James Murdoch: ‘Copyright infringers should be held to account’

James Murdoch, Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox, has joined the growing chorus of senior media executives in declaring that copyright infringement can best be tackled by action from government and enforcement agencies.

Participating in a Media Mastermind keynote interview at MIPCOM in Cannes, Murdoch suggested that search engines “driven by clicks” had it in their interest to prioritise enquiries that would lead to illegal content.

Describing copyright as “the fount of innovation”, Murdoch told delegates that “hundreds of thousands, indeed millions” of jobs were at risk as a result of copyright infringement.

“It’s important for government and enforcement agencies to tackle this. Infringers should be held to account,” he asserted, while recognising that companies such as his should be striving to make content available to customers in a way that would obviate piracy.

He noted that windowing of content availability was set up in an era when it was important to make content “more available than less,” suggesting that the advent of the digital era had changed such dynamics and that the accepted practices were likely to change.

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