Tackling music piracy

The music industry is a business whose success depends on certainty in the legal environment and on copyright law. This is a constant and ever-changing challenge - the music market internationally continues to be distorted by unfair competition from unlicensed services.

IFPI estimates, based on comScore/Nielsen data, that 20 per cent of internet users worldwide regularly access unlicensed services. This estimate applies only to desktop-based devices: it does not include the emerging, but as yet unquantified, threat of smartphone and tablet-based mobile piracy as consumers migrate to those devices.

Digital piracy is the biggest single threat to the development of the licensed music sector and to investment in artists. It undermines the licensed music business across many forms and channels - unlicensed streaming websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks, cyberlockers and aggregators, unlicensed streaming and stream ripping and mobile applications.

The industry is responding not with a single strategy, but with a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach. It includes: consumer education on copyright and the value of music; working with law enforcement agencies to tackle online piracy; litigation against online pirate services; and engaging with policymakers and legislators worldwide to create an environment in which the music sector can grow. The industry is also working with online stores to remove infringing apps and to ensure that apps cannot access illegal websites.

The industry believes all parties in the digital economy have a responsibility to support legitimate digital commerce and help tackle piracy in all its forms. Record companies are looking work with advertisers, domain registrars, internet service providers (ISPs), payment providers and search engines to achieve this goal. Courts around the world are finding that the law also requires greater cooperation from online intermediaries.

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