For the last decade entertainment companies around the world have tried to tackle online piracy in various ways.
In recent years they have focused more on getting Internet providers to take responsibility, and behind the scenes copyright groups have lobbied governments to kick them into action.
This has resulted in mandatory “strikes” legislation in France, New Zealand and South Korea, but copyright groups want more.
In Australia, for example, there have long been talks to set up a voluntary strikes program but according to IFPI CEO Frances Moore some government pressure is needed to get the ball rolling.
“There comes a point where the government has got to intervene. How long have those talks been going on in one form or another? When government intervenes, you get action,” Moore says in an interview with Music Network.
Interestingly, the music group boss mentioned the U.S. Copyright Alert System as a prime example where government intervention paid off. While it’s not a secret that the U.S. Government took part in the negotiations, the involvement of Vice President Joe Biden was never made concrete until now.
“If you look at the U.S., you could say the new U.S. Copyright Alert System was voluntary. But one shouldn’t forget that behind it was (U.S. Vice President) Joe Biden. And Victoria Espinel, the U.S. ‘Copyright Tsar’. They were always pushing the parties to come to some type of agreement,” Moore says.
“People need to know if they don’t (reach an agreement) there will be some type of intervention,” she adds.
So judging from Moore’s comments the Vice President was personally involved in the formation of the voluntary deal. Perhaps this is also one of the reasons why the Government refuses to comply with some Freedom of Information requests regarding the copyright alert system?
It’s of course no secret that Vice President Biden is a strong anti-piracy advocate. “Piracy is theft, clean and simple,” Biden said when he announced the Joint Strategic Plan to combat intellectual property theft in 2010.
Biden is also believed to be behind the shutdown of Megaupload, according to Kim Dotcom.
The exact role of the Vice President in the formation of the Copyright Alert System will probably remain unknown. However, IFPI’s comments do show that the entire process might not have been as voluntary and transparent as the public is now led to believe.