Antonio Guisasola, President of Promusicae:
To deal with digital piracy “politicians have let us down and they have not been up with the circumstances”
Enrique Cerezo, President of Egeda:
“The Government must be aware that the information society only can be built defending creators’ rights.”
Madrid, 19th June 2008. – Both Denis Olivennes, theoretician of French regulation against Internet illegal downloads, and John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have been very clear, conclusive and have agreed in their speeches in the Seminar about intellectual property on the Internet that closes the Week for Everybody's Rights on the Internet, organized by the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries. The keys to dissuade piracy on the Internet are regulation and information to users. Because of that, both of them have highlighted the fundamental role the Government plays when it comes to motivating and applying the rules protecting intellectual property and the rights of creators, companies, producers and all those that are part of the industry of culture.
The strong responsibility of the Government regarding the fight against Internet piracy was present among the Seminars’ participants, attending this event. Antonio Guisasola, President of Promusicae and the person who opened and closed the meeting, said it clearly too: “Politicians have let us down. They have not been up with the circumstances and they have not taken the fundamental step in the fight against piracy: to stop saying what people want to listen in order to say what people must know”.
Enrique Cerezo, President of EGEDA, said that this inalienable leadership of the Government in the battle against digital piracy does not exempt the society from responsibility. “All the market agents must respect the game rules, it is necessary to educate and make citizens respect intellectual property rights.”
“Some Internet providers companies because of the scope of the Spanish regulation have taken the decision to act”, Kennedy reminded. “The cooperation of those companies is a concept more and more accepted and it has been implemented in several countries”, Kennedy added and quoted the examples of Australia, United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, New Zeeland or Japan. “The Government is necessary in order to press telecommunication companies to take actions”. Kennedy said: “The procedures of gradual answer have been established in France and in the United Kingdom, while in Belgium they have implemented technical solutions, or agreements have been reached with the telecommunication industry in Japan. All of them are mechanisms that dissuade from piracy and help to educate and make aware of illegal downloads and to reduce levels of illegal downloads”.
“We have a big cultural challenge”, stated Denis Olivennes. “Will we have in the future films or music in France, in Italy or in Spain? It is not only an economic issue nor the interest of major companies. We are risking the cultural diversity”. “The Government is very important in the fight against Internet piracy because it deals with trying to make compatible two aspects of freedom: consumers’ and creators’ freedom”. Olivennes reminded the French case, whose legislation against illegal downloads will be debated in autumn in the French Parliament and where “the pressure put by the Government to the operators has been decisive in order to reach an agreement: in case no agreement is reached, there will be regulation from the Government.”
José Luís Zofío, expert in culture economy by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and one of the authors of the report “La dimension económica de la industria de la cultura y el ocio en España” (economic dimension of culture and entertainment industry in Spain), highlighted the importance of creativity to nations. “Economic development of countries is favoured by their ability to exploit their creative assets economically”. Gonzalo Babío, President of the Federation for Intellectual Property Protection (FAP), who introduced José Luís Zofío, together with Rubén Gutiérrez from Fundación Autor (Author’s Foundation), stressed the future challenge the content industry faces in order to make possible the coexistence between consumers’ rights and the legitimate right of content industries to be rewarded for their work.
The meeting was closed by Pablo Nogueroles, rotary president of the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, Antonio Guisasola, President of Promusicae, and Enrique Cerezo, President of Egeda. In the three cases, a clear conclusion: culture is valuable and this value must be respected.