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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spanish Minister Will Fight Piracy

Jose Ignacio Wert, the country’s Minister of Culture and Education, has recently made his position on piracy clear – he claimed at his first appearance as a minister that he is going to address digital piracy and go away from the present subsidy-based model of movie financing.

Just after taking office last week, Jose Ignacio Wert said that nobody respects the culture of Spain, which is the leader in the ranking of unauthorized downloads, and the country shouldn’t go anywhere in that direction. He added that the culture is in fact the essence of intellectual property legislation. Wert said that very soon they would have news, but he could say with full clarity that no objectives that they were currently considering were compatible with the existence of legal loopholes allowing for the abuse of intellectual property or the pillaging of creators.

According to the study, carried out by the Observatory of Piracy and Consumption Habits of Digital Content, over 77% of the digital content consumed in the country in the first half of the last was illegal. Moreover, the same research revealed that the damage caused by piracy to the entertainment industry was up to 5.2 billion euros in the first half of the last year, which shows a raise of 3% compared to the previous year.

The current plans of the minister are to pass a long-tabled anti-piracy legislation allowing to take offline the notorious file-sharing websites. During his swearing in, the minister claimed that the country’s cultural strategy would be both careful and realistic, and therefore should work on very limited resources, appropriate to the time they are in office.

Wert pointed out that it wasn’t a right time to blow seeds to the wind, but rather that each seed sowed is placed where it has the best chance to give fruit. In other words, the government doesn’t want to do away with cultural subsidies, but rather to the culture of subsidies. Meanwhile, the subsidy fund pooled $100 million in the last year. Nevertheless, a drop is expected this year, according to the experts reports. As for the entertainment industry, voices fear a serious attack on the way movies are financed in the country. That’s why Wert says that a sponsorship bill should be urgently passed. He hopes to get it ready in the first quarter of 2011, describing it as a key piece to bringing back society’s say in culture.

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