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IFPI Criticises ISP's - Failing To Tackle Online Piracy

Posted: 25th Jan, 2008 By: MarkJ
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its latest 'Digital Music Report 2008', which appears to criticise UK ISP's for not doing enough to tackle online music piracy.

Its report claims that while governments are starting to accept that ISPs should take a far bigger role in protecting music on the internet, urgent action is still needed to translate this into reality:

Record companies continued their transition into a digital business in 2007. Music sales via online and mobile channels have risen from zero to an estimated US$2.9 billion – 15 per cent of industry sales - over the last five years, making music more digitally advanced than any entertainment sector except games.

Yet the spread of unlicensed music on ISP networks is choking revenues to record companies and investment in artists, despite a healthy increase in digital sales in 2007, up approximately 40 per cent on the previous year.

ISP cooperation, via systematic disconnection of infringers and the use of filtering technologies, is the most effective way copyright theft can be controlled. Independent estimates say up to 80 per cent of ISP traffic comprises distribution of copyright-infringing files.

The report calls for legislative action by the European Union and other governments where existing discussions between the music industry and record companies fail to progress:

IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy says: “A turning tide of opinion is one thing – a concrete programme of action is another. There is only one acceptable moment for ISPs to start taking responsibility for protecting content – and that moment is now.”

Research by IFPI also claims to debunk a myth about illegal P2P services, stating that fans get better choice on legal sites and not less. Using a sample of 70 acts on the legal site iTunes and on the copyright infringing service Limewire. In 95% of searches the artists requested had more songs available on iTunes than on the leading P2P service.

Proposals to curb online piracy in the UK are due in the coming months, although many expect any initial action to be moderated and cautious rather than the more aggressive moves that have taken place in France recently.
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