Search

 

Cablegate: Spain: Government Hosts Ipr Conference, Launches

VZCZCXRO7441
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #1318/01 3511309
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161309Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5780
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3714
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MADRID 001318

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE, EEB/TPP/IPE, EEB/CIP
STATE PASS USTR DWEINER
USDOC FOR 4212 D.CALVERT
USDOC ALSO FOR PTO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD KCRM KIPR SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: GOVERNMENT HOSTS IPR CONFERENCE, LAUNCHES
ANTI-PIRACY PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

REF: A. MADRID 1194
B. MADRID 1150

MADRID 00001318 001.2 OF 003


SUMMARY

1. In late November, the GOS hosted its second annual
International Conference on Digital Content (FICOD),
which included as a separate event an International
Conference on Intellectual Property in the Digital
Environment. The IPR Conference brought Spanish
government officials together with counterparts from
other EU countries and the U.S., the EC, OECD, WIPO,
and other international bodies, along with a broad
range of private sector representatives from the
community of copyright holders and the telecommunications
and internet service provider (ISP) industries. The IPR
conference also featured a presentation by businessman/
lobbyist Aldo Olcese, newly appointed president of the
Anti-Piracy Coalition. Concurrent with the two
conferences, the Ministry of Culture launched a new
anti-piracy public awareness and education campaign
targeting young people with a variety of messages to
discourage illegal downloads of copyrighted material
and other forms of digital infringement. These
relatively high-profile events represent a sign that
the GOS is keenly aware of the serious problem posed
by increasing online piracy in Spain. The government
continues to urge ISPs and rights-holders to negotiate
an agreement on measures to combat piracy, but continues
to defer action until the private stakeholders agree
on what measures they want the government to take.
End Summary.

FICOD AND IPR CONFERENCE: TECHNOLOGY AND COPYRIGHT

2. Sponsored by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism
and Trade (MITyC) and the Spanish public entity red.es,
which implements programs for the development of the
information society, the International Conference on
Digital Content (FICOD) also received significant
support from telecommunications giant Telefonica
and mega-bank BBVA, as well as the Ministry of Culture,
the City of Madrid, and the Foreign Trade Institute.
Secretary of State for Telecommunications Francisco
Ros Peran, Colombian Communications Minister Maria
del Rosario Guerra, and the Crown Prince delivered
opening remarks. Secretary Ros hailed the growing
penetration of the internet in Spanish society,
which he said now boasts 24 million "internauts;" he
noted that 83 percent of Spanish youth belong
to online social networks. According to Ros, 95 percent
of Spanish companies and 50 percent of households are
connected to the internet and Spanish digital content
is valued at 16 billion euros. Spanish is the second
language in use on the internet, after English, and
has the third highest number of native speaker users,
after English and Japanese. Ros highlighted
the importance of protecting intellectual property
online, noting that FICOD organizers had opted to give
the issue "its own space" by addressing IPR issues in
a separate conference. Many of the high-profile FICOD
speakers also emphasized in their separate presentations
the importance of protecting intellectual property
rights. In presenting FICOD,s annual awards, Minister
of Industry, Tourism, and Trade Miguel Sebastian stated
that the digital content sector cannot advance without
IPR protection, and that freedom on the internet is
entirely compatible with such protection.

3. The IPR Conference consisted of several speeches
and a series of roundtables under such rubrics as
"Policies and Legislative Measures to Protect
Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment;"
"The Fight Against IPR-Infringing Activities on the
Internet;" "The Value of Intellectual Property and
Means of Heightening Social Awareness;" "The
Viewpoint of IPR Rights-holders;" and "New Content
Distribution Platforms, Their Impact on IPR, and
Consumers' Vision." The first panel featured a
presentation by Dr. Michael Shapiro, attorney-advisor
at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, who described
the U.S. experience in dealing with repeat offenders,
referring to provisions of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act and several illustrative court cases
highlighting ISPs' obligations under "safe harbor"

MADRID 00001318 002.2 OF 003


provisions. Another presenter, David Baervoets
of the EC's Directorate General for the Internal
Market and Services, outlined the green paper on
copyright in a knowledge society, which highlighted
the need to strike a balance among the various
stakeholders - users, service providers, and
rights-holders - and competing rights and
responsibilities (freedom of expression, privacy
and data protection, and IPR protection). This
same panel also included a presentation by French
Ministry of Culture official Olivier Henard on
legislation currently under consideration in France.
The GOS and private stakeholders continue to express
considerable interest in the French and British
experiences in combating internet piracy, hoping to
learn lessons that can be applied to their own
situation.

ISP AND RIGHTS-HOLDERS' VIEWS ELABORATED

4. In the roudtable on combating IPR-infringing
activity on the internet, Jose Manuel Tourne of the
Federation for the Protection of Intellectual
Property in Audio-Visual Works (FAP) provided
statistics indicating that the number of
illegal peer-to-peer video downloads had almost
trebled in the past three years and that pirated
works (including both street and digital piracy)
now constituted 75 percent of the Spanish market.
For her part, Maria Teresa Arcos, Director
General of the Internet Service Providers'
association, Redtel, argued that the ISPs are more
intensely aware than anyone else of the need for
strong IPR protection because their industry
depends so heavily on creativity and innovation.
She noted, however, that not all P2P downloads
are illegal, as many rights-holders claim, and
stressed the importance of making more content
legally available on the internet as a disincentive
to piracy. Arcos warned that there is no panacea
or magic bullet to make piracy go away. Tourne
and Arcos are key players in the negotiations
between ISPs and the Anti-Piracy Coalition; at
a November 24 lunch hosted by DCM in honor of the
PTO's Michael Shapiro, both agreed that negotiations
are going well; the two sides now know each other
much better than before and have a deeper
understanding of each other's issues and concerns.
However, Arcos downplayed the likelihood of
reaching an agreement any time soon, noting that
"you can't put a clock" on the negotiations.

5. In the same roundtable, Kiaron Whitehead of
the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Adrian
Brazier of the UK Department for Business,
Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform (BERR) offered
perspectives on the situation in the UK,
where in late July the government, major
rights-holders, and the six leading ISPs signed
an MOU providing for public education, attractive
legal content availability, and dissuasive measures.
Brazier noted that negotiations were painful and
involved "unprecedented Ministerial input," and that
the resulting MOU is being "co-regulated" by the
private stakeholders and the government.

NEW PRESIDENT OF ANTI-PIRACY COALITION

6. The November 26 panel on the viewpoint of
rights-holders featured the first public appearance
of Aldo Olcese since being named President of the
Anti-Piracy Coalition earlier the same week. Olcese
is a member of the Royal Academy of Economic and
Financial Sciences who serves on the Board of
Directors of several major European companies and
is widely recognized as a leading expert on
corporate governance and corporate social
responsibility. The Coalition brought him on board
to give its members a more authoritative voice in
negotiating with the major telecommunications companies
and the government. Olcese noted that one important
consequence of unrestrained internet piracy is that
the audio-visual sector, as a percentage of GDP,
has less weight in Spain than in other EU member
countries, and that Spain is not ranked as highly

MADRID 00001318 003.2 OF 003


as an information society as its economic strength
would suggest it should be. Spaniards, he noted,
pay higher rates for digital consumption than their
European counterparts, and even so, content is not
being paid for as a result of piracy. Olcese stated
that Redtel and the Coalition should not be adversaries,
but were in fact complementary industries that should
be working together in their common interest. He
added that he hopes soon to be able to present to the
Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Trade the elements of
an agreement between Redtel and the Coalition.
Auto-regulation by industry, he said, presents a serious
challenge, and the ISPs and rights-holders need to
learn to govern themselves with some "minimal
legislative support" provided by the government.

MINISTRY OF CULTURE PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

7. On November 25, while the IPR conference was
proceeding, Minister of Culture Cesar Antonio Molina
formally launched Spain's third Anti-Piracy Public
Awareness Campaign. Noting Spain's place in the
international community as a "cultural power" with
"one of the world's most important cultural patrimonies,"
the Minister expressed concern that Spanish cultural
production would decline without strong IPR protection.
He noted that cultural industries comprise five percent
of Spain's GDP, directly employ almost a million people,
and generate prosperity. The anti-piracy campaign,
with an estimated budget of 1.95 million euros, will
disseminate public-services messages, aimed largely at
young people, on radio, television, the internet,
and other media, with the slogan "si eres legal, eres
legal" (roughly, "if you're legal, you're all right").
The campaign has come under some criticism for being
overly simplistic and lacking subtlety, and as unlikely
to be heeded by its target audience. At the same time,
Luis Frutos of the Spanish committee of the Business
Software Alliance was appreciative that the campaign
included references to business software alongside
such cultural materials as films, music recordings,
and video games. Another prominent rights-holder,
Antonio Guisasola of the Music Producers of Spain
(PROMUSICAE), opined that the slogan was a bit
hackneyed but commented that "every little bit helps."

COMMENT

8. Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Trade
officials estimated that 800 people had registered
for the IPR conference; however, while the convention
hall was often full of people, most participated in
the digital content conference, while the IPR
conference was more sparsely attended. That said,
the quality of the speakers and panelists was very
high, and the presentations without exception timely
and relevant. The phenomenon of internet piracy in
Europe and the U.S. was broadly explored, as were such
possible solutions as graduated response mechanisms.
The GOS continues to push ISPs and rights-holders to
reach agreement, and views the UK and French experiences
as possibly useful models. The Ministry of Culture
in particular recognizes the seriousness of Spain's
problem and is a committed ally in pushing for stronger
IPR protection, but lacks the clout and enforcement
authority to exercise its will. For its part, the
telecoms part of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and
Trade, which has the lead on the issue, remains reluctant
to push the telecommunications companies too hard and
is also concerned about a possible backlash from internet
users' associations if restrictions or sanctions are
introduced; this appears to be behind its insistence
that the ISPs and content providers reach agreement
on what GOS measures are needed. While Spain is moving
in the direction of developing a comprehensive,
industry-supported approach to combating internet piracy,
it is likely to take more time. End Comment.
AGUIRRE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC