updated 02:20 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
IFPI insists on tougher laws despite sales boost
The IFPI in its latest study (PDF) saw an eight percent upswing in digital music revenue in 2011. The increase is the first it claimed to have had since 2004 and lines up with an American rebound in overall album sales. They were important enough for online content to represent 32 percent of the industry association's combined business versus 29 percent in 2010.
Subscription services like MOG, Rdio, Slacker, and Spotify were now much more important, at a total of 13 million who were actively paying for service and not just using ad-sponsored versions.
As it always has, however, the IFPI insisted that piracy was still a major issue and correlated stricter laws with less piracy. It argued that France's Hadopi three-strikes law had directly led to a 20 percent increase in iTunes sales in France, a 71 percent increase in all digital album sales, and a 26 percent drop in peer-to-peer app use. In the US, where a notice-only system was in place, the percentage of those getting peer-to-peer bootlegs and the amount of tracks they downloaded were roughly cut in half.
By implication, it wanted laws like Hadopi in other countries. The company also criticized Google for being a neutral party and wanted it to downplay certain results as well as deny advertising.
The position is still contentious, as it makes certain assumptions about links between laws and piracy while sidestepping legal and ethical issues. Hadopi is believed to have partly led to some pirates simply going to alternative sources, such as those with good encryption or that otherwise don't get scanned. Likewise, it ignores false positives on the assumption that any piracy on an Internet connection is done with the knowledge of that connection's owner.
The slightly outdated IFPI study also eagerly embraces the US' proposed SOPA and PIPA laws, which were put on indefinite hold after massive protests. As with other laws, the industry association was concerned only about its cutting down piracy-focused sites and not the concerns of overly broad definitions, lack of due process, and possible constitutional violations that could have stemmed from the laws. [via AllThingsD]