Last January, the government adopted a much more gentle approach to dealing with internet pirates. In association with UK ISPs, people suspected of illegally downloading music, films and games would get an email telling them where the could get hold of their content legally instead.
It was a huge step back from the heavy-handed lawyer-heavy techniques of old, and there’s very little data on whether the “Get it Right” campaign (full title: “Get it Right from a Genuine Site”) has been successful. Despite this, the government has seen fit to put an extra £2 million behind the initiative that will see it continue until 2021.”
The announcement was buried within a press release highlighting an extra £20 million for creative industries across England, which understandably led with more positive notes about £14 million for the Creative Careers Programme and £4 million a scheme designed to scale up businesses in the west, Manchester and the West Midlands.
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Whether or not it’s actually working to deter pirates, the press release’s authors were able to find two voices willing to back the funding. Ian Moss, Director of Public Affairs at the British Phonographic Industry said that the campaign “really makes a difference”. He continued: “With fantastic music services providing the whole history of recorded music, fans know that by choosing a legal service over illegal sites, the artists they are passionate about are rewarded for their art and creativity. The Government’s continuing commitment to the successful campaign is warmly welcomed.”
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Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association of the EMEA was equally effusive. “This investment will support creative sector jobs by reminding young people of the value of accessing the films and television programmes they love in a way that respects the hard work of those who made them.”
We’d love to see how the government is measuring the effectiveness of “Get it Right”, because a recent study suggested completely the opposite: the harsher message, the more likely it is to get results. But for now, barring a huge shift in tone, the gentler approach of “Get it Right” is here to stay.
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