Digital Conference Calls For Illegal File Sharing Preventing

Internet service providers (ISPs) still need to do more to prevent the growth of illegal file sharing in the UK, according to creative industry chiefs speaking at the Britain's Digital Future conference in London.

Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music, believes that it is imperative for ISPs to work together to stamp out piracy.

"The optimum solution is to create a workable marketplace where the time and effort musicians put into producing work is properly remunerated and protected, and it's time ISPs sat down together and, for once, had a grown up conversation about how to do this," he said.

David Lynn, executive vice president of MTV Networks in the UK, welcomed the Digital Economy Act as part of an initiative to tackle piracy with education and legal provisions.

"MTV Networks supports the anti-piracy provisions in the Digital Economy Act and hopes that work by ISPs, alongside better education of the legal ways media can be downloaded, will lead to a reduction in online file sharing," he said.

ISPs have been outspoken critics of the Digital Economy Act, claiming that the legislation was rushed through parliament without proper scrutiny after heavy lobbying by the creative industries.

BT and TalkTalk filed legal papers at the High Court in July seeking a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act with a view to having it overturned.

Others at the Britain's Digital Future conference were more sceptical about the impact of the Digital Economy Act.

Simon Francis, chief executive at Saatchi & Saatchi, noted that " legislation is miles behind technological progress".

"Piracy causes over $1bn (£650m) of lost revenue in the US alone, with a lot of this emanating from China. It's vital the UK does all it can to help protect its interests," he said.

Francis also called for better use of technology at educational institutions, and suggested that public-private partnerships should be set up to fund this initiative.

Ian Livingstone, life president of gaming firm Eidos, also touched on the issue of education, claiming that more needs to be done to highlight the potential of the gaming industry as a career.

"Gaming is bigger than other creative industries. Sales will hit $90bn [£58bn] by 2015, but it is still viewed with suspicion as a genuine market or career opportunity," he said.

"Game production requires a vast number of highly skilled people, so universities and schools need to teach these skills," he said.

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