Brands, Content and The Digital Economy Bill
Guest post by Steve Mullins, Brand-e.biz
Content owners shouldn’t crow too loudly over the passing of the Digital Economy Bill by UK MPs last week. There’s kickback already.
But first, the IFPI’s response to the bill, which boasts a clause that would see ISPs cutting off subscribers’ connections at the behest of copyright holders if they think there’s illegal activity going on.
“The move by the UK creates momentum for the graduated response [three strikes] approach to tackling piracy internationally,” says IFPI chairman John Kennedy. “Governments increasingly understand that, in the digital economy, creative industries like music, film, books and games can drive growth and jobs for many years to come if they are provided with the right legal environment and with a modern system of enforcement in which ISPs actively cooperate.”
Fair enough. But ISPs don’t want to play ball (or policeman, in fact). Take TalkTalk, for one. Strategy director Andrew Heaney’s made his position pretty clear last week. “If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to
alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we’ll see them in court,” he said.
And consumers looking for free music won’t give up in the face of the Digital Economy Bill. They’ll clearly find alternative ways of getting their ears on content for free if P2P becomes too fraught with risk.
Don’t believe it? Well, reports suggest copyright infringement actually rose slightly in France in the three months after three-strikes legislation was introduced.
There are plenty or work-rounds for those who want their music for free – and that’s a sizeable part of the audience – and many people who will develop new tech to do the job.
So what’s the answer?
Well, one solution is to get third parties to pay. And one candidate for that is brands. Which is why we’re seeing new services like brand-supported platform Guvera rolling out right now.
These kinds of offerings aren’t the answer, of course. But part of what could be a panoply of new products aimed at weaning consumers off illicit services. All we’re asking for from content owners is – as always – more innovation which recognises the realities of the market.
And if you want to know just how innovative labels can be when they get together with brands, then you should come along to the Brands, Bands & Social Media Savvy at the IAB at the end of this month. You’ll get to hear what Sony Music, MySpace Music, Nokia, Euro RSCG and Unsigned Band Review are doing in this space.
More info http://www.brand-e.biz/bandsavvy.html