New report calls for ISP's to be stricter on culprits

A three-year investigation into online music piracy has concluded that 95 percent of music downloads are illegal.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry‘s (IFPI) Digital Music Report 2009 estimates that 40 billion files were unlawfully shared online in 2008 alone.

The report states that the IFPI removed three million links to such files in 2008, up from 500,000 in 2007.

John Kennedy, Chairman of the IFPI, called on governments worldwide to work alongside internet service providers (IPSs) to enforce better regulations prohibiting illegal downloading.

“Governments are beginning to accept that, in the debate over ‘free content’ and engaging ISPs in protecting intellectual property rights, doing nothing is not an option if there is to be a future for commercial digital content,” he said.

In July 2008, the UK government negotiated a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between the six largest ISPs and the recording and film industries. The two groups were told to work together to reduce unauthorised file-sharing.

A 2008 report by Entertainment Media Research suggested that seven in ten (72 per-cent) UK music consumers would stop illegally downloading if their ISP told them to, while a similar number of French consumers (74 percent) say that internet account disconnection is a better way to solve the problem than fines and criminal sanctions.

Despite the negativity surround online piracy, the IFPI report states that the worldwide digital music business grew by 25 per-cent in 2008 – the sixth year in a row that it has increased. Digital platforms now take up around 20 percent of all recorded music sales.