Whilst legal proceedings commence in the United Kingdom against file sharers of the film ‘The Company You Keep‘. Ongoing education of the general public continues as industry representatives try to engage directly with consumers on exactly ‘what is copyright infringement’.
Industry bodies such as the Industry Trust are organising tactical educational campaigns in an approach toward promoting the value of copyright and creativity. Speculation as to exactly what the social demographics of illegal file sharers are, based on the information at hand, has in some instances been hard to verify. The use of real time data from peer-to-peer networks of daily file sharing of copyright protected content is now allowing industry executives to build relative genre and geographic specific data sets to share with the market to better understand where hot spots occur and how to target these areas within postcode specific areas around the globe.
Whilst this vast black market consumer data remains privileged, it does give rise to another question, What makes that data so valuable? Is it that it can hugely financially beneficial to those who wish to exploit creativity? Or, is it more valuable to those who wish to preserve it?
Benefit to the Industry
We have seen large increases of legal digital downloading within the last year, 2015 showed that downloads via platforms such as iTunes, Amazon and Google Play had increased by 12%, global information supplier IHS has confirmed these findings, who also estimate that transactional spend on Video On Demand platforms (where consumers purchase content to own) went up 19% in 2015, whilst subscription based services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime (sVoD) achieved a 45% uplift year on year. All news most welcome to those concerned with copyright infringement.
Industry opinion may remain divided at times on as to why these trends appear, although it could be argued that the disorder of the media industry has its own macroscopic system, which in turn has its own entropic forces at work here, as have most consumer markets.
It is understandable that rights holders are keen to use these data sets to advance their litigious proceedings against individuals who steal and distribute their content without regard, we remain mindful that whilst some individuals are guilty as sin, it is also, in the industry’s best interest to not forget that well placed clemency can sometimes be just as useful in the fight against copyright theft.