the uk government and online music piracy l.
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How the UK government and the music industry have tried to tackle music piracy.

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in the beginning there was napster
In the beginning, there was Napster
  • A piece of peer-to-peer, file sharing software, allowing users to download music directly from the hard drives of other users.
  • Verified Napster use peaked with 26.4 million users worldwide in February 2001
  • Heavy metal band Metallica discovered that a demo of their song ‘I Disappear’ had been circulating across the network, even before it was released.
  • This eventually led to the song being played on several radio stations across America and brought to Metallica’s attention that their entire back catalogue of studio material was also available.
  • The band responded in 2000 by filing a lawsuit against the service offered by Napster.
  • A month later, rapper Dr. Dre, who shared a litigator and legal firm with Metallica, filed a similar lawsuit after Napster wouldn't remove his works from their service, even after he issued a written request.
bang to copy rights
Bang to (copy)rights!
  • US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The music industry made the following claims against Napster:

(1) That its users were directly infringing the plaintiff's copyright;(2) That Napster was liable for contributory infringement of the plaintiff's copyright; and(3) That Napster was liable for vicarious infringement of the plaintiff's copyright.

  • The court found Napster liable on all three claims
and then
And then…
  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) almost immediately — on December 7, 1999 — filed a lawsuit against the popular service. The service would only get bigger as the trial, meant to shut down Napster, also gave it a great deal of publicity. Soon millions of users, many of them college students, flocked to it.
  • After a failed appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, an injunction was issued on March 5, 2001 ordering Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network.[16] In July 2001, Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction.
  • On September 24, 2001, the case was partially settled. Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, as well as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million.
in the uk
In the UK

Music industry threatens ISPs over piracy

Thursday, 18 January 2007

  • The music industry opened up a new front in the war on online music piracy yesterday, threatening to sue internet service providers that allow customers to illegally share copyrighted tracks over their networks.
  • The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, said it would take action against internet companies that carry vast amounts of illegally shared files over their networks. It stressed that it would prefer not to pursue such a strategy and is keen to work in partnership with internet providers.
  • Sixty-three percent of people download music from P2P networks – they download an average of 53 illegal tracks per month, University of Hertfordshire research for British Music Rights.
  • One warning from an ISP would be enough to stop 70 percent of illegal file sharers in their tracks, according to Entertainment Media Research in March.
2008 the summer that sucked for pirates
2008 – the summer that sucked (for pirates)
  • Virgin Media & BT have started sending letters to users pirating material.
  • Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse add their support
  • Although triggered by the BPI, the scheme extended to the online piracy of film as well as music.
did it work
Did it work?
  • 13 October 2008 - Illegal music downloaders are increasingly worried that they’ll be cut off by their Internet Service Provider (ISP), according to a new survey of 1,500 people.Now more than 60% of illegal downloaders think that their internet use is being monitored, and in excess of 70% say they would stop if they received a letter in the post.
january 2009
January 2009
june 2009
June 2009
  • The Digital Britain Report is published – a government paper on the digital economy and how to engage with problems in the digital arena. It’s intentions?
action 11
Action 11
  • By the time the final Digital Britain Report is published the Government will have explored with interested parties the potential for a Rights Agency to bring industry together to agree how to provide incentives for legal use of copyright material; work together to prevent unlawful use by consumers which infringes civil copyright law; and enable technical copyright-support solutions that work for both consumers and content creators. The Government also welcomes other suggestions on how these objectives should be achieved.
action 12
Action 12
  • Before the final Digital Britain Report is published we will explore with both distributors and rights-holders their willingness to fund, through a modest and proportionate contribution, such a new approach to civil enforcement of copyright (within the legal frameworks applying to electronic commerce, copyright, data protection and privacy) to facilitate and co-ordinate an industry response to this challenge. It will be important to ensure that this approach covers the need for innovative legitimate services to meet consumer demand, and education and information activity to educate consumers in fair and appropriate uses of copyrighted material as well as enforcement and prevention work.
action 13
Action 13

Our response to the consultation on peer-to-peer file sharing sets out our intention to legislate, requiring ISPs to notify alleged infringers of rights (subject to reasonable levels of proof from rights-holders) that their conduct is unlawful. We also intend to require ISPs to collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers (derived from their notification activities), to be made available to rights-holders together with personal details on receipt of a court order. We intend to consult on this approach shortly, setting out our proposals in detail.

digital britain report
Digital Britain Report
  • Full report is linked from the blog.
  • As are all other reports mentioned in this presentation.
  • READ THEM – at least the executive summaries and findings.
  • TAKE NOTES – quotes from industry top brass will be more than useful, as will any statistics you can find.
back in july 2009
Back in July 2009…
  • A ‘secret’ government target is set to reduce music piracy by 80% before 2011.
  • The goal was outlined in a letter by Baroness Vadera, the business minister, relating to the agreement with the 6 ISPs
  • Are the Industry happy with this?
feargal sharkey chief executive uk music
Feargal Sharkey, chief executive UK Music
  • Sharkey, speaking on a panel at the Midem digital music conference in Cannes (2009), stressed his concern about a government-imposed solution.

“Any intervention must be designed to embrace new horizons and must be fit and proper for use in a modern world, a modern society and a modern culture,” he said.

“Regulation brings a cost to all parties. We all need to be sensitive that the debt we pay for an imposed government solution does not outweigh the benefits and the rewards.

“By viewing ISPs as partners in the solution, I am certain that this can be the year that we all stop fretting about delivery platforms and concentrate on what really matters – the music.”

march 2010
March 2010
  • Digital Economy Bill passed into law.
  • This allowed courts to shut down specific websites which were illegally allowing access to music either for direct download of P2P transfer.
  • Issues? Pirate Bay? Wikileaks?
july 2010
July 2010
  • UK royalties collector PRS For Music resurrects the idea ISPs should pay for copyrighted content that their networks transfer without authorisation.
october 2010
October 2010
  • High Court in the UK refuses to allow the Big 4 record companies to make ISPs pay for copyrighted material
  • POV: Doing this would have been akin to making BT pay into a ‘swear box’ every time someone said *&*$ down one of their phone lines!
end of 2010
End of 2010.
  • UK Music Piracy is Eroding Digital Revenue Growth, BPI Says – Bloomberg
  • The value of illegally downloaded music in the U.K. will be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.56 billion) this year, as the practice proliferates and slows growth of the digital music market.
  • An estimated 7.7 million U.K. Internet users illegally download music on a regular basis, meaning musicians, songwriters and music companies receive no payments, according to the Digital Music Nation 2010 report from the British Recorded Music Industry trade organization.

Though the U.K. boasts 67 legal online music services, more than any other country, there is no effective deterrent to obtaining music illegally, BPI said. The music industry is lobbying government to implement the Digital Economy Act, passed earlier this year and designed to curb illegal file sharing by requiring Internet service providers to block some users.

  • Digital music growth in the U.K. “is a fraction of what it ought to be,” BPI Chief Executive Officer Geoff Taylor said in a statement.
  • Illegal downloading “is a parasite that threatens to deprive a generation of talented young people of their chance to make a career in music and is holding back investment in the fledgling digital entertainment sector,” he said.
  • Digital services now account for 24.5 percent of U.K. record industry revenue, BPI said, from 19.2 percent a year ago.
to now
To now.
  • Digital Economy Act still not being enforced.
  • Your thoughts…?