EU counter attacks entertainment piracy

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.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all