Copyright and IP
The impact of physical and digital copyright theft on the audiovisual industry has been the cost of hundreds of millions of pounds in cannibalised revenues to the film, video and TV sectors for many years. This has resulted in the closure of local video stores around the country, lost jobs and reduced the return on investment in new content by film, video and television producers.
In 2004 the BVA introduced a four pronged strategy to tackle copyright theft. This includes:
- Security of assets, using overt, covert and technical measures to allow access to video content in an authorised environment and on legal services
- Improved enforcement by industry, through the Federation Against Copyright Theft
- Lobbying for legislative reform of IP law – which the BVA co-founded in 1998
- Public awareness and communications campaigns through the Industry Trust for IP Awareness set up by the BVA in 2004 www.copyrightaware.co.uk and through Film Education which provides teaching resources to schools throughout the country www.filmeducation.org
This strategy has been implemented by joining forces and pooling resources to deliver a joined up approach that has already proved successful. Evidence for this is being seen across several indicators which measure the effect of our initiatives.
We have been running a tracking study of the economic impact since 2004 and we have seen a reduction in the financial impact of copyright theft in 2011 over 2010 levels.
Early indications from metrics carried out in the field of enforcement are showing positive results in areas where investment has been made in industry intervention in the physical markets for illegal audiovisual product and the illegal on-line consumption of audiovisual content through file-sharing and streaming.
A report on the economic opportunities for the UK film sector called Great Expectations, published by Oxford Economics and commissioned by Respect for Film, showed that a series of legislative changes would bring extra gross revenues of £268m to the audio-visual industry, £310m in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be generated across the entire UK economy, while £155m would be generated in added revenue to the Exchequer.
The report considers how increased broadband access could stimulate the growth of digital copyright theft and underscores the need for additional effective anti-piracy measures to ensure a corresponding increase in benefit to the UK economy, consumers and government.
The report is available at here to download
Surveys amongst politicians show that there is an understanding of the damage caused by copyright theft and sympathy with the industry’s calls for government to take action to improve sanctions, encourage ISPs to take some responsibility to clean up their networks and outlaw camcording, which is the source of 90% of the early release illegal DVDs sold on the streets and in car boot sales and files traded on-line.
Consumer feedback on advertising and promotional programmes demonstrate that the industry is able to influence consumer opinion and behaviour to some degree and this is helping to reduce the acceptability and incidence of various forms of copyright theft.
If you would like to know how you can get involved in any of these initiatives, please contact Lavinia Carey at the BVA – Lavinia@bva.org.uk