IFPI statement on action announced by US recording industry against illegal music uploaders
London, 25 June 2003
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has today announced it is starting to gather evidence and prepare lawsuits against large-scale uploaders of copyrighted music on peer-to-peer services in the US.
Commenting on the announcement IFPI Chairman and CEO Jay Berman said: "This action is not taken lightly and it is critically important to protect the livelihoods of many thousands of people who make music and who work in the music industry. The industry is now offering a vast catalogue of music for consumers to buy or access legitimately on the internet - but unauthorised file sharing and uploading is spreading so rapidly that it is stifling the development of this new legitimate business".
According to IFPI's estimates, the spread of infringing music on the Internet has increased dramatically in the last year. The number of infringing music files at any one time on peer-to-peer services is now estimated at 1 billion, compared to 500 million in June 2002. The number of simultaneous users in that period has increased from 3 million to 5 million.
Berman continued: "Where people persistently make music available on the Internet in breach of copyright laws, they are breaking the law and that exposes them to the risk of legal action by the copyright holders."
"The priority for the music industry internationally must be to promote legal online services and make people aware of how copyright protects the work, craft and collaboration that goes into making music. This is why the international recording industry, supported by organisations across the music sector, are pressing forward with their new initiative: Pro-music. The objective is to arm people with knowledge through the website Pro-music.org, which is an important resource for news and information about legitimate music online. In other words where to find it, how it works, why it's important and what the artists and creators of music think. "
"Once they have gone through the site we hope people will stop and think about the impact of their choices as consumers of music. And they can make their own minds up next time someone asks, 'So what's the problem with getting music 'free' on the net?"
Notes to editors:
1) The Recording Industry of America announced on 25 June that it will be gathering evidence and preparing lawsuits against the individual computer users who are illegally "sharing" large amounts of copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks (see www.riaa.com).
2) IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide. Its members comprise 1,500 independent and major record companies in 70 countries.
3) IFPI has joined with other rightholder organisations across the music industry to launch a new public awareness campaign promoting legal music
downloads, challenging the myths about "free" music and explaining the process of making music. The campaign website is at www.pro-music.org