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Industry Initiatives Counteract Piracy With Market Solutions

· May 21, 2013

The entertainment industry is recognizing that they need to encourage innovative new distribution models for movies, TV, and music to serve the needs and expectations of the 21st century content consumer.

Responding to unauthorized streaming, the MPAA just launched WhereToWatch.org, a resource linking to 68 sites for finding and watching TV and movies online.  The plethora of platforms and opportunities for lawful dissemination of content — 6 search engines, 26 sites with both TV and movies, 11 with just movies, 25 with just TV — demonstrate the health of the entertainment industry.  The listings show how long a site has been in existence, the types of content available on it (films, documentaries, TV shows), how content is supported (such as subscription, rental, download-to-own, ad-supported viewing), and the types of devices and platforms that are compatible (including Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Google TV, PlayStation, Xbox).  It looks like the MPAA is taking Kevin Spacey’s advice that they tweeted a few weeks ago:

Similarly, Google recently launched a new music streaming service, Google Play Music All Access (which desperately needs a nickname — maybe it will just go by “All Access”?).  As the Verge’s Greg Sandoval explained, this initiative, and Apple’s forthcoming iRadio, demonstrate that the music industry is finally releasing its grasp on the download model and embracing the “access model” exemplified by sites like Spotify:

The widely held belief by industry leaders is that to stop the slide in music sales, consumers have to be offered unlimited access to deep pools of songs that are supported by either small, monthly subscription fees, or advertising sales.

Post-SOPA, both the RIAA and the MPAA said they would focus on market solutions rather than advocating for new anti-piracy legislation:

“[The RIAA] will be entirely focused on music licensing issues and voluntary, marketplace initiatives.”

“[The MPAA] plans to focus on developing voluntary, industry-led anti-piracy efforts.’”

These new initiatives suggest that these industries are serious about competing in the marketplace to reduce piracy.  The more lawful services available like All Access, and the more convenient ways to find them such as WhereToWatch.org, the less consumers will access potentially infringing sites.

Intellectual Property

The Internet enables the free exchange of ideas and content that, in turn, promote creativity, commerce, and innovation. However, a balanced approach to copyright, trademarks, and patents is critical to this creative and entrepreneurial spirit the Internet has fostered. Consequently, it is our belief that the intellectual property system should encourage innovation, while not impeding new business models and open-source developments.