Two major players in the European fight against digital piracy and illegal P2P file-sharing -- IFPI chairman John Kennedy and French government adviser on digital piracy Dennis Olivennes -- are supporting a new Spanish music and movie business campaign to end Spain's reputation as the biggest piracy offender in the world.
Speaking at a Madrid seminar yesterday, the dynamic duo said they were confident that ISPs and telecom companies would eventually agree to a "legal model," and that the Madrid government will set up a legislative framework to impose ban digital piracy.
"I cannot believe the French government cares more about French music and creativity than the Spanish government does about Spanish music and creativity," said Kennedy, referring to the plan by president Nicolas Sarkozy to introduce a controversial "three strikes" legislation that would disconnect individual infringers' ISP accounts for habitual piracy.
In fact, the French government has given the green light to the "three-strikes" Internet and creation law. A newly-created independent authority, entitled HADOPI, is to be in charge warnings and potentially cutting infringers' Internet subscription. HADOPI will act on the request of rights holders, and will be entitled to demand from Internet service providers the identity of copyright-infringing computer users.
"It is the home-grown emerging content industry that needs protection, not Hollywood. I call on Spain not to let India and China wake up to this fact while Spain takes no action", Kennedy said.
Kennedy reminded everyone that 95% of songs downloaded are illegal, and 80% of these illegal tunes are delivered via P2P file-sharing.
"Research shows file-sharing damages sales - nobody pretends otherwise," he noted, adding that the value of the global music industry had fallen from $38.8 billion in 1999, to ($27.9 billion in 2007.
Kennedy said he was more optimistic now that ISPs, whom he called the "gatekeepers of the Internet," were beginning to come round to the music industry's point of view on illegal file-sharing. "There is not one-to-fit-all," he said, adding that the "three strikes and out message gets through to the kids". He said "a graduated response is better than instant action. Disconnection is more effective than imposing fines."
Billboard.biz: Spanish Biz Must Adopt Tough Piracy Tactics, Says Kennedy