Labels Blame ISPs For Illegal Music

IFPIIn yet another move by the major labels The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has called for the European Union to force internet service providers (ISPs) to crack down on music piracy.

In its annual report the industry body said paid-for music downloads rose 40% last year but this was not enough to compensate for the ongoing “sharp decline” in CD sales, ie. 11%!

It also estimated that for each song legally downloaded another 19 were illegally shared.

Chief executive and chairman John Kennedy said: “Copyright theft has been allowed to run rampant on their networks under the guise of technological development.

“ISPs have largely stood by, allowing a massive devaluation of copyrighted music. This in turn has prompted a crisis that has wide implications for the whole digital marketplace. The moment for EU legislation to be drawn up has arrived.”

The Internet Service Providers Association said monitoring all data was unworkable.

“We do not support abuses of copyright and intellectual property theft,” said a spokesman. “However, ISPs cannot monitor or record the type of information passed over their networks.

“ISPs are no more able to inspect and filter every single packet passing across their network than the Post Office is able to open every envelope.”

In my opinion – instead of constantly complaining the labels should work harder on altering and modernising their business models. 

MP3s, etc have been around for over a decade now and it’s really only in recent years that record companies are deciding to take notice.  I am aware of some labels that have embraced the ‘Social Networking’ and web 2.0 system for receiving demos but they are still jittery about the whole downloading/pirating thing.

I still stand by the fact that a great deal of my vinyl and cd collection is down to someone handing me a mix tape of things that I might dig – in the same way as Last.FM ‘neighbours’ and ‘friends’ can get you to check something out.

I honestly can’t see the demise of the CD (or some physical format) but I think download stations and direct downloads from the labels is probably the way forward.

Flexibility is going to have to be the labels’ keyword now with the public having more choice of format and how they buy their music and where they get it from – no more do the big names dictate how we consume our tunes!