In 2018, as agreed in the Creative Industries Sector Deal, the UK Intellectual Property Office launched a series of Government-backed, voluntary roundtable discussions between social media platforms and UK creative businesses.
These roundtable discussions seek to further enhance the means to fight piracy on social media platforms, ensure that participants are aware of all existing measures available to block or remove infringements, and identify new policies, systems and practices that can be introduced to further reduce piracy online.
The stakeholders participating in this roundtable included the Publishers Association, English Premier League, UK record labels association the BPI and its international counterpart IFPI, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Sky, Professional Publishers Association (PPA), interactive entertainment trade body trade UKIE, ACID representing lone and SME designers (collectively, ‘creative rights owners’), and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
While all stakeholders agree there is more work to be done, two years of talks facilitated by the IP Office have achieved progress in a number of areas, building on enforcement measures already in place. These include:
The stakeholders acknowledge that these improvements are part of a voluntary process, founded on cooperation and a shared purpose of reducing IP infringement online. The roundtable and bilateral meetings overseen by the IPO have helped to build increased trust and collaboration, and it is intended that these should continue on a regular, bi-lateral basis going forward, with reviews of progress by the IPO as needed. Consideration is also being given to broadening the roundtables to include other social media networks.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI & BRIT Awards, who leads the IP group of the Creative Industries Council and chaired the roundtable discussions, commented: “There remains much work to do to reduce online infringement, which continues to hinder the growth of the UK’s world-beating creative industries, but I would like to thank Facebook and YouTube for their positive engagement and their efforts to address many of the issues brought forward in the Roundtable. Today’s announcement represents a staging post, rather than the conclusion of that process. However, the fact that in contrast, no significant progress has been made with Twitter underlines the urgent need for Government to ensure that all online platforms take a responsible approach to dealing with content.”
“The collaborative social media roundtable process facilitated by the IP Office has proven to be a powerful model for educating stakeholders on Facebook’s systems to address piracy and for developing new policies that meet all stakeholders’ needs,” stated Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook. “We are grateful to the IP Office for its leadership and the earnest and solution-oriented manner in which the creative rights holders approached the roundtable discussions.”
“YouTube seeks to lead the industry in developing programmes, policies and technology to fight online piracy and we are very proud of receiving an Emmy for our cutting-edge ContentID system,” declared Dan Chalmers, Director, YouTube Music, EMEA. “But as pirates switch tactics, it is important that we collaborate closely with rightsholders and experts like the IPO to ensure that our approach and investment are as effective as possible. We value the leadership taken in the UK to facilitate industry collaboration and look forward to continuing progress in this space”.
“Piracy is a global problem and can only be addressed when multinational corporations are willing to put their weight behind efforts to combat it,” asserted Amanda Solloway, Minister for Intellectual Property. “I’m pleased that Facebook and YouTube, with the support of the IPO, have been able to agree new voluntary measures that will see more of our great British content safeguarded. I call on other social media platforms to work with the Government and creative industries to identify workable solutions to ensure that those who create world class creative content are adequately protected online.”
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