EU counter attacks entertainment piracy
Wednesday 25 May 2011
The European Union mounted on Tuesday an offensive against online music and film piracy, with plans to rewrite intellectual property law across the EU market of half a billion consumers.
Registered cases of counterfeiting and product piracy at the borders of the 27-state single market rocketed between 2005 and 2009, the latest period for which the European Commission gave figures, logging more than 43,000 infringements.
Officials say piracy has cost the European music, movie, TV and software industries 10 billion euros ($14 billion) and more than 185,000 jobs in 2008 - but consumers the world over now expect easy online access to cheap entertainment through a variety of delivery models.
The EU executive says it will target the problem "at source," going by plans drawn up for Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier and taxation counterpart Algirdas Semeta, and seek action by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Just in 2009, EU customs intercepted 40,000 suspect shipments involving 118 million items - but tracking is now causing exponential problems whether online or in millions of small postal consignments, hence the focus on the online channels to audiences.
European Commission proposals say Brussels "will identify ways to create a framework allowing, in particular, combating infringements of intellectual property rights via the Internet more effectively."
The detail says amendments to existing legislation "should have as their objective tackling the infringements at their source and, to that end, foster cooperation of intermediaries, such as ISPs."
A commission official admitted it was "too early" to say exactly what could be done.
Thierry Dieu of European telecoms operators industry association Etno warned the commission must "avoid imposing disproportionate and unjustifiable obligations on Internet access providers, such as de facto surveillance of products distributed across their networks."
He argued that the EU should concentrate instead on boosting the availability of bona fide material and "accessible" pricing models encouraging growth in these channels.
The music industry in particular is undergoing massive restructuring to reinvent distribution and revenue models, but the Internet sales platform also affects creative industries covering everything from make-up to drinks.
The commission's ambitions in this domain, likely to run into countless industry and overseas trading obstacles, also cover everything from patents and trademarks to geographical indicators for products such as Scotch whisky as well as customs issues and the digital libraries of the future.
The idea is to try and "strike the right balance" between protecting, rewarding and encouraging creativity and innovation, seen as a key element in economic growth, while "promoting the widest possible access to goods and services," the commission said.
Copyright-based creative industries were credited with delivering 3.3 percent of EU economic output in 2006, accounting for some 8.5 million jobs from the individual artist to big pharmaceutical companies.
Life & Style blogs
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...