Illegal downloading and counterfeit CDs and DVDs manufacturing, are threatening the entertainment industry which is extremely technology-oriented. On the other hand, piracy is also testing the industry’s creativity and ability to response rapidly.
It is estimated that one in three CDs sold worldwide is a counterfeit and 23.76% of worldwide internet traffic is generated by unauthorised content. In the USA, the commercial value of unlicensed software reached $51.4 billion, which was a 41% increase compared to previous years. But an exact loss figure is hard to calculate as there are many other factors, difficult to determine like whether someone would have purchased the content if it was impossible to obtain it illegally.
The UK, which is one of the leading digital music markets, with 67 legal services, also has to face the problem of illegal downloading. The first answer is education, which means making Internet users aware how physical and digital format piracy affects artists, songwriters and record producers.
But an informative and persuasive campaign is not enough to make users migrate to legal services. When there are no more carrots available, it’s high time to use the stick. Thus the UK, together with France, South Korea and Taiwan introduced legislation based on a gradual response. It was proved that 90% of P2P users would change their behaviour upon receipt of a second warning from their ISP, combined with a deterrent sanction if they continued their illegal activity.
Adopted in November 2009, the Anti Piracy Unit obliges the Internet service providers (ISP) to notify subscribers alleged to be infringing on copyright and produces a list of repeat infringers.
Piracy is like a multi-headed monster which continuosly transforms and forces people who deal with it to come up with one effective solution after another, as they become obsolete quickly. The next challenge is ‘cyberlocker’ sites with fast spreading illegal links, and no users to identify.
An interesting innovation was developed by Fortium. It’s a File Based Pin Play solution that secures the content at the moment of receipt. A special wrapper is attached to the file and the receiver has to enter a separately provided pin in order to open the content. It is aimed at protecting DVD’s from unauthorized duplication.
It seems that battling piracy can be effective if the efforts of all the parties involved: industry suppliers, assosiations and goverments, work together. But as always, there is also another side of the coin: what threatens the economic stability of a developed industry, boosts the rapidly growing markets like Brazil, India and China.