Four conference speakers talk about new measures

Four speakers at the Entertainment Content Protection Conference anticipate the day’s proceedings by answering these questions: Is content piracy a bigger threat today than it was five years ago, and what additional measures can we take to combat it?

Lawrence Kenswil
Attorney, Loeb & Loeb

Any discussion of piracy needs to differentiate between commercial and non-commercial activities. Commercial piracy remains a large problem, especially in developing countries, but it, too, has been challenged by the lure of free content.

Non-commercial piracy, or the ability of consumers to access content for free from unauthorized sources, is not a threat but a way of life. It is bigger now than five years ago, and it continues to grow. What is clear is that the best way to combat such behavior is to provide legitimate alternatives that offer the same or better experiences to consumers.

Without that carrot, the public will simply go to the latest mole that popped its head up after we used the stick to whack last year’s mole. The industry is much better at carrots than it was five years ago, but the complexities of launching new services while accommodating established contractual terms and windows remain intense.

Kaye Cooper-Mead
Exec VP, worldwide distributionservices, Summit Entertainment

There’s definitely a bigger threat. People are moving to streaming sites over P2P sharing, perhaps feeling more anonymous with no downloading involved; Internet speeds are increasing; every film is pirated no matter the size; illegal cams are getting better, spread faster and earlier over more sites.

It’s a perfect storm. We have to go after the sources of leaks, get websites to cooperate in taking down illegal content faster and hopefully help people understand that watching that pirated film is no different than stealing that same DVD off the store shelf. Maybe it’s too late to introduce shame in this process, but we better do everything we can to protect our industry before there’s no industry left to protect. Ironically, those same streaming pirate sites may end up being our best defense: They’re often virus-laden credit card scams — so buyer beware.

Frank Artes
VP, security, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group

It’s a much bigger problem today. Five years ago we were still handling mostly physical assets such as film prints, tapes and other physical media. Today, we’re protecting a variety of physical and digital assets. And securing digital assets is significantly more complex.

Unlike physical assets, digital elements cannot be viewed on security cameras or found by security guards. They can be electronically copied to tiny devices, such as thumb drives, or even remote devices via network connections. Without question, digital assets have pushed our security borders to include new areas of responsibility.

Deluxe is combating this problem by continuously developing security improvements, such as intrusion protection technologies. As a provider of entertainment services, we also combat the problem by performing all the services for a given movie or television show from a single high security master.

Linda Dyson
worldwide director, antipiracyand compliance programs, Content Delivery & Storage Association

Content piracy is certainly a more complex and dangerous adversary today. The potential for losses are much greater. In stark contrast to the days when content was managed primarily in physical formats, content holders are much more vulnerable to piracy in the digital age. As the supply chain becomes more widely distributed, content co-location is the norm. Content owners have to continue to ask, “Are my suppliers managing and transmitting my content securely?” The answer to that question is often quite chilling.

More from the Entertainment Content Protection Conference:
Guarding Hollywood’s treasure

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more