Conservative leader David Cameron said in a key note at the BPI’s AGM that it was essential to:
“get the message out that piracy and illegal file sharing is wrong”.
Unlike in the US file sharing is showing no signs of diminishing and is growing in many markets. Legal action against individuals has not managed to stem the tide, though it is quite possible that without it levels would be even higher. The challenge is not just to persuade file sharers that their activity is wrong, but also to convince them that they stand any chance of getting caught. Industry led legal action is resource intensive and cannot be scaled up sufficiently enough to be anything other than part of an education programme. As new generations of sophisticated, anonymous P-to-P networks gain traction it will become nigh impossible for the industry to use technology to track file sharers. Hence the need to get government on board to both strengthen the legal framework and try to build consensus.
Spain is the illustration of what happens when the legal and legislative frameworks are out of tune with the music industry. File sharing remains something of a grey area under Spanish law and a number of months ago a Spanish judge ruled in favour of a file sharer in what was being viewed as a test case by the music industry. It is no coincidence that file sharing is higher in Spain than anywhere else in Europe and the Spanish music market has declined by nearly half its value since the turn of the century.