Donald Trump has said that “the US is acting swiftly on intellectual property theft”, hinting at a pending announcement on copyright matters. We know this, of course, via Twitter. The President tweeted: “The US is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!”
What exactly he meant by this isn’t clear, although the tweet did coincide with a US Congress debate on hacked smart TV set-top boxes. Boxes and dongles that provide unofficial free access to paid streaming content and channels have been a growing concern for the TV industry in recent years. As a former TV personality and fan of TV, it is entirely possible that it was this that Trump was referring to, so his intervention will be more about telly IP than music.
Yesterday’s event (which Trump did not attend), titled ‘Unboxing The Piracy Threat Of Streaming Media Boxes’, was hosted by a think tank called the Information Technology And Innovation Foundation. During the discussion, the Center For The Protection Of Intellectual Property’s Kevin Madigan told the panel: “Torrent-based content is becoming obsolete in an on-demand digital environment. Instead, there is a shift to streaming-based piracy”.
This is a trend also beginning to emerge in the music industry, as Andy Chatterly, CEO of anti-piracy company MUSO, told CMU’s Chris Cooke at this year’s Slush Music in Helsinki. “Our figures show that 40.3% took place on illegal streaming services”, he said. “Which means that audience behaviour in piracy is mimicking audience behaviour in the legitimate digital music market, ie we are seeing a shift from downloads to streams, and from ownership to access”.