Sony Exec: Music Industry Is Losing The Battle Against Piracy

A Sony executive in charge of the company's technology strategy believes that the music industry is not making headway against music pirates, despite the industry's extensive efforts to halt piracy. In a heated debate at the Digital Media Summit in Los Angeles Wednesday, Sony executive Albhy Galuten said that he does not believe the music industry is winning the battle against pirating, in any palpable way. The panel included Ted Cohen, former SVP of Digital Development and Distribution at EMI, Albhy Galutan, VP of Digital Media Technology Strategy at Sony Corporation of America, Ken Hertz of Goldring Hertz & Lichtenstein LLP, Mark Litvack of Mitchell Silberg & Knupp LLP, and was moderated by Michael Stroud of the iHollywood Forum. The panelists spoke to the widespread piracy by youth, who the panelists feel don't believe in copyrights, and don't believe they are stealing when they copy a digital file. There was broad agreement by the participants that consumers, particularly among youth today do not feel that copying music or movies is stealing, and that the industry has a long way to go to combat the issue. Mark Litvack, an attorney who headed the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)'s anti-piracy efforts, commented, "If you are not delivering content the way users want it, how they want it, and in a legit way, piracy will fill the void." However, Ted Cohen, who until recently headed EMI's digital business development argued that if a studio can connect a user to music faster than searching for a free file, people will pay for that music. Cohen contended that reducing the difficulty of purchasing legitimate music and movies for consumers would go a long way to resolving the industry's file swapping problems.