As folks may have seen by now, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) – a coalition whose membership consists of us, MPAA, IFTA, and the leading U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) – issued a report today that offers useful insight into the first year of the Center’s Copyright Alert System (CAS), a program aimed at addressing the theft of music and movies via peer-to-peer (p2p) networks and enhancing the legitimate online music marketplace. We encourage you to read CCI’s report yourself, but suffice to say, the progress of this unique program has been rewarding to watch.
First, and perhaps most notably, it’s a successful, sustainable model for future voluntary partnerships between the entertainment community and other Internet intermediaries. We and the ISPs went into this process cognizant of the differences in our businesses and we worked together to find common ground by building trust and listening to each other. We found a reliable partnership that we hope will only further strengthen as we move into the next chapter of the program. Our work with ISPs has laid the groundwork for other similar initiatives with intermediaries such as payment processors and advertisers/ad networks, among others, which are beginning to bear fruit. It’s a model that works, and we hope it leads to more productive partnerships. We know it can be done.
Second, it’s moving the needle. Throughout the six “stages” of the Alert program, there were fewer and fewer Alerts sent at each level. Does that all mean we can make a declaratory judgment that we’ve won the piracy fight? Of course not. This program was never intended to do that. But that CCI was finding fewer instances of piracy within the parameters of this program means that people were getting the message and going elsewhere for their music. 1.3 million Alerts with no false positives is paradigmatic of an operationally sound system. We strived for accuracy and our goal was met.
The program is also a useful way to promote today’s modern music marketplace. Every Alert includes a link to whymusicmatters.com – a site that we and our music retailer partner Music Biz created to raise fan awareness to the stunning (and growing) array of legitimate music services in the marketplace today. Any chance we get to help fans learn about all the cutting-edge music platforms and services that exist today is a chance we’ll jump at. That’s also why we’re excited about the Center’s online awareness campaign to keep folks informed about the program. We look forward to that rolling out shortly.
We’re proud of the Alert program and all its accomplishments. Thanks to Jill and her leadership, “Phase One” of this program has been a smooth and stable process. We look forward to exploring other ways we can work with our ISP partners to enhance the consumer experience in the digital world. We hope this successful model of respect – for fans and for industry partners – can serve as a template for future tech and content industry collaboration. We’re ready to get to work.