UK demands Pirate Bay be screened
The UK's High Court decided in favor of ordering The Pirate Bay blockeD on Monday. Internet providers in the country must prevent their users from getting usual access to the site. The measure followed a November call from the music industry's Britsh Phonographic Industry to voluntarily block the site.
French three strikes law not leading to sales help
A cross-check of facts at TorrentFreak has called into question the effectiveness of France's three strikes anti-piracy law, Hadopi. Despite claims (below) by the Hadopi office that bootleg file sharing is down 66 percent in France, new music sales data shows that revenues were still down 3.9 percent over 2011, two years after Hadopi had been enacted. It points to the measure's warning and disconnection process not only having little effect but possibly having hurt sales by reducing exposure to new music.
IFPI, RIAA mull suing Google to censor results
Two organizations that represent the music industry may file a lawsuit against Google in order to make it harder for web users to find pirated content online. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have gone as far as to obtain a preliminary legal opinion on the matter, TorrentFreak revealed. The two maintain that Google is abusing its dominant market position and should degrade search results that link to websites hosting pirated material.
IFPI insists on tougher laws despite sales boost
The IFPI in its latest study (PDF) saw an eight percent upswing in digital music revenue in 2011. The increase is the first it claimed to have had since 2004 and lines up with an American rebound in overall album sales. They were important enough for online content to represent 32 percent of the industry association's combined business versus 29 percent in 2010.
UK shows online music growing fast
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) published data showing the rapid rise of digital music on Monday while simultaneously making its familiar complaints about the perceived effect of piracy. Downloads from iTunes and similar stores grew a fast 24 percent in 2011 over 2010 to 26.6 million. As in past years, the tally wasn't yet fast enough overcome the decline of the CD market, which dropped 13 percent to 86.2 million and led to an ultimate six percent drop in album sales overall versus last year.
Analysts see digital music past CDs in 2012
Digital music should overtake CDs in the US for the first time next year, Strategy Analytics said in a new study. It expected CDs to continue dropping a steep 40 percent from $3.8 billion in revenue for 2010 to just $2.7 billion in 2012. Digital, led mostly by iTunes, would keep growing and just edge past the physical medium to hit $2.8 billion.
IFPI warns Internet music sales only up 6pc
The IFPI tried to raise alarm on Thursday with a warning in its latest annual report that digital music sales were slowing down. Sales through iTunes and other outlets climbed by just six percent worldwide and made up 29 percent of their revenues. The slowdown came both from a maturing of the digital music market but was also blamed on piracy.
Online music sales not yet at turning point
Online sales of music were up significantly in 2009 but still weren't enough to compensate for dropping CD sales, the IFPI said today in its annual overview. The revenue from Amazon, iTunes and other sources climbed 12 percent to $4.2 billion during the year, but a corresponding drop in CD sales is estimated to have made total revenues shrink by 8 to 9 percent to about $15.6 billion.
France Downs 3-Strike Law
France's Constitutional Council today ruled against the country's recently approved three-strike law. The Council rejected the measure on constitutional grounds and says that the law, known as Création et Internet, violated the Declaration of 1789, which insists that all are innocent until proven guilty. Measures in the new law would automatically disconnect users on the third accusation of illegal file sharing and put the burden on customers to prove their own innocence.
France Approves 3-Strikes
The French National Assembly today approved a modified version of the three-strikes law meant to combat online piracy. Following an earlier rejection of an initial version, the government body voted 296-233 in favor of the bill, which would send two warnings to users caught allegedly trading illegally copied media and require that Internet providers disconnect users after a third offense.
France Rebuffs Piracy Law
France's National Assembly on Thursday voted down a proposed law that would have required Internet providers cut off subscribers after three detected instances of pirating music or videos. The decision was made through an unusual 21-15 vote after the majority of the Assembly's 577 representatives avoided the session. The French administration hasn't commented on the rejection other than to say a modified version is due within a few weeks.
RIAA staff cuts deepen
The recent budget cuts that have the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) cutting its staff are more pronounced than initially expected, says a Friday Hypebot report. Due to an increased number of people purchasing digital songs online, the RIAA's role of suing individuals for illegal file sharing is reduced, with the music labels that fund the organization cutting the budget significantly.
ATT and Comcast Help RIAA
Both AT&T and Comcast should be the first Internet providers to give in to the RIAA's monitoring program, according to sources speaking with CNET. Three separate contacts allege that the respective DSL and cable providers have tentatively agreed to forward warnings when the RIAA believes its songs are being shared illegally and would volunteer to punish repeated offenders. These could include user-specific traffic throttling and even suspension or a permanent disconnection after multiple alleged infractions.
Dutch study file sharing
A study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has just concluded that the net economic effects of file sharing for music, movies and games are positive. The resulting 142-page report, put together by research company TNO, doesn't narrow the results to strictly illegal content but argues that, as consumers save money on unnecessary purchases and spend it on more wanted content, they save much more in wasted spending than music production companies lose.
Europe cuts filesharer ban
The European Parliament has voted to abolish a plan to permanently ban illegal filesharers, writes IDG News. Under the rules of the plan, those caught sharing copyrighted music, video and other material would have been prevented from even connecting to the Internet for unspecified amounts of time, possibly permanently. "The vote shows that MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) want to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and those of consumers, and that big measures like cutting off Internet access shouldn't be used," according to EP spokeswoman Malene Folke Chaucheprat.
Virgin Piracy Filter Trial
Virgin Media today said it will be the first Internet provider to experiment with actively combat pirated content distributed across its network. The UK broadband firm has agreed to a test project that will scan for illegal copies of music and other media across the service. The monitoring will follow a three-strike rule that will see users receive a letter for a first violation; a second violation will result in a temporary suspension of Internet access, while a third will force the customer to cancel their service altogether.
UK ISP Piracy Crackdown
Internet service providers in the UK may have no choice but to impose anti-piracy scans on their networks if they cannot agree to a solution voluntarily, the country's government said today. A strategy document released by British officials warns that the companies must agree with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) as well as other music and movie producer associations to develop an anti-piracy agreement that will curb illegal sharing at the carrier level rather than targeting individual users. Without a private agreement, the government may have to impose its own rules mandating such a change in April 2009 to protect the UK's creative industry, the government claims.
Pirate Bay access in EU
A recent Danish court decision against an ISP violates EU law, a Swedish judge has declared. Cecilia Renfors, a government investigator being asked to propose new file-sharing legislation, says that Denmark was in error when it told Tele2 to prevent customers from reaching The Pirate Bay, a site well-known for aiding piracy through hosting BitTorrent trackers. The site's owners are in fact facing copyright infringement accusations from a group including Fox, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal.
Chinese piracy allegations
The most popular search engine in China may be facing legal sanctions over music piracy, says Agence France-Presse. Three of the four major labels -- Warner, Universal and Sony BMG -- have filed a request in a Beijing court, asking that Baidu pull down links to illegal music. Specifically, the labels allege that Baidu is indexing illegal hosting sites, while simultaneously profiting from advertising. Music trade group IFPI claims that piracy in China has dramatically hurt its own profits, with over 99 percent of tracks in the country said to be distributed illegally.
IFPI Music Sales in 2007
Direct-download music sales saw one of its most significant increases yet in 2007 but is being "choked" by piracy, says a new report from the IFPI. The international music association notes that sales of music online grew by 40 percent last year to produce about $2.9 billion in sales and was large enough to account for a significant portion of some countries' entire music sales. Internet sales now represent about 15 percent of all music sold in the world and account for 15 percent in the US specifically, according to the IFPI. Single-track downloads comprised a large part of the success and grew by 53 percent to 1.7 billion individual songs.
EMI threatens IFPI, RIAA
Major label EMI may be leaving the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), reports say. Its executives are further said to be engaged in talks with Warner, Universal and Sony BMG, in an attempt to alter the priorities and structure are several trade groups, including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). EMI sent a letter to IFPI officials for that very reason, claiming that it would abandon its membership unless the organization conformed to EMI's interests. Funding to the IFPI could be cut off by March 31st.
EMI Scaling Back RIAA
Music label EMI could weaken the anti-piracy campaigns of both the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the near future by reducing its financial help with both organizations, claims an anonymous insider speaking to Reuters. A recent acquisition of EMI by the private equity firm Terra Firma is known to have triggered a financial review that would reduce the millions of dollars that the label supplies to both groups.