Today our colleagues at the International Intellectual Property Association (IIPA) submitted, on behalf of us and other creative industry organizations, a report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on recommended reforms “needed to address the theft of intellectual property and other barriers to overseas markets faced by U.S. industries that rely on copyright protection.” That submission was part of the USTR’s annual so-called “Special 301” process. You can read more details here.
Some particular perspective relevant to the music industry is worth highlighting. 2013 was an incredibly dynamic and busy year for fans and the music community, with the launch or expansion of new services in the United States and global markets, and an emerging awareness that efforts to more meaningfully address the theft of intellectual property are important in order to enhance cultural production and economic competitiveness. Governments around the world took important if initial steps to rein in unfair competition that undermines the ability of the creative sector to flourish.
Italy adopted important measures through its regulatory authority (AGCOM) in an effort to address Internet piracy through expedited procedures—in other words, in internet time. Spain continued to make some improvements to its regulatory structure to try to repair some of the damage to its cultural industries resulting from a decade of neglect, although these reforms have yet to make an impact on the market for cultural materials. The government of the Philippines continued to enhance its enforcement against piracy, and even China has witnessed a transformation away from pirate platforms and towards licensed services.
These are but a few examples of a growing recognition of the negative impacts on societies from permitting pirate services to operate without interference—a trend that we hope will further accelerate in 2014. There is much left to accomplish.
Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, RIAA