June 23, 2005

IFPI Piracy Report [8:36 pm]

Press release: One in three music discs is illegal but fight back starts to show results

The report, with lots of fun facts to know and tell (plus some graphics): The Recording Industry 2005 Piracy Report

Global pirate sales of music totalled an estimated 1.5 billion units in 2004, worth US$4.6 billion at pirate prices. The value of the world pirate market for music equates to the entire legitimate music markets of the UK, Netherlands and Spain combined.

Disc piracy, which makes up the bulk of the problem,grew only 2% in 2004 to 1.2 billion units. Despite this, global pirate disc sales are almost double the level of 2000, and 34% - one in three - of all music discs sold worldwide in 2004 was a pirate copy.

Sales of all pirate recordings (discs plus cassettes) fell slightly in 2004, mainly due to falling cassette piracy and, particularly in Asia, to piracy on the internet. There were stepped-up anti-piracy initiatives in several territories, including Mexico, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and Spain. However, disc piracy increased overall with particular growth in India, Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America.

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Marybeth Peters on Licensing Reform [8:29 am]

I am sure that there is a lot of discussion of this testimony and the § 115 issues that underly it — I’ve just been swamped, so here’s a placeholder until I get a chance to do something with this: Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary (June 21, 2005)

The increased transactional costs (e.g., arguably duplicative demands for royalties and the delays necessitated by negotiating with multiple licensors) also inhibit the music industry’s ability to combat piracy. Legal music services can combat piracy only if they can offer what the “pirates” offer. I believe that the majority of consumers would choose to use a legal service if it could offer a comparable product. Right now, illegitimate services clearly offer something that consumers want, lots of music at little or no cost. They can do this because they offer people a means to obtain any music they please without obtaining the appropriate licenses. However, under the complex licensing scheme engendered by the present Section 115, legal music services must engage in numerous negotiations which result in time delays and increased transaction costs. In cases where they cannot succeed in obtaining all of the rights they need to make a musical composition available, the legal music services simply cannot offer that selection, thereby making them less attractive to the listening public than the pirates. Reforming Section 115 to provide a streamlined process by which legal music services can clear the rights they need to make music available to consumers will enable these services to compete with, and I believe effectively combat, piracy.

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