UK record industry warns illegal filesharers – stop or risk court action : 25:3:2004
The British record industry has put illegal filesharers of music on notice that if they continue with their activities they risk court action.
UK record companies’ trade association the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) this morning unveiled research indicating that 8.0m people in the UK claim to be downloading music – 92% of them (7.4m people) using illegal sites.
Downloaders spending less on music
For the first time research has quantified the effect of illegal file-sharing on the record industry. A comparison of the buying behaviour indicates that downloaders spending on albums was down 32%, and spending on singles was down 59% over the previous year.
“There is no clearer evidence of the damage that illegal downloading is doing to British music and the British music industry,” says BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson.
“Illegal filesharing is causing real financial damage to artists, to songwriters, to record companies, publishers, retailers and everyone involved in the business.”
File-sharing is illegal
The BPI points out that illegal file-sharing is outlawed under the The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Specifically it runs counter to:
Section 16, which reserves to the owner exclusive rights to copy and to communicate their works to the public;
Section 20, which says communication to the public includes ‘the making available to the public of the work by electronic transmission in such a way that members of the public may access it from a place and at a time individually chosen by them”.
Instant messages warn of action
The BPI has unveiled a new ‘instant messaging’ campaign over the internet warning uploaders that they face court action if they do not disable file-sharing software on their computers.
“Research reveals that the bulk of the problem of illegal downloading is facilitated by a small hardcore of people who are offering hundreds and often thousands of music files over the internet,” says Jamieson. “These ‘serial uploaders’ are flouting the law and they are damaging British music and the British music industry.”
The BPI points out that the UK is at the forefront of the development of new legal download services. “There is no excuse whatsoever for people taking music without permission,” says Jamieson. “There are literally hundreds of thousands of tracks available on legal internet music services in the UK, and the number of tracks available and the number of services providing them grows weekly.”