'British Cinema's Golden Age Is Now': So Where's The 'Serious Problem' Of Copyright Infringement?

from the inconvenient-facts dept

Last week we learned the UK government has precisely no evidence to support its plans for stricter copyright enforcement, which include disconnection upon repeated accusation. Instead, the best it could come up with was:

The creative industries are an important part of the UKs economy, and they regularly report copyright infringement as a serious problem.

They certainly do, and their periodic cries of woe are dutifully and uncritically echoed by the mainstream press. The problem is that the industry-funded studies that are supposed to back up these claims are, almost without exception, lacking in credibility. As the UK government's own team of experts put it in their "independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation":

we have not found either a figure for the prevalence and impact of piracy worldwide or for the UK in which we can place our confidence.

For such a "serious problem", the harm caused by copyright infringement is proving remarkably hard to demonstrate. For example, a couple of years ago, Techdirt reported on the fact that the UK music industry is actually growing, not shrinking; and now the Guardian's film editor has surveyed the UK film industry, and concluded "British cinema's golden age is now":

History will decide whether we really are living through a golden age, but in terms of ferment, excitement and dazzling variety, there has been nothing like it in Britain for decades.

The article concentrates on the health of the artistic side of film production, not of the bottom lines. But the capital-intensive nature of cinema means that you can't have one without the other, or at least, not for very long: if films fail to pay their way, investment will soon dry up.

As the Guardian piece makes clear, investment isn't a problem, which suggests that payback isn't either. That's hard to square with an industry on its last legs, ravaged by piracy.

In the absence of credible evidence to the contrary, and against a background of broad growth in the creative industries, the simplest explanation for this situation is that copyright infringement isn't a "serious problem" in the UK - which means there is no justification whatsoever for rolling out measures that will weaken civil liberties yet further.

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Filed Under: copyright, culture, golden age, movies, uk


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  1. icon
    The Logician (profile), 19 Oct 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You begin, AC 162, with an insult. Not an intelligent way to counter an argument.

    Do you actually read and understand English? I said, " It was seized due to allegations of infringing." And you counter with this shit? Do you not own a dictionary or a thesaurus?

    Allegations are accusations. Not convictions. Therefore, my statement stands.

    Deemed? By who? So far, I haven't heard any competent governing body declare internet access to be a human right. At lest not one with any particular gravitas.

    Your opinion does not dictate policy. You choose to ignore how deeply ingrained technology is becoming into our lives, and how it will become even more so in the future. The term for your behavior is, I believe, referred to as willful blindness.

    The GPS in my car needs the internet?

    In a manner of speaking. GPS functions by connecting to a satellite. To do so, the device seeking the connection must be online, otherwise the data cannot be transmitted.

    Underserved customers who don't want to pay.

    It has been proven numerous times over that people are very willing to pay reasonable prices if they are treated fairly and honestly and provided a quality product. The industries you represent and support, however, do not have a good history of doing this, or of adapting to change. This, therefore, is why you see infringement occur. It is easier to blame others for your own mistakes and irrational decisions, yet doing so changes nothing.

    We'll see.

    It has already occurred in the marketplace many times over, and will continue to do so.

    Again with the "look at me I'm pretending to be a Star Trek character". I know Halloween is right around the corner, and hope that you're warming up for the occasion and you're not really such a pathetic loser in real life.

    Again, insults only reduce your credibility. They do nothing to add to it. So do not use them. And if I choose to post in the fashion that I do, that is my decision and my business. I use this persona because I believe that logic is an effective counter to irrational, fear-laden arguments such as yours. Do not attempt to argue logic with a Vulcan, sir. It is most unwise.

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