….and achieves nothing. According to the BBC a deal between the ISPs and the internet industry will see a watered down “educational” letter sent to individuals illegally downloading content. All sounds great and the ISPs must be breathing a huge sigh of relief that they have avoided the draconian measures initially proposed under the Digital Economy Act (“DEA“). Equally, it is understood that the entertainment industry have secured an agreement to “rapid implementation” of the DEA if this softly, softly approach doesn’t work.
However, no matter who feels they got the best deal here, the point has been missed. Copyright law already provides adequate mechanisms to deal with infringement and this half hearted compromise adds little. This has been highlighted with a number of recent victories for the entertainment sector in blocking file sharing sites.
The problem is not the law – the problem is the archaic approach from the entertainment industry to recognise and adapt to the changing environment. There will always be individuals who will do whatever they can to avoid having to pay for anything but equally many of us are more than happy to pay provided that it is fair and reasonable. The incomprehensible licences, the silly fee pricing and the lack of recognition that we now live in a global world are all encouraging individuals to ignore legitimate systems.
If the entertainment industry want to protect their intellectual capital then they need to stop simply trying to encourage a change in the law but instead to do what all businesses are having to do in the internet era – adapt. Lets see a proper and realistic pricing model, lets see more adaptable licensing structures that recognise that individuals have access to multiple devices and lets see a recognition that if something is shown in the US – people may want to watch it very soon after…….