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Monday, January 30, 2012

IFPI’s Piracy Claims Called Ludicrous

IFPI’s (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) claims over the affects of music piracy have once again been regarded as misleading for the public and policy makers.

The Pirate Party spokesman Andrew Robinson claimed that the IFPI’s report into the digital music sales was not just one-sided, but also very selective of facts, which made it “not just wrong, but even ludicrous”. The music body has published its findings into Internet music sales, and, regardless of seeing good growth in revenues, it kept blaming piracy for hindering further growth.

In fact, digital revenues to the music industry have actually grown by 8% across the globe last year, reaching an estimated $5.2 billion and up from 5% back in 2010. The growth in question was mainly attributed to a growth in presence of subscription-based services like Spotify and Deezer, with the number of countries with the access to the services more than doubling within the last year from 23 to 58.

Anti-piracy legislation like French HADOPI file-sharing law was also lauded for increasing moves to paid services instead of free downloading. Nevertheless, the IFPI still claimed that continuing piracy was hampering the music label’s attempts to monetize its switch from physical sales, with the United States selling more on the Internet than in stores now. The IFPI’s report claimed that piracy was rigging the market for legal services, hampering growth and jeopardizing investment in the creative content.

Pirate Party spokesperson explained that a lot of the claims by the music industry were actually baseless, as well as raised concerns over potential impact on the ACTA treaty that has been negotiated between a number of nations. Indeed, it turned out that the IFPI had no basis to claim such things, since they only had quotes from some unpublished research they have made, from which they picked up figures suiting themselves.

Why this is worrying is because such figures have influence on policy makers when anti-piracy bills are being discussed by the government. It has been seen many times how such reports were used by governments as facts without checking them. Consequently, this type of figures is later used to inform bills like the ACTA treaty where it can be used to provide evidence for arguments against online piracy.

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