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Bskyb: Copyright reform for digital services would 'do more harm than good'

Not the right time to overhaul IP laws for Netflix and Spotify
Thu Jun 19 2014, 11:01
bskyb

UK BROADCASTER Bskyb has claimed that now is not the right time for copyright reform, saying it likely would do more harm than good.

The UK Pirate Party and the Open Rights Group have long called for an overhaul of copyright and intellectual property policy, calling for "a law that reflects the digital age" following the rise of services such as Spotify and Netflix.

However, Sky has said that now is not the right time for such a move. The broadcaster maintained that the current copyright framework is "key" to its business, and that such a radical change could harm the broad shift to digital media.

Speaking at an event in London on Thursday, Philip Pilcher, head of European Policy at Bskyb, said that the European Union should listen to the UK government resistance on copyright reform.

"Users have access to more diverse content than they have ever had before, therefore intervention must be considered carefully so it doesn't undermine these market developments.

"Intervention in changing market circumstances risks doing more harm than good. We hope that the EU will take heed of the UK government's resistant approach to copyright reform."

Charlotte Lund Thomsen, director general at the International Video Federation, put forward a argument similar to Pilcher's, saying that users now have access to a wealth of content - be it via catch up TV services, smartphones or tablet devices - and a rejig of the copyright framework is not necessary.

Sky's comments followed those from Maria Martin-Prat, head of the copyright unit at the European Commission, who said that a copyright reform is essential due to the shift from owning content to accessing it digitally, in contrast to Pilcher's remarks.

"The shift from ownership to access to content is raising complicated issues in terms of what the end user can do," she said. "It is a complicated issue to deal with, and in the meantime the public is face to face with copyright every day. µ

 

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