Content partnership calls for global anti-piracy collaboration

Recently-formed Clear Sky content partnership – a cooperative set up by leading Ukrainian media groups – has called for global collaboration and transparency in the fight against online piracy, urging participation by rights owners, global brands and content publishers alike.

Highlighting proactive anti-piracy measures ongoing in Ukraine, Russia, and other Eastern countries, Clear Sky – formed in July 2013 – is spearheading a campaign aiming to develop a global market that is mutually beneficial for rights holders, users and online businesses alike.

Committed to domestic anti-piracy in the Ukraine, the multi group partnership has announced that the most effective way to suffocate global online piracy is to coordinate international efforts in line with domestic initiatives, beginning with carrying out a raft of objective, pan-international reviews to create watertight legislation and transparent practices.

Taking a more holistic, inclusive approach – involving rights owners, publishers, brands and consumers – to fighting online piracy, Clear Sky proposes combined measures of self regulation within the media industry focusing on addressing global business practices; the introduction of more effective legislation; and the delivery of initiatives that encourage a change in consumer behaviour in Eastern countries.

Clear Sky’s position aims to marry strategies taken by Eastern and Western governments to create a secure content market that nurtures genuine content, legitimate publishing and legal consumption.

Current measures being taken in Eastern countries – without media industry buy-in – have resulted in activities that have proven to generate negative sentiment toward anti-piracy initiatives according to Clear Sky experts.

Recognising that media industry self-regulation has proven effective in principle in the US and the United Kingdom – creating a general consensus between multiple stakeholders including rights owners, content publishers and consumers – Clear Sky warns that these measures do not transcend international practices, thus rendering them short sighted in the global fight.

Having identified two key areas that directly contribute to the growth in Ukraine’s piracy problem, Clear Sky believes that malpractice within global online advertising and the ambiguity surrounding the wider digital environment, are key factors currently enabling piracy to flourish while damaging anti-piracy initiatives.

Keen to address the perception of Ukraine being a major perpetrator and incubator for online piracy, the multi media group partnership has demanded an urgent audit of the global online advertising practices of some of the world’s largest brands in order to support its domestic efforts.

Drawing attention to figures that cite 40 per cent of the population in Ukraine being exposed to advertisements from some of the leading global brands via websites publishing pirated content – thus legitimising the sites – demonstrates that this is an ingrained issue.

By failing to address the issue of online ads being placed on sites publishing pirated content in Ukraine and in other countries, recent initiatives cease at the borders of the US and the UK, suggests Clear Sky.

“Clear Sky is calling for international collaboration to ensure anti-piracy efforts are optimised by changing the status quo, a situation that sees brands – sometimes unwittingly – fuelling the illicit revenue of these sites and consequently exacerbating the global problem,” explained Pavel Mykolyuk – the director of the law firm Vindex, industry expert and key member of the Clear Sky content partnership.

Attributing the alarming growth of online piracy to a number of domestic and international factors, the Ukrainian cooperative is calling for a review of the wider digital environment on account of its belief that in its current state, a huge amount of ambiguity and a lack of transparency plagues the market.

Enabling publishers of pirated content to compete on a level playing field, existing alongside legitimate content publishers – particularly in mobile app markets, developments in Smart TV and increasingly more sophisticated web platforms – another of Clear Sky’s main concerns is growing as the numbers of consumers sourcing pirated content via mobile devices and televisions increases.

“This is not a time for isolationism, blame and indifference. As a global community with a responsibility to ensure that content producers, publishers and consumers are served fairly throughout the content delivery process, we need to join forces, act openly, invest appropriate resources and drive forward initiatives designed to eradicate piracy and support creative endeavours,” Mykolyuk concluded.

In May 2013, the US Trade Representatives’ office (USTR) designated Ukraine a “foreign priority country” – the worst possible classification in its annual report on the global protection of U.S. patents, copyrights and other forms of intellectual property rights. Clear Sky has taken the lead in the proactive pursuit of resolutions that are universally fair and calls upon all those involved in online content to pledge their support for a global anti-piracy initiative.

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