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Industry Trust breaks new ground with copyright education as users go online

The rapid take-up of digital film and TV among people of all ages is creating a growing need for copyright education, according to speakers at the Industry Trust's Annual General Meeting in London last week.

Liz Bales, Director-General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness (pictured), who addressed Trust members and industry partners at the event, spoke of how the public's improving technical aptitude is changing the shape of the UK's infringement challenge beyond recognition.

"Just five years ago we used 'Knock-Off Nigel' to stigmatise content-hungry, digitally savvy young men. Today as mum, dad and even grandma embrace new technologies, so the opportunities for them to access infringing content are growing exponentially," says Bales.

"While the vast majority of people going online are prepared to pay for content in principle, in practice infringing digital services can seem temptingly convenient - and where older audiences are concerned, confusion about what is and isn't legal is rife," she continued. "As an industry we must support people in making legal choices at this critical stage. Copyright education campaigns enable us to make a positive intervention in people's journey online, inspiring them to respect IP and steering them towards legal content providers."

With around 15 million more people set to start streaming or downloading film online by the end of 2015 according to research conducted by Sandtable in February 2013, Phil Clapp, Chief Executive of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA), pointed to the value of taking a collaborative, cross-sector approach to copyright education as consumers migrate online.

"The Trust's 'Moments Worth Paying For' campaign is created in partnership with the studios and supported by exhibitors UK-wide," Clapp said. "The result is a compelling trailer series that capitalises on the year's biggest titles, from Iron Man 3 to Despicable Me 2, to inspire film fans of all ages to respect the entertainment value of film and the social currency of shared viewing experiences."

Independent research by ICM to track the impact of 'Moments Worth Paying For' indicates that the inspirational approach is working: those film fans exposed to the campaign are up to twice as likely to pay for official content as those not exposed to it.

The growing need for education campaigns to direct film fans to safe, legal content sources was a key theme at the AGM, with the Trust's database positioned as playing an increasingly pivotal role for the industry. Bales spoke of the new, more collaborative strategy for, which is transforming it from a useful destination point for film fans, to a powerful intervention tool embedded across the online platforms that are already popular with film fans.

A host of partners have already adopted the FindAnyFilm discovery buttons, including Yahoo Movies UK and Ireland, which went live with the initiative last week, and popular film news sites, IndieLONDON, Box Office Buzz and CineVue.

The approach was praised at the event by Mike Weatherley, MP and the British Prime Minister's adviser on Intellectual Property, who highlighted the need to ensure legal content is visible and accessible online. "Education will play an increasingly pivotal role in tackling copyright infringement, alongside enforcement measures. Making it easy for consumers to find and enjoy legal content online must be a vital part of this and the audio-visual industry really seems to be leading the way in this regard."

The Industry Trust used its AGM to recognise the growing body of support it is receiving from within the audio-visual industry and beyond, as wider content producers recognise the need to promote respect for IP. It noted that its growing support had enabled it to increase its reach and improve its impact this year on a reduced budget; delivering £10 million of media value across cinema, ClearChannel estate and PR activity this year.

The Trust also outlined a number of ambitious new projects that would up-weight the industry's copyright education efforts even further in 2014, in line with the growing need for these. In addition to bringing further partners on board for FindAnyFilm, the Trust will be launching its first IP education programme with Film Nation UK in January next year. Part of a sustained drive to engage 2 million young people by 2017, 'Creating Movie Magic' will give young people first-hand film-making experiences to encourage respect for creativity.

Story filed 08.12.13

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