Helsingin Sanomat (22/11/2012) has run a traditional story on the piracy debate.
It has condemned enforcement actions, interviewed the EFF and blamed artists. The alleged illegal file-sharing undertaken by a nine-year-old girl should though provide evidence for a more wide ranging debate.
First, what is the role and responsibility of parents and educators? Is a father who teaches his nine-year-old daughter how to use illegal internet services when great legal alternatives are available acting responsibly? The same music that is on illegal sites can be found more easily – and safely – on dozens of legal music services, some of which offer access to music for free.
Second, while we recognise individual lawsuits against uploaders are not the best way to reduce the illegal distribution of music, CIAPC can only act within the boundaries of the current law, which does not permit rights holders any other option to tackle illegal piracy. The music industry has presented the matter to the government and suggested a graduated response programme, where ISPs would send education notices to internet users who were distributing files without permission. Such measures have been used successfully outside Finland. The government of Finland has not yet taken steps to ensure that such a programme could be introduced to enable rights holders to pursue a more proportionate approach to tackling piracy.
Third, what is the role and responsibility of internet search engines? How is it possible that the 9-year-old, who is looking for Chisu’s music ends up in the internet’s largest and best-known illegal service, The Pirate Bay. Why do search engines such as Google favour illicit services in their results? A quick analysis shows that a Google search for “Chisu mp3” reveals seven in ten of the first links shown are infringing.
Thanks to innovative new services, consumers have today better and easier option than piracy when it comes to accessing music. There should be a shift from the piracy debate to one considering the measures Finland can take to support its creative sector.
The Copyright Information and Anti Piracy Centre (CIAPC) acts on behalf of rights holders in Finland to try and curb the illegal distribution of copyrighted material online. Rights holders are not involved in the operational detail of its individual cases. The music industry in Finland continues to call for the government and ISPs to introduce graduated response measures to help migrate users to legal services as a more proportionate way of tackling the piracy problem. There are around 20 licensed digital services in Finland offering great value access to music and pay artists, songwriters and those that invest in them. We urge consumers to use these legal services and educate their children to access music responsibly online.