And an example of French leadership? Digital Music Sales Up Worldwide — pdf
Record companies’ revenue from digital music sales rose 40 percent to $2.9 billion over the past year, but the growth is still failing to cover losses from collapse of international CD sales, the music industry’s global trade body said Thursday.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, said the increase in legitimate music sales did not come close to offsetting the billions of dollars being lost to music piracy, with illegal downloads outnumbering the number of tracks sold by a factor of 20-to-1.
But the trade group said it welcomed efforts by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who has proposed a clampdown on those who violate copyright laws.
Sarkozy called in November for Internet service providers in France to automatically disconnect customers involved in piracy.
Later: The NYTimes version raises an interesting angle — Digital Music Sales Grow, but at Slower Rate
In the meantime, the recording industry is broadening its search for revenue. The trade group plans to step up a campaign to hold Internet providers responsible for stopping piracy over their networks, Mr. Kennedy said. It is lobbying the United States government to recognize a form of copyright that has provided musicians with a steady royalty stream in Europe and elsewhere.
The IFPI Digital Music Report for 2008 [local copy] makes the Sarkozy plan a centerpiece of its argument that ISPs should “take responsibility” (shades of AT&T, which is cited for its position!) for illegal content on their networks. However, there doesn’t seem to be any discussion of this US lobbying cited in the NYTimes article.
But we do get to see this sort of thing, repeated throughout:
After years of prevarication in this discussion, the French government’s decision to “seize the day” is deeply refreshing. It shows an urgency of approach that is badly needed in every market where music is today being massively devalued by piracy.
In Europe, we look to the European Union to capitalise on the momentum created by the Sarkozy Agreement. The moment for EU legislation to be drawn up has already arrived. There must be obligations on the ISPs to warn, suspend and eventually disconnect infringing users and to apply filtering measures. This should be achieved by agreements, backed by legislation where necessary. At the same time, we as an industry will not be shy to use legal action to force ISPs to act when dialogue fails but I would like to think that they now understand that meaningful voluntary action is a more attractive option than coercion – we have always advocated that!