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Piracy still prevailing

Figures show 95% of all music downloads are illegal
16 January 2009 - Despite the dominance of iTunes, the body representing the global recording industry, the IFPI, says 95% of all music downloads are sourced unlawfully.

Matt Philips from the BPI, which represents the music industry here in the UK, spoke about the challenges they face.

He told 6 Music: “Essentially what the numbers released yesterday show is that, the sales that we are making online through licensed legitimate platforms, are certainly growing impressively - 25% last year - but the fact is we still have a very high rate of unlawful downloading - 95%.

“Clearly, for future investment in music and the continued innovation in developing new legal services to continue, then that’s something that we have to address.”
Despite efforts to cull piracy, with warning letters being sent out by Internet Service Providers, he claimed the figures have not changed: “It has been that figure for some time now and of course as the legal market has grown we’ve also found that illegal downloading has increased too.”

Internet revolution

The internet, including sites such as Myspace, Last Fm and Youtube, have become a key tool for bands to get their music into the wider market place.
"There is very much a double edged sword there because the internet has enabled people to get music for free."
Matt Philips from the BPI

Philips explained that while the digital revolution has had a positive impact, it has been the catalyst for the rise of music piracy.

He told 6 Music: “The internet provides a wonderful opportunity to take your music to a wider audience in the way that you never could through radio or record store.

“There is very much a double edged sword there because the internet has enabled people to get music for free, and that has a dramatic negative impact on people in the long term.”

On the whole, Philips said it’s not good for the music industry because he reckons the mammoth illegal download market stops the labels from pouring funding into bands.

“Some 200 million pounds a year is invested by the music industry, the recording industry specifically, in new bands,” he said. “Artists still need that financial support, especially so early on in their careers.”

Georgie Rogers

Have your say

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Comments so far


Dr H Faheem
I strongly believe that Music Piracy is wrong. The question is who is wrong?. Is customer supposed to pay ten times the logical price to be a legitimate buyer?. Music industry is to be questioned for how they justify the price of digital music sold on the net. CD quality tracks should be less that 20 pence each and lower bit rate prices should be even cheaper. Even at 20 pence per track the record companies will make millions a day by selling affordable music to 800% more LEGITIMATE buyers. No, the consumer is not dishonest, it is the industry.We can see a big change in positive direction only if the product is value for money and profits has a cap to protect the consumer.

I have a friend who downloads absolutely everything for free, illegally. On the other hand I know for a fact that he spends a small fortune on the far more lucrative concert tickets to see the bands that he might never have gotten into without the illegal download. I would say that was supporting the music industry far more than the album buyer who never sees a live show.

shin, korea
that's the world we live in.. i believe it is impossible to prevent peple from downloading illegal music.

eric evans london
i guess this is not just a problem for the music industry itself but for the big amount of fans that artists got all over the world. this a matter of money nobody wants to lose it. artists must bear in mind they are nothing wihtout fans and fans will always have somebody to admire.summing up original matirial is too much expenssive and internet gives you the oportunity to get your favorite artist matirial for free and nothing but the magic of tecnology could make it possible

terry buckner
very helpful to my set coursework i have for college

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