‘And fairness for all’ – liberalise now, media told

OK, so news in from the really rather obvious department, consultancy firm Detica has put out a passionate appeal for the entertainment industry to collaborate against piracy with help from the ISPs.

Detica insists that stronger collaboration between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the entertainment industry is the only way to make it easier for consumers to download music and films legally whilst providing ‘fair trade’ for artists.

Now, there’s nothing especially new in the statements from the firm, but there are some good points there, and strong signals that for music and movies at least there’s a growing realisation players must follow the consumer.

Andy Frost, Director of Media at Detica, says: “We now face a watershed in the entertainment industry.  A new generation of technology-savvy consumers increasingly wants access to music, movies, TV shows and games, from PCs, PDAs and smartphones 24 hours a day. They will choose the best service offering available to them to download this content, regardless of whether it is legal or not.”

“Broadband companies and record labels have failed to respond to the needs of consumers and have continued to pursue misguided and unenforceable policies such as threatening disconnection from the Internet.  In the face of a mounting piracy crisis, the industry must consider a fresh approach.”  

Frost continues: “In the last six months we have witnessed the music industry waking up to the opportunity of licensing digital content, whether through ad-funded ‘freemium’ streamed services or subscription-based download models.  However, the challenge with all of these models is how to create something that’s actually ‘better than free’ since the massive amount of unlicensed digital music traffic will continue without commercial partnerships being developed between ISPs and the major music labels.”

Frost does however remain positive that the debate is moving in the right direction: “Both industries now acknowledge that whilst technical solutions do exist to enable ISPs to provide secure models to content owners within their networks, they require significant capital outlay and must deliver returns for shareholders through robust commercial models.

“Our challenge to both industries is to stop the in-fighting through lawyers and start working together to deal with the digital piracy epidemic by creating mutually beneficial business models.  Only when this happens will the investment required start to flow into developing the required copyright protection solutions.”

Frost concludes: “The music industry is at the crest of a huge piracy wave and must embrace this collaborative approach before the epidemic spreads to other digital growth sectors such as TV, films and gaming.  If the music industry gets this right it will prevent its destruction and forge the way ahead in ensuring fairness-for-all in the entertainment world.”

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