ICMP Global Briefing - 20 February 2012 - Edition 3/12

WIPO releases study on economic impact of copyright industries

On 9 February, WIPO published a study on the economic impact of the copyright industries, entitled “Copyright + Creativity = Jobs and Economic Growth”. The study is based on data retrieved from 30 countries across the globe. According to the findings, the contribution of core copyright industries such as the music industry to GDP averages over 5% across countries, and provides for nearly 6% of employment.

The study also shows a positive correlation between the level of contribution of the copyright industries to GDP and the importance of intellectual property rights in a given country, illustrating the significance of a functioning legal framework. It also finds that countries in which copyright industries are larger contributors to GDP tend to rank higher in terms of global competitiveness and investment in research and development. In general, countries which have experienced rapid economic growth also have an above average share of GDP attributed to copyright industries.

The analysis highlights the economic significance of these industries in both developed and developing countries around the world. It also demonstrates their connection to other important factors such as growth and competitiveness.

Commenting on the study, NMPA President and CEO David Israelite said: “Copyright is more than a legal term. It’s protection for thousands of individuals lending ideas, words, voice and talent to creative content and today’s WIPO study details the enormous impact these individuals make to our global economy.”

ICMP Secretary General, Ger Hatton added: “Strong copyright protection can aid economic recovery and safeguard jobs as shown in this WIPO study and is a welcome vindication for the authors and composers throughout the world that depend on copyright to make a living.”

Full report: http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipdevelopment/en/creative_industry/pdf/economic_contribution_analysis_2012.pdf

WIPO: Private copying and Fair Compensation

On 15 February, the WIPO “Economics of Intellectual Property” seminar series opened with a presentation by Professor Martin Kretschmer, Bournemouth University’s Director for the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management, on private copying levies. Professor Kretschmer presented findings from his empirical study on different private copying levy schemes across Europe, documenting the wide variances among countries on issues such as levies and exceptions for private copying. He also explored the economic rationale behind private copying levies, and demonstrated how strongly aggregate tax, consisting of VAT and a levy, influenced market price.

The WIPO seminar series will continue throughout the year, showcasing recent academic work on the economics of intellectual property which is aimed at fostering debate on IP-related issues.

More information: http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=25670

IIPA Special 301 Submission 2012

In its submission to the Office of the US Trade Representative, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) gave an overview of countries it recommended for placement on the Priority Watch List: Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Thailand and the Ukraine. The Alliance commented that this information was intended to assist the US Government in planning policies for 2012, and identified three main challenges: the need to reduce copyright piracy, remove market access barriers and strengthen laws.

The IIPA posited that it was important to ensure effective legal frameworks in countries around the world to combat the threat of copyright piracy, noting that many countries still lacked the political will or strength of rule of law to address this problem. It suggests that these countries should ratify and implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty as well as update laws and enforcement tools and encourage cooperation of ISPs with content owners. It highlights internet piracy as a particularly urgent and persisting concern.

British MEP appointed ACTA rapporteur

British MEP David Martin was appointed on 7 February as the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the report on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA is being discussed in the European Parliament’s Committee for International Trade and is scheduled to be debated in plenary in June.

Canada: New Approach to Music Rights Management?

On 9 February, the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SOCAN) announced that they are exploring opportunities to create a more integrated approach to the management of performing and reproduction rights of music creators and publishers in Canada. While an agreement has been made to examine opportunities for the three organisations to work together, the next step involves a feasibility study to determine the best way forward.

Catharine Saxberg, Executive Director of the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) welcomed this exploration between SOCAN, SODRAC and CMRRA. “We believe a new relationship between these three organisations could benefit music publishers by streamlining processes and rationalising costs. We look forward to seeing the results of the feasibility study,” she said.

Canada: C-11 referred to Committee

Music Canada, the trade organisation representing the major record labels in Canada, has applauded the fact that the second reading of the country’s Copyright Amendment Bill, C-11, is concluding, and that it is set to be referred to a Legislative Committee for review. The committee is due to submit its report on the Bill to the House of Commons by 29 March.

Commission publishes roadmap on IPR Enforcement Directive

The European Commission has published a roadmap on the revision of the IPR Enforcement Directive. The policy options being considered include more detailed rules for obtaining evidence from intermediaries, fast-tracking low cost procedures and the ability to act against web-pages containing content that violates IPRs. The Commission may also introduce measures designed to disrupt the business of counterfeiters and to increase cooperation between IP rightsholders and intermediaries. The proportionality of the policy options will now be examined in an impact assessment. Particular focus will also be given to the question of the accessibility to legal offer. 

ECJ clarifies ‘temporary reproduction’ exemption

On 9 February, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling in response to a question referred to it by the Supreme Court of Denmark. The question asks for clarification on the act of temporary reproduction as an exemption to European copyright law. The ECJ has stated that temporary reproductions are only allowed if the aim is to make possible the legitimate use of a protected work. If instead the temporary reproduction enables the generation of any “additional profit”, it is not permitted by the exemption.

India-European Union summit

At the India-European Union summit held on 10 February in New Delhi, both parties declared that progress had been made with regard to the free trade agreement currently being negotiated between them. The deal is expected to be completed by Autumn 2012. The EU is India's largest trading partner, accounting for 14% of India's foreign trade.

Social networking sites not required to police internet

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 16 February ruled that social networking sites cannot be required to install general filters to detect any copyright infringement by their users. Belgian collecting society SABAM had argued that social networking site Netlog NV should apply this type of monitoring. The ruling echoes a previous ECJ ruling from November 2011.

Australia: Dean of Law to head copyright review

The Australian government announced on 14 February that Professor Jill McKeough, a dean of law at Sydney University of Technology, will lead the Australian Law Reform Commission’s review of the country’s digital copyright laws. “In our fast changing, technologically driven world, it’s important to ensure our copyright laws are keeping pace with change,” said Australia's Attorney-General, The Hon Nicola Roxon MP.

France: First Hadopi files sent to public prosecutor’s office

Hadopi, the French anti-piracy authority, confirmed on 13 February that the first files on suspected illegal downloaders on their “third strike” have been sent to the public prosecutor's office. If convicted of piracy, perpetrators could face a €1500 fine and a one month internet disconnect.

France & the United Kingdom: Sales increase since pirate shutdown

French providers of online video on demand services have seen substantial increases in sales in the last two weeks since the seizure of Megaupload. They believe that users accustomed to viewing videos through the site’s streaming services are now turning to legitimate sources of content. In fact, Canal+ has announced an increase of 20% in sales in just seven days since the FBI intervened.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, file-sharing website BTJunkie has shut down voluntarily in the wake of the seizure.

Germany: Two strikes model in the pipeline?

An official in the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has commented on a recently published study on graduated response systems, arguing that it could form the basis for the implementation of a “two strikes” system in Germany to combat online piracy. According to this model, warning messages would be sent to users found downloading copyrighted content illegally, though a Hadopi-style internet disconnect is not envisioned.

Netherlands: Creative remixes of copyright material?

A Dutch government official has announced plans to amend Dutch copyright laws to allow for broader exemptions along the lines of the fair use provisions in the US. Bernt Hugenholtz of the Dutch state committee on copyright law says European copyright law is outdated because the exceptions it allows for in the use of protected content do not take new technology into account.

Spain: Sinde Law to be tested in Supreme Court

The newly adopted anti-piracy legislation known as “Ley Sinde” will be tested for constitutionality by Spain's Supreme Court following an appeal filed by an association of Internet users. The association argues that the recently approved code to enforce the country's antipiracy law is unconstitutional. In January 2011, Spain's parliament passed the law, which does not target illegal downloaders per se, but sites illegally profiting from copyrighted content.

International alliance cracks down on piracy

On 15 February, an international alliance of publishers and publishers’ associations struck a major blow against internet piracy. The International Publishers Association and the German Publishers and Booksellers Association located the operators of both the sharehoster service www.ifile.it and the link library www.library.nu, and successfully served judicial cease-and-desist orders on both. The perpetrators operated an "internet library" which made available over 400,000 high quality e-books available for illegal download, generating a turnover of some €8 million.

Strong South Korean music market

According to IFPI’s Digital Music Report, South Korea is poised to become one of the world’s ten largest markets for recorded music, following several government actions aimed at reducing online piracy in the country. Among other things, copyright legislation was updated in 2007, requiring ISPs to filter illegal content after being notified by rightsholders, as well as graduated response measures and a new law obliging cyberlockers and P2P services to register with the government and introduce filtering measures. The country’s rise in the rankings as well as statistics from the Korea Copyright Commission suggest that these initiatives have been very successful in decreasing illegal file-sharing and increasing legitimate music sales.

Ghana: Musicians planning street protest

Ghanian musicians are planning street protests and a boycott of all musical concerts during March to put pressure on Carlos Sakyi, interim chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), to step down and hold elections. The news comes amid reports that the GHAMRO board is divided on what the way forward should be as well as several accusations of misconduct and nepotism.

Kenya: Copyright Board destroys confiscated material

On 15 February, the Kenya Copyright Board destroyed over 1 tonne of pirated copies of CDs and DVDs worth over Sh10 million as its officials stressed their commitment to stemming this type of copyright infringement in the country. The CDs and DVDs had been confiscated over time from different individuals and companies who have been pirating intellectual material as well as importing pirated material.

United Kingdom: IPO “too influential” says MP

UK MP and former musician Pete Wishart on 7 February criticised the country’s Intellectual Property Office, arguing that it has too much influence on government policies and that it favours the position of users rather than that of creators. "The artist, the creator and those who are prepared to invest in a talent have become a massive inconvenience and they are an afterthought and must be grudgingly accommodated and managed," he said. "The idea that the inventor or creator is the owner of important intellectual property rights is barely recognised."

ICMP meetings in Dublin

- 6 June 2012 – ICMP Board Meeting
- 7 June 2012 – ICMP Serious Bureau meeting
- 7 June 2012 – ICMP Popular Bureau meeting

Other meetings

- 29 February 2012 - MPA Seminar: The Global Business of Music Publishing – London
- 21 – 24 March 2012  – Frankfurt Musikmesse 2012