Piracy threatens Europe's creative industries


NEW YORK -- The creative industries are "a crucial source of jobs and growth" in Europe, but are under threat from piracy, according to a study released Wednesday.

Industry union representatives used the findings to call for increased regulatory protections for the entertainment sector.

The study predicts piracy-related losses of as many as 1.2 million jobs and €240 billion in retail revenue by 2015 in the creative sectors most impacted if current trends continue and no significant policy changes are put into place.

In 2008, the most affected parts of the creative industries, namely film, TV, recorded music and software, experienced retail revenue losses of €10 billion and lost more than 185,000 jobs due to piracy, the study found.

It was presented by Paris-based economics firm Tera Consultants at a press conference in Brussels.

The creative industries employ 6.5% of the total European workforce, or approximately 14 million people, and contribute 6.9%, or approximately €860 billion, to European GDP, according to the findings.

"Fourteen million people work in the creative industries in Europe, and at a time of economic and financial crisis, it offers growth potential," said European Parliament member Arlene McCarthy.

"The results of the study stress that the growth of unauthorized file sharing, downloading and streaming of copyrighted works and recorded performances is a major threat to the creative industries," said William Maunier, president of the European region of the Union Network International - Media Entertainment & Arts.

The European Parliament is nearing a vote on the so-called Gallo report on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Internal Market.

Maunier called on European lawmakers not to water down regulatory consequences with amendments that downplay piracy or try to legalize file sharing.

"We call on the European Commission to develop a comprehensive strategy and legislation against the growing piracy problem," he concluded.
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