October 27, 2015

Music Rights Australia calls for discussion on copyright infringement

Former Editor

With the recent unveiling of the UK’s major anti-piracy scheme, where content creators, the creative industries, the four major ISPs and the government have teamed to combat online piracy, the question is raised on whether associations in Australia are looking to make similar moves.

TMN talked to Vanessa Hutley, General Manager at Music Rights Australia this morning, who said the organisation believes copyright infringement must be addressed in Australia.

“The music industry has embraced the Internet and innovative business models so fans have the music they love where, when and how they want it. This year digital sales outstripped physical sales for the first time in Australia. However, there is still an imbalance and Music Rights Australia believes that the issue of rights protection online needs to be addressed so that the Internet can work for everyone.”

Hutley told TMN the issue is complex but that there needs to be a range of processes available to rights holders.

“The music industry has advocated for improved legislative processes which would give artists, and those who invest in them, the ability to take effective, efficient and proportionate steps to stop those who exploit their creative content online without rewarding them.

“Currently there are over 30 licensed online music services in Australia, offering every genre of music to fans across platforms and devices at a range of price points including free with advertising. Yet, despite this huge choice, there are still unacceptable levels of unauthorised use of music. Illegal streaming services, which make their money from advertising, but give nothing back to the legitimate market, continue to operate unimpeded in this country.”

Music Rights Australia has called for a discussion between relevant industry professionals and for further education programs to help consumers identify pirated software and understand how illegal downloading affects the creative sector.

“Music Rights Australia believes change is needed and this change must address the range of issues which artists, and those who invest in them, face online. What that solution will be is open for discussion but addressing unlicensed use and illegal streaming services will go a long way to improving the landscape for musicians and those who invest in them.

“Education is central to this and we must continue to invest in education programs to ensure the community is aware of the 30+ licensed online music services available in Australia and to ensure the community understands that these illegal streaming services have a damaging impact on  the local music  community.”