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Internet Piracy

A new era of piracy on the internet poses potentially even greater problems than the proliferation of CD piracy.

The recording industry is fast entering the age of digital distribution. Technologies of music delivery are changing radically, bringing tremendous benefits to producer, distributor and consumer. To secure the same sort of protections in the on-line world that the music industry enjoys in the analogue world, copyright laws need updating.

The fundamental principles behind the laws, however, remain unchanged. Copyright laws must ensure that artists, composers and record producers are strongly protected from internet piracy. Rights holders also need to be able to use the technologies of the internet to manage and control the use of their works.

Internet piracy - the problem and its confrontation

Until a few years ago, internet piracy was merely a tiny commercial threat for the music industry. This rapidly changed due to the new methods of data compression and the raise of the available data transfer speeds over the internet. Digitally piracy is now a direct threat for the music e-commerce's viability. IFPI coordinates the actions of the international recording industry for the protection of its rights through technological measures and legal actions.

The size and nature of internet piracy

One of the most serious obstacles in music industry's efforts for the development of an electronic music distribution environment is internet piracy. Its most known form is the compression of songs to mp3 files and their distribution through internet, without the permission of their rights holders, i.e. the payment of exploitation rights to those that contributed or invested to the creation of these songs.

The impact of MP3 led the electronics manufacturers to design devices compatible to these music files, starting with the mp3 players and reaching for now to smart phones. Consumers can now listen to stored music files wherever and whenever, while in the past the use of a personal computer was necessary.

Internet piracy is already widespread. It is now impossible to estimate the number of songs stored illegally every year. The negative impact of internet piracy in the development of a legal environment of digital distribution of music is of outmost importance. Despite the deployment of many different models and services of legal music distribution, the consumers don't seem to regard necessary to pay for the music they "download", when they can find what they want for free through pirate sites. The negative impact of the phenomenon to the huge investments in new technologies, of both record companies and e-commerce companies is obvious.

"Free" distribution of mp3 files via pirate sites does not take place without profit for the pirates. Advertising banners in a website and subscriptions bring to the site owners up to hundreds of dollars per month for the popular sites with hundreds of visitors daily.

In response IFPI, in cooperation with other collective management associations and bodies, seeks the best solutions for the confrontation of the various forms of internet piracy, aiming at the support of legal and more-and-more economical methods of legal access to music, that respect creators and their rights.
Piracy and its Forms
Physical Piracy
Internet Piracy
Anti-Piracy, Legal Framework & Actions
International Legal Framework