In a keynote speech at the Broadband World Forum, John McMahon, President of Sony Pictures Television asked ISPs to join their battle against piracy. McMahon further said that DRM is one of the major causes of piracy, but says Sony doesn’t have any plans to get rid of it.
Sony is following in the footsteps of established anti-piracy lobbyists. The IFPI, for example, has been lobbying politicians to force ISPs to identify, filter, block and remove copyright infringing content from the Internet. For their part, the RIAA has suggested similar measures for the upcoming Anti-Piracy Trade Agreement Wishlist (ACTA).
Thus far, these attempts haven’t been particularly successful. ISPs worldwide are refusing to cooperate, mainly because they feel such actions violate the privacy of their customers. In addition, last week the Belgian ISP Scarlet – previously ordered to stop illegal file-sharing on its network – told the court that it is simply impossible for it to do so.
Nevertheless, Sony’s John McMahon said in his keynote speech at the Broadband World Forum, that he would like ISPs and copyright owners to cooperate in order to reduce piracy. According to McMahon, the entertainment industry is losing more than two billion dollars a year because of piracy, but he believes this number can be reduced significantly with the help of ISPs.
Interestingly, McMahon also said that customer frustration with DRM is one of the main reasons why people turn to file-sharing networks, instead of legal alternatives. Sony recognizes, but at the same time ignores these signals from their customers, as they are not planning to get rid of DRM. Instead, they are investing in a new and improved DRM, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).