Representatives from the UK’s creative industries trade bodies and ISPs have joined up with the support of Government to launch a new initiative aimed at reducing piracy and raising awareness of where to buy legitimate online content.
‘Creative Content UK’ marks the eventual launch of the much-touted ‘three strikes’ measures outlined in the Digital Economy Act (DEA), with the collaboration of ISPs and emphasis clearly shifted to education as opposed to the threat of cutting off connections.
By Spring 2015, a major multi-media education awareness campaign about the value of copyright and licensed entertainment will roll out, put together by content creators, with Government pledging £3.5 million in funding.
Under the new system, participating web providers will send alerts to customers whose Internet connections are being used to access file sharing networks. Customers will be told that accessing content from said sources is unlawful and given information on how they could access content legally.
The BPI and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) are onboard alongside the four largest ISPS: BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Various other partners including the BBC, the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the Musicians’ Union and UK Music are all supporting the initiative.
Business Secretary Vince Cable (pictured) said: “The creative industries in the UK are one of our brilliant global success stories. We have unrivalled creativity – from record breaking musicians to box office films – that excite and inspire people all over the world. Yet too often that content is open to abuse by some who don’t play by the rules. That is why we are working with industry to ensure that intellectual property rights are understood and respected. Education is at the heart of this drive so people understand that piracy isn’t a victimless crime – but actually causes business to fail, harms the industry and costs jobs”.
CEO of UK Music Jo Dipple added: “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”.
Dipple continued: “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”.
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Generate debate: It’s encouraging to have ISPs on-board and Government funding in place. Despite the emphasis moving to education as opposed to draconian threats of cut-off access, it’s difficult to imagine this being effective. In 2014, is the problem really lack of awareness about where to access legitimate content amongst young people? And what consequences face the repeat offender who doesn’t heed the warnings? This is actually similar to the voluntary scheme set up in the US, so essentially nothing. That said, the initiative aims to provide a consumer awareness element that may complement the recent approach of ‘following the money’ to combat piracy and it’s positive that industry and Government are refreshing their strategy.
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