The BPI reports that, in 2018, as agreed in the Creative Industries Sector Deal, the Intellectual Property Office launched a series of Government-backed, voluntary roundtable discussions between social media platforms and UK creative businesses. These roundtable discussions seek to further enhance the means to fight piracy on social media platforms, ensure that participants are aware of all existing measures available to block or remove infringements, and identify new policies, systems and practices that can be introduced to further reduce piracy online.
The stakeholders participating in this roundtable included the Publishers Association, English Premier League, the BPI and its international counterpart IFPI, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Sky, Professional Publishers Association (PPA), interactive entertainment trade body trade UKIE, ACID and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
While all stakeholders agreed that there is more work to be done, they noted that two years of talks facilitated by the IP Office have achieved progress in a number of areas, including:
- Facebook and YouTube have introduced new policies designed to help prevent users from abusing their platforms by instructing others how to commit IP infringements (work is continuing on implementation with YouTube to ensure the effectiveness of this new policy);
- Facebook has introduced proactive new policies and procedures to prevent links to "rogue piracy sites" appearing on the platform;
- YouTube has agreed to a significant increase in data (API) allowances to enable rightsholders to scale their IP enforcement activities and more quickly remove infringing links at scale, based on proof of need; Facebook is in the process of beta-testing a similar API;
- creative rights owners have shared with Facebook and YouTube areas where their content recognition systems (respectively, "Rights Manager" and "Content ID"), could be further improved so as to prevent circumventions, with a commitment from the platforms to an ongoing process to maximise the effectiveness of these tools;
- the platforms have shared information about their policies to identify and combat repeat infringement, and to help to prevent repeat infringers continuing to abuse their services; Facebook has also implemented additional improvements to these processes requested by creative rights owners;
- Facebook has developed additional policies to identify and remove more IP infringements based on signals and feedback provided by creative rights owners, including by utilising "trigger terms" that are identified as associated with IP infringements, and advancements in Facebook's machine learning systems; and
- to limit the distribution of infringing content, Facebook has prevented additional auto-completed searches that include key terms often associated with piracy, based on input from creative rights holders;
Stakeholders acknowledge that these improvements are part of a voluntary process, founded on cooperation and a shared purpose of reducing IP infringement online. The roundtable and bilateral meetings overseen by the IPO have helped to build increased trust and collaboration, and it is intended that these should continue on a regular, bi-lateral basis, with reviews of progress by the IPO as needed. Consideration is also being given to broadening the roundtables to include other social media networks. To read BPI's press release in full, click here.
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