Friday, October 30, 2009

Feargal Sharkey helps the gamers

If I were the games industry and keen for ideas how to protect myself in the face of digital rights meltdowns, I'm not sure I'd turn to the music industry for tips.

They have, though, getting Feargal Sharkey in for his ideas. (The Independent piece is a bit vague about who, exactly, it is who asked him.)

Sharkey takes pride in what he has done, mind:

"We still haven't cracked the problem," he said. "Then again, we're six years ahead of, say, the games industry."

Bloody hell, if the games industry is six years behind the music industry, what must their approach to piracy be like? Putting labels on boxes claiming "drawing your own Battleships board is killing games"? Sending previews of Sonic around on consoles glued up so you can't take it out?

It's important, though:
"The UK entertainment industry is worth £16bn and so it needs to be protected."

Given that the industry is worth £16billion after ten years of file sharing, you might argue that it looks like it doesn't really need very much in the way of extra protection. Indeed, that it's thriving.

Feargal then starts to go a little... well, odd:
"So what we all have to do is ensure that we find out where people get their games, music and films from and ensure that artists and publishers get money from that."

This seems to be a slightly different line from the one we've previously heard from UK Music, which has been 'find out where people are getting things, close it down, and make sure they return to us.'
"The likes of iTunes is great but it's not the sole outlet - games also has multiple outlets. We need to identify them all and, when it comes to those who steadfastly refuse to pay, hit them hard."

Fry and Laurie once had a sketch which suggested the SAS existed mainly as a masturbatory aid for Tory backbenchers; I'm starting to think three strikes might serve a similar function for UK Music.