, ironically, the one bit of the DEA that wasn’t meant to happen immediately – the issuing of web-block injunctions against websites that prolifically infringe copyright – has happened anyway, without having to rely on the new Act. Whether the web-blocks and, if it ever happens, the warning letters to file-sharers enabled by the DEA, will actually reduce or limit online piracy is, of course, a topic of much debate.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | | | | | |