Creative industries call on EU for strong legal remedy to fight epidemic of piracy
Madrid, 23 May 2002
Europe’s major creative industries today urged the European Union to take bold measures in its forthcoming EU Enforcement Directive and rapidly implement this new legislation to combat escalating piracy in Europe. The theft of copyrighted work costs the European film, video, music, business and interactive leisure software sectors billions of Euros in losses annually. This means lost jobs in the Member States, funds lost to governments in tax revenues and less money available to invest in new creative works.
Counterfeiting and piracy of copyrighted works feeds a growing black economy in which criminal networks use piracy to fund other activities such as drug dealing, arms trading, money laundering and terrorism. Pirates are taking advantage of inconsistencies in EU national laws to carry out their operations, warned the creative industries participating in a two-day piracy seminar in Madrid, under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the EU.
The forthcoming EU Enforcement Directive offers a unique opportunity to strengthen the most important enforcement tools needed to fight piracy in the Community. While it is a step in the right direction, rightholders stressed that it must contain essential, concrete measures if it is going to be really effective in stamping out piracy.
“It’s imperative the EU quickly takes the necessary visionary steps within the Enforcement Directive to address the issue of piracy and counterfeiting which is so firmly on its political agenda,” said Francisco Mingorance, Director of Policy, Business Software Alliance, Europe. “Pirates can – and do – take advantage of the weaknesses and inconsistencies in EU national laws which fragment the single market. It is highly probable this will only worsen as more countries become part of the European Union.”
The creative sector is now witnessing a convergence of Internet piracy and physical piracy, fuelled by the falling cost of disc duplication technology. Dara MacGreevy, Vice President of the Motion Picture Association commented: "Pirates are using the Internet to download illegal copies of movies and then burning them onto CD-ROMs or DVD Recordables. Just last week, our anti-piracy programme in the UK, working with local enforcement authorities, raided a major pirate DVD-R factory that was making copies of “Spider Man” and “Star Wars: Episode II” that had been downloaded from the Internet. Over 10,000 discs and 31 DVD burners were seized in the raid.”
Mr MacGreevy added: “The EU should now move forward quickly to adopt an Enforcement Directive and then urgently turn its attention to the issue of harmonising criminal penalties for piracy across the Community.”
Representatives of the European film, video, music, business and interactive leisure software sectors jointly called for the EU Enforcement Directive to include the following:
BSA – Business Software Alliance Shona Jago 79 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RB, England. Tel: +44 (0) 207 245 0304
IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Emma Pike 19 square de Meeûs, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: + 32 2 511 9208
MPA – Motion Picture Association Dara MacGreevy Leopold Plaza Building, 108 Rue de Trône, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: +32 2 778 2711
IVF – International Video Federation Charlotte Lund Thomsen 38 avenue des Arts, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Tel : + 32 2 503 4063
ISFE – Interactive Software Federation of Europe Isabelle Roudard 38 avenue des Arts, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Tel : +32 2 513 8816
FIAPF – International Association of Film Producers Associations Valerie Lepine-Karnik 9 rue de l’Echelle, 75001 Paris, France.
Tel : + 33 1 44 77 97 50