In the Wake of the Piracy Summit

Diane Duke
On Nov. 18, FSC in conjunction with law firms Jenner Block and Mitchell Silberberg, pulled together an unprecedented group of mainstream entertainment executives to talk to the adult entertainment industry about the problem of piracy. Surely these top executives, these strategists from Sony, NBC Universal, MPAA, SoundExchange, Universal Music Group and more would have the solution about how to protect valuable content from would-be pirates. Is there a magic pill for piracy?

Is it technology?
Kelly Truelove of Truelove Research walked us through samples of torrent sites, demonstrating the ease with which just about any content can be accessed and downloaded for free. Much to the dismay of content providers and legitimate distributors, technology for these peer-to-peer (P2P) sites is only improving, making pirating of content almost elementary.

On a positive note, Truelove spoke about digital fingerprinting, a code added to a media file that can then be matched against a central database of copyrighted content to identify pirated content. While certainly a help in identifying where content is being pirated, digital fingerprinting is not the magic pill we are looking for.

Is it litigation?
The importance of litigation was stressed at the summit, encouraging content producers to go after smaller sites and cut off pirates at the source. Lawsuits involving other companies required the consideration of multiple layers including distributors and advertisers. Gill Sperlein from Titan spoke of the success they had suing smaller companies but admitted that, while it helped protect Titan's content, the entire industry — including Titan — suffers from stolen content. What about the larger companies who seem to get away with it? For individual companies, litigation does help, but is it the magic pill that will protect their bottom line from the negative impact of piracy? Doubtful.

If not a magic pill, then what?
In the final session, the mainstream executives discussed the role and the critical nature of a trade association in battling industry enemies. Jennifer Pariser from Sony Music Entertainment stressed the importance of providing support for the trade association as it is the organization that looks beyond a single business' net profit to the collective industry good, thus improving conditions for all.

In 2008 through efforts like the Summit and the FSC Anti-piracy Roundtables, FSC has provided the resources to educate the industry about piracy. What we know from these efforts is, there is no magic pill folks. We are in an all out war with those who would steal our content and the solution will have to be no less than an all out offensive. The only way to battle the giant that is piracy is with an equal giant, the coordinated efforts of the adult entertainment industry. In 2009 FSC will work to bring industry leaders together to fight piracy with a united front. We need your support. If you are not a member, join and donate. If you are a member, please consider a donation to our anti-piracy efforts.

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