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Policy matters

Policy does matter. We may think that the Internet is a free digital environment, where no laws apply but there are many cases which contradict this notion.

In this section of Iptegrity.com, I  report on EU policy related to the Internet and online content, in particular, where policy intiatives affect   access to film, music and television, and I highlight issues for the  policy debate in relation to the Internet.  For 2008-2009, copyright enforcement has been the hot topic, with net neutrality emerging as well, in 2009.   My focus is on the European Union and  its member states - for example,  I am currently covering Internet  policy - specifically copyright enforcement intiatives - in France and the UK.

I am most interested in the citizen's perspective. However, the issues I cover will affect the Internet and telecoms industries, as well as the media and entertainment industries.  

Iptegrity.com offers  original reporting from the EU, as well as comment and opinion on issues raised in other media, including non-English language media in Europe. Iptegrity.com is the main English-language news source for the Telecoms Package review of EU telecoms law.

The music industry's woes - tumbling CD sales and the competition from online - get short shrift from that august organ of the money men, the Financial Times . Prompted by the £4 billion sale of recording industry giant EMI to private equity company Terra Firma, it asked:

"Is a brash but brainy outsider what the industry needs at a moment of crisis or will such culture clashes make him the latest wealthy amateur to fail on its glittering stage?". The question refers to the financier Guy Hands, who heads up Terra Firma, and who is, according to the FT, creating a number of cultural changes within the company.

The article does nothing to offer to offer comfort to industry executives and in fact offers a rather glum outlook for the immediate future. It predicts that retail shelf space for CDs will dramatically reduce in 2008, and that some record labels will disappear as online music promotion grows.

In a related piece , the FT describes how EMI's new owners are asking for EMI executives to provide greater financial justification for new projects including the provision of business plans before signing new artists or undertaking promotional activity.

From a policy-making perspective, the two articles provide food for thought at a time when the music industry continues to lobby heavily for a clampdown on music downloading. The general suggestion is that the industry's problems are caused as much by internal, as external, factors - and that the solutions will also be found internally.

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.