Online piracy, copyright and loss of income

Creators and performers give their views on copyright in the digital era and how it affects them

April 15, 2011
Online piracy, copyright and loss of income

The Dutch Government recently announced plans to take a hard line on copyright infringement, outlawing the download of copyrighted material and making it easier to block websites which facilitate copyright infringement, such as The Pirate Bay.

As part of this process, the Dutch Government surveyed 4,500 artists – representing a broad range of creative professions, age and income groups – to find out what they think about copyright in the digital era.

Generally, digital distribution was perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity. Most respondents are fearful of unauthorized downloading of copyright protected works and think that action should be taken against both consumers and file sharing websites.

Hardly any creator shares his own work on file sharing websites. An equally small minority appreciates reuse (remixing and sampling) of their work by others.

Reuse is even perceived by many as a potential threat to income. A considerable part of the respondents endorsed the use of digital rights management (DRM).

There are however many artists who indicated that they are not affected, and many who welcomed free sharing of material as it helped them in their careers.

‘Generation 2.0’ primarily sees opportunities in digital developments, file sharing and remixing. Creators and performers of Generation 2.0 are relatively young and hardly feel financially threatened by digital developments.

Digital Newcomers also see opportunities in digital developments and filesharing, but do not know how to take advantage of these opportunities as they make little use of new media.

Executive summary of the piracy study available here

Piracy and loss of income: What artists think << Comments and discussion

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