Online copyright infringement remains illegal in the UK – TRUE
Reports on a handful of sites that the UK Government has decriminalised online piracy are 100% wrong. The law has not been changed and online copyright infringement remains illegal. In factor in 2015 there will be an education campaign to alert consumers to the range of legal film, music and games sites now available. This programme is part of a wider package of measures such as blocking pirate sites, working with advertisers and payment processors to cut off revenue to illegal sites and encouraging search engines to play a more active role by not directing consumers to sites that are known to offer infringing content.
Creative Content UK has been watered down’ – MYTH
Creative Content UK is a targeted education and awareness raising initiative that has strong support from across the creative community. It is not intended to be a programme of sanctions. Education is an important component in the fight against online infringement but not the only one. This programme is an important part of a wider package of initiatives that are required to address this issue such as blocking access to illegal sites, working with advertisers and payment processors to cut off revenue to illegal sites and encouraging search engines to play a more active role by not directing consumers to sites that are known to offer infringing content.
Christine Payne, General Secretary of Equity and Chair of the Creative Coalition Campaign, has welcomed the launch of Creative Content UK, a new partnership that will boost consumer awareness of the wide array of legitimate online content services and help reduce online copyright infringement.
Creative Content UK is a unique partnership between the UK's creative industries, the four major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the Government which will comprise two key components. The first will be a major multi-media education awareness campaign, led by content creators and part-funded by government, that aims to create wider appreciation of the value and benefits of entertainment content and copyright.
The second component is a subscriber alerts programme that will be co-managed and co-funded by ISPs and content creators and due to begin at a later date. Participating ISPs will alert and advise subscribers when their accounts have been used to infringe copyright. Account holders will receive an alert from their ISP, advising them unlawful filesharing has taken place on their connection and offering advice on where to find legitimate sources of entertainment content.
Christine Payne said: "The agreement is fantastic news for workers across the creative industries from actors to lighting engineers to recording artists and many more whose livelihoods depend on copyright. Education is absolutely critical to tackling online copyright infringement, and encouraging greater use of legal services - as opposed to pirate sites - will help ensure that our creative industries continue to provide jobs and growth for years to come.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced the Government's support for the initiative at an event in Spotify’s UK office recently and pledged £3.5 million in funding for the education awareness component of the campaign.
Creative Content UK will operate within the wider context of successful programmes aimed at combating copyright infringement such as the blocking of illegal sites and working with advertisers and payment processors to cut off revenues to such sites. Full details of the initiative, including its branding and the scope of the education awareness campaign activity will be announced in due course.
A number of CCC members have voiced their support for Creative Content UK. Please see their supportive comments below.
Chris Marcich, President and Managing Director EMEA of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) said: "It is fantastic that the UK creative community and ISPs have come together in partnership to address online copyright infringement and raise awareness about the multitude of legitimate online services available to consumers. We are also grateful to the UK Government for backing this important new initiative. This is just one piece of the overall approach to tackling illegal online infringement and promoting the importance of copyright. This will enable consumers to receive the best possible user experience and sustains the UK’s creative community and economy, incentivising the creation of new movies and other creative content.”
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI said: "It's a wonderful time to be a music fan - you can listen to almost any song ever released, instantly, wherever you are. But not everyone is familiar with all the different ways to do this - whether for free or from a paid service - while at the same time making sure the artist is also fairly rewarded.
"This landmark initiative marks the first time that entertainment companies, broadband providers and the Government have come together in a major campaign to engage consumers through their passion for music, film, TV and other content and to support them in enjoying it safely and legally online. It should mark a real step forward for digital entertainment in the UK."
Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE, President of Film Distributors’ Association said: “Educating consumers of all ages about the value of intellectual property is an essential part of the battle against online piracy. I have long argued that dissuading people from watching film content from illegal sites will only be possible when that content is available legally online in ways consumers want. This initiative from content makers and distributors, with government support, will ensure that everyone knows how to find their favourite films online and won’t be driven to look for them on illegal sites.”
John Smith, General Secretary, Musicians’ Union said: “Online piracy puts the livelihoods of musicians at risk and means they are not fairly rewarded for their work. This campaign will help to raise awareness of all the legal music sites that are available and we hope will encourage the general public to back musicians and buy legally.”
John McVay, Chief Executive, Pact said: “New digital services are offering consumers unprecedented access to their favourite TV programmes whenever and wherever they want. The move to digital presents a tremendous opportunity for the TV production sector but one that can only be fully realised if consumers use legal services instead of accessing them from pirate sites that contribute nothing to the creators and makers of the original content. Today’s announcement is a welcome step forward that will help ensure the television production sector can continue to thrive in the digital age.”
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive, Publishers Association, said: "Tackling online copyright infringement effectively is a joint enterprise, requiring the involvement of rights holders, internet service providers and government. It is great that all these parties are now coming together to create a campaign which will make clear the importance of intellectual property to creators and the wider economy, and ensure that the internet delivers, not detracts value from the creative industries."
Dan Johnson, Director of Communications, Premier League, said: “Intellectual property rights underpin the continued success of the Premier League, allowing our clubs to invest in developing and attracting some of the world’s best players. It also allows the competitive and compelling football our League is renowned for to be played out in safe and welcoming stadiums that are 96% full of passionate and engaged fans.
“Tackling online copyright infringement is vital to ensuring this investment in world-class talent and facilities can continue. The united front being shown today by the creative community, the Government and internet service providers on this important issue is a significant step in the right direction. It will benefit every level of the game as well as the fans and participants that sustain English football.”
Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music said: “Much more effort is needed to educate young people about the digital market they get their music and creative content from. This three-stage education programme must succeed in encouraging young people to get their content from licensed sites. Those that continue to infringe after being led repeatedly to a legal option will feel the sting of a targeted alert to their household account. This campaign will inspire and guide young people to instinctively look for legal online content. We must encourage our young fans to invest in a value chain that pays British creative industries and the talent they invest in.”