Recording industry shows first results of international campaign against illegal file-sharing
London, 8 June, 2004
The recording industry today showed the first positive results from its international deterrence campaign against illegal file-sharing and warned that a new wave of litigation will take place in new countries within months.
Today's results show that legal awareness among the European public has increased and the number of pirate files on the internet has fallen steadily. Meanwhile, the number of legal sites where consumers can buy music has risen to over 100 globally - five times the number of one year ago.
Legal cases have been concluded in Denmark and Germany, with 17 Danish individuals agreeing to pay compensation averaging several thousand euros. One German file-sharer is to pay compensation of 8,000 euros. In Italy, 30 individuals have been charged with copyright infringement.
It is the first evaluation since IFPI's March 30 announcement of the international campaign against alleged illegal file-sharers, starting with more than 200 criminal and civil actions in Denmark, Germany and Italy.
IFPI is also confirming plans to extend the litigation internationally. A further 24 legal actions are being announced today against individuals in Denmark. Other countries such as France, Sweden and the UK have already launched high-profile warning campaigns that they will prosecute file-sharers if necessary.
IFPI Chairman and CEO Jay Berman said: "Today's results show that litigation, combined with the rollout of new legal online music services, is having a real impact on people's attitudes to illegal file-sharing, and this in turn is affecting levels of file-sharing activity. We are not claiming victory yet, but we are encouraged by the way the market is developing, and by the shift we see in public opinion.
"On the strength of the developments in Denmark, Germany and Italy, we can confirm that there will be more legal actions in other countries in the near future. We need to continue letting people all over the world know that file-sharing other people's copyrighted music is illegal, that is damaging the whole music sector, that it is not anonymous and that it carries legal consequences.
"Governments also have an important role to play in the fight against illegal file-sharing, which affects not only the music sector but increasingly the film and other creative industries - a sector worth more than 1,000 billion euros world trade. We welcome the support of governments, in helping both fight online piracy and facilitate new online legitimate services. Initiatives such as the French government's recently-announced Action Plan against internet piracy are particularly welcome".
Today's findings on consumer attitudes come from a second public awareness survey, conducted in May by IFPI in four countries - France, Germany, UK and Denmark. (The earlier survey had been conducted in January, before legal actions in Europe). Similar separate surveys were commissioned in April by FIMI, IFPI's Italian affiliate, and conducted by AC Nielsen, and by SNEP, IFPI's French affiliate, and conducted by IFOP. (Earlier versions in December also preceded litigation).
Highlights of today's findings include:
Impact on file-sharing:
Legitimate online services
Denmark: Of 88 alleged file-sharers to receive civil demand letters in March, 17 individuals have either already paid or agreed to pay compensation averaging around 3,000 euros each. A further 23 are negotiating levels of compensation. Cases are being taken out against 24 more file-sharers on June 8-9. Several hundred further cases are planned in the coming months.
Germany: Earlier this month a 23-year old man from Cottbus in south east Germany, agreed pay compensation of 8,000 Euros. He had 6,000 MP3 files on his computer and 70 CDs containing further files. In a second case, a 57-year old teacher from Stuttgart has been charged with copyright infringement and will face similar compensation demands. Further cases will be reported to the public prosecutor.
Italy: following criminal raids, the Public Prosecutor has charged 30 individuals with copyright infringement and trials are expected to start within the next few months. Further cases will be brought in the near future.
United States: Since September 2003, the leading record companies have brought copyright infringement lawsuits against 2,947 alleged illegal file sharers. There have been 504 settlements to date.
For further information about music online, go to www.pro-music.org.
Contact for Information: Adrian Strain, Julie Harari, Fiona Harley Tel. + 44 207 878 7900