Sony Music Entertainment chairman/CEO Andrew Lack took entertainment attorneys to task for not “taking action against online piracy,” during his keynote delivered at the 6th annual Entertainment Law Initiative. The luncheon, presented by the Grammy Foundation, was held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles Feb. 6.
“You understand better than anyone that intersection between creativity, commerce and community which can only survive with the rule of law,” he told an audience of more than 350 attorneys and industry executives. “We still need to do much better with the difficult work of education and enforcement surrounding copyright infringement.”
Declaring the RIAA’s campaign of lawsuits “the right way to go,” Lack also called for increased educational efforts. “We can dramatically change the tone and direction of this conflict by being honest brokers of information. We can take the perception off the table that we are often arrogant, greedy and ill-informed as a rule, particularly on the digital stuff.”
Lack also took exception to comments from Kazaa CEO Nikki Hemming made to USA Today that the peer-to-peer service didn’t have the “technical capability to stop” people from illegal downloading. Adding that the technology to identify copyrighted material has been available for several years, he called for Kazaa and similar P2P services to “integrate [software] solutions into their products now” that identify copyrights material. “Only by doing this, can they show us that their intent is not to perpetuate the illegal distribution of copyrighted works and deny content creators their livelihoods.”
To encourage legal downloading, Sony has initiated a program called Campus Action Network that provides universities with information on legitimate download services to offer their students.