On the day that the iPad is released in the UK I thought you might like to consider some of the legal and commercial consequences of the digital piracy culture in which we now live.
Some publishers hope that the iPad will herald a new publishing era enabling high speed, high tech, low cost, paperless, international distribution of books, newspapers and magazines to a whole new market. But legal exploitation of e-books and other digital files requires consumers to pay for the product, and many people clearly prefer to get something for nothing. The precedent of the music industry is giving some publishers and authors serious (and well-founded) concerns. The legitimate on-line market in digital files (especially movies, music, video games and software) is dwarfed by the massive black market in illegal file-sharing. Why should e-books fare any differently?
The attached piece is based on a talk I gave ten days ago to senior in-house lawyers at members of the Publishers Association. I told them that I approach these issues from the perspective of a published author, the son of two authors, the brother of another, and as a former university lecturer in literature. In my time as a solicitor I have acted for the Society of Authors, the Writers’ Guild and the ALCS. In my last 18 years advising on intellectual property (“IP”) issues I have always acted on the side of rights owners. I have handled over 200 successful anti-piracy cases, very few of which came anywhere near a court. I have also given a series of seminars on the commercial and legal threats posed by IP piracy. It is therefore not surprising that I believe that the rights of the creative industries should be better protected.
To understand the current issues we need to get to grips with the enforcement successes and failures during the last decade, and the nature of the technological challenge, including so-called “peer to peer” networks (P2P). My piece provides you with a handy explanation and summary. It concentrates on two very recent cases against P2P providers, one in the US (earlier this month) and one in the UK.
By Daniel Eilon
New Media Law LLP
Please click the link below for the full document
iPads pickpockets and digital piracy.pdf (670 kb)