Rights group slams BPI for “whingeing” over piracy
Rights campaigners have accused the record industry of whingeing after it published a report calling for stricter online controls to counter piracy despite download revenue increasing.
The BPI’s Digital Music Nation 2010 report highlighted high revenue growth in the online music market, but bemoaned the fact that piracy was still rife in the UK.
According to the BPI research, UK residents have downloaded 1.2 billion tracks illegally this year, and paid to download only 370 million tracks.
The BPI is whingeing that growth in their profits in the middle of a recession isn’t good enough
Despite the lost sales, online music surged to make up a quarter of music industry sales, pointing to a recovering industry.
“The BPI is whingeing that growth in their profits in the middle of a recession isn’t good enough,“ said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.
“They argue for measures that would curtail innocent people’s human rights in order to increase their profits. That is immoral.”
Sales of digital singles soared to 160 million this year compared with 149.7 million last year.
Research cited in the report claimed that 7.7 million Britons obtain music unlawfully, and the BPI used these figures to call for Government action.
“This confirms the need for the urgent implementation of the Digital Economy Act, alongside industry initiatives to educate,” the BPI said in a statement, referring to proposals that would provide ammunition to take action against persistent copyright infringers.
However, Killock cautioned against reading too much into the research, claiming the statistics should be treated with a “pinch of salt”.
“The danger is that the Government will take these figures seriously and use them as a reason to implement law, rather than undertake its own research,” he said.
“The Government has never commissioned independent research and relies on those from other countries or the music industry, which obviously has a vested interest.”
The BPI’s report drew on a survey of 5,393 people from Harris Interactive and UKOM/Nielsen and, which monitors the web habits of 35,000 UK surfers.