Digital music sales are up, IFPI still thinks everyone is out to get them

Digital music sales are up, IFPI still thinks everyone is out to get them
The IFPI, the music industry’s international trade group, released numbers on the state of the music industry, and they’re more positive than they have been in years, with overall revenue up, and digital music sales growing – in the U.S. digital sales now outnumber physical media. This probably shouldn’t be a surprise, streaming music services like Spotify and Rhapsody have shown rapid growth, buoyed by the expansion of the mobile smartphone ecosystem. Despite the rather obvious connection between new business models and the rapid growth of mobile as a market, the IFPI also made their pitch that this was really caused by incremental advances against piracy that were made in a handful of markets.

In particular, France introduced new legislation that sends emails to copyright infringers warning them that their actions can be tracked, and if you get a third violation in six months you can have your internet access blocked, and receive a fine of up to €1,500. They included indirect evidence that P2P sharing has been dropping since the legislation passed (which seems probably), and also made a case to link the legislation to an increase in French iTunes sales. The fact that the increase in iTunes sales occurred before the legislation went into effect somewhat undermines the causal link they want to make.

Still, we would think that U.S. citizens would be pretty happy for such a law to pass here…it has to beat the ludicrous sums of money that RIAA has attempted to extract from violators; awards have made it into 6 digits for a handful of songs that were downloaded (without evidence of sharing). That’s not to say that we in any way endorse piracy or copyright violation, but perhaps customers wouldn’t be so skeptical of the recording industry if the penalties were more in line with crime.

What do you guys think? Sound off on digital music and copyright in the comments below.

source: IFPI via All Things D
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