New international campaign helps parents guide children about music on the internet
London, 8 June 2005
Music sector backs new guide on safe and legal music downloading, as research shows that only 1 in 10 parents understand downloading
Children's Internet charity Childnet International, working with the music sector worldwide, is today launching a ground-breaking new information campaign aimed at educating parents about file sharing and music on the internet.
A new leaflet - "Young People, Music and the Internet - a guide for parents about P2P, file-sharing and downloading" - will be distributed in the coming months via record stores, supermarkets, schools, libraries and websites in at least eight languages and in 19 countries worldwide.
The initiative is endorsed and actively supported by Pro-music, the international music sector education campaign aimed at promoting legitimate music online. Pro-music represents musicians unions, performers, artists, major and independent record companies, publishers and retailers.
The new Childnet guide aims to help parents everywhere to keep up with the music downloading habits of their children. While millions of young people are regularly downloading music from legal services and peer-to-peer (p2p) - or file-sharing - networks, Childnet believes that many parents are struggling to understand how the technology works and are unable to give advice to their children on how they can stay safe, secure and legal on the internet.
The file-sharing knowledge gap
Last year alone Childnet worked in over 190 schools across the UK and carried out informal polls with pupils which revealed that in any given class at least 50% of the pupils will have used P2P. This is backed up by research published last year by the London School of Economics which showed that among the 84% of 9-19 year olds who use the internet daily or weekly, 45% download music. The same report also revealed that only one in ten parents, when asked, knew how to download music from the Internet . Many of the young people who spoke to Childnet said that they often encountered pornography, viruses and pop-ups when using P2P services.
Stephen Carrick-Davies, Childnet CEO said: "Whilst children love the Internet and enjoy sharing music and other entertainment files, we believe most parents have no idea how file-sharing works or what besides music is carried on the global file-sharing networks. Childnet has put this advice together based on our own discussions with children and work with parents, and we believe it is time to look at the wider safety and security issues as well as the legal risks. Parents need to get up to speed with what their children are doing online, and this simple and clear advice should help them engage with their children, guide them appropriately and help them enjoy music safely online."
The Childnet guide provides parents with the essential facts about peer-to-peer, file-sharing and music downloading. It explains what P2P services are, outlines the security and legal risks to children and the family computer as well as the benefits, and gives practical advice on what is needed to help ensure that children's enjoyment of music on the internet is safe and legal.
Recent surveys show that P2P services such as Kazaa and BitTorrent are extremely popular with young people and allow users to download and share media files over the Internet. Although seven out of ten consumers are now aware of the illegality in sharing copyrighted material online , many parents are still unaware of the potential wider security and online safety risks such as harmful content, unsolicited advertising and pop-ups, or other "malware" such as spyware and viruses.
The guide also gives advice on the rapidly expanding legal online sites - now numbering over 300 worldwide - where music fans can download music safely and legally. These sites are listed on the pro-music website, www.pro-music.org, which has given advice to Childnet on producing the content of the guide.
John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, which is a member of Pro-music said: "This campaign is perfectly timed, and it is aimed exactly at the right audience. At a time when music on the internet, both legal and illegal, is being made available everywhere, parents, now more than ever, need to be armed with knowledge about the opportunities and the pitfalls surrounding online music. "Young People, Music and the Internet" meets just that need. It gives a simple, concise guide that will help parents advise their children about how to enjoy music on the internet safely and legally"
Campaign roll out in 19 countries supported by international partners
The campaign will begin in June with the rollout of the pamphlet in Germany, Italy, Spain, Singapore, the US and the UK. Several countries will follow suit in the coming months, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa.
A number of leading charities and non-governmental bodies are supporting the Childnet campaign, including Save the Children (Spain), the Children Consumers Foundation (Netherlands), the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (Singapore). and the National Association for Childhood Protection (Italy).
The guide will be available at www.pro-music.org, and linked via a banner from the websites of individual members of pro-music.org and of other campaign partners. The banner will also appear on the home-pages of the affiliated charities, on online music services, on some record label sites and the websites of reputable parent-children online resources.
Thousands of physical copies of the guide will be available in several leading retail outlets, including Virgin Megastore, and will be mailed to doctors' surgeries, libraries and schools with an invitation to distribute copies at parent-teachers events.
For further information and interviews contact:
Mary Louise Morris - Childnet 0207 639 6967 mobile 07740369806
Stephen Carrick-Davies - Childnet: 0207 7639 6967 mobile 0771 245 1859
Julie Harari - IFPI 020 7878 7913, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Strain - IFPI 020 7878 7939, email@example.com
For a copy of the leaflet and of the cartoons:
See www.childnet-int.org/music or pro-music.org/guide for full electronic version of the leaflet, stories and illustrations. Versions are available for the following regions: "international" and UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, Singapore. New countries will be added in the coming months.
To support the initiative, go to www.pro-music.org/guide/youngpeople-logos.htm to upload a banner linking to the guide. The banners are currently available in English, German, Italian and Spanish.
To request hard copies of the leaflet email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cartoon illustrations used in the leaflet are available to use at www.childnet-int.org/music.
Charlotte Sallabank, from London, is a mother of five children aged 9 months, 5 years, 8 years, 11 years, and 13 years. Charlotte is class representative on the Parents Association of her son's school and has also been at her daughter's school. She has regular dealings with parents of children of all ages. Her 13 year old has started hearing about file-sharing and p2p from her friends at school, and she is aware that the "older kids do it". Charlotte knows that this is an issue that will affect all her children, and feels it is important to discuss it with them as they get older.
"I find it really hard to come to terms with how our family computer can be linked to other computers, potentially opening up my personal folders. When I discussed this with other parents, they shared my disbelief when they realised that everything from their tax returns to private holiday photos could be left open to thousands of strangers. The parents of teens who used p2p services knew they seemed to be getting bombarded with all these pop-up ads and that their computer was getting slower and slower, but didn't make the connection. As my daughter gets older and starts finding out about how to get music "for free", I'm getting concerned about our privacy and security as well as the legal implications, but I don't want to ban my children from using the Internet! This guide has really helped me think about the issues and how to talk to my children about them."
Mrs Sallabank is happy to discuss the issue - contact Julie Harari or Adrian Strain
EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, responsible for Information Society and the Media:
"As Commissioner responsible for Information Society and the Media, I welcome this educational initiative which is designed to bridge the knowledge gap between parents and their children when it comes to music on the Internet. While the Internet offers huge opportunities for the music industry and for creating and sharing music, illegal file sharing on the massive scale that we see today seriously undermines investment in new talent and damages the whole creative chain involved in making music. The new free guide "Young People, Music and the Internet" explains the risks involved in the misuse of peer-to-peer technology. It also offers practical advice to help parents ensure their children know how to stay safe and legal while enjoying music on the Internet."
Kim Bayley, Secretary General of BARD and Executive Board member of GERA-Europe
"GERA-Europe is pleased to support this new international campaign and indeed has been involved in its development. Education of the consumer is key to combating on-line piracy and entertainment retailers are well placed to distribute this message"
Luis Cobos, President of GIART (International Organisation of Performing Artists):
"We think "Young People, Music and the Internet" is a very important initiative as it is addressed to parents of children using the Internet to illegally download music. We believe that it is essential to make parents aware of both their parental and legal responsibilities when it comes to their children's use of the Internet. Parents should control their children's behaviour on the Internet also to protect them from potential harm which can derive from it. As parents ourselves, we are highly concerned. GIART strongly supports a number of other initiatives addressed to young people to make them understand that illegal downloading activities put in danger the work and life of hundred thousand artists who live on their creations."
MEP Christopher Heaton-Harris, member of the Culture and Education Committee:
"As both a Member of the European Parliament and a parent, I welcome the launch of "Young People, Music and the Internet" which helps inform parents about the safe use of peer-to-peer technology. Young people often go on the Internet searching for music. Already there are more than a million music tracks available on 200 legal music services in Europe, but many young people continue to look for music on unauthorised file-sharing services and both they and their parents need to be aware of the risks involved. Not only are there legal issues to do with the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted music, but there is the risk of children downloading harmful files such as pornographic images, infecting the family computer with viruses or coming into contact with strangers on the Internet. This guide, produced by Childnet International and the Pro Music alliance, should help families to enjoy music on the Internet while staying safe and on the right side of the law. "
Jenny Vacher, General Counsel, ICMP/CIEM, a member of Pro-Music:
"Music publishers positively support the "Young people, music and the Internet" initiative. Raising copyright awareness among children, and also adults, is one of the priorities of music publishers. The Pro-music-Childnet campaign goes a step further in raising parents' awareness of the risk for children to misuse the Internet. Music publishers have been particularly careful about the lessons in the guide concerning file-sharing and downloading of music and the promotion of safe and legal practices on the Internet."
Notes to Editors:
About Childnet International
Childnet International is a registered charity, (no 1080173) set up in 1995 - with the mission to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. The organisation seeks to take a balanced view of the issues of children and the Internet and is active in seeking to promote the positive ways in which the Internet can be used by children for social benefit. For example see www.childnetacademy.org. Childnet is also involved in responding to the negative aspects of children's use of new media and has been involved in developing award-winning education and awareness programmes such as its www.kidsmart.org.uk for schools. For full information about the charity see www.childnet-int.org
Pro-Music is an international music sector education campaign about digital music. This guide is supported by pro-music member organisations representing musicians, performers, artists, major and independent record companies, publishers and retailers across the music industry. The Pro-music alliance was set up in 2003 to help improve understanding of copyright on the internet and to promote the legitimate online music sector.
About Net Family News
Founded in 1999, Net Family News is a US-based nonprofit public service for parents, teachers, and caregivers of connected kids. Founded in 1999, NFN's mission is to bridge the other digital divide - between grownups and their tech-literate children. Its daily blog and RSS news feed, weekly email newsletter, archival Web site, and partnerships with like-minded organizations provide multiple ways to empower parents, through education and news, to get and stay engaged in their children's use of technology and the Internet. For more information, go to www.NetFamilyNews.org.