ArtsWatch: UK Operation Creative's New Antipiracy Strategy

British multi-stakeholder initiative to combat Internet infringement concludes pilot phase
December 16, 2013 -- 7:54 am PST
By Philip Merrill / GRAMMY.com

In recent news ...

Antipiracy Ecosystem Scores Initial Success In UK
Together with its many stakeholder participants, Britain's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit announced the results of its "Operation Creative" three-month pilot program on Dec. 9, cracking down on Internet infringement from multiple angles. Rights holders took the first step by identifying 61 infringing websites, a combined effort by BPI: the British Recorded Music Industry, Federation Against Copyright Theft, IFPI, and the Publishers Association. The City of London Police then investigated to confirm the reported infringement, followed by a formal outreach process requesting website owners to begin operating legitimately. The details of websites that failed to respond were then provided to major brands and advertising agencies along with a request to pull their ads, a process coordinated through the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, Internet Advertising Bureau UK, and Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. As a last step, PIPCU has either formally requested domain name registrars to suspend websites' service or is continuing to monitor sites' efforts to go legit. PIPCU Superintendent Bob Wishart said, "Together we have created a process that first and foremost encourages offenders to change their behavior so they are operating within the law. However, if they refuse to comply we now have the means to persuade businesses to move their advertising to different platforms and, if offending continues, for registrars to suspend the websites." At the pilot program's conclusion, 40 UK and international Web domains had been suspended and online advertising by top brands on infringing sites was reduced by 12 percent.

Commerce Dept. Continues New Look At Copyright
On Dec. 12 the Department of Commerce hosted a daylong conference called "Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy" at the U.S. Patent Office. Panels were held on such vital issues as digital first-sale, statutory damages, notice and takedown, and access to rights information (webcasts are available). Panelists included representatives from BSA, Copyright Alliance, Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google, IFPI, NMPA, The Walt Disney Company, RIAA, and SoundExchange. Also, the Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante gave a keynote on the Copyright Office's digital initiatives. The conference's title also refers to the agency's ongoing examination of online copyright and innovation that was launched over the summer and that last month received extensive comments from stakeholders. Separately, on Dec. 5 the agency's Bureau of Economic Analysis released "the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product," produced in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts. MPAA applauded the report, which estimated the 2011 gross output from arts and culture at $916 billion.

Nonprofit Consortium Launches "Internet Of Things" Framework
The new nonprofit AllSeen Alliance, announced on Dec. 10, will use code initially developed by a Qualcomm research and development subsidiary to serve as a common framework to enable devices to communicate with each other. Device-to-device communication is commonly known as the "Internet of Things," and this equipment connectivity consortium calls its effort the "Internet of Everything." It includes communication over local networks without an Internet connection. The Alliance's formation is hosted by the Linux Foundation and includes premier members Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Sharp, as well as community members including Cisco, Harman, and Sears. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said, "Engineers already are implementing this code in products being sold today. We look forward to more product announcements at CES." As described by the press release, "This secure and programmable software connectivity and services framework enables companies and individuals to create interoperable products that can discover, connect and interact directly with other nearby devices, systems and services regardless of transport layer, device type, platform, operating system or brand." Potential advancements include music applications that are anticipated to include the ability for smart phones and other music players to detect and select nearby wireless speakers.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ GRAMMY.com and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

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