EU Law Pushes People To Steal

European Union copyright law is encouraging piracy by geoblocking, which forces consumers to seek illegal copies of works not available to them, according to EU digital single market vice president Andrus Ansip.

Speaking at the annual MIDEM conference, Ansip pointed out Spotify as an example of how people could be encouraged to pay for copyright material.

“If somebody is able to provide services with better quality, with higher speed, people prefer to act as honest people; they are ready to pay, they don’t want to steal,” he said. Ansip claimed that 20 percent of internet users in the EU are using a virtual private network to get access to digital content. He gave examples of how some countries successfully converted those resorting to unauthorised sources into paying customers.

“In Norway some years ago, 80 percent said they are using so-called ‘free’ downloads,” he explained. “But today, just four percent of Norwegian people say they are using free downloads.”

He also emphasized that legal services need to be offered first before strengthening copyright enforcement, which is what happened in Norway.