Mass online theft diminishes the ability of songwriters and composers to make a living and undermines the incentive to create new works and invest in innovation. It breeds a culture of gratuity and disrespect for IPR that threatens jobs, growth and cultural diversity, and constitutes today the single most important obstacle to dissemination of works.
Music publishers are adapting to new forms of exploitation, opening new revenue streams, facilitating clearance of rights and working hard to raise public awareness about the importance of copyright.  However these efforts are pointless without effective enforcement of IP rights as the industry cannot possibly compete in a “get it for free culture”, however adaptable and innovative it is.
On 1 July 2014, the European Commission adopted an important initiative aimed at combatting online theft. The EU Action Plan entitled ‘Follow the Money’ will address infringement of IPRs by working with payment providers and advertisers to freeze infringing sites’ revenue sources.
ICMP welcomes this initiative yet calls on national, European and international regulators to further secure effective enforcement of intellectual property rights that will enable legitimate online services to develop and creators to receive proper remuneration from their works. This should include active cooperation by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in helping to curb online copyright infringement. Improving public understanding of copyright and respect for IP is also crucial and ICMP Members are active in promoting understanding of the importance and value of copyright, for example through education campaigns in schools.