IFPI: Illegal Music Files Down 25%

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has reported a few pieces of good news for the industry.

Firstly, the IFPI are claiming that the number of illegal, copyright infringing music files on the internet is down 800 million files – down from a peak of 1.1 billion files this time last year. Now, you know as well as I do that there is now way of measuring the numbers of anything on the internet, especially music files – but we’re pleased that they believe that the problem is getting better, not worse.

Any drop in infringing files can no doubt be attributed to the 100 or so legal music services that have popped up in the last couple of years. It’s as we’ve said all along: people don’t want an illegal copy of a track when they can have a properly encoded, licensed file from an official source.

Secondly, they are pleased to report that seven out of ten Europeans know that file sharing is illegal. To help raise awareness, the music industry sent 23 million instant message warnings to people using P2P services in 9 countries.

Interestingly, 45% of those surveyed in Italy said that “they expected to stop over the next three months” — implying that they were either waiting for music services to start up, or they were finding it difficult to kick the habit.

Registered users at music services in Europe now stands at 830,000 people – up from 380,000 at the end of September.

Prosecutions are still taking place amid all the improvements – 24 more cases were rolled out, and the IFPI says that several hundred more cases are planned for the coming months.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?