The new chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association Paul Quirk has claimed that internet file-sharing is the greatest challenge posed to modern entertainment retailers, claiming that internet piracy “is bleeding our industry dry”.
“Too often the debate over illegal filesharing is portrayed as an ideological battle, but for us this is a commercial matter,” Quirk told attendees at the recent ERA AGM.
“Illegal filesharing is damaging our businesses, both physical and digital, on a daily basis, and the government needs to tackle it swiftly and decisively in order to protect jobs, businesses and investment.
“First the filesharers targeted the music business and the government did nothing. Now the filesharers have come again for TV and movies. Unless action is taken the filesharers will come for computer games, books – in fact anything which can be digitised – and what will be at stake will be not just the entertainment industry but huge swathes of the UK economy.
“We need action now.”
In addition, the ERA has announced that is it continuing with plans to reorganise the body in an effort to ensure it represents the modern digital retail business in the same way it does traditional retail.
“Not only does ERA now represent the UK’s top four supermarkets, we have three of the UK’s top four mobile phone operators among our members,” he added.
“With ISPs also on the membership roll and fully 20% of our members involved in digital retail or services, we can now claim not only to represent traditional retail, independent retail and big retail but also to be the de facto representative body of the UK's digital entertainment business."