Steve Redmond on the BPI’s well-timed response to the piracy debate – and a screenshot to celebrate

Thursday October 31, 2013

There's no doubt there's a rising tide of questioning of the content industry's traditional response to piracy and the balance between licensing, education and enforcement.

Only this week games industry trade body TIGA put the cat among the pigeons with a survey of its members which found 87% agreeing that new business models were the best way to combat piracy, with only 10% saying that stricter enforcement of their intellectual property rights was the best option.

It was an interesting follow-on to my own blog reflecting on the contrast between the retail focus on licensing and content owners' focus on enforcement.

But just as it looked like a new consensus was emerging, the BPI pulled off a masterstroke, a court order to ISPs forcing them to block 21 pirate sites.

Among them is, one of the most egregious offenders.

The result of this latest action is that while .mp3skull continues to appear as the top result when you search for last night's Mercury Prize winner James Blake, ahead of Amazon, click on the link and it's blocked.

This is a significant victory for which the BPI should be congratulated on its dogged determination to crack down on one of piracy's worst offenders.

So where does it leave us in the debate of the relative importance of enforcement versus licensing? It is certainly a welcome reminder that enforcement can and does work. No retailer or digital service would argue with that.

The continuing challenge is to ensure that the same determination goes into the far less dramatic, but just as vital work to make licensing easier.

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