IP owners want respect

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Day 1 of the inaugural CISAC Copyright Summit included speakers keen to prove the value of copyright. Speaking on the "IP & Copyright: Can Rights Owners Get Some R.E.S.P.E.C.T?" panel, moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's Brussels correspondent Leo Cendrowicz, World Intellectual Property Organizaiton deputy director general Michael Keplinger said the copyright industry now represents more than 11% of gross domestic product in the U.S.

"Copyright is vitally important to our economy today," he said.

On the same panel, delegates agreed that threatening end users probably is not the answer to piracy.

"We are starting to learn our lessons and to send messages without threatening people," said Ted Shapiro, deputy managing director, vp and general counsel, Europe, for the MPA.

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento and British Music Rights CEO Emma Pike stressed the importance of informing young consumers about the damage illegal downloads cause to creators, with ASCAP now targeting 10- to 14-year-olds.

"When the kids are in college, it's too late," said LoFrumento, adding that he expected 2.2 million school kids to have seen ASCAP's anti-piracy "Donny the Downloader" video by the end of 2007.

Meanwhile, on the panel titled "Author's Societies: Building a New Model," delegates struggled to reach consensus on the best way forward in the digital age, particularly on the question of cross-border collections.

"The rigidity of the licensing system is the reason the European download market is yet to take off," said Roger Faxon, chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing.

Nonetheless, the debate proved inconclusive, prompting Peter Jenner, chair of the International Music Managers Forum, to declare, "If I had my way, I'd lock all the collecting societies in a room in Brussels until they came up with a solution."

Mark Sutherland is Billboard's London bureau chief and global editor. Aymeric Pichevin is a freelancer.
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